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The Oxford Handbook of Apocalyptic Literature

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The Oxford Handbook of Apocalyptic Literature is a thematic examination of ancient apocalyptic literature and its analogues in modern times. Apocalypticism first appears in Judaism in the Hellenistic period in the books of Daniel and Enoch. There is a distinctive genre “apocalypse” that describes the disclosure of a transcendent world, both spatial and temporal, to a human recipient, who is usually identified pseudonymously with a famous ancient figure. Apocalyptic themes, however, are also found more broadly in other genres, such as prophecy and wisdom.

This volume explores the relationships between apocalypticism and several other genres, including prophecy, wisdom, dreams and visions, scriptural interpretation, and mysticism. It also explores the social function of apocalyptic literature and its use as resistance literature, both in ancient and in modern postcolonial perspective. Another section of the volume is devoted to apocalyptic rhetoric, in both Jewish and Christian contexts, and to the interpretive tradition that treats it as an allegory for political events. Several essays explore themes in apocalyptic theology, such as dualism and determinism. Essays in this section also explore its relation to the Torah in Jewish tradition, its role in Christian origins and its adaptation by Gnostics and Manichaeans. The final section of the volume considers the role of apocalypticism in contemporary Christianity and Judaism, especially its relevance to religious radicalism and violence, and also its role in popular culture.

Resource Experts
  • Restricts its approach to ancient Judaism and Christianity, down to approximately 500 CE
  • Attends to other Near Easter, Hellenistic or Iranian tradition only insofar as they impinge Judaism and Christianity
  • Applies a thematic and analytical approach, with articles on various aspects of apocalyptic literature, and different ways in which it can be construed
  • The Literary and Phenomenological Context
  • The Social Function of Apocalyptic Literature
  • Literary Features of Apocalyptic Literature
  • Apocalyptic Theology
  • Apocalypse Now

Top Highlights

“This is the use of mythic paradigms, and more generally the use of symbols drawn from ancient myths” (Page 8)

“Dead Sea Scrolls, for example are to a great degree informed by an apocalyptic worldview” (Page ix)

  • Title: The Oxford Handbook of Apocalyptic Literature
  • Author: John J. Collins
  • Series: Oxford Handbooks
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Print Publication Date: 2014
  • Logos Release Date: 2021
  • Pages: 546
  • Era: era:contemporary
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Reader Edition
  • Subject: Apocalyptic literature
  • ISBNs: 9780199856497, 0199856494
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-30T02:06:52Z

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

John J. Collins was a professor of Hebrew Bible at the University of Chicago from 1991 until his arrival at Yale Divinity School in 2000. He has published widely on the subjects of apocalypticism, wisdom, Hellenistic Judaism, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. His books include the commentary on Daniel in theHermeneia seriesThe Apocalyptic Imagination, and Between Athens and Jerusalem: Jewish Identity in the Hellenistic Diaspora. He has served as editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature and as president of both the Catholic Biblical Association and the Society of Biblical Literature.


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