The University of Newcastle, Australia
Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


Provides a comparative study of millennial movements in western, and some non-western societies over the last thousand years. It begins with a close reading of the Book of Revelation and includes an assessment of millennial religious movements in the middle ages and early modern Europe. These are compared with millennial movements in the colonial world, including the Native American ghost dance and Melanesian cargo cults. It concludes with an assessment of millennial movements in the modern world including the Branch Davidians at Waco.


Not currently offered.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Knowledge of a range of millennial movements from the year 1000 to 2000.

2. Familiarity with methodologies appropriate to the study of millennial movements.

3. Appreciate the range of influences which combine to form millennial movements in many social, historical and cultural contexts.

4. Developed advanced research, writing and information literacy skills building on the foundation laid in first-year courses.


Topics to be covered include: the Book of Revelation, the Year 1000 debate, Joachim of Fiore and the Last World Emperor, Flagellants, Taborites and Peasant revolutionaries in the middle ages, Hermeticism, Astrology and Giordano Bruno, Millennial movements in the English civil war,William Miller and the Millerites, the Native American "ghost dance" or prophet movements, Cargo cults" in Melanesia, and Waco and the Branch Davidians.

Assumed knowledge

40 units at 1000-level in a relevant science discipline

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Two written assignments

In Term Test: Class test