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The Alter-Imperial Paradigm

Empire Studies & the Book of Revelation

Series:

Shane J. Wood

Many assume the book of Revelation is merely an “anti-imperial” attack on the Roman Empire. Yet, Shane J. Wood argues this conclusion over-exaggerates Rome’s significance and, thus, misses Revelation’s true target—the construction of the alter-empire through the destruction of the preeminent adversary: Satan. Applying insights from Postcolonial criticism and 'Examinations of Dominance,' this monograph challenges trajectories of New Testament Empire Studies by developing an Alter-Imperial paradigm that appreciates the complexities between the sovereign(s) and subject(s) of a society—beyond simply rebellion or acquiescence. Shane J. Wood analyses Roman propaganda, Jewish interaction with the Flavians, and Domitianic persecution to interpret Satan's release (Rev 20:1-10) as the climax of God's triumphal procession. Thus, Rome provides the imagery; Eden provides the target.

In the Vale of Tears

On Marxism and Theology, V

Series:

Roland Boer

In the Vale of Tears brings to a culmination the project for a renewed and enlivened debate over the interaction between Marxism and religion. It does so by offering the author's own response to that tradition. It simultaneously draws upon the rich insights of a significant number of Western Marxists and strikes out on its own. Thus, it argues for the crucial role of political myth on the Left; explores the political ambivalence at the heart of Christianity; challenges the bent among many on the Left to favour the unexpected rupture of kairós as a key to revolution; is highly suspicious of the ideological and class alignments of ethics; offers a thorough reassessment of the role of fetishism in the Marxist tradition; and broaches the question of death, unavoidable for any Marxist engagement with religion. While the book is the conclusion to the five-volume series, The Criticism of Heaven and Earth, it also stands alone as a distinct intervention in some burning issues of our time.

Winner of the 2014 Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize.

Scripture Cannot Be Broken

The Social Function of the Use of Scripture in the Fourth Gospel

Jaime Clark-Soles

Scripture is powerful for all who lend it authority. Clark-Soles explores the ways in which the author of the Fourth Gospel deploys scripture to form his sectarian community. The first part of the book provides the sociological framework for addressing the role of scripture within sectarian communities. By definition, sects are in conflict with a parent tradition. How, if at all, does a sect appropriate those texts that not only “belong” to the parent tradition but also are used by that parent tradition to deride the sectarians? By investigating the dynamics of scripture in the ancient Qumran community and in the modern Branch Davidian community, Clark-Soles sheds light on the community of the Fourth Gospel.