Cohn Norman - The pursuit of the millennium

Author : Cohn Norman
Title : The pursuit of the millennium
Year : 1957

Link download :

Foreword. The publication of a third edition of The Pursuit of the Millennium has provided an opportunity for a thorough revision. Almost a quarter of a century has passed since I began work on the book, and thirteen years since I finished it. It would be a poor comment on the progress of scholarship, or on my mental elasticity, or on both, if I could find nothing in it now to modify or clarify. In point of fact I have found plenty. The new version has thirteen chapters instead of twelve, and a different Introduction and Conclusion; two other chapters have been substantially altered; and innumerable minor changes have been made throughout. Some readers may like to know what, in general terms, all this amounts to. The changes, then, can be summarized as follows. In the first place, the results of recent research have been taken into account. The Pursuit of the Millennium is still the only book on its subject, i.e. the tradition of revolutionary millenarianism and mystical anarchism as it developed in western Europe between the eleventh and the sixteenth centuries. But there have been many fresh contributions, ranging from short articles to long books, on individual aspects and episodes of that story. In particular the picture of that mysterious cult, the Free Spirit, has been filled out by the labours of Professor Romana Guamieri, of Rome. These labours have included the identification and editing of The Mirror of Simple Souls of Marguerite Porete - a basic text of the Free Spirit, which admirably complements the much later Ranter texts that form the Appendix to the present work. Professor Guarnieri has also produced the nearest approach that has yet been made to a complete history of the cult, in Italy as well as in northern and central Europe. Our knowledge of the Taborites, Pikarti and Adamites of Bohemia has likewise been deepened, not only by the constant flow of Marxist studies emanating from Czechoslovakia but also by an impressive and enlightening series of articles by an American scholar, Professor Howard Kaminsky. These major additions to knowledge, along with many minor ones, have been incorporated into the relevant chapters of this book. As The Pursuit of the Millennium never was intended to be a general history of religious dissent or ‘heresy’ in the Middle Ages, most of the recent research in that field — which is abundant — leaves its argument untouched. Nevertheless it is a thought-provoking experience to read such wide-ranging and authoritative works as Dissent and Reform in the Early Middle Ages by Professor Jeffrey Russell; Heresy in the Later Middle Ages by Professor Gordon Leff; and The Radical Reformation by Professor George Williams. None of these works overlaps with The Pursuit of the Millennium in more than a couple of chapters, but between them they offer a grandiose history of dissent extending from the eighth century to the sixteenth. Viewed in this wider context, the sects and movements described in the present volume emerge all the more clearly as exceptional and extreme: in the history of religious dissent, they form the most absolute, anarchic wing. The new Introduction defines their peculiarities, while the new Chapter 2 shows how they fit into the larger picture. ...

You might also like

Support Balder Ex-Libris ! Knowledge is not free

We share books for free, but maintaining such a site online requires costly hosting. You can...

Continue reading

Steiner Rudolf - Guardian angels

Author : Steiner Rudolf Title : Guardian angels Connecting with our spiritual guides and helpers...

Continue reading

Weaver Randy - Weaver Sara - The federal siege at Ruby Ridge

Authors : Weaver Randy - Weaver Sara Title : The federal siege at Ruby Ridge In our own words Year...

Continue reading


Balder Ex-Libris
Review of books rare and missing

Balder Ex-Libris