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The climate is right

Ostensibly, the book is a survey of the sad and often deluded bands from the Middle Ages – from the flagellants to the Ranters – who preached the imminent second coming of Christ when evil doers would be condemned to everlasting torment and they – the righteous – would enjoy the fruits of the New Jerusalem.

Shift forward to 2020 and we see something similar in the climate-change movement. Not for nothing does Extinction Rebellion give itself a name straight out of the millenarian tradition. Arguably, however, what’s different between the disparate groups of medieval Europe and today’s climate-change activists is that today’s pilgrims have captured the mainstream message, whereas the medieval peasants were judged a threat to the social order and treated as such.

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