Approaching the Apocalypse: A Short History of Christian Millenarianism

Approaching the Apocalypse: A Short History of Christian Millenarianism

by John M. Court


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Approaching the Apocalypse: A Short History of Christian Millenarianism by John M. Court

Plague, earthquake and flame: ideas about divinely-inspired disaster and prophecies of doom have an enduring place in the history of Christian thought. For centuries men and women have made preparations for the imminent end of the world, and for the thousand year reign of Christ and his saints. Inspired principally by the startling texts of the Book of Revelation, Christianity has a rich and varied tradition of looking forward to the purifying fires of Armageddon. But what do recurring motifs like the Rapture, pestilence, biblical prophecy and the building of the New Jerusalem really add up to? And how have interpretations of these patterns differed from century to century? Charting a steady course between the feverish predictions of early Christian heretics like the Montanists, and the febrile outpourings of modern-day millennialists such as the Branch Davidians and Christian Zionists in America, John M. Court explores the continuities and differences between their violent visions of cataclysm. His history comprises an incisive analysis of such movements and figures as the Levellers and Diggers, James Jezreel and his Trumpeters, Seventh-Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses, cargo-cults and drug cultures. Embracing two thousand years of intense and fiery admonition, Approaching the Apocalypse offers students of religion, history and politics the definitive handbook to Doomsday.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781845117597
Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
Publication date: 10/14/2008
Pages: 232
Sales rank: 926,235
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

John M. Court was formerly Senior Lecturer in Theology and Religious Studies and Head of Department at the University of Kent at Canterbury. He is the author of many books which include The New Testament World, Reading the New Testament and The Book of Revelation and the Johannine Apocalyptic Tradition.

Table of Contents

* Introduction
• The Roots of the Idea
• The Biblical Basis
• The Return of Christ
• Millenarians among the Church Fathers
• Apocalypse Then (1000 CE)
• Joachim of Fiore (c.1135 - 1202 CE)
• The Black Death and other Plagues
• Apocalypse and Civil War (1500 CE and after)
• Edward Irving (1792 - 1834) and the Catholic Apostolic movement
• Across the Pond
• Joanna Southcott (1750 - 1814)
• Jezreel and his Tower
• An Anglican Israel at the End of Time: the Seventh Earl of Shaftesbury
• “Somewhere a place for us” - modern utopias
• Christian Missions and the Cargo Cults
• Figures of the Messiah: David Koresh and the Waco Siege
• “Apocalypse Now”, or Celebrating the Millennium on or after 2000 CE
• Epilogue
• Selected Bibliography
• Glossary *

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