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The symbolic role of the Anti-Christ in the Puritan experience

What is the role of the anti-christ in the Puritan Christian tradition? How has the concept of an anti-Christ figure evolved from ancient Judaism to accomodate the different social and historical experience for various Christian Groups?

This solution compares the experience of the Essene and Puritan communities in reference to the symbolic role of the anti-christ

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Based on Robert Fuller's "Naming the Antichrist"

-the role of the antichrist functions as a way for certain groups to identify a common enemy, someone or something that stands in the way of a common goal. By identifying the antichrist, a group is able to better understand its role in history.

A brief look at the notion of an antichrist within the Essene Community in Israel and the Puritan Community in colonial America will help to explain the unique role of the antichrist

The Essenes left Jerusalem in order to establish their own community at Qumran. Since they believed that Jerusalem was too corrupt, they decided to set up their own settlement in which their Covenant with God could be honored. They believed that everything, even evil, existed because it was the will of God. They also believed that salvation was reserved only for those who were loyal to the Covenant, thus in their eyes, their community was to play a crucial role in the final vanquishing of evil.

In order to become a member of the Essene Community, one had to adopt certain rules that distinguished them from outsiders. First, they had to take a vow of Holy Poverty and sell all their possessions. Wealth was not necessary because it was believed ...

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