Covering the Millerite movement of the 1830s and 1840s, sabbatarian Adventism prior to organization of the denomination, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church since its organization in 1861-63, this volume provides a comprehensive history of the denomination. The first major element of the book is a chronology of Adventist history that begins with William Miller's conclusion in 1818 that the Second Advent of Jesus would occur about 1843 and extends through the Science and Theology Conferences of 2002-04. The interpretive introduction that follows places the emergence of Adventism within the context of the Second Great Awakening, describes the development of sabbatarian Adventism from its early opposition to church organization to its highly institutionalized and bureaucratically structured contemporary form, and examines the denomination's geographical expansion from a small North American sect to a global church.
The dictionary entries that constitute the bulk of the volume address individuals, organizations, institutions, and doctrines that have been important in the history of the church, including dissident movements and individuals who have emerged as critics of the denomination and its beliefs. Second, there are entries on the development and current situation of Adventism in many individual countries. Finally, thematic entries on such subjects as art, music, literature, health care, and women address other elements important to understanding church life. The dictionary entries are followed by a bibliography of scholarly and popular works published by the denomination, commercial and academic presses, and individuals and organizations.
Gary Land is professor of history and chair of the Department of History and Political Science at Andrews University. He is a member of the Conference on Faith and History and the Association of Seventh-day Adventist Historians. He is the author of Teaching History: A Seventh-day Adventist Approach.