Winter 2000
Volume 4 Number 3

By James H. Moorhead

As the last days of 1999 went by, we saw renewed interest in some quarters in the idea of the end of the world. Who, we may ask, are the people who hold this interest? One common view would dismiss those who await the End as “crazies.” This contempt has a long lineage. At one time scholars frequently treated the subject with thinly disguised contempt and described millenarians much as zookeepers might describe the more exotic specimens in their collection.

 Millenarians were deemed crackpots or fools. Writers delighted in portraying their oddities, such as the ascension robes that the followers of William Miller allegedly donned while awaiting the return of Jesus in 1843. 

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