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Humor, Resistance, and Jewish Cultural Persistence in the Book of Revelation
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Book description

Empire-critical and postcolonial readings of Revelation are now commonplace, but scholars have not yet put these views into conversation with Jewish trauma and cultural survival strategies. In this book, Sarah Emanuel positions Revelation within its ancient Jewish context. Proposing a new reading of Revelation, she demonstrates how the text's author, a first century CE Jewish Christ-follower, used humor as a means of resisting Roman power. Emanuel uses multiple critical lenses, including humor, trauma, and postcolonial theory, together with historical-critical methods. These approaches enable a deeper understanding of the Jewishness of the early Christ-centered movement, and how Jews in antiquity related to their cultural and religious identity. Emanuel's volume offers new insights and fills a gap in contemporary scholarship on Revelation and biblical scholarship more broadly.

Reviews

‘Meticulously researched and delightfully written, Sarah Emanuel's book offers an original, intriguing and entertaining interpretation of the book of Revelation. Emanuel deftly combines trauma, humor and postcolonial theories to uncover a Hellenistic Jewish book that deploys comic sarcasm and mockery of Rome as a Jewish survival tactic for a traumatized community. This is a must read for anyone who has puzzled over the meaning behind the strange beasts and violent burnings of Revelation.'

Colleen M. Conway - Seton Hall University, New Jersey

'Many people say Revelation 'resists' Roman domination, but Roasting Rome shows us how that work is done. Grounded in a rich set of case studies in the ancient world, including Jewish political resistance, Sarah Emanuel shows us how Revelation deploys humor as a weapon to subvert imperial pretensions. She also demonstrates how Revelation's biting humor comes with its own corrosive dangers, a timely lesson for modern readers.'

Greg Carey - Lancaster Theological Seminary, Pennsylvania

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