The Oxford Handbook of Apocalyptic 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.
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