The Centre for Millennial Studies - Sydney Branch

The original Centre for Millennial Studies was initiated by Professor Richard Landes at Boston University (USA) in 1996, basically with a view to watching collective religious behaviour during the transition into the Third Millennium. A second branch was established at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, to monitor what Landes perceived as an alarming rise in conservative Christian expectations that Christ would return to the holy city at the start of the new millennium. The Department of Studies in Religion at the University of Sydney was invited to open the third branch, with a very ‘open brief’ that reflected the various interests of its chosen Director, Professor Garry Trompf. The third branch was at first focused on the sociology and cross-cultural study of millenarian hopes (particularly in Melanesia, where Trompf concentrates much of his research) and on the controversy surrounding the so-called Y2K “bug.” Over the course of time, the scope of research broadened, even though the initial interest in both Oceanic materials and the implications of new technologies deepened. The vision of the branch Centre encompassed all research that took in the idea of a new millennium in general, so that work on apocalyptic-type issues (whether historical or contemporary) now sits alongside research into the idea of a ‘new Era of remarkable possibilities.’


Garry W. Trompf, Emeritus Professor in the History of Ideas, Studies in Religion (and Adjunct Professor), Centre for Peace of Conflict Studies, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia, 2006 History of Millennialist Ideas

Deputy Director

Dr Mick Brodrick, Associate Professor of Media Analysis, Murdoch University, WA, Australia, 6168; Deputy Director, National Academy of Screen and Sound Apocalyptic Themes in Mass Media

Executive Members

Mr Mario Baghos, Associate Lecturer, St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College, Redfern, NSW 2016 Patristic eschatological thought

Dr Bernard Doherty, Department of Ancient History, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia 2113 Montanism; new sectarian apocalyptic ideas

Mr. Ian Dunn, independent environmental researcher, Denhams Beach, NSW 2536 Environmental catastrophism

Rev'd Dr Raúl Fernández-Calienes, School of Law, St Thomas University, Miami, Fl., USA Visions for churches in the third millennium

Prof. Iain Gardner, Professor in the History of Religions, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia 2006 Manichaean apocalyptic beliefs

Prof. Norman Habel, Professor of Hebrew Bible, Australian Lutheran College, Adelaide SA, Australia 5006 Biblical interpretation and eco-justice in the third millennium

Dr Christopher Hartney, Department of Studies in Religion, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia 2006 Ideas of the millennium in the Latin classics

Dr Penny Keable, independent social theorist Apocalypticism and the nuclear threat

Dr Mehrava Marbani, Social Worker, Psychologist and Social Worker, Sydney Zoroastrianism views of the future

Mr Ramin Marzbani, MIR Investment Management Council, Sydney. Former CEO, wwww.consult (1995-2003) reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from computers, leading to the prize-winning work of EventZero and Greentrac.

Prof. Brikha Nasoraia, Mardin Artuklu University, Department of Eastern Languages and Literature, and Department of Art History, Turkey and School of Languages and Cultures, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia 2006 Mandaean and comparative ancient Gnostic ideas about the future

Dr Lee Skye, independent Aboriginal scholar, and hospital Chaplain to Indigenous People, Brisbane. Tradition and Christian Aboriginal ideas about time and the future

Dr Keith Suter, independent futurist, media personality (running radio program “Global Insights”) and social theorist, Politics and religion in the new millennium

Dr Friedegard Tomasetti, Department of Studies in Religion, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia 2006 Anthropological study of cargo cults; and fresh ideas arising from the reworking of Christianity in Oceania

Dr Dennis Walker, Research Associate, Asia Institute (MAI), Monash University, Caulfield, Victoria, 3145 Muslim minorities, especially Nation of Islam

Centre Publications

  • Fernández-Calienes, R. (ed.), The Asian Church in the New Millennium (Voices from the Edge, 2) (2000)
  • Skye, L. M. Kerygmatics of the New Millennium (Voices from the Edge, 4) (2007)

Relevant writings and publications of other Executive Members

  • Baghos, “The Impact of Martyrdom on Eusebius of Caesarea’s Commentary on Luke: Anticipating the Imminent Eschaton,” Phronema 28, 1 (2013)
  • Brodrick, Nuclear Films (1991)
  • Doherty, “Quirky Neighbors or the Cult Next Door?” International Journal for the Study of New Religions 3, 2 (2012)
  • Habel, An Inconvenient Text: Is a Green Reading of the Bible possible? (2009)
  • Gardner, with Sam Lieu (eds.), Manichaean Texts from the Roman Empire (2004)
  • Hartney, “Per Saturam or Performance? Seneca’s … Ritual Hilarity and Millennial Closure in the Apocolocyntosis.” In C. Cusack and Hartney (eds.), Religion and Retributive Logic (Trompf Festschrift) (2010), pp. 167-85.
  • Keable, ‘Figments of Armageddon’ (Doctoral dissert., Univ. Syd.), 2 vols. (1991)
  • Nasoraia (and Trompf), “Mandaean Macrohistory,” ARAM 22 (2010-11): 391-425.
  • Suter, Global Order and Global Disorder (2003)
  • Tomasetti, Traditionen und Christentum im Chimbu-Gebiet Neuguineas (1976) (on “Old and New Time” in New Guinea)
  • Trompf (ed.), Cargo Cults and Millenarian Movements (Religion and Society, 29) (1990)
  • Walker, Islam and the Search for African American Nationhood (2005)


The branch Centre will soon publish Prof Eric J. Sharpe’s posthumous
work: The Quest for the Kingdom of God: The History of a Vision (ed. B. Sharpe; Foreword, Prof. Trompf)