Realities and Potentials of Millenarian and Apocalyptic Movements
Millenarian and apocalyptic ideas have historically inspired novel experiments in ways of living. Sometimes these visions result in positive and life-affirming transformations in desperate times, and innovative ways of focusing human activity with a vision for the future. Millenarian movements are also, at times, symptomatic of cultural unease.
We live at a time when society seems confused and distraught with an array of complex problems such as climate change, radicalisation, mass immigration, and global terrorism. Against this backdrop the study of millenarian and apocalyptic beliefs is pertinent, relevant, and important.
All the groups profiled in this section are concerned with the preparation for or envision a total transformation of the current social order. Millenarianism and apocalypticism are interpreted here to mean ideas, practices, and beliefs pertaining to the end of the world, the breakdown of society, and a radical transformation of humanity’s relationship with the world.
These profiles have been curated by Inform, an independent charity providing information on minority and alternative religious and/or spiritual movements. Inform aims to deliver accurate, balanced, and reliable data. It relies on social scientific research methods, primarily the sociology of religion. The profiles selected here represent a small sample of Inform’s database of over 5,000 minority and alternative religious and/or spiritual movements and groups. These profiles have been selected to promote a more informed understanding, and aim to be as reliable and balanced as possible.
Inform’s broad definition of millenarianism means that we include groups that are associated with mainstream religions such as Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, as well as those associated with other religious traditions and worldviews that do not associate with any particular religious tradition.
It is important to note that inclusion of any movements, groups, or individuals in these profiles is not a form of judgement about the value or intent of any of the groups.
Inform welcomes feedback, comments, corrections, or further information about any of the groups profiled here at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inform Section Editors: Susannah Crockford, Sarah Harvey and Suzanne Newcombe
Last Updated: June 2017