Empire and Ekklēsia: Mapping the Function of Ekklēsia Rhetoric in the Book of Revelation
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CitationMata, Roberto. 2015. Empire and Ekklēsia: Mapping the Function of Ekklēsia Rhetoric in the Book of Revelation. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Divinity School.
AbstractThis dissertation explores the function of ekklēsia rhetoric in the Book of Revelation, and demonstrates its role in addressing various issues within the seven ekklēsiai and their inscribed rhetorical situation, including: the participation of eidōlothyta, the blasphemy of the so-called synagogue of Satan, and the pursuit of wealth. Contemporary reconstructions of the rhetorical situation of Revelation cast the assemblies as consolidated Christian churches and view the aforementioned issues as indicative of tensions between heretics and orthodox Christians, between church and synagogue, and/or between church and Greco-Roman society. Yet, such interpretations often reinscribe normative frameworks, the so-called parting of the ways, and obfuscate the role of imperial power. In contrast, I reconstruct the inscribed assemblies Revelation as Jewish groups from the Diaspora in Asia Minor that used ekklēsia rhetoric as well as its topoi of civic reciprocity, civic participation, and the common good to negotiate the socio-economic and political situation of Asia Minor under Rome. In order to map the ways in which the assemblies could have interacted with imperial power, I use epigraphic materials from ancient voluntary associations. Drawing from postcolonial theory, I also read the rhetorical situation of Revelation as a colonial situation and the aforementioned issues as negotiations of power, ethnic identity, and wealth.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:15821960