Harold Bloom, Professor of Humanities at Yale, skewers contemporary American spirituality as a watered-down and pale reflection of the ancient Gnosticism in Kabbalistic Judaism, early Christianity, and Islamic Sufism. For example, he believes that today's angelology has trivialized these awesome messengers of God by making them into cuddly cherubs. And thanks to Freud and others, the salutary prophetic element of dreams has been downplayed.

Bloom calls recent near-death accounts "parodies of authentic shamanism." Equally disconcerting for the author are the catastrophic millenarian rumblings of Mormons, Southern Baptists, and Adventists. In the end, Bloom presents his own Gnostic vision which emphasizes spiritual freedom, imagination, and self-transcendence. Omens of Millennium is a masterful blend of cultural commentary, religious analysis, and spiritual autobiography.