chapter
millennial movements, millenarianism
Pages 8

Anthropologists, sociologists and historians have extended the term ‘millenarianism’ from the Christian tradition to categorize religious movements worldwide that predict an impending, supernatural transformation and perfection of human society. Jesus Christ’s Kingdom on Earth will last 1,000 years-a round and solid number-or so foretold the prophet John in the Book of Revelation:

I also saw the souls of those who had been slain for their testimony to Jesus and for God’s message, and of those who had not worshipped either the beast or his statue, nor had received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years

(Revelation 20:4)

Theologians and †eschatologists have much debated this revealed ‘millennium’ and its scheduling. The prediction also inspired numerous revolutionary agitations throughout the history of Christian Europe. These were campaigns and movements of disaffected people seeking a miraculous and imminent act of salvation that would completely ‘transform life on earth’ (Cohn 1957:15).