Imperial Cults and the Apocalypse of John: Reading Revelation in the Ruins

Imperial Cults and the Apocalypse of John: Reading Revelation in the Ruins


By (author) Steven J. Friesen


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Paperback $42.80
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 162mm x 236mm x 25mm | 644g
  • Publication date: 25 October 2001
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0195131533
  • ISBN 13: 9780195131536
  • Illustrations note: 29 halftones, 13 line illustrations, 2 maps
  • Sales rank: 1,602,831

Product description

After more than a century of debate about the significance of imperial cults for the interpretation of Revelation, this is the first study to examine both the archaeological evidence and the Biblical text in depth. Friesen argues that a detailed analysis of imperial cults as they were practised in the first century CE in the region where John was active allows us to understand John's criticism of his society's dominant values. He demonstrates the importance of imperial cults for society at the time when Revelation was written, and shows the ways in which John refuted imperial cosmology.

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Review quote

... a useful and thought-provoking book ... it is a helpful introduction to Asia's imperial cult material and creatively juxtaposes this with the Book of Revelation. Journal of Roman Studies Historians looking for a guide to the material on Rome in the Book of Revelation will find Friesen useful. Again, his survey is both clear and fairly detailed and the decisions that he makes on a range of disputed issues (such as the date of the book) seem judicious. Journal of Roman Studies ... wide-ranging and detailed, liberally illustrated with plans and photographs. Journal of Roman Studies ... the author is innovative in the methods and theory that he brings to bear on the evidence ... Friesen's book represents the most sophisticated, compelling attempt to date to locate the book of Revelation in the context of Roman Asia Minor. Journal of Biblical Literature