Millenarian cycles in the dynamics of the Catholic Church: A systems analysis

Marchetti, C. (1994). Millenarian cycles in the dynamics of the Catholic Church: A systems analysis. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 189-196. 10.1016/0040-1625(94)90025-6.

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In order to apply the quantitative methodology of systems analysis to the Catholic religion, we took the number of saints canonized as a witness to some intensity of faith. Assuming that a religion, seen from a sociological point of view, is a cultural trait, we applied the temporal rules of cultural diffusion to the indicator, the number of saints.

The procedure may seem arbitrary, but the results of the analysis appear very significant. The canonization of saints shows two pulses, highly self-consistent over a thousand years: the first one centered in 340 AD and the second in 1360 AD. Applying the appropriate equation shows that the first pulse started around 500 BC, lending strength to the hypothesis that the Christian doctrine is rooted in the sect of the “Servants of Jahvé.” The second one appears to be at its end. We analyze the possibility that science and technology may constitute the third pulse of the Christian Weltanschauung, or world view.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Institute Scholars (INS)
Bibliographic Reference: Technological Forecasting and Social Change; 46:189-196 [1994]
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:03
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:14

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