The final book of the New Testament, the Apocalypse, has been controversial since its initial appearance during the first century A.D. For centuries after, theologians, exegetes, scholars, and preachers have grappled with the imagery and symbolism behind this fascinating and terrifying book. Their thoughts and ideas regarding the apocalypse—and its trials and tribulations—were received within both elite and popular culture in the medieval and early modern eras. Therefore, one may rightly call the Apocalypse, and its accompanying hopes and fears, a foundational pillar of Western Civilization. The interest in the Apocalypse, and apocalyptic movements, continues apace in modern scholarship and society alike. This present volume, A Companion to the Premodern Apocalypse, collates essays from specialists in the study of premodern apocalyptic subjects. It is designed to orient undergraduate and graduate students, as well as more established scholars, to the state of the field of premodern apocalyptic studies as well as to point them in future directions for their scholarship and/or pedagogy.
Contributors are: Roland Betancourt, Robert Boenig, Richard K. Emmerson, Ernst Hintz, László Hubbes, Hiram Kümper, Natalie Latteri, Thomas Long, Katherine Olson, Kevin Poole, Matthias Riedl, Michael A. Ryan
Michael A. Ryan, Ph.D. (2005), Univerity of Minnesota, is Associate Professor of medieval and early modern history at the University of New Mexico. He has published monographs, articles, book chapters, and book reviews on aspects of medieval Mediterranean history, including
A Kingdom of Stargazers: Astrology and Authority in the Late Medieval Crown of Aragon (Cornell, 2011).
“deeply useful for scholars”
Jesse Hoover, Baylor University. In:
Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 68. No. 4 (October 2017), pp. 835-837.
Michael A. Ryan, Introduction: A Companion to the Premodern Apocalypse
Part One: The Apocalypse in Premodern Society and Imagery
Richard K. Emmerson, Medieval Illuminated Apocalypse Manuscripts
Natalie Latteri, Jewish Apocalypticism: An Historiography
Kevin Poole, The Western Apocalypse Commentary Tradition of the Early Middle Ages
László Hubbes, Apocalyptic as a New Mental Paradigm for the Middle Ages
Roland Betancourt, Prolepsis and Anticipation: The Apocalyptic Futurity of the Now, East and West
Part Two: The Apocalypse within Premodern Europe
Ernst Hintz, Muspilli: Old High German Judgment Day—Judicial Practice and Salvation in the Ninth Century
Hiram Kümper, Apocalyptic Thought in Medieval German Historiography: Otto of Freising and Beyond
Matthias Riedl, Apocalyptic Violence and Revolutionary Action: Thomas Müntzer’s Sermon to the Princes
Robert Boenig, The Apocalypse in Medieval England
Katherine Olson, Earth and Sky Will Be Ablaze: The Apocalypse, Hell, and Judgment in Premodern Britain, Ireland, and Brittany
Thomas Long, Revising the Revelation: Early Modern Appropriations of Medieval Apocalypticism
Apocalyptic Thought in Medieval German Historiography: Otto of Freising and Beyond
Fig. 1: The martyrdom of Christians during the reign of the Antichrist, Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Cgm 426, fol. 69v. by Hiram Kümper is licensed under Creative Commons License by 2.0.
Fig. 2: The Antichrist’s preaching and downfall, Hartmann Schedel, Buch der Croniken und Geschichten (Nuremberg, 1493), fol. 262v. by Hiram Kümper is licensed under Creative Commons License by 2.0.
Revising the Revelation: Early Modern Appropriations of Medieval Apocalypticism
Fig. 1: Dispensational Chart from James Purves, Observations on the Visions of the Apostle John Compared with Other Sacred Scriptures (1793). Courtesy of the Earl Gregg Swem Library of the College of William and Mary.
All interested in the history of the apocalypse and end time expectations in medieval and early modern society, history, and culture, and anyone concerned with literary and artistic productions on that larger theme.