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Cosmos, Chaos and the World to Come: The Ancient Roots of Apocalyptic Faith By Norman Cohn,

  • Title: Cosmos, Chaos and the World to Come: The Ancient Roots of Apocalyptic Faith
  • Author: Norman Cohn
  • ISBN: 9780300090888
  • Page: 224
  • Format: Paperback
  • All over the world people look forward to a perfect future, when the forces of good will be finally victorious over the forces of evil Once this was a radically new way of imagining the destiny of the world and of mankind How did it originate, and what kind of world view preceded it In this engrossing book, the author of the classic work The Pursuit of the Millennium taAll over the world people look forward to a perfect future, when the forces of good will be finally victorious over the forces of evil Once this was a radically new way of imagining the destiny of the world and of mankind How did it originate, and what kind of world view preceded it In this engrossing book, the author of the classic work The Pursuit of the Millennium takes us on a journey of exploration, through the world views of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and India, through the innovations of Iranian and Jewish prophets and sages, to the earliest Christian imaginings of heaven on earth.Until around 1500 B.C it was generally believed that once the world had been set in order by the gods, it was in essence immutable However, it was always a troubled world By means of flood and drought, famine and plague, defeat in war, and death itself, demonic forces threatened and impaired it Various combat myths told how a divine warrior kept the forces of chaos at bay and enabled the world to survive Sometime between 1500 and 1200 B.C the Iranian prophet Zoroaster broke from that static yet anxious world view, reinterpreting the Iranian version of the combat myth For Zoroaster, the world was moving, through incessant conflict, toward a conflictless state cosmos without chaos The time would come when, in a prodigious battle, the supreme god would utterly defeat the forces of chaos and their human allies and eliminate them forever, and so bring an absolutely good world into being Cohn reveals how this vision of the future was taken over by certain Jewish groups, notably the Jesus sect, with incalculable consequences Deeply informed yet highly readable, this magisterial book illumines a major turning point in the history of human consciousness It will be mandatory reading for all who appreciated The Pursuit of the Millennium.
    Cosmos Chaos and the World to Come The Ancient Roots of Apocalyptic Faith All over the world people look forward to a perfect future when the forces of good will be finally victorious over the forces of evil Once this was a radically new way of imagining the destiny of the

    One thought on “Cosmos, Chaos and the World to Come: The Ancient Roots of Apocalyptic Faith”

    1. While I really wanted to give this five stars, there was just too much that annoyed me And I m not talking about the fact that the whole premise of the book seems to be that modern Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are essentially off shoots of Zoroastrianism Personally, I think that has little bearing on my faith in general Also, to deny an influence of Zoroastrianism on Judaism, Islam, and Christianity would be ridiculous however, that does not mean, as he heavily implies throughout the book, t [...]

    2. Norman Cohn, Oxford historian and author of the fascinating In Pursuit of the Millenium, in this recent book attempts to sort out the origins of the ideas behind apocalypse In his words This book is concerned with a major turning point in the history of human consciousness it tries to describe how the destiny of the world and of human beings came to be imagined in a new way, and how these new expectations began to spread abroad He starts by examining the religious beliefs of the ancient world s [...]

    3. More accessible for me than his Pursuit of the Millennium Cohn here explores the connection between Zoroastrianism and the western concept of the End of the World, Judgment Day, etc Sounds a little dry from my description but trust me, an excellent read from an author with deep knowledge of the subject and a talent for sharing it.

    4. I like Norman Cohn a lot unfortunately he is no longer with us always excellent scholarship presented in an easily comprehensible, well structured way This book was of course particularly relevant when we were waiting to ring in the new millennium, but it has not lost its value now that we are in it

    5. Arresting, well written an exceptional book It is a consideration of where the idea of the millennium or end of history came from the Zoroastrians are the culprits.

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