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Antichrist: Two Thousand Years of the Human Fascination with Evil
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Antichrist: Two Thousand Years of the Human Fascination with Evil

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  86 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
In this timely and sweeping exploration, one of the greatest living historians of Christian thought traces the concept of Antichrist from its Judeo-Christian origins to the present day. Rooted in Second Temple Judaism--a period of intense religious and political disruption--Antichrist developed out of belief in malevolent angelic and human forces. McGinn demonstrates how A ...more
Paperback, 369 pages
Published December 7th 1999 by Columbia University Press (first published November 1st 1994)
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Alford Wayman
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
An excellent overview of the idea of Anti-Christ and apocalypticism starting with early Hebrew literature, through Dead Sea Scrolls, and into the era of Roman Christianity,and concluding with evanglical apocalypticism in the late 1900's. Published in 1994, this book gave an overview of the many works in Jewish and Christian history that show the changes of the anti-christ theme, eschatology,and apocalyptic views in attempts to interpret both history and future. The book is rather short so it wou ...more
I bought this book ages and ages ago. I don't remember why or when. Last year one of my reading resolutions was to read more of my religion books, which I absolutely failed to do. But it explains how this ended up finally on my to-read shelf when I was looking for a new non-fiction book to read.

So, this book tracks Christianity's changing views on the Antichrist, from Jewish pre-Christ apocalyptic writings to the present day. It's a sprawling history with a narrow focus, and I just am not famil
May 04, 2009 marked it as to-read
Bernard McGinn is a legend in the fields of the History of Christianity, Christian spirituality, and Christian mysticism. He's retired now from his position as a Professor of the History of Christianity at the University of Chicago, much to my chagrin. If I had to begin to list the amazing people I've missed out on studying with due to their retiring within the past five years, I'd run out of room.
This is his work on the phenomenon (literally, historically, religiously, socially, and otherwise)
Jul 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: the intellectually curious
Bernard McGinn, the great University of Chicago scholar of religion, has written extensively on Christian mysticism and apocalyptic spirituality. In Antichrist: Two Thousand Years of the Human Fascination with Evil, he traces the history of Antichrist from its roots in pre-Christian Jewish apocalypticism to the current day, though the meat of the matter lies in the patristic and medieval eras. He does so with his customary clarity and erudition. Of course, the idea of Antichrist -- the idea of ...more
Apr 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A learned but highly readable survey of the history of the idea of the Antichrist, from early Jewish prophetic writings to the 20th Century. Of especial note is McGinn's examination of how this idea has been used, again and again throughout history, to objectify and demonize political or religious threats, rivals and other groups. Highly recommended as a sane book about religious ideas and their misuse.
Angela Wade
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
Katharine Holden
Feb 10, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Obscure, tedious. Full of jargon and far too much Jung.
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Bernard McGinn, the Naomi Shenstone Donnelley Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago Divinity School, is widely regarded as the preeminent scholar of mysticism in the Western Christian tradition. He has also written extensively on Jewish mysticism, the history of apocalyptic thought, and medieval Christianity. A cum laude graduate of St. Joseph's Seminary and College in Yonkers, NY, he ea ...more
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