Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Worship as a Locus of Imperialism and Resistance in the Book of Revelations
Author: White, John Christopher
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2009
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This thesis is a contrapuntal study of the Roman imperial cult in Asia Minor and of Christian worship as expressed in and through the Book of Revelation. The study is conducted in order to explore the potential for each of these contrasting forms of worship to act as a locus of imperialism and/or of resistance. Not only is worship a prominent theme in Revelation, but, as a work designed for oral performance in the context of worship, Revelation can appropriately be read as a type of ritual text. Therefore, perspectives from the field of ritual studies are used in order to develop a taxonomy of the possible effects of ritual performance, which are seen as including the formation of community, the inscription of identity, the negotiation of relations of power, and the construction of an ordered universe. These four categories are used to form a framework within which to examine Roman emperor worship (depicted in Revelation as the worship of "the beast") and the worship of the Lamb. Insights from postcolonial studies are used in order to assess the effects of the imperial cult and of Christian worship in Revelation as mechanisms through which imperialism may be reinforced or resisted. These theoretical tools enable a nuanced appreciation of the interplay of imperialism and resistance in both forms of worship. The Roman imperial cult in Asia Minor is shown to be a locus of negotiated imperialism, and not the unilateral imposition of ideological domination that has sometimes been supposed. The polarisation observable in many earlier studies of Revelation, between regarding the text as either unequivocally resisting or inadvertently replicating the structures of imperial ideology, is transcended, as worship in the Book of Revelation is shown to be a locus of compromised resistance and of resistance to compromise
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available