The Apocalyptic Imagination: Fall 2020 Course
Rev’d Daniel Graves
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3 Sessions per Week
Is this the end of the world? We live in challenging and stressful times and it does make one wonder. Yet, every generation has faced some form of catastrophe that has led them to look up to the heavens and ask, “is this the Apocalypse?”
In this course we shall examine the origins of the apocalyptic imagination by reading a selection of early Christian and Jewish apocalyptic texts. We will seek to understand the ancient social and historical contexts that gave rise to “end of the world” thinking. Questions to be considered: What are the common features of early apocalyptic texts and what do apocalyptic movements have in common? How did the apocalyptic imagination influence the theology of the Christian Church? How have these texts been “used and abused” by various sects of Christianity? Is there anything to be gained or learned from reading these texts in our modern context?
Format: In light of restrictions on social gatherings, this course will be offered virtually. A short video-recorded lecture (posted on the course website which can be viewed at the participants’ convenience ) will be offered each week. Zoom seminars with a maximum of eight people (to facilitate ease of conversation) will be offered in several time slots over the week. IF restrictions on social gatherings are relaxed, there MAY be an opportunity for a small, physically distanced weekly seminar, as well.
Readings: All readings can be found online and links will be provided on the course website. We will read selections from early Jewish and Christian Apocalyptic literature (canonical and non-canonical) including 1 Enoch, Daniel, 4 Ezra, 2 Baruch, the Book of Revelation, and the so-called “little apocalypses” found in the synoptic gospels.
Schedule: 8 weeks - week of Sept 27 - Week of Nov 22 (2020)
*note: no class the week of Oct 25*
Zoom seminars are one hour and will be held in the following time-slots:
Wednesdays - 11 am - noon
Thursdays - 10 am - 11 am
Thursdays - 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Additional sessions may be added.