Revelation: Vision of a Just World

Revelation: Vision of a Just World

Revelation: Vision of a Just World

Revelation: Vision of a Just World

Synopsis

Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza charts a new and provocative course in the interpretation of the book of Revelation. She recognizes not only the ideological distortions but also the sociopolitical location of the Apocalypse. In this way she opens to the reader the world of vision of this powerful New Testament book. This book has three major sections: (1) an introduction that centers on social location and rhetorical analysis; (2) the commentary; and (3) a theo- ethical rhetorical reading of the visionary world of the book of Revelation under the headings of empire, tribulation, resistance, and competing voices.

Excerpt

Several years ago, the late Dr. John A. Hollar suggested that I revise my commentary on the Apocalypse, Invitation to the Book of Revelation. Since the book was never much advertised and the whole series in which it appeared had just gone out of print, he suggested that Fortress Press issue an updated edition in order to make it available to a wider circle of readership. After John’s untimely death, Dr. Marshall Johnson expressed renewed interest in the project and urged me to take it on as my first sabbatical project. I am grateful to both of these Fortress Press editors for their collegial interest and support.

When I began this revision, I thought it would take only a few weeks to bring the text up to date. I had not sufficiently considered my own theoretical assumption that a text has a life of its own and that a different contextualization in time and rhetorical situation would radically change its makeup and content. The last ten years have renewed scholarly interest in Revelation and have generated a vibrant commentary on it. In order to do justice to the rich studies on Revelation and my own hermeneutical evolution, I had to reconceptualize the book and rewrite most of the text. As a result, a different book has emerged. I do hope that this thorough revision not only will further scholarly discussion but will especially facilitate the public’s theological reading of Revelation. I am grateful to Dr. Gerhard Krodel, the editor of the Proclamation Commentaries, for accepting this book in the series and for bringing it to the attention of a wider audience.

My special thanks go to Dr. Margaret Studier, whose energetic support and hard labor were decisive in completing this project. She not only has typed and proofread several versions of this manuscript, but she has also kept office calls, correspondence, and visitors at bay. I am also grateful to my research assistants, Katherine Messina and Shelly Matthews, for proofreading the manuscript and for evening out its often awkward style and sentence structure. Last, but not least, as always, I have appreciated the endless patience and tireless support of Francis and Chris for my work. Without them nothing would get done or be fun!

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