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date: 15 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The book of Daniel forms a bridge between Israel’s classical prophetic literature and the genre apocalypse. Daniel has often been classified among the prophets, but also stands apart. An examination of revealed knowledge and textual authority in Daniel clarifies the relationship among Daniel, earlier prophets, and Mesopotamian divinatory wisdom. Daniel’s apocalyptic imagination combines prophetic language and imagery with new visionary experience, offering readers powerful new language, symbols, and models for embodied practice. Cross-disciplinary studies of imagination suggest ways that Daniel’s prophetic and apocalyptic imagination allowed ancient readers to interact with the legacies of the Mesopotamian and Hellenistic empires while simultaneously rejecting their totalizing narratives. The book ignites a fuse in readers’ imaginations, inviting and empowering audiences to break out of the prison of imperial imaginaries and to imagine in their place an alternative structure of governance, a path to religious and national freedom, and heavenly existence beyond death.

Keywords: Daniel, prophetic literature, apocalypse, imagination, textual authority, Mesopotamia

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