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Apocalypse Against Empire: Theologies of Resistance in Early Judaism
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2010 / Hardcover
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An innovative study of one of the turning points in Jewish history, the persecution under Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Portier-Young sees the Book of Daniel, the Apocalypse of Weeks, and the Book of Dreams as antidotes to Roman propaganda, aiming to reinvigorate the faith and hopes of an oppressed people. 486 pages, hardcover.
Princeton Theological Seminary
"Make no mistake about it: this is a landmark study. It is theoretically informed and sophisticated, broad-ranging and erudite, historically aware, and hermeneutically sensitive. It breaks new ground in the field and should be required reading for anyone interested in early Jewish apocalyptic literature.
Lancaster Theological Seminary
"Anathea Portier-Young's bold proposal demonstrates how the earliest Jewish apocalypses conjured diverse strategies for resistance against imperial power. Her judicious, sometimes daring, application of resistance theories to the historiography of Seleucid Judea sets a challenging precedent for future research. In that cauldron of cultural and political conflict, the apocalypses emerge as creative vehicles for counter-imperial theologizing.
"Apocalypse against Empire portrays the Second Temple Jewish narrative of hope and survival, resistance and courage, with sensitivity and insight. Scholars and students will appreciate the careful research and fresh approach in this beautifully written book.
In Apocalypse against Empire Anathea Portier-Young delves deeply into the meaning of empire, the methods used by empires, and the forms of resistance they engender. She then applies these insights to the sources for the historical context in which the earliest Jewish apocalypses were composed and to the texts themselves. The result is a refreshing and impressive explanation of Daniel and two Enochic texts the Apocalypse of Weeks and Book of Dreams.
"Using methods developed by social scientists for the analysis of state terror and strategies of resistance, Portier-Young brings to life the ancient realities of Seleucid state terror in Judea in a way that few historians have captured. Against that background she makes a compelling case for the audacity of resistance grounded in the apocalyptic imaginations of 1 Enoch and Daniel. Portier-Young brings new depth to the claim that these are political apocalypses.
Walter Brueggemann "The fresh interpretive categories of 'empire' and 'resistance,' applied to biblical texts, have evoked, of late, a significant and extensive literature. In the midst of that large and growing literature, this book is a particularly important contribution that merits careful and sustained attention. Portier-Young's study is deeply grounded in theoretical work on resistance, is rich with particular historical context, and pushes the project toward specific texts. Her book will be a reference point for future study, one that cannot be ignored."
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