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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Event Archive

The Apocalypse of St John: Precedents & Antecedents

15th March 2013, 11:00 to 15:30, Durham Castle, Kathryn Banks (Durham), Lutz Doering (Durham)

A one-day workshop will be held in Durham Castle on 15 March 2013 to investigate the origins and influence of the Apocalypse of John.  This biblical book, a Jewish apocalypse in a developing Christian tradition, has shaped eschatological understandings and served as the basis for apocalyptic movements from antiquity to the present day.


Because apocalypticism emerges in times of socio-political crisis, the aim of our workshop is to examine the role of the Apocalypse in these historical moments.  By looking at interpretations and appropriations of this text in moments of upheaval, we hope to recognise continuities and discontinuities among them, in an effort to locate the tipping point(s) between social conflict and apocalypticism. 

We aim to address the following lines of enquiry:

What do we mean by ‘apocalypticism’?
What is the legacy of exile in apocalypticism?
How do notions of prophecy impact eschatology?
What is the relationship between the Apocalypse and apocalypticism generally?
What motivates humans to think apocalyptically?

The workshop will feature papers from Kathryn Banks (Durham), Lutz Doering (Durham), and Christopher Rowland (Oxford)

The workshop is free to participants, but registration is limited so please email Susan Royal at s.a.royal[at] in order to reserve a space by 15 February 2013.  Shortly after, participants will be emailed short readings from secondary sources that provide general introductions to historical understandings of the Apocalypse in order to create a common point of departure for discussion.

Coffee, tea, and lunch provided.

Contact for more information about this event.