Questioning the Millennium: A Rationalist's Guide to a Precisely Arbitrary Countdown (Revised Edition)

Questioning the Millennium: A Rationalist's Guide to a Precisely Arbitrary Countdown (Revised Edition)

Stephen Jay Gould


during this new version of Questioning the Millennium, best-selling writer Stephen Jay Gould applies his wit and erudition to 1 of latest so much urgent matters: the importance of the millennium.

In 1950 at age 8, brought on by means of a subject of lifestyles journal marking the century's midpoint, Stephen Jay Gould all started considering the impending flip of the millennium. during this appealing inquiry into time and its milestones, he stocks his curiosity and insights along with his readers. Refreshingly reasoned and soaking up, the e-book asks and solutions the 3 significant questions that outline the upcoming calendrical occasion. First, what precisely is that this thought of a millennium and the way has its which means shifted? How did the identify for a destiny thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ in the world get transferred to the passage of an earthly interval of 1000 years in present human heritage? while does the recent millennium relatively commence: January 1, 2000, or January 1, 2001? (Although doubtless trivial, the controversy over this factor tells an interesting tale in regards to the cultural heritage of the 20 th century.) And why needs to our calendars be so advanced, resulting in our look for arbitrary regularity, together with a fascination with millennia? This revised version starts off with a brand new and wide preface on a key topic now not taken care of within the unique version.

As continuously, Gould brings into his essays a variety of compelling historic and medical truth, together with a quick background of millennial fevers, calendrical traditions, and idiosyncrasies from around the globe; the tale of a sixth-century monk whose error in chronology plague us even this present day; and the heroism of a tender autistic guy who has built the intense skill to calculate dates deep into the prior and the future.

Ranging over a large terrain of phenomena--from the arbitrary regularities of human calendars to the unpredictability of nature, from the vagaries of popular culture to the delivery of Christ--Stephen Jay Gould holds up the reflect to our millennial passions to bare our foibles, absurdities, and uniqueness--in different phrases, our humanity.

Show sample text content

Download sample