Progressive Millennialism

W. Michael Ashcraft

in The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780195301052
Published online January 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Progressive Millennialism

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Millennial optimism finds its expression in the progressive brand. It believes in a “changed” world wherein everything is in their ideal state. It is not expressly non-violent or in any way, God forsaking. The “ideal” world also envisions a purging of adversaries and a divine hand behind every occurrence. This article concerns progressive millennialism that came by the way of English Puritanism, when people refused to accept whatever was fed to them in the name of religion and resorted to “scientific assertion” of divine ways. It reflects a curious combination of science and divinity. The discovery of America added impetus by facilitating reform of the Anglican Church and hence, progressive millennialism. The revolutionary period witnessed both progressive and catastrophic millennialism, the former wrought in the hope of newfound independence and the latter, anticipating British retribution and the conclusion of the French Revolution and the post-civil war period, millennialism became instrumental in the proliferation of global Christianity and American interventionist worldview.

Keywords: progressive millennialism; millennial optimism; English Puritanism; revolutionary period; French revolution; post-civil war

Article.  9821 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Christianity

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