Wednesday, December 17, 2008

word of the day: chiliasms


context: “Miller preached the less popular and pessimistic premillenial idea that the world as currently constituted was irredeemable except by God’s punishing intervention – an idea that would become powerful in the twentieth century, but which went against the triumphal chiliasms of the early Republic.”

Looking for a definition in the MS Word dictionary I find: “see millenarianism”

Under millenarianism are three definitions, the first of which seems to match the doctrine Garry Wills has Miller preaching: “1. belief in Jesus Christ’s Second Coming, a final conflict between good and evil, the end of the world, or similar doctrines, especially based on the book of Revelation”

But from the context I’d guess Wills has this second definition in mind:
“2. belief in a future utopian age, especially one created through revolution”

source: Head and Heart: American Christianities by Garry Wills

No comments: