Cover image for Longing for the end : a history of millennialism in western civilization
Longing for the end : a history of millennialism in western civilization
Baumgartner, Frederic J.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xi, 286 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Format :


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Item Holds
BT891 .B38 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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"Frederic J. Baumgartner explores the long, often violent, history of millennialism as it has affected Western Civilization. From the ancient Zoroastrians to the Concerned Christians of 1998, a belief in the imminent end of the present world and the coming of the new age has motivated hundreds of sects and cults, some of which have burned out in an orgy of violence to become a permanent part of Western history. Not confined to cults, millennialism has also been part of the motivation behind the Crusades, Columbus's voyages, Marxism, and the Third Reich. In this work, Baumgartner shows why the turn of the millennium occupies such a powerful place in the Western imagination."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Historian Baumgartner (France in the Sixteenth Century, etc.) chronologically charts how millennialism snakes through the ages, from early Christianity right on up to Jonestown and Waco and beyond. Historically, writes Baumgartner, people have always longed for the Day of Doom. Millennial cults and sects, from Jesus and his disciples to the 19th-century English millennialist John Wroe and David Koresh, have inextricably been tied up with religion, and Baumgartner limits his book to "Christian groups and those heavily influenced by Christianity." Baumgartner's most interesting passages illustrate how millennialism comes to the fore during times of revolution and crisis: the French, American and Russian revolutions, as well as the bomb-crazed Cold War. While Baumgartner for the most part avoids overarching hypotheses about what all this millennial brouhaha might mean, he gives readers a concise survey of the end of the worldÄas it has been imagined and, sometimes, actively pursued. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

The Jesus Cult
Early Christianity
The First Millennium
The Age of the Spirit: The High Middle Ages
The Reformation Era
The Sickle of Divine Justice: The Puritan Revolution
Millennialism in Colonial America
The Millennium of Pure Reason
The Burned-over District
From Civil War to World War
War and Rumors of War
Antichrist Has the Bomb!
From Jonestown to Waco
Bring on the Millennium!