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

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

Paperback Yale Nota Bene

By (author) Norman Cohn

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  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 192mm x 20mm | 240g
  • Publication date: 10 October 2001
  • Publication City/Country: New Haven
  • ISBN 10: 0300090889
  • ISBN 13: 9780300090888
  • Edition: 2, Revised
  • Edition statement: 2nd Revised edition
  • Sales rank: 311,279

Product description

In this engrossing book, the author of the classic work The Pursuit of the Millennium investigates the origins of apocalyptic faith - the belief in a perfect future, when the forces of good are victorious over the forces of evil. Norman Cohn takes us back two thousand years to the world views of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and India, the innovations of Iranian and Jewish prophets and sages, and the earliest Christian imaginings of heaven on earth, and he illuminates a major turning point in the history of human consciousness. For this second, corrected edition, the final chapter, on Zoroastrians, Jews and Christians, has been wholly rewritten and extended.

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Author information

Norman Cohn is professor emeritus at the University of Sussex and author of Noah's Flood: The Genesis Story in Western Thought (ISBN 0 300 07648 7, 11.50 pb.), also published by Yale University Press.

Review quote

"Learned, fascinating and readable... Norman Cohn combines scrupulous scholarship with readability in a unique way... This book will become a classic." Anthony Storr, Independent on Sunday "A cool draught of wise and intelligent scholarship." J. D. F. Jones, Financial Times "This is an exciting as well as a learned book, not only for those students of ancient religion but for those with any interest in modern apocalyptic faith." Jasper Griffin, New York Review of Books "Anyone concerned with the history of apocalypticism and millennial cults, whether ancient, medieval, or modern, should read this book carefully." E. Randolph Daniel, Church History "[A] rich tapestry encompassing history, archaeology, popular culture, mythology and religion.... Cohn's depth and breadth of knowledge is marvelous, his enthusiasm for the subject is infectious. Well-documented and extremely readable, this is highly recommended for religion, history, and seminary collections." - Library Journal "An incisive study of ancient religion and the rise of belief in an impending apocalypse.... A tight, intelligent study." - Kirkus Reviews "Cohn's lucid writing style and his detailed notational listings will make Cosmos, Chaos, and the World to Come an interesting read and a useful tool for students of ancient history and religion." - Charles Odahl, Historian "The author has given us a panorama of beliefs about the driving forces of good and evil in the universe, extending back to the earliest settled communities in the Near East. He has shown the value of the comparative study of religion in understanding the origins of some of the most important among traditional Christian beliefs.... A stimulating work of learning." - W. H. C. Friend, Church Times