Apocalypses: Prophecies, Cults and Millennial Beliefs Throughout the Ages

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9780091801342: Apocalypses: Prophecies, Cults and Millennial Beliefs Throughout the Ages

This text offers an overview of apocalyptic visions, from Zarathustra to the day before yesterday. The author, a distinguished historian, offers an alternative view to conventional wisdom, which has consigned the study of apocalyptic and millennial thought to the lunatic fringe.

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The huge amount of interest in End-Time prophecies linked to the millennium might make one think that the year 2000 is the only candidate for the Second Coming and the End Of The World As We Know It. Not a bit of it. Apocalypses shows that this has been an over- riding preoccupation of Christians for the last 2000 years and of Jews before that. There hardly seems to have been a decade throughout the last two millennia when someone hasn't been proclaiming that the End of the World is Nigh.

"Apocalyptic prophecies are attempts to interpret their times, to console and guide, to suggest the meaning of the present and the future", says Eugene Weber. But what about the "signs of the times" which today's Fundamentalists point to with ever-increasing fervour? "All ages are marked by perils, lawlessness, social disorder and upheavals, breakdown of morality... there are portents, always apolyptic apprehensions, always fears and hopes to suggest millennial themes. Joining pessimism and optimism together, the millenarian message is infinitely adaptable to the circumstances of every age".

Eugene Weber is a historian but has deliberately written this book in a light and approachable style. It's not always entirely clear why he includes a prophet or an apocalyptic movement in one chapter rather than another--he skips about rather a lot--but a very thorough index solves the problem of finding what you're looking for. The cover is suitably gory but it's a shame there are no plates; this is a wonderfully illustratable subject and many artists have tackled it. This is a fascinating overview of apocalyptic prophecies over the centuries. --David V Barrett

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Eugen Weber
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Book Description 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First UK Edition. 6.25x9.5. Until the 17th Century, everyone believed that the world would end soon. Now people who hold such a belief are often either religious fundamentalists or cult members. This book examines conceptions of the apocalypse and how it has remained a background theme in modern times. Includes Index. Published @ 18.99 Pounds. Bookseller Inventory # 016063

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