On This Day: Not The End Of The World The Retrospectors

Jesus failed to show up on the day that came to be known as ‘The Great Disappointment’ – 22nd October, 1844. It was an embarrassment for the New England preacher, William Miller, who had prophesied Christ’s return; and devastating for his 100,000+ followers in North America alone. Miller had calculated the end of the world via an idiosyncratic interpretation of Daniel 8:14 (“And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed”). In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly consider how the Millerites processed their monumental anti-climax; reveal what Ralph Waldo Emerson made of it all; and wonder whether Miller’s flexibility in the face of contrary evidence has parallels in the modern-day QAnon movement…Further Reading:• ‘William Miller Convinced Thousands of Millerites the End Was Near’ (New England Historical Society, 2020):• ‘The Great Disappointment’ (Grace Communion International):• ‘William Miller Predicted Christ’s Return in 1844. Here's What Happened After His Prophecy Failed’ (History Unplugged, 2020): bonus material and to support the show, visit'll be back on Monday! Follow us wherever you get your podcasts: Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders. Edit Producer: Emma Corsham.Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2021.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
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