Apocalypses: Prophecies, Cults, and Millennial Beliefs Through the Ages

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Harvard University Press, 2000 - History - 294 pages
2 Reviews

Apocalyptic visions and prophecies from Zarathustra to yesterday form the luxuriant panorama in Eugen Weber's profound and elegant book. Beginning with the ancients of the West and the Orient and, especially, with those from whom we received our religions, the Jews and earliest Christians, Weber finds that an absolute belief in the end of time, when good would do final battle with evil, was omnipresent. Within centuries, apocalyptic beliefs inspired Crusades, scientific discoveries, works of art, voyages such as those of Columbus, rebellions and reforms. In the new world, American abolitionists, who were so critical to the movement to end slavery, believed in a final reckoning. The nineteenth and twentieth centuries' apocalyptic movements veered toward a lunatic fringe, and Weber rescues them from obloquy. From this more than two millennia history, he redresses the historical and religious amnesia that has consigned the study of apocalypses and millennial thought to the ash heap of thought and belief.

Weber, a master storyteller, turns detective in this latest book as he finds these alternative rationalities in the West, Asia, Africa, and South America. He writes with profound respect for the millennial pulse in history while never losing his urbane and witty style of writing. As we approach our second millennium beset by a host of apocalyptic predictions and cults, this book offers a map of understanding of the creeds we ignore at our peril.

  

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Review: Apocalypses: Prophecies, Cults, and Millennial Beliefs Through the Ages

User Review  - Miik - Goodreads

Fascinating Read full review

Review: Apocalypses: Prophecies, Cults, and Millennial Beliefs Through the Ages

User Review  - Ami - Goodreads

Gave up on it. Too dry for my tastes. I really wanted to like it, and I love me apocalypses, prophecies and cults, but I just couldn't get into it. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Chronologies and Fins de Siecle
7
Apocalypses and Millenarianisms
27
In Dark and Bloody Times
41
Revivalists and Antichrists
61
Apocalypse and Science
83
Enlightenment?
99
Apocalypse in Worldly Times
119
Pursuits of the Millennium
147
Times Noblest Offspring
167
The Twentieth Century
193
Conclusion
223
Notes
241
Index
269
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Eugen Weber was Joan Palevsky Professor of Modern European History, Emeritus, at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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