Course Outline

James Opp
W 1:00 - 3:00 pm, Th 3:30 - 4:30 pm (office hours)
380-1822 (office tel) (e-mail)



This course will trace the development of the concept of "the Millennium," the apocalypse and subsequent thousand year reign of peace foretold in the Book of Revelation. In short, it is a history of the end of the world. In this course we will explore millennialism on many levels, from its role in the shaping of the western intellectual tradition to how it has served as a vehicle for popular movements and social violence.

The major objective of this course is to explore how the idea of the Millennium has been continually reshaped and reinterpreted in a variety of historical contexts. As the course progresses, we will also explore a variety of sub-themes, including:

· the millennium and the structure of time & history
· apocalypse as a vision of despair / vision of hope
· the role of the antichrist
· sexuality and gender in millenarian movements
· popular culture and expressions of millennialism
· historical approaches to millenarian movements


Frederic J. Baumgartner, Longing for the End: A History of Millennialism in Western Civilization (New York: Palgrave, 1999).

Robert Fuller, Naming the Antichrist: The History of an American Obsession (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995).

In addition to these texts, selected material posted on the website will be required reading. If you do not have access to the internet from home, students are advised to familiarise themselves with the operation of on-campus computer labs.

Grade Distribution:

Participation: 10%

Paper Proposal: 10%
Due: October 4

Primary Research Paper: 25%
Due: November 1

Popular Culture Project: 15%
Due: November 29

Final Exam: 40%
see exam schedule

Inclusive Language:

"Inclusive language may be defined as language which does not discriminate among characteristics of gender, age, race, or ethnicity, religion or minority." (University of Lethbridge Calendar, 2001-2002, p. 68). Students are encouraged to use inclusive language in this class.


This class designed to facilitate both a regular series of lectures, as well as offering a seminar discussion component. Your participation will be required to help make this latter aspect of the class a success. A participation mark will be based on three central requirements: a) attendance, b) preparedness for seminar discussions, c) quality (note: NOT QUANTITY) of your contributions to the discussion. Disruptive and dominating behavior is inappropriate for seminar discussions, and marks will be lost if a student exhibits these characteristics. Debate and conflicting opinions are welcome and encouraged, but personal attacks, disrespectful comments, and gender or racial slurs WILL NOT be tolerated and can result in a student's removal from all remaining seminar discussions and a score of 0 for participation. See also the above section on "Inclusive Language" for how the university defines this term. Please note the following section on the issue of religious history as well.

A Note on Religious History

Please keep in mind that as a course on the history of religion, controversial subjects will undoubtedly arise. There are two important features about striking the right tone and attitude in discussing religious history: 1) other students around you may hold a belief system directly related to or descended from the groups under disucssion, so please be respectful, and 2) historical analysis or interpretations of religion in the past do not necessarily reflect upon their present-day status or ultimate meaning. I will work hard to keep lectures and discussions open and welcoming, and if you have any questions or concerns, please see me.


There are three written assignments required for this course. Detailed instructions for all assignments will be given in class and posted on the course website.

Please note: Assignments are to be handed in during class on the day that they are due. Any essay handed in after this time will be subjected to a 3% penalty per day. ANY essays received AFTER ONE WEEK following the due date WILL NOT be marked and will receive a failing grade. Extensions will not be granted except for medical reasons and a medical certificate must be produced. Failure to submit a required assignment will result in an automatic failing grade in the course.

It is the student's responsibility to keep a backup copy of their work. The electronic world is prone to hardware/software failures (which inevitably take place the night before something is due), so please back up your work regularly (and in more than one place); always keep a hardcopy of your work.


"No student shall represent the words or ideas of another person as his or her own. This regulation will affect any academic assignment or other component of any course or program of study whether the plagiarized material constitutes a part or the entirety of the work submitted. Upon submission of evidence that the student has represented another person's words or ideas as his or her own, the student shall bear the burden of proving that there was no intent to deceive." (University of Lethbridge Calendar, 2001-2002, p. 63.).

History students need to be aware that the regulations on plagiarism include the following practices:

- Copying from another person's work without indicating this through appropriate use of quotation marks and citations in footnotes.
- Lengthy and close paraphrasing of another person's work (ie. Extensive copying interspersed with a few "different" phrases or sentences)
- Submitting written work produced by someone else as if it were one's own work.

Plagiarism is a serious offence, and proven instances will lead to a failing grade in the course and a record of the event placed in your file with the registrar's office. It may also result in a student's suspension or expulsion.