Predictions about the world have the power to grip whole societies, and shape the actions of many groups whether working in politics, ecology or religion. At the end of epochs and eras humans tend to reflect on the shape of things to come. Most recently, fears about the 'millennium bug' had thousands rushing to stock up on candles and food in the weeks before New Year's Eve. Concerns about the future have been expressed differently throughout history. This book explores the historical context surrounding various debates, decisions and beliefs about the future in recent centuries. Religious, political, literary and ecological visions of the future in America and Germany are addressed comparatively. In particular, scholars from the United States and Germany explore the meaning of eschatological and utopian thoughts pursued during the last three centuries and tackle subjects ranging from science fiction to religious radicalism, utopian social experiments, and visions of race relations. This book delves into the hopes and fears for the future that have shaped the past and will be of interest to comparative historians as well as to historians of Europe and the United States intrigued by the subject of utopias.
About the Author
Norbert Finzsch Professor of Anglo-American History and Chair of Department,University of Cologne Hermann Wellenreuther Chair of Early Modern History, Georg-August-University, Göttingen