Messianism is the belief in the advent of a messiah who acts as the savior or liberator of a group of people. Religions with a messiah concept include Zoroastrianism (Saoshyant), Judaism (the Mashiach), Buddhism (Maitreya), Hinduism (Kalki), Taoism (Li Hong), and Bábism (He whom God shall make manifest). Messianism originated from the Hebrew Bible, in which a messiah is a Jewish monarch or High Priest traditionally anointed with holy anointing oil.

In Judaism, the messiah will be a future Jewish king from the line of David and redeemer of the Jewish people and humanity. In Christianity Jesus is the messiah, the savior and redeemer. In Islam, Jesus was a prophet and the messiah of the Jewish people.

In this confusion (of conflicts between generations) the temptation becomes stronger to risk being swept away towards types of messianism which give promises but create illusions. The resulting dangers are patent: violent popular reactions, agitation towards insurrection, and a drifting towards totalitarian ideologies. Such are the data of the problem. Its seriousness is evident to all. (Papal Encyclical, Populorum Progressio, 26 Mar 1967).
Related Problems:
Problem Type:
J: Problems Under Consideration
Religious observance
Date of last update
28.03.1999 – 00:00 CET