Imperial Cults and the Apocalypse of John: Reading Revelation in the Ruins

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Oxford University Press, Oct 25, 2001 - Religion - 304 pages
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After more than a century of debate about the significance of imperial cults for the interpretation of Revelation, this is the first study to examine both the archaeological evidence and the Biblical text in depth. Friesen argues that a detailed analysis of imperial cults as they were practiced in the first century CE in the region where John was active allows us to understand John's criticism of his society's dominant values. He demonstrates the importance of imperial cults for society at the time when Revelation was written, and shows the ways in which John refuted imperial cosmology through his use of vision, myth, and eschatological expectation.

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Page 18 - I have tried to define this blank space from which I speak, and which is slowly taking shape in a discourse that I still feel to be so precarious and so unsure.
Page 16 - My contention is that without examining Orientalism as a discourse one cannot possibly understand the enormously systematic discipline by which European culture was able to manage - and even produce - the Orient politically, sociologically, militarily, ideologically, scientifically, and imaginatively during the post-Enlightenment period.
Page 8 - ... if beyond them he can glimpse no sign, no trans-historical meaning; if they are only the blind play of economic, social, or political forces, or, even worse, only the result of the 'liberties...
Page 8 - We should wish to know, for example, how it would be possible to tolerate, and to justify, the sufferings and annihilation of so many peoples who suffer and are annihilated for the simple reason that their geographical situation sets them in the pathway of history; that they are neighbors of empires in a state of permanent expansion. How...

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