Cover image for Encyclopedia of millennialism and millennial movements
Encyclopedia of millennialism and millennial movements
Landes, Richard, 1949-
Publication Information:
New York : Routledge, [2000]

Physical Description:
xii, 478 pages : illustrations, map ; 28 cm.
General Note:
"A Berkshire Reference work."
Added Author:
Added Corporate Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BT891 .E53 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



First published in 2000. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This volume is part of the Routledge series Religion and Society. Editor Landes, an associate professor of medieval history at Boston University and director of the famed Center for Millennial Studies, is the author of such influential titles as Relics, Apocalypse, and the Deceits of History (1995) and a pioneer researcher in the emerging area of millennial studies. Included in the list of 65 contributors are people the stature of J. Gordon Melton, editor of The Encyclopedia of American Religions (Gale, 6th ed. 1999). A guide to the spiritual and social movements that have promised to create a better world or usher in a new one, the encyclopedia is an alphabetical listing of some 200 signed entries, including descriptions of specific movements (Heaven's Gate), conceptual and theoretical terms (Utopia), theological concerns (Defilement), and general topics (Women). Equal consideration is given to Western and non-Western movements, from both a historical and contemporary perspective. Most entries are several pages long and conclude with sometimes lengthy bibliographies. See also references abound, linking events to concepts. The text is illustrated and selectively provides excerpts of primary-source material, such as scriptures, newspaper articles, tracts, and Web sites salient to the respective article. Information is quite current, with excellent articles on Y2K and Year 2000 celebrations as examples of contemporary millennial thinking and practice. This unique encyclopedia presents an inclusive summary of millennialism on the advent of the third millennium and is recommended for large public and academic libraries.

Library Journal Review

Believing that the world will or can be transformed through divine or cosmic intervention, millennial movements continue to thrive in our scientific and technological times. The approximately 160 movements, concepts, and theories addressed in this A-to-Z encyclopedia include several that made the news over the last few decades: e.g., the Japanese Aum Shrinrikyo, the Branch Davidians, Heaven's Gate, and the People's Temple in Jonestown. Landes, of the Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University, and 64 contributors also explore less well known groups, such as the Aetherius Society, the John Frum Movement, and Outpost Kauai. The millennial aspects of established religions such as Islam, the Jehovah's Witnesses, and Roman Catholicism are also discussed, as well as such things as conversion, defilement, jubilee traditions, prophecy, rapture, salvation, and utopia. While information on many of these movements and theories can be found elsewhere, this handy volume brings them together and focuses on their millennial aspects. Helpful bibliographies are provided with entries. Highly recommended. [This is the first volume of Routledge's new "Religion and Society" series. Forthcoming volumes will include the Encyclopedia of African and African-American Religions and the Encyclopedia of Fundamentalism.--Ed.]--John Moryl, Yeshiva Univ. Lib., New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Anyone who believes that interest in millennialism is a relic of the past need only make a quick trip to the local bookstore or glimpse the bestseller lists to be quickly disabused. In this work, Landes (medieval history, Boston Univ., and director of the Center for Millennial Studies) has gathered 149 entries treating various aspects of millennialism. The volume has two primary strengths. First, the contributors recognize that millennial studies are multidisciplinary, hence should be studied both as they relate to religion and with due regard to sociology, politics, and psychology. Second, they view their subject as a worldwide phenomenon not confined to any single faith. As the editor points out in his overview article, millennialism is capable of assuming many seemingly contradictory shapes: on one hand, it can be a magnet for the powerless or marginalized looking for divine intervention; on the other, secular strains appear among optimistic humanists, in radical democratic or totalitarian movements, and in utopian literature. Articles are followed by helpful bibliographies, and many are enhanced by black-and-white illustrations and boxed quotes from primary sources. The index points to concepts discussed in several entries, such as dispensationalism. The writers are factual and evenhanded in their treatment of subjects that badly need these qualities. Highly recommended. S. A. Sanders; Southeastern Louisiana University