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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Silence and Praise: Rhetorical Cosmology and Political Theology in the Book of Revelation
Hansen, Ryan Leif

Minneapolis: Fortress, 2014 pp. viii + 184. $39.00

Series Information
Emerging Scholars

Description: Cosmology is a central focus in Johnís Apocalypse, Ryan Leif Hansen argues, but not in the sense that John envisions a stable cosmos. Rather, John employs cosmological themes for persuasive purposes that include a critique of Roman imperial cultic discourse. Hansenís argument requires a discussion of the apocalyptic genre and rhetoric, the ways in which apocalyptic literature makes meaning especially through the construction of symbolic worlds, and then a comparison of this means with cosmological themes in which eternal Rome lies at the center of the cosmos. John seeks to persuade his hearers that the world, as governed and sustained by Caesar and the Roman gods and perpetuated through the Roman cult and economy, is a false order, passing away in order that Godís new creation, narrated by truthful worship and costly witness to the Lamb, can emerge as gift. The book concludes with suggestions for fruitful conversation with recent work in apocalyptic theology.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Revelation, Literature, Methods, Literary Approaches, Rhetorical Criticism, Theological Approaches, Biblical Theology, New Testament Theology

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Review by Shane J. Wood
Published 6/26/2015
Citation: Shane J. Wood, review of Ryan Leif Hansen, Silence and Praise: Rhetorical Cosmology and Political Theology in the Book of Revelation, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2015).

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