Richard Collman:The Book of Revelation Revisited

Expanded description:  Our goal will be to engage the Book of Revelation through reading, discussion, art, music, and story and place it in its first-century historical context, which will open for us a view of the political, economic, and social realities of the early struggling Christian church.  We will also explore the relevance of John’s writings for what it means for believers today to deal with issues of empire, worship, and allegiance.  Further, I hope we can become aware of how much this book has influenced hymnody, literature, art, and music through the ages.  To this end I hope to illustrate each class with some of these items.  Revelation is a book rooted in worship with enormous political implications.

Required book: J. Nelson Kraybill, Apocalypse and Allegiance: Worship, Politics and Devotion in the Book of Revelation, available at Content Bookstore in downtown Northfield ($24, 10% off for CVEC students) or via (new from $18.59, used from $6.91).

Outline of sessions in coordination with required book:

Week 1:  A Prophet in Trouble, Rev. 1:1-20; Kraybill, Introduction and Chapter 1

Week 2:  Stampeding Empires, Rev. 12:18-13:10; Kraybill Chapters 2 & 3 (roots in Daniel); Beastly Worship, Rev. 13:11-18 

Week 3:  Accuser of Our Comrades (Pliny’s letter), Rev. 12:1-17; Kraybill Chapter 4

Week 4:  Cosmic Throne Room, Rev. 4:1-11; The Lamb Is Lord of History, Rev. 5:1-6:17  (four Horsemen); Kraybill, Chapters 5 & 6

Week 5:  Seal of the Living God, Rev. 7:1-11:19; Kraybill, Chapter 7

Week 6:  A Harlot Drunk in Blood, Rev. 15:1-17:18 (7 heads, 7 kings); Kraybill, Chapters 8 & 9; The Economics of Worship, Rev. 18:1-19:21

Week 7:  Letters to the Seven Churches, Rev. 2:1-3:22; Kraybill, Chapters 10 & 11; All Things New, Rev. 11:1-19; 20:1-22:21 (The New Jerusalem)

Week 8:  Long Term Hope; Kraybill, Chapter 12