Imperial Cults and the Apocalypse of John: Reading by Steven J. Friesen

By Steven J. Friesen

After greater than a century of dialogue concerning the value of imperial cults for the translation of Revelation, this is often the 1st examine to ascertain either the archaeological facts and the Biblical textual content intensive. Friesen argues targeted research of imperial cults as they have been practiced within the first century CE within the area the place John used to be energetic permits us to appreciate John's feedback of his society's dominant values. He demonstrates the significance of imperial cults for society on the time while Revelation was once written, and exhibits the ways that John refuted imperial cosmology via his use of imaginative and prescient, delusion, and eschatological expectation.

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Religious Criticism 15 human imagination. Violence, appropriation, destructions, and sacrifice are all a part of the symbolized life. Such a description of religion is an appropriate paradigm for examining both imperial cults and the text of Revelation. It helps us to move beyond an analysis that posits “religion” and “politics” as two separate sectors within society. 60 Most studies were based on implicit modern western Christianizing theories of religion. Sullivan, on the other hand, based his hypotheses on the study of indigenous and other religions from several areas of the world.

46 The proconsul’s edict, however, was not couched in pragmatic terms about convenience for the cities. Rather, his rationale for reorienting time was based on the accomplishments of Augustus. From this official Roman perspective, the world was in disarray and headed for ruin until Augustus restored and transformed the world. Therefore, his birth was the most appropriate symbol for New Year’s Day. The old world was given a fresh start, a new origin (ajformhv). Another reason given for the proconsul’s proposal was that local officeholders could assume their duties on the birthday of Augustus.

It is normally contrasted with “periphery” to indicate a complex differential in power between the dominating city and the rest of an empire. 79 At present, the methods and theories with the most promise for understanding ancient Roman imperialist topics are being developed in postcolonial studies. Because postcolonial methods were designed to examine a different historical period, they must be applied with less detail. However, I expect that the generic features of imperialism will make the transference appropriate.

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