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Revelation 21:1-22:5: An early Christian Locus Amoenus?

King, Fergus J. (2015) Revelation 21:1-22:5: An early Christian Locus Amoenus? Biblical Theology Bulletin, 45 (3). pp. 174-183. ISSN 0146 1079

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Abstract

The visions of the Heavenly Jerusalem (Revelation 21) have a utopian feel. In this article I suggest that ancient
writers from a Graeco-Roman background might have read these visions through the lens of the locus amoenus
(pleasant place)—a utopian prototype. While associated primarily with vision poetry, the motif also served wider
theological and philosophical purposes in the late Roman Republic and early Imperial periods and had spread
beyond purely literary confines. The genre also engaged with philosophical, theological and eschatological themes.
Thus engaging with Revelation 21 as a locus amoenus, as a contextually appropriate form, may have served as a
jumping-off point into the less familiar realms of Judaic eschatological symbolism. Lastly, it is suggested that the
appearance of the motif within what would become the Scriptures of emerging Christianity may provide a reason
for the later more explicit developments of the genre in patristic writing.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Proofs
Keywords: Pastoral, Revelation, Johannine Literature, Apocalyptic, locus amoenus, eschatology
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Applied Research
Subjects: B - New Testament
College/Association with University of Divinity: Trinity Theological College
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr Fergus King
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2016 01:57
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2016 04:39
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1973

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