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The Book of Revelation

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This essay will argue that the eschatology of the Book of Revelation forms an integral part of John’s attempt within the pages of his book to form a literary world in which the forms, figures, and forces of the earthly realm are critiqued and unmasked through the re-focalization of existence from the perspective of heaven. It will attempt to show that, in response to the social, political, religious, and economic circumstances of his readers, the Book of Revelation forms a counter imaginative reality. Through drawing upon an inaugurated sense of eschatology and evocative imagery, John is able to pull the reader in and show them the true face of the imperial world and consequences of its ideology, forcing the reader allegiance to fall with either ‘Babylon’ or the New Jerusalem.

Before beginning this essay proper, it is important to first comprehend some of what is meant by the term eschatology, and how it is understood in the Book of Revelation. Eschatology broadly defined is that part of theology which deals with conceptions of the ‘end times’ and of the final things of the world and humanity. Within it sit many concepts, such as heaven and hell, divine judgment, the second coming, the defeat of evil and the new creation, among others things. As such, it encapsulates any discussion about the ‘end times’. This is certainly an apt title for much of the Book of Revelation then, with so much discussion of divine judgment on the first earth, the second coming of Christ and the coming of the New Creation. Within the pages of this text, however, a more complex eschatology is portrayed. While in the grander literary scheme of the text we see the ultimate destruction of death and hades and their throwing into the lake of fire...

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...pse." In Current Issues in New Testament Interpretation, edited by W. Klaasen and G.F. Snyder, 23-37. New York, NY: Harper and Row, 1962.

Raisaned, Heikki. "Revelation, Violence, and War: Glimpses of a Dark Side." In The Way the World Ends? The Apocalypse of John in Culture and Ideology, edited by William John Lyons and Jorunn Oklund, 151-165. Sheffield: Sheffield Pheonix, 2009.

Ross, Andrew, and Kristen Ross. Anti-Americanism. New York, NY: New York University Press, 2004.

Sakenfeld, Kathaine Doob, ed. The New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible: D-H: Volume 2. Vol. 2. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2007.

Thompson, Leonard R. "Recent Theories about the Social Setting of the Book of Revelation." In The Book of Revelation: Apocalypse and Empire, 202-210. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1990.

Woodman, Simon. The Book of Revelation. London: SCM Press, 2008.
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