Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Apocalypse Fever Hits Turkey . . . Again

Just received this in the mail today!
As most of you know I study the Book of Revelation, which is also known as John's Apocalypse and which is the last book of the Christian Bible.  The Apocalypse, which was written in the first century CE as a response to the influence of the Roman Empire in Asia Minor (i.e. modern Turkey), was addressed to Christian congregations in seven cities, including Ephesus . . . one of the cities we will be visiting while we are abroad.  (FYI: I'm giddy over the thought of visiting Ephesus and when we get there you all might have to help me when I faint with excitement.)

Anyway, you all may be aware of the fact that the "Mayan Apocalypse" is predicted for December 21. And, interestingly, it seems that excitement over this apocalyptic scenario (which happens to be a product of European colonialism--ask me about that later) has spread to a little town near Ephesus!  It's like the Apocalypse has come home!

We'll definitely be talking some about the Apocalypse of John when we are in Ephesus (and Laodicea), in part because it shows how one group of people understood and tried to resist Roman imperialism. Also, since one of the aims of this course is to think about how particular fields of study engage in academic inquiry, Michael and I will be highlighting some of the ways that our disciplinary lenses and scholarly interests relate to what we are experiencing in Turkey.

(FYI:  If you're interested in a peak at some of my scholarship that kind of engages the ancient Roman world as it emerged in Asia Minor, you can check out an online article I've published here.  It's written for those in biblical studies, so it's pretty technical.)

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