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History Unplugged Podcast

with Scott Rank

William Miller Predicted Christ’s Return in 1844. Here's What Happened After His Prophecy Failed

00:00 46:29
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In October 1844, tens of thousands of people in New England believed the world would soon end. They followed William Miller, a man who claimed that through his study of the Bible to know the exact day of Jesus’s return to earth. His followers sold everything they had in preparation for Christ’s second coming, in which he would gather them into heaven, and cleans the Earth in fire. The “Millerites” donned white garments called ascension robes. They climbed trees or mountains to speed up their ascension.

But Christ never came. The followers sat in confused disappointment. What happened to them after they gave up completely in their lives on earth? Moreover, what made them believe in Miller in the first place? Was he a particularly charismatic speaker, or was something happening in the United States that made belief in the apocalypse ripe? If so, what are those conditions and can they happen again?
December 29, 2020
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Meet Your Host
Scott Rank is the host of the History Unplugged Podcast and a PhD in history who specialized in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Before going down the academic route he worked as a journalist in Istanbul. He has written 12 history books on topics ranging from lost Bronze Age civilizations to the Age of Discovery. Some of his books include The Age of Illumination: Science, Technology, and Reason in the Middle Ages and History’s 9 Most Insane Rulers.. Learn more about him by going to scottrankphd.com.
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