A collection of essays by several scholars, this book is an important study of the origins of post- and pre-millennialism in English theology. Initially, it is shown how the early Lutherans or reformers of the sixteenth century adopted the traditional Augustinian eschatology, a doctrine concerned with the end of the world or of humankind. It analyses how Luther paved the way for the interpretation of revelation not as heralding an apocalypse, but as an important historical and political event. For many Puritans this meant the collapse of the Papacy, the restoration of the Jews, and the dawn of a period of glory for the Church.
This book traces the hopes and fears of Christians presented with the prophesised apocalypse, which was at this time felt to be imminent. It discusses the manner in which dogma was adapted to suit the interpretations of each religious sect, and the impact which historical events such as the thirty years war, exerted on these theologians.
This is a clear discussion on the important elements of millennialism, and is particularly interesting set in the context of comparing these deeply religious views with our own modern thoughts upon entering a new millennium.