God's Strange Work: William Miller and the End of All Things  -     By: David L. Rowe
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God's Strange Work: William Miller and the End of All Things

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2008 / Paperback

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Product Description

* The first scholarly biography of one of the 19th century's most intriguing figures! Husband, father, farmer, scribe, and war veteran, William Miller is best remembered as the first American popularizer of end-times prophecy. In this well-researched account of Miller's life, Rowe rescues him from the fringes and places him at the center of American religious history. 272 pages, softcover from Eerdmans.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 272
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0802803806
ISBN-13: 9780802803801
Availability: Expected to ship on or about 09/29/15.
Series: Library of Religious Biography

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Author Bio

David L. Rowe is professor of history at Middle Tennessee State University. He has written many articles and is also the author of Thunder and Trumpets.


“Rejecting the myths and stereotypes of popular lore, David L. Rowe in this astute biography employs psychological insight and a wealth of primary sources to present William Miller as a fully rounded human being. While vividly evoking Miller’s distinctive personality, Rowe also convincingly portrays him as a representative product of a post-Revolutionary America caught up in political, social, and religious ferment. I warmly recommend this fine study.” -Paul S. Boyer, author of When Time Shall Be No More

Publisher Description

The fascinating story of an intriguing---and little understood---religious figure in nineteenth-century America

Calvinist Baptist preacher William Miller (1782–1849) was the first prominent American popularizer of using biblical prophecy to determine a specific and imminent time for Christ’s return to earth. On October 22, 1844---a day known as the Great Disappointment---he and his followers gave away their possessions, abandoned their work, donned white robes, and ascended to rooftops and hilltops to await a Second Coming that never actually came.

Or so the story goes.

The truth---revealed here---is far less titillating but just as captivating. In fact, David Rowe argues, Miller was in many ways a mainstream, even typical figure of his time.

Reflecting Rowe’s meticulous research throughout, God’s Strange Work does more than tell one man’s remarkable story. It encapsulates the broader history of American Christianity in the time period and sets the stage for many significant later developments: the founding of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the tenets of various well-known new religious movements, and even the enduring American fascination with end-times prophecy. Rowe rescues Miller from the fringes and places him where he rightly belongs---in the center of American religious history.

Series Info

The Library of Religious Biography is a series of original biographies on important religious figures throughout American and British history.

The authors are well-known historians, each a recognized authority in the period of religious history in which his or her subject lived and worked. Grounded in solid research of both published and archival sources, these volumes link the lives of their subjects---not always thought of as “religious” persons---to the broader cultural contexts and religious issues that surrounded them. Each volume includes a bibliographical essay and an index to serve the needs of students, teachers, and researchers.

Marked by careful scholarship yet free of footnotes and academic jargon, the books in this series are well-written narratives meant to be read and enjoyed as well as studied.

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