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The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism

Edited by Catherine Wessinger

Volume 1, issue Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780195301052
Published online January 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195301052.001.0001

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism

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The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism offers an in-depth look at both the theoretical underpinnings of the study of millennialism and its many manifestations across history and cultures. Christian Dispensationalism, the Taiping Revolution, cargo cults in Oceania, the Baha'i Faith, and the Raelian Movement would seem to have little in common. What they share, however, is a millennial orientationthe audacious human hope for a collective salvation, which may be heavenly or earthly or both. Although many religions feature a belief in personal salvation, millennial faiths are characterized by the expectation that salvation will be accomplished, for an entire group, by a superhuman agent, with or without human collaboration. While the term millennialism is drawn from Christianity, it is a category that is used to study religious expressions in diverse cultures, religious traditions, and historical periods. Sometimes, millennial expectations are expressed in peaceful ways. Other times, millennialists become involved in violence. The book begins with a section that examines four primary types of millennialism. The succeeding parts examine key issues such as charismatic leadership, use of scripture, prophetic failure, gender roles, children, tension with society, and violence. The rest of the book explores millennialism in a wide variety of places and times, from ancient Near Eastern movements to contemporary apocalyptic and new age movements, including the roles played by millennialism in national and international conflicts.

Keywords: Christian Dispensationalism; Taiping Revolution; cargo cults; Oceania; Baha'i Faith; Raelian Movement; charismatic leadership; scripture; prophetic failure; gender roles; children; violence; ancient Near East; contemporary movements; apocalyptic movements; new age; national conflicts; international conflicts

Book.  768 pages. 

Subjects: Religion

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Table of Contents

Catastrophic Millennialism in The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism

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Progressive Millennialism in The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism

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Avertive Apocalypticism in The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism

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Nativist Millennialism in The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism

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