An examination of the Book of Revelation from a liberation theology perspective
This study emerged from a study of the Book of Revelation originally undertaken in the Bible study programme of a local Baptist Church congregation in Kingston, Jamaica. Soon, dissatisfaction was felt by the writer, who had conducted the study, concerning the methodological procedure adopted and the practical relevance achieved. Insights gained from the Theology of Liberation, its own methodological procedure in general and hermeneutical approach in particular, showed up the inadequacies of the approach that had been adopted and also suggested possibilities which have become the basis of this present study. There resulted a heightened appreciation of the book including fresh awareness of its significance for the contemporary world, particularly the so-called Third World. There seems to be a certain structural correlation and correspondence of experience between the context and people of the book's focus and the context and peoples of Today's Third World. The context was one of oppression and the. experience one of struggle and endurance. The Book represents reflection on engagement in solidarity and struggle against oppression, on the part of its writer and his fellow-believers. The reflection took place in the light of the Word of God, the book being greatly influenced by the Old Testament in particular, without it being quoted and by the inspiration of the Spirit. Self-Conscious Contextual orientation, practical commitment, prophetic consciousness, political sensitivity, ecclesial framework of action and witness and liberative hope soteriologically grounded and eschatologically focussed are significant features of the reflection. These features which are themselves anticipatory of certain insights of the theology of liberation give the Book very powerful meaning and effective relevance particularly for the Third World experience. The book's significance is, however, not exhausted by the particular contextual relevance emphasised. It combines remarkably the contextual and cosmic, thus indicating quite instructively that the contextual and universal are not necessarily mutually exclusive realms for theological reflection that is self consciously contextual.