- 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
The book of Revelation is believed to be infused with anti-Roman sentiment, and the politics of Revelation has been discussed in a variety of ways by specialists for nearly 2,000 years. During the late twentieth century, “empire” emerged as a crucial term in the interpretation of John’s Apocalypse. This chapter explores the relationship between apocalypse and empire, with reference to imperial Rome. After discussing several important trends in Revelation studies in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, it considers the ways in which empire functioned within recent interpretations. It examines whether Revelation was a response to Roman imperialism and persecution as well as the experience of harassment, torture, and execution, and whether Revelation was subversive.
Steven J. Friesen is the Louise Farmer Boyer Chair in Biblical Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. His books include Imperial Cults and the Apocalypse of John: Reading Revelation in the Ruins, and Corinth in Context: Comparative Studies on Religion and Society (co-edited with D. Schowalter and J. Walters).
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