The United States in the early nineteenth century was one of Christian history's great moments of sectarian creativity. The religious entrepreneurs of a newly democratic society rebelled against the proliferation of denominations by creating new movements of their own, from Utopian communities to apocalyptic revivals. The most notorious such movement, the Millerites, forecast the end of the world for 1844 - in the most modern, rational and compelling terms.
This lecture will explore why Millerites believed the predictions, what effects they had, and how they responded to the 'Great Disappointment'. And it will look at how two very different but almost equally successful modern Christian movements, the Seventh-day Adventists and the Jehovah's Witnesses, emerged from the wreckage.
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website: https://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/americas-advents
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