Thursday, June 25, 2009

David deSilva on Revelation

I've been teaching a (very rewarding) week-long course, "Preaching Paul," for Lancaster Seminary's summer academy. Have to admit, I'm behind on the Overlooked Passages series. Over the weekend, I hope.

In the meantime, I just got my hard copy of David A. deSilva's major study of Seeing Things God's Way: The Rhetoric of the Book of Revelation (Westminster John Knox). I've been looking forward to this. We're doing a panel review of this book in the SBL's Rhetoric and the New Testament Section this fall in New Orleans. I'd already worked through the book as one of those invited to compose blurb's for the book's promotion.

Since this book often levels substantial criticisms of my own work, I won't use this space for rebuttal. I will, however, promote the book. It's by far the most thorough rhetorical study of Revelation to date. That means, David's aim is to show how John, Revelation's author, sought to move his audience to see the world -- and live in it -- in a new way. Accessibly written, though thoroughly engaged with scholarship, this book represents a major contribution to the study of Revelation. Highly insightful, highly recommended.

6 comments:

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Kalos said...

Thanks, Greg, for this notice. While it is true that I do spar with you a bit throughout the book, I hope readers will also see how very highly I think of what you've done exploring John's appeals to ethos, which is still the most thorough investigation of that slice of John's rhetoric to date, and I draw on your work appreciatively at many points. In fact, you are among the six authors most frequently cited.

No doubt the session in November will have some spice to it!

Greg Carey said...

David, Thanks for your comment. I really don't have a problem with your critique and don't intend to say anything in New Orleans, so long as the panelists are engaged. I think the one thing you emphasize -- that I overlook -- is how Revelation speaks in continuity with prophetic authority.

Now, we may evaluate the weight of that differently, but it's entirely fair of you to go there. As far as I understand your work, that's the basic criticism you raise, and it's both valid and significant. We might not agree on the bottom line, but I'm fine with what you have to say.

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