By 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 ultra-modern such a lot urgent topics: the importance of the millennium.
In 1950 at age 8, caused by way of a topic of lifestyles journal marking the century's midpoint, Stephen Jay Gould begun wondering the impending flip of the millennium. during this attractive inquiry into time and its milestones, he stocks his curiosity and insights along with his readers. Refreshingly reasoned and soaking up, the publication asks and solutions the 3 significant questions that outline the impending calendrical occasion. First, what precisely is that this idea of a millennium and the way has its which means shifted? How did the identify for a destiny thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ on the earth get transferred to the passage of an earthly interval of 1000 years in present human background? whilst 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 20th 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 variation starts off with a brand new and large preface on a key topic no longer handled within the unique version.
As consistently, Gould brings into his essays a variety of compelling historic and clinical truth, together with a short background of millennial fevers, calendrical traditions, and idiosyncrasies from all over the world; the tale of a sixth-century monk whose blunders in chronology plague us even this present day; and the heroism of a tender autistic guy who has built the extreme skill to calculate dates deep into the earlier 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 start of Christ--Stephen Jay Gould holds up the replicate to our millennial passions to bare our foibles, absurdities, and uniqueness--in different phrases, our humanity.