Mediated Revelation

Fra Angelico
The Annunciation, 1446
Fresco

There is a trope, pretty common in the Old Testament and the Gospels, that whenever God reveals something new to His chosen people, He does so through angelic messengers. Some examples of this kind include the angels’ visits to Abraham, Moses’ encounter with God at the burning bush, and, perhaps most famously, Mary’s annunciation. Some of these visitations in the Scriptures are obviously angelic, as when the angels deliver Lot and his family from Sodom and Gomorrah; others are less clear, especially when the phrase “angel of the LORD” serves as a gloss for the Lord Himself.

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The Kingdom against Hegemony

Henryk Siemiradzki
Nero’s Torches, 1876
Oil on canvas

In approximately 94-95 A.D., an elderly man exiled to Patmos wrote a vision that he had received from God. How we ought to be interlocutors with his mode of composition (i.e. whether the written text is all visionary or partially visionary and partially literary) is unimportant for observing the heaviness of the content of his work: that is, the Book of Revelation as a text primarily concerned with the critique of Imperial power and the Christian answer to the problem of Empire. For the purposes of this post, I will be using the academic definition of Empire, as a political-social order that aims for hegemony over its subjects. Continue reading “The Kingdom against Hegemony”