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The End of Time:
The end of yet another millennium is fast approaching, and all kinds of squirrelly people are coming out of the woodwork. Members of Aum Shinrikyo set off poisoned gas in Tokyo subways while members of Marshall Applewhite's Heaven's Gate bid farewell to this world via lethal pudding, headed for that great mother ship in the sky. Meanwhile, the whole world fearfully anticipates 2000--the year when computers everywhere will trigger mass confusion over the double zero and set us all back a century. Lest you think that our generation is alone in its end-of-the-millennium craziness, Damian Thompson has written a history of millenarianism through the ages, The End of Time.
Technically speaking, the millennium refers to Christ's Second Coming and his thousand-year reign on earth; however, long before Christianity, various people in various corners of the earth have predicted the end of the world--everyone from the ancient Mesopotamians and Persians right up through the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas. Thompson provides an engrossing survey of four millenarian movements, taking a more in-depth look at the end of the 20th century, a time in which fundamentalism and New Age theology are simultaneously on the rise as people scramble for meaning in these fast-changing times. What better way to prepare for the end of yet another millennium than by reading The End of Time? [via]