The latest issue of Interpretation focuses on the book of Revelation, also known as the Apocalypse of John. Titled as "Revelation as a Critique of the Empire," this issue also addresses the issues faced by "Christians living in the complicated religious and political environment of imperial power."
The essays in this volume "describe the enduring challenges faced by Christians who claim loyalty to the reign of God while experiencing the reign of secular authorities."
The essays in this volume, as extracted online, include:
REVELATION'S VISIONARY CHALLENGE TO ORDINARY EMPIRE • CRAIG R. KOESTER
Revelation addresses the ordinary challenges facing Christians under Roman rule, some of whom were struggling while others were affluent and complacent. The book’s visions seek to alter the way they see the political, religious, and economic dimensions of imperial life and to call them to renewed faithfulness to God and the Lamb.
JOHN'S IRONIC EMPIRE • DAVID R. BARR John’s Revelation wrestles with the question of how Jesus’ followers were to live under the imperial domination of Rome. While some see John as establishing an alternative imperial system, attention to the irony with which the story is told reveals a more compelling critique of power.
ACCOMMODATING “JEZEBEL” AND WITHDRAWING JOHN: NEGOTIATING EMPIRE IN REVELATION THEN AND NOW • WARREN CARTER Revelation addresses a struggle over how followers of Jesus might negotiate the complex imperial realities of Roman rule. The call for societal distance and disengagement resists and seeks to conceal other voices that urge greater levels of societal interaction. Revelation also raises the urgent issue of how contemporary followers of Jesus might negotiate the world's most powerful empire—the one we in the United States inhabit.
BABYLON BOYCOTT: THE BOOK OF REVELATION • ALLEN DWIGHT CALLAHAN Revelation challenges contemporary readers to escape the impending destruction of global imperialism, and calls upon Christians to boycott the imperialist political economy that murders “all the peoples of the earth” (Rev 18:24). To be true to their conscience and to their God, those in true solidarity with Jesus must withdraw from the evil system in which they live or suffer the consequences of their complicity with it.
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I think this is a very timely issue for those of us living in Malaysia in the midst of the current political situation.