This article focuses on the twin factors of millenialist predisposition towards violence and the crossover from a volatile disposition to the actual practice of violence. It reviews the literature that has emerged in religious studies and the social sciences in response to the complexities of fragile millennial communities. It focuses on two broad themes or questions: first, what are the factors that predispose apocalyptic or millennialist communities to become involved in violence; and, second, what factors lead apocalyptic or millennialist groups from being predisposed to volatility to actually becoming violent. The necessary millennialist conception often leads to violent measures. In the face of a prophetic failure, charismatic leadership may employ violence, to realize the prediction or, obscuring the failure, or both. Finally, this article concludes that despite the violent nature of apocalyptic beliefs and rhetoric, the majority of millennial groups possess a passive orientation, believing that it is the role of God, and not themselves, to inaugurate the final scenario.
Millennialism is a prime philosophical resource pool for the American extreme right. The racial factor being central to the rightist affair and three basic tendencies nourish it: Christian identity, based on legacies of the dilapidated British-Israelism that claims that the lost tribes of Israel migrated westwards; staunch anti-Semitism, non-supernatural racist religions, secular in their fervency against both Christianity and Judaism; and Neopaganism, a revivalist motion, striving to revive ancient Nordic religions through reconstruction. These three pivotal elements cut across the American rightist-racist diaspora. Objective practices range from militarization in anticipation of apocalyptic conflicts with non-whites, purging efforts, the establishment of alternative churches that preach white supremacy and anti-Semitism, to more obviously nefarious things. William Pierce, author of the notorious Turner Diaries, established the Cosmotheist Church, believing in a postmillennial phase of quiteism, a process to achieve fulfillment by merging with God. The pre-millennial evolutionary occurrences include social purging of non-whites.
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.