Chapter

Radical Religion and the Ethical Dilemmas of Apocalyptic Millenarianism

John J. Collins

in Radical Christian Voices and Practice

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199599776
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738340 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599776.003.0006
Radical Religion and the Ethical Dilemmas of Apocalyptic Millenarianism

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‘Radical religion’ as associated with apocalypticism often has a negative sense, and connotes intolerance and fanaticism. This characterization of apocalyptic religion is not without basis in the ancient texts, but it should be modified in light of the social context of most of these writings, as resistance literature against imperial rule. Christopher Rowland has pointed out, however, that apocalyptic literature can also be construed as radical religion in another sense: the world as we know it is passing away and the social distinctions of the present lose their significance. This understanding of apocalyptic literature lends itself to a more positive appreciation of radical religion.

Keywords: Apocalypticism; fanaticism; radical religion; resistance

Chapter.  6978 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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