- List of Contributors
- What Is Apocalyptic Literature?
- Apocalyptic Prophecy
- The Inheritance of Prophecy in Apocalypse
- Wisdom and Apocalypticism
- Scriptural Interpretation in Early Jewish Apocalypses
- Apocalyptic Literature and the Study of Early Jewish Mysticism
- Dreams and Visions in Early Jewish and Early Christian Apocalypses and Apocalypticism
- Social-Scientific Approaches to Apocalyptic Literature
- Jewish Apocalyptic Literature as Resistance Literature
- Apocalypse and Empire
- A Postcolonial Reading of Apocalyptic Literature
- The Rhetoric of Jewish Apocalyptic Literature
- Early Christian Apocalyptic Rhetoric
- Deconstructing Apocalyptic Literalist Allegory
- Apocalyptic Determinism
- Apocalyptic Dualism
- Apocalyptic Ethics and Behavior
- Apocalypse and Torah in Ancient Judaism
- Apocalypticism and Christian Origins
- Descents to Hell and Ascents to Heaven in Apocalyptic Literature
- Apocalypses among Gnostics and Manichaeans
- The Imagined World of the Apocalypses
- Messianism as a Political Power in Contemporary Judaism
- Apocalypticism and Radicalism
- Apocalypse and Violence
- Apocalypticism in Contemporary Christianity
- Apocalypse and Trauma
- Apocalypticism and Popular Culture
- Scriptural and Ancient Texts
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
It is possible to identify a literary genre “apocalypse” along the lines proposed in Semeia 14 (1979), as an account of a revelation mediated by a heavenly being that discloses a transcendent reality, both spatial and temporal. Apocalypticism, the worldview characteristic of apocalypses, can also be found in works that are not formally apocalypses. It is characterized by the belief that human life is largely shaped by supernatural forces, and bounded by the expectation of a final judgment, including the judgment of the dead. This essay responds to various objections that have been raised against this way of viewing the genre. It concludes by considering the modern adaptation of apocalypticism by Dispensationalists and Fundamentalists, and noting continuities and discontinuities with the ancient genre.
John J. Collins is Holmes Professor of Old Testament at Yale. His books include The Apocalyptic Imagination and The Encyclopedia of Apocalypticism (co-edited with Bernard McGinn and Stephen J. Stein).
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