Elaine Pagels on the Book of Revelation

Discussion in 'Quackenbush's' started by Dionysus, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. Dionysus

    Dionysus Cocky + Relaxed Admin

    Adam Gopnik’s New Yorker review of Elaine Pagel’s Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation.

    I have often wondered about this strange book. Why all the drama for a foregone conclusion of victory by the good guys? It’s like Cecil B DeMille and Michael Bay hooked up for an eschatological summer blockbuster.

  2. Perham1

    Perham1 2,500+ Posts

    Good post. I remember when that article came out and got some buzz.
  3. NEWDOC2002

    NEWDOC2002 1,000+ Posts

    Or relate to the almost cyclical nature of man and civilization independent of technological events. One can just as easily link modern day events to the cryptic nature of Revelations. It doesn't mean that we are on the verge of the end times. As odd ball as the book appears at the end of the Bible, you cannot take it totally out of context with Jesus' teachings about His second coming.
  4. Monahorns

    Monahorns 2,500+ Posts

    It actually lines up with Daniel which had a completely different historical context. Maybe its more than just temporal political commentary...
  5. huisache

    huisache 2,500+ Posts

    some mystic sitting around waiting for the promised second coming got hold of some hallucinatory goodies and wrote out some free association rubbish?

    Just a thought.
  6. Perham1

    Perham1 2,500+ Posts

    huisache, that's what makes Pagels' book an important contribution to the subject. She attempts to offer more than that the writer was in a drug-induced trance to explain the Revelation. She says it was some coded message that directly relateed to politics at the time.
  7. huisache

    huisache 2,500+ Posts

    Per: so the same theory which I read in some forgotten book in the 60s is somehow new because Pagels is now trying to make a few bucks peddling the theory?

    The idea that the author of Rev/Eccl was writing about the Roman empire is not too hard to figure out considering the context at the time. Sort of like how High Noon is a take on the Red Scares of the 50s if you take into consideration its author was one of the victims. Still a good western though and Rev/Eccl is a ripping yarn if you are into apocolyptic religious lunacy.
  8. Perham1

    Perham1 2,500+ Posts

    I don't know if the theory is new. I haven't read the book so I don't even know if her evidence/reasoning is new. It may all be in the way she presents her argument rather than the argument itself that is novel.

    But I'm with you mostly: there isn't too much under the sun here that is new. The academics who are popular at the time (Pagels) put out a book that's been done before for a new generation.

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