- The doctrine or belief that Christ will reign on earth for 1,000 years. There are numerous examples of chiliast cultic and sectarian movements in the history of the Christian Church. For example, in the medieval period, the Taborites (led by the Bohemian priest Martin Huska) preached the imminent advent of Christ, to be preceded by a period of catastrophe, followed by a New Age of His rule on earth (see, ‘Chiliasm and the Hussite Revolution’, Church History, 1957). Chiliasm is therefore a specific form of millenarianism and shares many of the same characteristics. Thus, in anticipation of the Second Coming, chiliast communities tend to secede from the larger social order, not only spiritually but also physically, often living (as did the Taborites for a time) in a state of collective emancipation-recognizing no traditional authorities, norms, or legal restraints; shunning family and home; and turning over material possessions to common funds.
Dictionary of sociology. 2013.