No dating sabbatical
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.Millennialism focuses on collective, public salvation and asserts that humanity will endure…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.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).Combining Genesis 1 (six days of travail, then one of sabbath, or rest) with Psalm 90 (1,000 years equals a day in the sight of the Lord), this concept promised the advent of the 1,000-year kingdom after 6,000 years. When apocalyptic prophets announced the imminent End, conservative clerics countered that centuries remained until the millennium.
More broadly defined, it is a cross-cultural concept grounded in the expectation of a time of supernatural peace and abundance on earth.Indeed, one of the major strains of Hebrew messianic imagery foresaw a time when men would “beat” the instruments of war and domination into tools of peace and prosperity (Isaiah 2:1–4), each person sitting under his own tree, enjoying the fruits of honest labour undisturbed (Micah 4:1–4).This millennialism foresees the end of the rapacious aristocracy and the beginning of the peace of the commoner.In providing solace for the suffering of countless generations of believers—Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists—millennialism has had immense appeal in every age.Although its name comes from the 1,000-year period mentioned in the Revelation to John, millennialism is primarily concerned with the earthly nature of the coming “new world.” This radical transformation promises an end to existing institutions of power and, therefore, infuses millennial beliefs with a revolutionary quality that threatens those in authority.Many aspiring world conquerors used millennial “saviour” imagery to bolster their rule, and, among Muslims and Christians in the Middle Ages, imperial uses of millennial imagery proliferated.The contrary millennial tendency, however, was marked by a profoundly anti-imperial, antiauthoritarian thrust.The key determinant of millennialism’s impact on society is timing.As long as the day of redemption is yet to come, millennial hopes console the suffering and inspire patience and political quiescence.When Christianity became the official state religion, millenarianism was pushed to the very margins of acceptable Christian thought.Despite these efforts by the church hierarchy to remove millennialism from formal theology, apocalyptic fears and millennial hopes remained powerful among Christians. Jerome’s commentary on The Book of Daniel, provided the basis for new forms of millennialism, such as belief in the “Refreshment of the Saints” (a 45-day period of respite during which the saints who had survived the tribulations of the Endtime would enjoy peace on earth).