"Apocalypticism has been the source of hope and courage for the oppressed, but has also given rise, on many occasions, to fanaticism and intolerance. The essays in this volume seek neither to apologize for the extravagance of apocalyptic thinkers nor to excuse the perverse actions of some of their followers. Rather, they strive to understand a powerful, perhaps even indispensable, element in the history of Western religions that has been the source of both good and evil, and still is yet today."The Editors
The Continuum History of Apocalypticism is a 1-volume, select edition of the 3-vol. Encyclopedia of Apocalypticism first published in 1998. The main historical surveys that provided the spine of the Encyclopedia have been retained, while essays of a thematic nature, and a few whose subject matter is not central to the historical development, have been omitted. The work begins with 8 articles on "The Origins of Apocalypticism in the Ancient World," extending from ancient Near Eastern myth through the Old Testament to the Dead Sea Scrolls, Jesus, Paul, and the Book of Revelation. Next are 7 articles on "Apocalyptic Traditions from Late Antiquity to ca. 1800 C.E.," including early Christian theology, radical movements in the Middle Ages, and both Jewish and Islamic apocalypticism in the classic period. The final section, "Apocalypticism in the Modern Age," includes 10 articles on apocalypticism in the Americas, in Western and Eastern Europe, and, finally, in modern Judaism and modern Islam.