The Common Good

In The Stacks: April 11, 2012

Among my must reads are the Sunday New York Times Book Review and other book reviews I come across in various media outlets. There are too many books being published that I would love to read, but just don’t have the time. So, I rely on reading book reviews as one way of keeping in touch with what’s being written. 

Here are my picks in this week’s books of interest:

Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation

By Elaine Pagels, Reviewed by Dale B. Martin

Elaine Pagels examines the history of the Book of Revelation.

Pagels, the author of “The Gnostic Gospels,” details how Revelation and other apocalyptic writings have frequently urged fear and hatred of ruling powers, if not so often armed revolt. … Her thesis is that apocalyptic literature — visions, prophecies, predictions of cataclysm — has always carried political ramifications, both revolutionary and reactionary, liberal and conservative, from the very beginning up until today, as seen in conservative iterations of millennial dispensationalism and the hugely popular “Left Behind” series of novels about the end of the world. The apocalyptic is political.

Duane Shank is Senior Policy Advisor for Sojourners. Follow Duane on Twitter @DShankDC.

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