Richard Landes teaches medieval history. He explores the role of religion in shaping and transforming relationships between elites and commoners, in particular the impact of “demotic religiosity” which prizes equality before the law, dignity of manual labor, and access to sacred texts and divinity for all believers. Publications: Heaven on Earth: The Varieties of the Millennial Experience (2011); The Paranoid Apocalypse: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion a Century Later (2012); The Apocalyptic Year 1000: Studies in the Mutation of European Culture (2003); Encyclopedia of Millennialism and Millennial Movements (2000); Relics, Apocalypse, and the Deceits of History: Ademar of Chabannes (989-1034) (1995); The Peace of God: Social Violence and Religious Response in France around the Year 1000 (1992).
From 1995 to 2003, Professor Landes directed the Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University and is now working on three volumes related to millennialism: (1) Heaven on Earth: The Varieties of the Millennial Experience (to appear with Oxford University Press in Spring of 2011), (2) The Paranoid Apocalypse: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion One Hundred Years Later (NYU Press, Fall 2011); and (3) While God Tarried: Demotic Millennialism from Jesus to the Peace of God, 33-1033 (in progress). His work on the apocalyptic currents that built up during the approach to 2000 has led him to focus on Global Jihad as (a) an apocalyptic millennial movement and (b) a new religious movement whose relationship to the internet may parallel that of Protestantism to printing. He is currently writing a book provisionally entitled They're so smart cause we're so stupid: A Medievalist's Guide to the 21st Century. It chronicles the astonishingly foolish behavior of intellectual and policy elites in the response to global Jihad.
From January to December 2011, Landes will be part of an international research group on “Prognostication” at Erlangen Unversity in Germany.