Ancient Christian Interpretations of “Violent Texts” in the Apocalypse
In Cooperation with Mark Grundeken
1. Edition 2011
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
Novum Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus/Studien zur Umwelt des Neuen Testaments (NTOA/StUNT) -
The Apocalypse of John belongs to the most puzzling texts of the New Testament. Historical-critical exegesis has been stressing that the book above all wishes to give a message of hope and comfort for a community under threat. Yet readers have also always been impressed and terrified by the many images of violence, including war, destruction, persecution and martyrdom, and the appearance of the devil and his demons. This book does not allow its readers to remain neutral.
The present volume offers the proceedings of a conference that was held in Leuven, Belgium, in September 2009 and was organised by the general editors of the Novum Testamentum Patristicum. The conference focused on how early Christian and Patristic authors have coped with all these many passages that deal with various sorts of violence. The volume contains essays on most of the important commentators, Origen, Tyconius, Lactance, Victorin of Pettau, and those of a somewhat later age, Andreas of Caesarea, Oecumenius, and Bede, but also looks at the reception history on a larger scale. It also deals with issues of method in reading the Book of Revelation, with important themes (the 1000-year reign), the Jewish background of some of these motifs, and the reception of Patristic thought in the most important medieval commentator of the book, Joachim of Fiore.