The Centre for the Critical Study of Apocalyptic and Millenarian Movements (CenSAMM) was established to promote high quality critical and academic research into apocalyptic and millenarian movements across time, place and culture. The Centre is supported by the Panacea Charitable Trust, which is the non-religious successor organization to the Panacea Society, established when the Panacea Society ceased to exist as a religious community. (There is more information about the history and beliefs of the Panacea Society on the museum pages.) As such, while the Centre welcomes scholars of all religions and none, CenSAMM is not religiously aligned and seeks to foster scholarship in the field of apocalyptic and millenarian studies without taking a confessional standpoint. An important function of the Centre is promoting public understanding of the issues surrounding the study of apocalyptic and millenarian movements, and the nature and history of those movements in themselves. Thus, the Centre seeks to develop the research and scholars it supports to ensure that their scholarly endeavours are helped to translate into publicly accessible and useful sources of information.
The Centre was established in by Panacea Charitable Trust trustees, Dr Naomi Hilton (University of Cambridge and Victoria University of Wellington), Dr Justin Meggitt (Cambridge University Senior Lecturer in the Critical Study of Religion), and Prof Christopher Rowland (formerly University of Oxford Dean Ireland’s Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture). Their vision was to establish “a world centre of excellence in the critical study of apocalyptic and millenarian movements and aid the public understanding of the legacies and future possibilities of these crucial, creative and often misunderstood forms of human culture”. The academic directors are Prof James Crossley (Professor of Bible, Society and Politics at St Mary’s University, Twickenham) and Dr Alastair Lockhart (Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Divinity and a Fellow of Hughes Hall in the University of Cambridge), they were appointed to implement that vision for the Centre in 2018.
Core activities of the Centre include an annual conference, symposia, dissemination of research, support for events and scholars, and other projects that promote the mission of the Centre. As a non-religious and non-partisan organisation, the Centre seeks to promote academic rigour and critical inquiry, with an inclusive and interdisciplinary scope. We are always interested to hear from students, and emerging and established scholars with an interest in apocalyptic and millenarian studies; we can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.