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Joseph Webster

In Gamrie, an Aberdeenshire fishing village home to 700 people and six millennialist Protestant churches, global warming is more than just a 'hoax': it is a demonic conspiracy that threatens to bring about the ruin of the entire human race. Such a certainty was rendered intelligible to local Christians by viewing it through the lens of dispensationalist theology brought to the village by the Plymouth Brethren. In a play on Weberian notions of disenchantment, I argue that whereas Gamrie's Christians rejected global warming as a false eschatology, and environmentalism as a false salvationist religion, supporters of the climate change agenda viewed global warming as an apocalyptic reality and environmentalism as providing salvific redemption. Both rhetorics - each engaged in a search for 'signs of the end times' - are thus millenarian.

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What Happened to Cargo Cults?

Material Religions in Melanesia and the West

Ton Otto

In contrast to a strong tendency in recent studies of Melanesian religious and political movements that want to discard the term 'cargo cult' for reasons of analytical—and ethical—inadequacy, this article argues that the term remains useful to delineate an empirical field for comparative purposes. Further, it suggests that the central moral and existential crisis that underlies cargo cults has to do with pressure on the traditional exchange system and concomitant notions of personhood and fairness. Finally, it argues that the study of cargo cults provides a vantage point for a culture-critical approach to Western society, as it challenges the sharp distinction between religious and economic values that makes it difficult to understand contemporary moral paradoxes.

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Gold for a Golden Age

Sacred Money and Islamic Freedom in a Global Sufi Order

Nils Bubandt

Global protest is changing. In the 1980s and 1990s, single-cause forms of protest to save the whale, protect the rain forest, or advocate indigenous rights increasingly replaced the lifelong loyalties that people had previously demonstrated through class-based, unionized forms of protest. This article argues that we may now be seeing a second shift in global protest that combines personal sub-politics with a collective, religious vision. I will illustrate how twists in political geo-politics and modernity have allowed for the emergence of not only religious forms of social movements but also religious forms of global protest. An analysis of the paradoxical links between faith and finance in the Murabitun movement, a global Sufi brotherhood of converts to Islam from Europe, Africa, and the United States, provides the basis for the argument.

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Religiosities toward a Future

In Pursuit of the New Millennium

Bruce Kapferer, Annelin Eriksen, and Kari Telle

An approach is outlined toward imaginary projections upon presents and futures at the turn of the current millennium. The religiosity or the passionate intensity of commitment to imaginary projections is stressed, particularly the way that these may give rise to innovative social and political directions especially in current globalizing circumstances. While new religions of a millenarian character are referred to, the general concern is with the form of new conceptions of political and social processes that are by no means confined to what are usually defined as religions.

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'Blessed, Self-denying, Lambe-like'?

The Fifth Monarchist Women

Marcus Nevitt

For those early modernists who come to the millenarian culture of mid seventeenth-century England via Bernard Capp’s seminal The Fifth Monarchy Men, it may be some surprise to discover that, of all the non-aristocratic women writing in England at this time, it was actually those associated with the millenarian Fifth Monarchist movement who received most contemporary attention. Anna Trapnel and Mary Cary are among the most prolific writers of the late 1640s and 1650s, who (according to all short title catalogues) have some thirteen extensive printed works to their names, a figure virtually unmatched by any writer of the same sex, or from the same non-aristocratic social background in the period. Despite being a less-famed figure than Anna Trapnel, Mary Cary’s exegetical works were widely read and accordingly went into numerous editions. In 1649, the anonymous author of The Account Audited claims to have seen the title page of the first edition of Cary’s The Resurrection of the Witnesses (1648) ‘posted up’ at a bookseller’s in London. When the author acquires the treatise, it is read with ‘much greediness and expectation’, only for disappointment to follow due to the work’s historical inaccuracies. These aside, the fact that the author felt it worthwhile to offer the account as a response to Cary’s pamphlet, attests to Cary’s growing – if largely unacknowledged – popularity at the end of the 1640s.

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Champagne Liberals and the New "Dangerous Classes"

Reconfiguration of Class, Identity and Cultural Production in the Contemporary Global System

Jonathan Friedman

This is an era of millenarianism. The millennium is here, the twenty-first century is here. It has been advertised as the new globalized world, that for many we have finally achieved. This is a world that will be characterized by openness. I sit here watching the talk show, Jenny Jones, this time (10- 4-00) dealing with racism. An African American intellectual talks about openness, against other African Americans in the studio who express strong criticism toward immigrants. A man replies angrily: “you can say that flying around in your airplanes and living on top of your hotels.” Jones breaks off the discussion. The enlightened are truly higher in this world, they are the élite in a way that concretizes the metaphor of globalization. Up there, above the masses, delighting in a new found mobility, consuming the world. This is striking in the reactions to EU, to say nothing of larger international organizations. The populism of the people and the élitism of the élites are ever more marked in this era-to-be.

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Judith Bovensiepen

), modernity is its very own cargo cult with millenarian elements. Along similar lines the Australian academic James Scambary (personal communication) has argued that the ideology of neoliberalism could be seen as a cargo cult. To counter representations of

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The Chaco Skies

A Socio-cultural History of Power Relations

Alejandro Martín López and Agustina Altman

century resulted in a series of Guaycurú millenarian movements that ended in fierce repression ( Bartolomé 1972 ; E. J. Cordeu and Siffredi 1971 ). These movements were focused on the advent of an era that would overcome the current oppressive conditions

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Andrew Lattas, Anni Kajanus, and Naomi Haynes

blaze, which engulfed the dining area of a local religious group called the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God (MRTC). Initial interpretations cast the event as a mass suicide, citing the movement’s millenarian focus. However

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Uzi Meshulam and the ‘Mishkan Ohalim’ Affair

The Influence of Radical Ultra-Orthodoxy

Motti Inbari

How did members of Mishkan Ohalim try to apply their leader’s teachings? Meshulam espoused a literal apocalyptic message that was associated with violence. In this respect, Mishkan Ohalim was similar to other catastrophic millenarian movements