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Religious studies professor edits recently published book on millennialism

December 2, 2011

Catherine Wessinger, the Rev. H. James Yamauchi, S.J., Professor of the History of Religions at Loyola University New Orleans, edited the recently published “The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism,” a 35-chapter volume offering an in-depth look at the theoretical underpinnings of the study of millennialism and its many manifestations across history and cultures.

“The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism” examines four primary types of millennialism, as well as key issues such as charismatic leadership, use of scripture, prophetic failure, gender roles, children, tension with society, and violence.

The book also explores millennialism in a wide variety of places and times, from ancient near eastern movements to contemporary apocalyptic and new age movements, including the roles millennialism plays in national and international conflicts.

While the term “millennialism” is drawn from Christianity, it is a category that is used to study religious expressions in diverse cultures, religious traditions and historical periods. Although many religions feature a belief in personal salvation, millennial faiths are characterized by the expectation that salvation will be accomplished for an entire group by a superhuman agent, with or without human collaboration.

“The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism” will be a valuable resource for scholars of religious studies, sociology, psychology, history and new religious movements.

The book is currently available for purchase at Barnes and Noble and online at Oxford University Press and Amazon.com.

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