Dynamics of Messianism
Robert M. Price
I am currently working
on a comparative paradigm for messianism, a conceptual scheme drawn from
the study of various messianic movements throughout world history. Such
a typology may help us understand new messianic movements as they arise.
What is a messiah? What is the difference between a true and a false
messiah? And what can be expected to happen when a messiah comes, as
well as when he goes? I would like to set forth the rudiments of
my theory, now, in this time of messianic expectation.
Usually such synthetic
studies as this one have the character of "post-game wrap-ups." They are
of interest, mostly, to scholarly outsiders, not to members of the type
of movements they discuss. This is perhaps because followers of
messianic movements prefer to regard their movements and their progress
as the result of pure, unmediated miracle and providence; thus, they are
indifferent to the explanations of unbelievers offered in the spirit of
scientific naturalism. And this is why, in the case of messianic
movements, people so often ignore and repeat the lessons of history. A
significant exception is a uniquely modern messianic movement, the one
sponsoring this very journal, the one at whose seminary I began working
on the present study: the Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon. This
movement seems to have embarked on its historic course with an unusually
acute awareness of its position in the modern world. As a result it
stands an excellent chance of learning the lessons of the past and so of
avoiding the repetition of the sad ones. Thus I will begin with
typological generalities, then apply them to the specific case of the
First, let us remind
ourselves of Clifford Geertz’s description of religion as a cultural
system of symbols for managing the three great negativities of life:
adversity, ignorance and injustice. Life is filled
with these three things, and yet we cannot grow inured to them. We seek
their resolution by appealing to an imagined, unseen realm outside
and adjacent to the visible world. We posit that the sad facts of
death, ignorance, suffering, and oppression will be avenged, reversed,
justified, explained or alleviated up there, out there, in
heaven or in the future. The murderer may seem to get away
scot free as far as we can see, but rest assured, he will get what's
coming to him in hell, or when he's reincarnated as a flatworm. Why did
tragedy strike? We don't know, but we will when we get to heaven.
As Peter Berger notes,
messianism is one such rationalization strategy. Note how it works:
messianism does not do what some theodicies do. It does not
pretend to answer the question of how God can be good and yet allow all
the evils of the world. It is more pragmatic than that. It knows that
mere theories are cold comfort at best. Messianism focuses not on the
beginning, the source of the problem; it focuses instead on the end
of it, which it says is coming soon. The Savior, the Redeemer,
will come to wipe away every tear. He will finally destroy evil. And
when it is gone, who will think to reproach God? Who will care why
everything went wrong once it has been made right?
Berger calls this a
“future, this-worldly theodicy.” By contrast, an “otherworldly theodicy”
would abandon hope for the messiah bringing justice into this world or
“peace on earth.” Instead it would promise relief from the ills
of this world by giving you a ticket to heaven. In the latter case,
you would be leaving the visible, factual world of ills, this veil
of tears, and embarking for the farther shores of Geertz’s unseen larger
world on the margins of this one
In Mircea Eliade’s terms, this world that needs redemption would be
profane space, while the unseen world of imagined answers would
correspond to sacred space. Messianism envisions that a savior is
presently waiting in the wings of unseen sacred space. This may be
understood as his already existing in heaven; or his waiting in
concealment somewhere on earth, as a leper outside the walls of Rome; or
it may be simply the prophesied certainty of his coming. In other words,
he is “waiting” in the future. The messiah’s place is
off-stage. He is always “the one who is to come.” The trouble starts
when one day he appears.
When someone announces
himself to be the messiah, he is claiming to have brought sacred space
into profane space, transforming the one into the other. "The kingdom of
this world [that is, profane space] has become the kingdom of our Lord
and of his Christ [i.e., sacred space]." People are excited, because
they have been convinced that all evils will cease. The world will be
changed. But history stubbornly goes on, even after the supposed coming
of the end of history. How is the impression maintained that
redemption has dawned?
First, a bulwark is
erected against the profane world. Of course, the profane world does not
cease to exist, but the messiah and his followers create and retreat
into a bubble of messianic, eschatological existence. Berger and
call it a “finite province of meaning,” a willing suspension of
disbelief, a retreat, usually temporary, into a carefully circumscribed
and fortified subworld in which the kingdom of God will seem to have
The boundaries of this
island reality are laid down by behavioral rules, inner-circle jargon,
special clothing, and distinctive beliefs. Contact with outsiders is
strictly regulated: believers spend all their time with each other and
interact with outsiders only by token of evangelism. An example of this
is the Jehovah’s Witness sect. As John Lofland explains, in an early
study of the Unification movement,
the evangelist sets the terms for interaction with the unbeliever. By
offering him the gospel, the evangelist shapes the unbeliever's
response: he will either reject the gospel, playing the role of
worldling, rejecter, Satan-deceived persecutor, or he will accept
the gospel and join the group, another welcome vote for the beliefs of
the beleaguered sect. Either way, the evangelist wins!
Within the magic circle
of the mustard-seed kingdom, the fires of supernatural redemption are
stoked by charismatic prophecy, speaking in tongues, and reports of
miracles. Soon, the believers assure one another, this beachhead of
salvation will spread abroad to the ends of the earth. But redemption
does not come, not according to the original, Technicolor
expectation. The most successful it can be is eventually to become a new
worldwide religion or the ideology of an empire. But even this will fall
short of the once-imagined glories of the millennium. (Rest assured,
though, its hierarchy will still claim the absoluteness of
eschatological truth to authorize its dictates and dogmas!)
The process of
adjusting to the delay of the end already begins within the
reign/ministry of the messiah if it lasts long enough. Otherwise it may
occur at his death. Either way, there are various ways of adjusting to
the failure of the eschaton, coping with the ongoing of history. One is
ritual anticipation/evocation of the future. Eliade
understands ritual as the process of cyclical return to the sacred time
of origins, as nature is renewed and rejuvenated each year when spring
comes. But in the case of a messianic sect, ritual is the calling into
the present of the future. (Not that this is much of a difference
from Eliade's paradigm, since in most eschatological schemas, Erdzeit=Urzeit
anyway. The future state of bliss is a return to Eden, a re-creation.)
For concrete examples, take the Lord’s Supper and the Dead Sea Scrolls
messianic banquet. Both are "dry-runs" for the real thing, and at the
same time stop-gap substitutes for the real thing. In precisely
the same way, watching low-budget Rapture movies (Distant Thunder,
Years of the Beast, Image of the Beast, etc.) provide
fundamentalist church audiences with a kind of cathartic vicarious
experience of the eagerly-awaited eschatological events. The believer
hopes to see the events predicted by Hal Lindsay happening soon, being
covered on CNN. But it never comes. So in the meantime, one can watch
theatrical simulations of the events. It's not the apocalypse, but it's
better than nothing. John Gager is surely correct inseeing this as the
function of the drama-like Book of Revelation.
It is a powerful psychodrama supplying at least a measure of the
eschatological excitement with which mundane reality is so stingy.
A second historic
strategy for managing the delay of the predicted End is to "realize,"
i.e., demythologize, eschatology. Though Lutheran existentialist
Rudolf Bultmann is the best known exponent of this approach, it is, as
he himself pointed out, quite old. The Gospel of John already seem to
have abandoned hope of the second advent of Jesus and says it has
happened in an unfalsifiable, invisible form as the coming of the
Paraclete. The predicted resurrection? It will not happen literally;
rather, the resurrection is the rebirth from the Spirit of those who
believe in the word of Jesus.
Similarly, in the Gospel of Thomas, the disciples ask Jesus when the
repose (i.e., resurrection and final rest) of the dead will come. His
answer: "What you expect has come to pass, only you do not recognize it"
(saying 51). Ali Muhammad ("the Bab," or Gate) and Hussein Ali ("Baha'ullah,"
the Glory of God), founders of the Babi and Baha'i Faiths in
nineteenth-century Iran, likewise preached that the End-Time events were
to be realized figuratively--in their own ministry.
A third tried-and-true
approach (and no doubt the most controversial) is transcendence
(of the present) by transgression (of the present order).
In the seventeenth century, messiah Sabbatai Sevi convinced much of
Eurasian Jewry that the messianic utopia would soon arrive, that he
would persuade the Ottoman sultan to convert to Judaism. Instead, the
sultan threatened him with death if he did not convert to Islam. His
response? Allah-o-Akbar! If a crucified messiah was a bitter pill
to swallow (1 Corinthians
1:23) how much more an
apostate messiah! Most left the fold in disgust, but many did not,
clinging rather to various theological rationalizations for the infamous
act, many of which bore a startling analogy to the atonement theories
attached to the crucifixion in early Christianity. For these believers,
the question arose as to whether the messianic age had dawned or not.
Outwardly, things appeared stubbornly the same. But the messiah had
come, had he not? His messianic kingdom, then, was for the time being a
secret, a mustard seed kingdom. One day soon it should burst forth in
its Technicolor fullness, but in the meantime believers must live out
the kingdom in secret, living by the standards not of the old age but of
the new. And what were these? Some mystics had dared to posit that in
the redeemed, sinless age, there would be no need for the many
prohibitions of the Torah, so on that glorious day the Torah would show
a new face: all its prohibitions would turn to positive commands. Among
one radical sect of Sabbatians, the Dönmeh,
the piety of the secret conventicle was to joyfully perform every act
that the Torah had forbidden! Needless to say, their liturgical orgies
had to be kept secret. The strange world they lived in was antipodal to
that of their fellow Jews (and Gentiles). It was so different from
evertything else in the world, one might well believe it to be the
kingdom of God.
As I say, these
processes may begin already within the lifetime of the messiah, but they
will surely get underway once the messiah dies. And then his status of
finality (i.e., his futurity, his eschatological character) is
relativized. He remains “the Seal of the Prophets,” God’s final
messenger, in name only. His community, which had anticipated no further
need for revelation (since God, after all, would shortly be making his
dwelling among men) still requires divine guidance. So other revealers
will follow the "last prophet." This may happen in either of
two ways: charisma is either routinized or inherited. All
this, of course, is familiar from the great sociologist of religion Max
Charisma (the status and personal influence of the messiah) is
routinized when the charismatic prophet is replaced by theologians and
managers, caretakers and interpreters. Concurrently, the messianic sect
is being socially and religiously mainstreamed on the way to
accommodating itself to society. The sect and society will begin to
permeate each other: the church in the world, the world in the church.
Things become more comfortable, less exciting. As Abraham Maslow sees
the founder, the messiah, had visionary "peak experiences" and invited
others to share them, whereas after his death, managers, notorious for
their lack of inspiring vision and charisma, take over to build
institutions, tombs for the prophets.
Why does this
evolution/devolution occur? A messianic movement cannot remain a radical
sect and succeed demographically, since sects cater to the
elite; they want only "hundred percenters." Catholic Christianity
and Sunni Islam, by contrast, are mainstreamed messianic sects. They are
no longer "the camp of the saints" but, as Saint Cyprian said, a "school
If, on the other hand,
the movement remains a sect at the margins of society, content with “a
few good men,” the charismatic prophet will have been replaced by
successors in kind. His charisma is inherited, as from Elijah to Elisha.
The successors are vicars of the Christ who will return, while he is
temporarily unavailable. (The Pope is an exception that proves the rule:
he is really an institutional caretaker and only claims to speak with
the messiah’s absolute authority very rarely.) Bearers of inherited
charisma would include the Shi'ite Imams descended from Muhammad through
Ali. These Imams are not prophets (God forbid! Muhammad was the last of
those!), but they are divinely inspired interpreters of the Koran,
unlike the mere caretakers of Sunni Islam, the Caliphs. Shi'a Islam
remained sectarian; Sunni Islam mainstreamed and continually persecuted
new Shi'ite messianisms. In early Christianity, the charisma of Jesus
was inherited by the wandering prophets and apostles whose activities
are attested in Matthew 25:34-40; 3 John vv. 5-8, the Didache,
and other texts.
These Jesus-prophets, brethren of the exalted Son of Man, would speak
new revelations in his name, with his authority ("Whoever hears you
in this sinful and adulterous generation is ashamed of me and my words,
of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes"--Mark
Bultmann and other form critics attribute much of the sayings-tradition
of the Synoptic Gospels to these itinerant charismatics. As 3 John and
the Didache make clear, these "loose canons" (pardon the
expression) eventually came into conflict with the consolidating
authority of the bishops, those who also claimed to be successors of
Jesus, but through "apostolic succession," i.e., routinization of
Let me mention one more
interesting development once the messiah dies and history continues.
Very often the believers go into denial: they say he did not die, but
only seemed to! Invisibly to mortal eyes, he really escaped! (Note how
we are again appealing to an imaginary unseen realm to soften the blows
of adversity.) He is waiting in seclusion to return; or he rose and went
to heaven, whence he will soon return; or his spirit is with God
in heaven, whence it will return by means of the soon-coming
resurrection of the dead. By these expedients, the terrible event which
seems to debunk the messianic faith instead reenergizes it, since the
death is now taken to betoken the final stage, the eleventh hour. Time
to get cracking!
The eschaton, the end,
has been deferred, but only to the immediate future. In the
meantime, however, the vanished messiah is represented by divinely
inspired spokesmen, such as the Bab or the Paraclete, till he should
reappear. The longer this “interim” lasts, the more likely it is that
the sect will remain messianic in name only, or will return to
traditional future expectation: the vanished messiah, or a new messiah,
will come someday. In fact, one of the interim spokesmen likely
will claim to be the returned messiah, and the cycle will begin again.
The major alternative
to having the messianic tension slacken and go limp is for the sect to
perish together in a this-worldly Armageddon. Jim Jones and David Koresh
took this alternative. In this way, and only in this way, can the
messiah actually and literally lead the faithful into the promised land
of Geertz’s imagined unseen realm of final rectification.
But short of this,
every messiah must become a false messiah the minute he sets foot
on the stage of history, because history will continue. He will either
be discarded by disillusioned believers or he will later be
reinterpreted as a “new Moses,” a founder figure, a figure of a receding
past (e.g., Jesus in Matthew's Gospel; Muhammad as the provider of the
Koran). Or he may be assigned to a kind of messianic Valhalla with the
honorary status of a preliminary messiah, as was Simon bar-Kochba,
hailed as King Messiah by no less a personage than Rabbi Aqiba. Simon
briefly achieved Jewish independence, only to be overwhelmed by
But he was not then retroactively made a false messiah. As Geza Vermes
it was Simon bar-Kochba's noble failure that prompted some sages to
split the office of messiah into two: that of Messiah ben Joseph, an
Ephraimite messiah doomed to die heroically in battle to atone for
Israel's sins, and a victorious Messiah ben-David, to carry the banner
to victory. This way, Simon could be venerated as a messiah despite his
failure, and eschatological expectation could begin again, only
momentarily deferred. A similar strategy is to understand a messiah who
died without bringing in the kingdom of God as the first coming
of a messiah who will come again, this time in glory. This, of
course, is the Christian option. Again, only a deferral.
No messiah ever manages
to bring the unseen sacred space down to the profane world, so that we
may walk henceforth by sight and no longer merely by faith. He may
pretend to, in which case provisional opinions are given the
unimpeachable status of absolute truth, and one dare not question it.
Accordingly, though he anticipated distant-future revelations
supplanting his own new dispensation, the Bab commanded book-burnings
of all uninspired books in his own day.
At best, a clever
messiah can “stall” and remain with one foot in the future by being
cagey about his messianic identity. Jesus is asked if he is the messiah,
and he leaves 'em guessing: "You say that I am." Reverend Moon used to
be asked the same question, and his nimble reply topped even Jesus: "I'd
have to give the same answer Jesus did." Beautiful! If he gives Jesus'
answer, he must be the messiah like Jesus, no? But, then, strictly
speaking, Jesus' answer was elusive! So close, but so far! Or recall
Rabbi Schneerson's caginess: he would neither confirm nor deny his
avidly believed messiahship. The uncertainty kept people on edge: they
thought the messiah was present, but strictly speaking his
explicit messianic claim was still at least a few minutes in the future!
When the messiah dies,
he will have returned to Geertz’s unseen realm. He will be “back” in
heaven, “hidden,” like the Mahdi, somewhere on earth, or “he”
will return to the merely virtual existence of a second prophesied
messiah. Heaven, earthly seclusion, or futurity — all are in the
As I have anticipated,
the Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon has already managed to learn a
number of the lessons described here, having progressed with
unprecedented rapidity through several stages that take most sectarian
movements many generations. The result is that now, while the Messiah
himself is alive and in active charge of the movement, the
Church has already sloughed off much of its sectarian alienation from
nonmembers, its disdain of "worldly wisdom," and it's fear of
It has not only assimilated the element of "realized eschatology;"
rather, realized eschatology and demythologizing are at the heart of its
theology. Though Unification theology is unabashedly supernatural, even
spiritualistic, realized eschatology is primary to it, and not merely,
as usual in messianic movements, a fall-back position. This is because
of the unique Christology. Reverend Moon claims to be the Lord of the
Second Advent, the fulfillment of the prophecy of the Parousia of Jesus
Christ, not an independent messianic figure in his own right, like Rabbi
Schneerson. Short of contriving to descend from the sky in celestial
glory, how else could Reverend Moon justify this claim without
demythologizing the Parousia? He was a man among men, a man born of
woman, not an apocalyptic angel. If he were to heed the charge of Jesus
on Easter morning 1936 to fulfill his mission, demythologization was
inevitable. (Ali Muhammad, the Bab, had been forced to draw the same
conclusion once he realized he himself was the Mahdi whose advent he had
theology demythologizes the advent of the Christ, reconceptualizing it
as a birth (of Reverend Moon, plus, of course, his accomplishments), it
transmutes the prophesied "end" into a new beginning instead. In the
same way, the messianic fulfillment brought by Sun Myung Moon must be
that of establishing a new dispensation, defining the threshold of a new
age stretching into the future. History will continue. It is supposed
to continue, unlike the expectation of most messianic sects. Notice the
contrast between Paul's reference to Jesus as "the last Adam" (1
Cor. 15:45) and Unification theology's understanding of Reverend Moon as
"the Third Adam." Paul sees his messiah as ringing down the
curtain of history. He calls Jesus an Adam just to make him the capper
of history, the opposite number of the first man, the other book end.
The Third Adam, on the other hand, is a parallel to the Edenic
Adam, not an antitype. The Third Adam raises the curtain on a new
era of history. He is an inaugurator.
And this means, in
turn, that Reverend Moon's messianic identity already includes and
indeed demands the transition, described above, from messiah figure to
founder figure. Since it is supposed to happen, it will be no shock or
disappointment when it does happen. Still, certain problems may remain,
even if they are seen clearly ahead. For instance, there is the problem
of succession. Even though no one will be taken aback at the very fact
of Reverend Moon's eventual passing, succession disputes tend to emerge
only at the moment of succession itself, since the moment unleashes
certain tensions that could not come out into open negotiating space
earlier on. The situation and its outcome will be even more
unpredictable if someone suddenly feels the impulse of prophecy. It
would be very surprising if a movement like Unificationism, a surprising
hybrid of businesslike administrative organization on the one hand and
of shamanistic spiritualism on the other, did not eventually find itself
forced to decide, as early Christianity eventually had to, between
"ecclesiastical authority and spiritual power."
The Church has already felt something of the turbulence that can erupt
between office and charisma, even during the founder's lifetime, when,
for a while, Reverend Moon himself took seriously the claims of a
radical Zairean youth who claimed to be channeling the spirit of a
deceased son of Reverend Moon. Events revealed the channeler to be a
charlatan, and the storm passed, but it should remain a living warning
of what might happen following the founder's death: what if someone
should step forward claiming to be the prophetic voice of Sung Myung
Moon from the spirit world? For speculation's sake one might suggest
that such an eventuality might be ruled out in advance by the founder's
own prescriptive stipulation. But then we would simply be moving one
notch over to a slightly different version of the dilemma of religious
authority, that between canonical scripture (the founder's bequest) and
the living voice of prophecy (the claim of a self-appointed successor).
In any case, the two
models of authority seldom peacefully coexist. For instance, the Taiping
messiah, Hong Xiuquan, who understood himself to be Melchizedek and the
younger brother of the ascended Jesus Christ, was able to brook the
sometimes intrusive revelations of Xiao Chaogui, an early compatriot who
was believed to channel revelations from the ascended Jesus himself, not
to mention the utterances of Yang Xiuqing, who spoke with the very
accents of God the Father. But eventually, Xiao Chaogui lost out to Yang
Xiuqing in what appears to have been a prophetic power struggle.
The Younger Brother of Jesus still had to put up with the sometimes
humiliating oracles of the Father, but his Elder Brother fell
usually met with after a founder's death, but already occurring within
the Reverend Moon's lifetime, is the painful evolution from a "camp of
the saints" sect to a "school for sinners" church. Stevan L. Davies has
mapped out the social dynamics between factions of an evolving movement
of this type in his The Revolt of the Widows: The Social World of the
He shows how the itinerant prophets, those who had heeded the gospel
counsels to leave home and family to preach the News of the kingdom of
God, conducted a circuit-riding ministry among sympathetic
house-churches and Christian communities, to whom, however, these
prophets had less and less to say. As Christianity took root among
communal entities, families, homes, settlements, the old commands to
sell one's possessions and give to the poor fell increasingly on deaf,
or at least puzzled ears. Notoriously, such dominical commands have
found no welcome in increasingly bourgeoisie Christian social settings
such as eventually produced the Pastoral Epistles. Settled, domestic
life represented a mainstreaming of the originally radical apocalyptic
preaching. A sect was becoming a church, and the spokesmen for the old
order became increasingly irrelevant fossils as things changed.
I see something similar
already happening among the ranks of Unificationism. Unificationists who
began, precisely in the fashion of early apostolic workers, street
witnessing and fund-raising, passed through the sacramental portal of
the Blessing, a hieros gamos whereby they officially became
grafted into the True Family of the True Parents. The very notion of
Perfect Families, models of stability and matrices for the production of
Perfect Children, immediately clashed with the continued obligation to
perform apostolic ministries suitable for the celibate and unattached.
These tensions are still being worked out. The felt contradiction seems
to be the result of an attempt to keep the Unification movement a sect
even while it is marrying its way into a church.
The transition from the
camp of the saints to the school for sinners has been accelerated even
more by the decision to open up the sacramental Blessing of couples to
those who are not believing Unificationists. In this way, the influence
of the True Parents is believed to be increased like leaven in the lump,
permeating society in a broader way. But some veterans of the movement
fear that what is happening is theological inflation: a wider extension
of the influence of the True Parents, but at the cost of being
shallower. What we have, apparently, is an analogy to the controversy
over the Halfway Covenant in American Puritanism. Puritan congregations
required an "experience of grace," a datable moment of conversion to
faith in Christ, or one could not be a full member. Otherwise, one soon
has a school for sinners, not a "visible church." And they didn't want
that. But that is what they got, in the form of Solomon Stoddard's
Halfway Covenant, which allowed the children of converts to take
communion in church even though, having been raised as perfect children
(pardon the borrowed terminology), they lacked the opportunity to
convert to Christ from a previous life of sin.
If non-Unificationist sympathizers are able to be united with the True
Family without conversion, then one must ask whether the movement is not
only compromising its original sectarian zeal but even blurring the
borders of the Unification Church as a movement at all. It might appear
to be rapidly evolving into something of a para-church movement like the
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association or the Christian Broadcasting
Company. The support thus sought and gained is proverbially a mile wide
and an inch deep. There is nothing necessarily wrong with such a change.
But we seem to be passing from one New Testament analogy, that of the
seed growing secretly, to another, the salt of the earth. That is, the
hope is no longer that the messianic movement will gestate unobtrusively
till the Great Hour be come at last, but rather that it will quietly and
subtly savor the general stew. It is a more modest goal, and a more
realistic one, from a demythologized point of view.
Like Lao-tse, who
emerged from the womb already an old sage, Unificationism seems to have
been born with a mature historical consciousness. Like the adolescent
Jesus in the apocryphal Infancy Gospels, who irritated his tutors
because he already possessed an adult's knowledge, Unificationism is
uncannily shrewd in its self-understanding. Only history will show how
this unique perspective will affect the survival, success, and further
evolution of the Unification Church.
Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Approach to Religion
(Garden City: Doubleday Anchor, 1969, pp. 69-70.
"Religion as a Cultural System" in Geertz, The Interpretation of
Cultures, NY: Basic Books, 1973, pp. 87-125.
Construction of Reality" A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge.
Garden City: Doubleday Anchor, 1967, p. 25.
A Study of Conversion, Proselytization, and Maintenance of Faith
Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1966., pp. 208-209.
and the Profane: The Nature of Religion.
NY: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1959, pp. 68-161.
Community: The Social World of Early Christianity.
Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1975, pp. 50-57.
The Gospel of John: A Commentary.
Westminster Press, 1975, e.g, p. 261; see also Robert T. Fortna,
The Fourth Gospel and Its Predecessor: From Narrative Source to
Present Gospel. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1988, pp. 284-293.
The Kitab-I-Iqan, The Book of Certitude. Wilmette: Baha'i
Publishing Trust, 1950, passim.
Gershom Scholem, The Messianic Idea in Judaism. NY: Schocken
Books 1971, pp. 142-166.
Boston: Beacon Press, 1969, pp.60-79.
Values, and Peak Experiences.
NY: Viking, 1974, pp. 23-29.
"The Wandering Radicals," in Theissen, Social Reality and the
Earliest Christians (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992, 33-59;
M. Eugene Boring, Sayings of the Risen Jesus: Christian Prophecy
in the Synoptic Tradition. Society for New Testament Studies
Monograph Series 46. NY: Cambridge University Press, 1982
Geza Vermes, Jesus the Jew: A Historian's Review of the Gospels
(London: Fontana/Collins, 1973), 139-140.
See also Leibel Reznick, The
Mystery of Bar Kochba: An Historical and Theological Investigation
of the Last King of the Jews. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson Inc.,
1996, 130-131; 145-146.
Michael L. Mickler, "When the
Prophet Is Yet Living: A Case Study of the Unification Church," in
Timothy Miller (ed.), When Prophets Die: The Postcharismatic Fate
of New Religious Movements. Albany: State University of New York
Press, 1991, 183-194.
Hans von Campenhausen, Ecclesiastical Authority and Spiritual
Power in the Church of the First Three Centuries. Translated by
J.A. Baker. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1981.
Jonathan D. Spence, God's Chinese Son: The Taiping Heavenly
Kingdom of Hong Xiuquan. W.W. Norton & Company, 1997, 147.
Carbondale: Southern University
See Stoddard's "The Inexcusableness
of Neglecting the Worship of God," together with Robert L. Ferm's
introduction, in Ferm, ed., Issues in American Protestantism: A
Documentary History from the Puritans to the Present. Doubleday
Anchor, 1969, pp. 41-48.