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Perhaps no idea offered a more subversive connotation in the ancient world, where aristocratic empires dominated almost every area of cultivated land.
Apostolic Christianity demonstrated many of the traits of the second, popular tendency of apocalyptic millennialism: the rhetoric of the meek overcoming the powerful and arrogant, the imminence of the Lord’s day of wrath and the coming kingdom of heaven, a leader with a following among common people, rituals of initiation into a group preparing for the Endtime, fervent spirituality and radical restructuring of community bonds, large crowds, the prominence of women visionaries, and the shift from a disappointed messianic hope (the Crucifixion) to a revised expectation (the Second Coming, or Parousia).
Millennialism, also called millenarianism or chiliasm, the belief, expressed in the book of Revelation to John, the last book of the New Testament, that Christ will establish a 1,000-year reign of the saints on earth (the millennium) before the Last Judgment.
More broadly defined, it is a cross-cultural concept grounded in the expectation of a time of supernatural peace and abundance on earth.
Millennialism (from the Latin word for “1,000 years”) is the branch of eschatology concerned with the earthly prospects of the human community, rather than the worldly and eternal prospects of the individual.
Documentary evidence of this chronological argument suggests the presence of popular apocalyptic rumours at this time, because contemporary theologians would have used the argument to calm the anxiety such rumours incited.Millennialism offers a version of the fundamental eschatological belief that at the end of time (the “End,” or “Endtime”) God will judge the living and the resurrected dead.This belief in ultimate divine justice provides a rationale for theodicy, the reconciliation of God’s goodness with the existence of evil in the world.For all the costly failures, however, the appeal of millennialism remains, and generation after generation of devotees have sought the chimerical kingdom.Despite all its dangers, apocalyptic millennialism offers immense rewards: believers find themselves at the centre of the ultimate universal drama in which their every act has cosmic significance.