Download Anglo-American Millennialism, from Milton to the Millerites by Richard Connors PDF

By Richard Connors

ISBN-10: 1429408073

ISBN-13: 9781429408073

ISBN-10: 9004138218

ISBN-13: 9789004138216

Neither the meliorist political tradition of the nascent American republic nor its later flow towards apocalyptically tinged 'fundamentalist' Protestantism and dispensationalism should be defined open air the context of the shared Anglo-American traditions and practices of millennial expectation and apocalyptic angst--whether expressed through early colonists, Milton, Blake, Miller or the Continental Congress. during this chronologically direct and thematically diverse quantity, 5 students operating in 3 specified disciplines (Religion, English literature, and heritage) process millennialism and apocalypticism within the British and Anglo-American contexts, making amazing contributions either to the research of non secular, literary and political tradition within the English-speaking ecumene, and, a minimum of implicitly, to the critique of disciplinary exclusivity. basically in such combined corporation does the research of the millennial nexus in English and American faith, tradition, literature and politics, from the time of Milton to the time of the Millerites, come into concentration.

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Additional info for Anglo-American Millennialism, from Milton to the Millerites (Studies in the History of Christian Thought)

Sample text

That is, Elizabethan Protestants were unequivocal about the moral obligation to resist Antichrist, an obligation made all the more urgent by their interpretation of history. But their sense of what their efforts contributed to the cosmic conclusion of the apocalyptic story was, in the end, quite modest: Christ would return whether or not the earthly forces of the true church had the upper hand over Antichrist. Apocalyptic theology gave Foxe and the Elizabethan reformers an excellent means of consolidating an historical dispensation they feared was lost or obscured by recent changes, as well as providing an historicism that valued local human effort.

Yet the lack of certainty does not cause him to anticipate anything but an earthly paradise, one in which Christ comes to the earth “riding upon these clouds,” rather than the earth being “caught up into the clouds,” as Bishop Jewel put it seven decades earlier. The imminence of an earthly millennium serves as a call to radical political action now, in the world. Once again in this millenarian tract we can observe the dialectic between inevitability (“Christ comes to you”) and human effort (“you have set Christ upon his throne in England”).

The English Reformers reinvigorated the tradition of historical interpretation in a radical manner. It will not do to take their antimillenarian stance as a sign of an “Augustinian” view of Revelation; at its core their apocalyptic theology was thoroughly historicist. 26 Identifying the Pope with Antichrist provided an apparent scriptural authenticity for the Reformers’ polemics against Rome, and apocalyptic imminence lent moral urgency to this polemic. Perhaps most importantly for Tudor religious historians, reading Revelation as a prophecy of recent national history imbued this history with a divine continuity.

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