Norman Cohn, Pursuit of the Millennium, Revolutionary Messianism in Medieval and Reformation Europe, and its Bearing on Modern Totalitarian Movements.
From the 800’s through Martin Luther, Pursuit of the Millennium describes developments in the idea of Apocalypse, and how Messianism contributed to our understanding of both historicity and place, by imagining civilization’s temporal end point being advanced to our current time and place, for an imminent reckoning. This development is presented through capsule biographies of seven messianic individuals, the ways that populace believed them, the moral/ethical order with which they began, and the decay of that order as they progressed. We could consider this in actorly terms as well as political and philosophical terms, through a focus on how a character responds to its own guiding principles. Deviation from moral or ethical principles in pursuit of greater gain, could be explored in class through character/persona creation, a study of how movement languages demand form, and how a character adheres or deviates from defining principles.