Apocalypticism and Norman Cohn: A connection exists between Zoroastrianism and Judeo-Christian apocalypticism – but Cohn over-states his case The essential argument at the heart of Cohn’s work is that Jews and Christians were not the first to believe that there would arrive a final apocalypse that would leave the world transformed and purified and which would ensure that the redeemed and elected would inherit that earth and all things upon it; this innovation belongs to the Zoroastrians. Cohn begins his support for this thesis by noting that the Egyptians believed in a demiurge that created order (the world) out of chaos; the burning imperative in Egyptian society was to forever maintain order against the threat of chaos. For the...The end:
.....tions; he cannot unequivocally prove Zoroastrianism was the definitive inspiration for Judeo-Christian apocalyptic thought (at least it is not there in the body of his text) and that means we should view his work cautiously. In the end, this is a well-written book that is lucid and enjoyable. However, the book is compromised in some ways by the fact that it appears a little too glib about passing off conjecture and assumption as fact – and there are pertinent concerns about the rather informal or loose methodology that Cohn employs when dating Zoroastrianism. On balance, though, it is an informative text. Works Cited Cohn, Norman. Cosmos, Chaos, and the World to Come: the Ancient Roots of Apocalyptic Faith. New Haven (Conn.): Yale UP, 2001.