Worship and Authority

Steven J. Friesen

in Imperial Cults and the Apocalypse of John

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780195131536
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834198 | DOI:
 Worship and Authority

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The cosmogony of Revelation manifests two strategies similar to those employed in imperial cults for the emperor. In both cases, the human is connected to a high God(s) of the tradition and the human is portrayed as the founder of a new reality. Revelation claimed legitimacy, however, by describing imperial authority as a deceptive, demonic imitation. The imperial cosmology is castigated as an exploitative economy in which the wealthy and powerful live a life of arrogance and affluence that is based on violence. The kingdom of God and his Christ, on the other hand, was a community of suffering and endurance that would be vindicated in the end if they remained faithful.

Keywords: Christ; cosmogony; cosmology; economy; God; imperialism; Kingdom; Revelation; violence

Chapter.  8903 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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