Prophecy and Eschatology (Studies in Church History: Subsidia)

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9780631190516: Prophecy and Eschatology (Studies in Church History: Subsidia)
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Prophecy has played a vital part in the history of the church; studies draw together the whole field of apocalyptic and prophetic speculation between the twelfth and nineteenth centuries in Britain and Europe.

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Prophecy has played a vital part in the history of the Church, throughout the Christian centuries, much as it did in the era of the Jewish Old Testament. In addition, the Christian tradition has the added element of an officially authorized but enigmatic prophetic book, the Apocalypse, or Revelation of St John. From the Early Middle Ages onwards preoccupation with this apocalypse became an important feature of western culture as people searched for signs that the end of the world was at hand, with the rule of the Antichrist supposedly preceding the final Day of Judgement when a new spiritual elect would find salvation. This in turn encouraged intellectual and eschatological speculation on the age of the world, of humankind, all of which flourished luxuriantly in the later medieval period. Most notable were the theories of Joachim of Fiore. Similar themes were continued and revived during the Reformation and in the seventeenth century when millenarian ideas drew special support from Protestant sects in Britain and on the Continent. The medieval roots of these ideas also ensured continuity in Roman Catholic theology well into the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, so that Victorian Dissenters showed an equal preoccupation with prophecy, eschatology, death and salvation as had their medieval forbears. This collection of seventeen papers from the fifth Anglo-Dutch Colloquium on Church History (held at Groningen in 1992) takes a fresh look at this theme, drawing together the whole field of apocalyptic and prophetic speculation between the twelfth and nineteenth centuries in Britain and Europe.

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Published by Ecclesiastical History Society (1997)
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