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Title: Three apocalypses of the early Muslim period in the context of confrontations
Author: Sacramento, Michel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2747 4855
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2005
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The present study has revolved around three apocalyptic texts believed to come from the context of 8th to 9th century more or less belligerent contexts. These are: The Apocalypse of Zerubbabel the Apocalypse of Samuel of Qalamun and the Fourteenth Vision of Daniel. It is a parallel study, which aims at probing the underlying influence of the iconographic evolution in the three monotheistic religions. In all three apocalypses cited above, indications are that they did react to the erection of the Islamic Dome of the Rock that was completed at around AD 695. The Dome of the Rock was for the Muslims an exercise of iconographic display in favour of their universal religion, a monumental statement for the claim to the last revelation of God, henceforth that the religion of Islam held sway in the ranking of faithfulness to the primeval religion of Abraham. Accordingly, these three apocalypses expressed therein their contention of the hegemony of Islam, using various eschatological topoi, a number of circumstantial artifices, and a zest of imagination, to spearhead their peculiar ideology. The iconography (visual, oral, literal) of the three communities undergoes some subtle but significant changes in the process. This can be seen in the way each text handles the image of the enemy, reshaping it where they saw fit, but also how each one's iconographic identity is reshaped from the eschatological perspective. The main actors of the apocalyptic scenarios may undergo a change of stature, or one's own orthodoxy is stated in parodying the others' cultic tradition, or still, draw an oblique portrait of the competition from within. As a result, the iconography of the opponent becomes a source of positive eschatological speculations, through the re-enactment of Biblical themes so as to exorcise the visual fact of the reality of the enemy. However, these features are inherent to the context of confrontational atmosphere, whenever the prospects of geo-political transformations permit. The benefit of analysing these three apocalypses together side-by-side is that, in the context of protracted confrontations with Islam, it yields unexpected insights into the literary response, which those religious groups could afford to construct in the face of the hegemony of Islam. The praise of Jerusalem, the summons to strive for its recovery, and the theodicy of the interlude predicament their respective audiences were in, are all but alluded to in convoluted ways. To that aim, the apocalyptic genre allowed for the flexibility of circumstantial rhetoric while revisiting afresh the old traditional topoi.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available