Archives of Reception of the Bible

Past blogging in more ways than one.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Comments on the conference - The Book of Revelation and Effective History, 4-6th September 2006

The conference was a very rewarding experience personally, but very difficult to summarise here. There were thirteen papers (45 mins each, split equally between presentation and questions) on a wide variety of topics, offered from a number of diffent disciplinary areas, and a introduction and response from Chris Rowland, co-author of the Revelation commentary in the Blackwell series. I have already posted the titles of the papers, but I am afraid detailed discussion of them will have to wait for publication. There were too many and the quality too high to risk summarising them here. And the informal discussions over evening meals and on the Wednesday morning were equally valuable.

The difference in views on reception between historians, English Lit people, theologians, and biblical scholars could be clearly seen on occasions, as people tried to relate their own views to the presentations and discussions of others. In fact one of the most interesting features of the event was the way people seemed often to want to apologise for straying beyond their disciplinary boundaries. (I might want to make it a test of such events that participants must say "this is not my area but..." several times in order for the description 'interdisciplinary' to stick!) Hopefully, people will take this further elsewhere.

My paper on Johnny Cash seemed to go down well, but that may owe something to its being the last paper at the end of a very long day (eight papers). Music, film, and pictures were in surprisingly short supply overall, but as one participant said, 20-25 minutes doesn't allow a lot of time for such illustrations. So lots of Cash images and a four and a half minute song seemed quite extravagant. Now all I have to do is write it all up for the conference volume. Oh well, back to that!

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The Book of Revelation and Effective History, 4-6th September 2006 - revised list of papers

As always with these things there were some changes in the titles of the papers offered here in Bristol. Here is the final list.

The Book of Revelation and Effective History, 4-6th September 2006

Introduction: Reception of Revelation: Chris Rowland

Session 1a: Jonathan Roberts (Oxford Brookes University), “Is writing Reception History like decoding the Book of Revelation as an impending apocalypse?”

Session 1b: Jo Carruthers (University of Bristol), “‘If any man shall add unto these things’ (Rev. 22.18): Christina Rossetti’s commentary on Revelation and the problem of interpretation.”

Session 1c: Alison Jack (University of Edinburgh), “Revelation, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: RL Stevenson’s Strange Case.”

Session 2a: James Harding (University of Otago, NZ), “The Risk of Knowledge: Echoes of the Book of Revelation in Eco’s The Name of the Rose.”

Session 2b: Melanie Wright (University of Cambridge), “‘Every eye will see him’: Revelation and Film.”

Session 3a: Anke Holdenried (University of Bristol), “Revelation: A Trajectory of Interpretation and Daniel Clasen’s De oraculis gentilium (1673).”

Session 3b: Simon Woodman (South Wales Baptist College), “‘The Plain Meaning of the Text’: A 17th Century Baptist Perspective on Revelation 20.1-7.”

Session 4a: Kenneth Newport (Liverpool Hope University College), “‘Be thou faithful unto death’ (cf. Rev 2.10): The Book of Revelation and Apocalyptic (Self-)destruction.”

Session 4b: Michael Northcott (University of Edinburgh), “Pre-millennial Tensions: From the Fathers to the Brethren.”

Session 5a: Hanna Stenström (Uppsala universitet, Sweden), “Feminist Exegesis of Revelation: A Critique and a Proposal”

Session 5b: Jorunn Økland (University of Sheffield), “‘… and death shall be no more, nor grief, nor cry, nor distress:’ The Apocalypse and the Marxist dream of the classless society.”

Session 6a: Heikki Räisänen (University of Helsinki, Finland), “Revelation, Violence, and War: Glimpses of a Dark Side in the Effective History of the Book.”

Session 6b: John Lyons (University of Bristol), ‘The Apocalypse According to Johnny Cash: Gauging the ‘Effect’ of Revelation on a Contemporary Apocalyptic Writer.’

Reflection: Chris Rowland

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