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date: 22 February 2020

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.

Keywords: Book of Revelation, empire, apocalypse, Rome, imperialism, persecution, harassment, torture, execution

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