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Expecting the End

Millennialism in Social and Historical Context

Kenneth G. C. Newport and Crawford Gribben, editors

Publication Year: 2006

Jesus' promise that the end draws near has spawned an expectation of that grand event across various religious groups. This volume examines the abiding social issues that surround the continued presence of apocalyptic anticipation by setting them in historical, present-day, and future manifestations. Approaching this fervent expectation from a broad perspective, Gribben and Newport explore the contemporary movements with insightful analysis that provokes discussion and even self-reflection.

Published by: Baylor University Press


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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-x

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Chapter One

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pp. 1-23

"Francis Danby’s painting The Opening of the Sixth Seal (1828) is one of the great forgotten icons of Ireland’s millennial past. Exhibited today in the National Gallery of Ireland, it is an impressive and massive work that immediately catches the eye of anyone entering the room in which it is displayed. The grand canvas presents a cataclysmic scene in the background..."

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Chapter Two

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pp. 25-47

"For over two thousand years, apocalyptic images and motifs have inspired, tormented, and puzzled their audiences. Many have found, and indeed still do find, hope in the image of the prophesied New Jerusalem, the emergence of heaven on earth, and the coming of the Messiah. Many have also sought to determine the exact date of the prophesied end times by performing..."

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Chapter Three

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pp. 49-66

"On March 26, 1997, the bodies of thirty-nine people, all dressed in identical black clothes, were found in a mansion in Rancho Santa Fe, an exclusive San Diego suburb. All of them were members of Heaven’s Gate, a new religion that had, up to that point, remained relatively unknown. It was immediately apparent to Rio DiAngelo, the ex-member who discovered the bodies, that..."

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Chapter Four

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pp. 67-77

"For the state of Israel, millennialism has been considerably more than a marginal religious concept of earthly transformation. In 1891 a Protestant millennialist wrote the first petition to the government of the United States to support the establishment of a Jewish homeland in ancient Palestine.1 Starting in 1897, a secular Jewish millennialism, Zionism, focused..."

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Chapter Five

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pp. 79-95

"One feature of the scholarly literature devoted to the study of fundamentalism and millennialism is its oscillation between, on the one hand, interest in manifestations of fundamentalism within mainstream religious traditions—for instance, Roman Catholic integralism between 1907 and the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965)—and, on the other, interest in..."

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Chapter Six

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pp. 97-112

"In 1996, after viewing Independence Day, Roland Emmerich’s monumental updating of H. G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds as a paean to American triumphalism, a senior advisor to Bob Dole, who had endorsed the movie as a model of American patriotism and who was then running as the Republican candidate for president against Bill Clinton, remarked,..."

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Chapter Seven

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pp. 113-130

"The popular idea that early modern millennial beliefs disappeared 'into a world of cranks'2 must be revised in light of the remarkable mainstreaming of prophetic expectation at the end of the twentieth century. The steady politicization of American evangelicalism throughout the 1980s appears to have been both the cause and consequence of several competing varieties of prophetic expectation, ranging from postmillennial reconstructionism..."

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Chapter Eight

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pp. 131-146

"Between February and April 1993, the Branch Davidian movement near Waco, Texas, suffered a truly catastrophic sequence of events. By their conclusion some eighty members of the movement were dead, including, of course, the leader and prophet of the community, David Koresh. While 'Branch Davidianism' survives as a tradition today, and indeed there is..."

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Chapter Nine

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pp. 147-172

"Studies of new religious movements and violence have demonstrated that violence involving religious groups is interactive in nature: the quality of the interactions of a variety of forces in the outside society with the believers is crucial for determining the potential for volatility.1 These forces and actors in mainstream society include the media, law enforcement agents, and former members. All of these types of actors contributed to the conflict..."

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Chapter Ten

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pp. 173-192

"Paul Boyer, writing in 1992, complained that evangelical millennialism 'has received little scholarly attention.'1 A more recent commentator, dealing with Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins’s Left Behind series and its related spin-offs, was somewhat congratulatory in his conclusion that 'critical responses to the series have been so voluminous that it would now be..."

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Chapter Eleven

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pp. 193-217

"In a paper exploring the subject of charismatic theology, published in 1995, renowned Anglican renewalist Tom Smail expressed disenchantment at the lack of the felt need among advocates of the charismatic movement to construct a coherent and meaningful theology.1 The stress on the experience of God rather than thinking about God by leading renewal theologians..."

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Chapter Twelve

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pp. 213-236

"The purpose of this chapter is to sketch the history and doctrines of a number of small millenarian sects that owe their existence, in varying degrees, to the English prophetess Joanna Southcott (1750–1814).1 These groups, vestiges of which survive to the present day, are then evaluated under several headings, corresponding to various traits and doctrines that tend to..."

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Chapter Thirteen

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pp. 237-239

"haps, in the context of the twenty-first-century clash of civilizations, there is little doubt about the enduring appeal of millennial and apocalyptic thinking. Radical Islamists wage war on the West, while the United States and its diminishing band of allies adopt an aggressive strategy of regime change in the Near East. The quest to move from the Dar al-Harb (the 'house of war') to the Dar al-Islam (the 'house of Islam') is evidently millennial, though some of the means by which it is pursued might yet..."


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pp. 241-282


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pp. 283-310

Notes on Contributors

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pp. 311-314


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pp. 315-329

E-ISBN-13: 9781602581043
E-ISBN-10: 1602581045
Print-ISBN-13: 9781932792386
Print-ISBN-10: 1932792384

Page Count: 329
Publication Year: 2006

Edition: 1st