The Book of Revelation and the Apocalyptic Imagination
The course will explore the last book of the New Testament and its extravagant imagery. Often misunderstood as a blueprint for events of our own day or dismissed as utterly irrelevant to contemporary Christianity, the Book of Revelation will be seen to be a forceful proclamation of the Gospel within the hostile context of the Greek cities of Asia Minor in the last decades of the first century. Drawing on the rich traditions of Biblical prophecy and later Jewish apocalyptic thought, Revelation calls on followers of Jesus to endure, comforted by their current participation in the victory of Christ over the powers of evil that has already been achieved, in the firm hope that that victory will be fully manifested in God’s good time. The class will focus on a close reading of the text of Revelation supplemented by articles by contemporary scholars offering varied perspectives on the text.