The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism  -     By: Catherine Wessinger
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The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism

Oxford University Press, USA / 2016 / Paperback

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Product Description

"From the opening typologies (catastrophic, progressive, avertive, and nativist millennialisms) to each article's robust bibliography, this book by an impressive roster of scholars consistently delivers impeccable scholarship. This hefty tome is an indispensable reference,"---Choice. Covers the entire gamut of movements. 768 pages, softcover.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 0190611944
ISBN-13: 9780190611941

Publisher's Description

Christian Dispensationalism, the Taiping Revolution, cargo cults in Oceania, the Baha'i Faith, and the Raelian Movement would seem to have little in common. What they share, however, is a millennial orientation--the audacious human hope for a collective salvation, which may be heavenly or earthly or both. Although many religions feature a belief in personal salvation, millennial faiths are characterized by the expectation that salvation will be accomplished for an entire group by a superhuman agent, with or without human collaboration. The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism offers readers an in-depth look at both the theoretical underpinnings of the study of millennialism and its many manifestations across history and cultures.

While the term "millennialism" is drawn from Christianity, it is a category that is used to study religious expressions in diverse cultures, religious traditions, and historical periods. Sometimes, millennial expectations are expressed in peaceful ways. Other times, millennialists become involved in violence.

The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism begins with a section that examines four primary types of millennialism. Chapters in the next section examine key issues such as charismatic leadership, use of scripture, prophetic failure, gender roles, children, tension with society, and violence. The rest of the book explores millennialism in a wide variety of places and times, from ancient Near Eastern movements to contemporary apocalyptic and new age movements, including the roles played by millennialism in national and international conflicts. This handbook will be a valuable resource for scholars of religious studies, sociology, psychology, history, and new religious movements.

Author Bio


Catherine Wessinger is Rev. H. James Yamauchi, S.J., Professor of the History of Religions at Loyola University New Orleans.

Editorial Reviews


"From the opening typologies (catastrophic, progressive, avertive, and nativist millenialisms) to each article's robust bibliography, this book by an impressive roster of scholars consistently delivers impeccable scholarship...[T]his hefty tome is an indispensable reference."--CHOICE


"...[A]ny scholar of millennialism worth his or her salt should have this on the shelf." --Nova Religio


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