Apocalypticism and Messianism

Lorenzo DiTommaso

in Jewish Studies

ISBN: 9780199840731
Published online August 2012 | | DOI:
Apocalypticism and Messianism


Apocalypticism and messianism originated in ancient Judaism. Apocalypticism, or the apocalyptic worldview, is a distinctive combination of several core axioms, including a conviction in the imminent end of history. The first apocalypses date from the Hellenistic era (323–363 bce) and include the early Enochic literature and the biblical book of Daniel. Messianism is the expectation for an end-time agent who plays a positive, authoritative, and usually redemptive role. It derived from the postexilic hope for a future ideal Davidic king. Messiah figures are thus foremost a symbol for national-political restoration but can also have priestly or prophetic dimensions. Apocalyptic speculation and messianic expectation survived the failure of three revolts against Rome (66–73, 115–117, and 132–135 ce) to play important roles in Judaism in the rabbinic, medieval, and early modern centuries and remain significant in contemporary Jewish life, both inside and outside Israel.

Article.  9044 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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