By Roger Allen
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Additional info for A Period of Time: A Study and Translation of Hadith 'isa Ibn Hisham by Muhammad Al-muwaylihi (St. Antony's Middle East Monographs)
In the writings of the young Marx especially, and before the days of “scientific” socialism, a passionate tone of millennial utopianism is audible even though he sharply dismissed as “philistine” most other socialist trends of his time. If anything in the Western bloc, and especially in the United States, could have matched the millenarian zeal of the communist revolutionaries, it was the anti-communist apocalyptic rhetoric of the Cold War, and its corollary, the fear of nuclear exchange. The imagery of Doomsday, Armageddon, and other biblical allusions readily available in the hellfire rhetoric of American Evangelical preachers were grafted onto the science fiction imagery of the Evil Empire by popular writers, filmmakers, military analysts, political commentators, conservative politicians, and ideologically bent nuclear scientists.
This is evident in a desire for global interconnectedness through the Internet and the popular culture associated with it, artistic and cinematic expression, and engaging in issues of women’s rights, environment, freedom of the press, pluralism and human rights that are at odds with ideological Islam and outside the traditional strictures of normative Shi'ism. One may discern in this new discourse – which is still informed by the dynamics of Shi'ism – a deliverance from the yokes of dogmatism and repression.
In most cases, it is true, the millennial paradigm remains a subtle undertone to secular ideologies not always acknowledged by those who pronounced or enacted it. Nearly all revolutionary visionaries of modern times, such as Karl Marx, entertained utopian visions brimming over with millennial aspirations of one form or another. Even more so, apocalyptic images and motifs influenced those artists, writers, and futurists who, by invoking millennial fears and hopes, challenged the norms of their own time and searched for alternatives.
A Period of Time: A Study and Translation of Hadith 'isa Ibn Hisham by Muhammad Al-muwaylihi (St. Antony's Middle East Monographs) by Roger Allen