David G. Bromley and Catherine Wessinger
This article deals with issue of conflicts emanating from socially incompatible millennialist values. Millennialist strains across the spectrum assume two common factors—the end of the world as it is hitherto and the ushering of a transformed order and group mobilization in anticipation or in furtherance of anticipated events. Social mobilization generates a two-fold responsibility for the millennialists—first, they should deliver on promises and second, the objective ways and the grounds for recruitment must be socially compatible. The latter reflects a paradox, as social incompatibility within the millennialist school is deliberate and essential. Quite aware of the possibilities, many groups term various state institutions as “agents of Babylon”, so as to justify any extremity on their own part. The millennial three-pronged crisis strategy of exodus, compromise, and confrontation actually suggests informed deliberation. Prominent issues such as gun hoarding and engaging adolescents sexually, have been some of the grave charges leveled against millennial groups.
Phillip Charles Lucas
This article discusses new age millennialism. The roots of new age millennialism can be traced back to western esoteric traditions. This worldview strives to bridge the gap between spirituality and science. It posits faith in an evolutionism wherein man embarks on an upwardly mobilization, spiritually and intellectually. Environmentalism, too, forms a part of this school. Greater access to translated works of the oriental contributed substantially to nourishing this new age strain. The extent stretched until the utilization of Freudian tenets to analyze and deliberate development of the human psyche. The unidentified flying object (UFO) rage, gripping the west since the 1950s, stoked issues of planetary escape via beings of extraterrestrial higher civilizations. The movement is modernistic in its assertion of world-spirituality and religious tolerance. It emphasizes a project of self-empowerment/development as a prelude to planetary transformation, thereby positing faith in human agency.
Garry W. Trompf
This article is a description of Pacific millennial movements. Distinctive Pacific Islander millennialisms have emerged in the context of rapid social change, of unexpected contact with outsiders, colonial incursion and control, and decisive technological shifts. The advent of an order of new things brought an end to the age-old modes of subsistence and was implicitly eschatological in its impact on islanders. Various meanings invested in new goods gave rise to social activities, which are known as cargo cults exhibiting cargoistic behavior. These introduced internationally marketed, commodity-style goods, via cargo. This article gives an overview of cargo cultism. Cargoism or cargo cultism preached the destruction of indigenous means of sustenance. While pragmatism and economic convergence occurred eventually, the cult orientation still persists at ritualistic levels. Apart from this, there were other millennialisms in the Pacific, which are discussed in this article.