April 1, 2019
Barclay Press and its associated imprints have completed seven new books in 2019. We are releasing the fifth of those today and the sixth book this Friday. But the first new title of the year for Barclay Press is a series of essays from C. Wess Daniels that challenges the way American Christians have typically engaged with the New Testament book of Revelation.
Resisting Empire: The Book of Revelation as Resistance is only available as a Kindle book for now, though we plan to release a paper version this summer. It considers how Revelation speaks to the reality that all of humanity is caught in the fray of cosmic conflict. We are guilty. We’ve already been contaminated. But it’s not too late for us to exit empire and enter the kingdom. We are yet both victim and victimizer. We have healing work to do, and we must take responsibility for the ways in which we have benefited from and been complicit with the religion of empire.
This is the truth of Revelation. God wants to liberate us in body, heart, soul, and mind. We need rescue, and the way we read Revelation determines how we define ourselves and our communities in relation to empire and in resistance to it. Reading Revelation as Western Christians have over the past 150 years, as a book predicting the end of the world, leads us away from the book’s original intention. Daniels encourages us to start over:
- Revelation reveals how scapegoating functions within empire to define its own boundaries and contours as being over and against wicked others.
- Revelation critiques wealth and shows that even in the first century there was a prophetic message against an economic system that was based on abundance for some, while exploiting the rest.
- Revelation demonstrates the importance of liturgy as something that forms people into the likeness of either empire or the lamb.
- And finally, Revelation reveals an alternative social order which becomes the center of resistance rooted in a vision of what the book describes as “the multitude,” a community without antagonism.
In reading this collection and in re-reading the book of Revelation, Daniels offers his hope that your hearts and imaginations may be revived, made more resilient and ever more focused on the needs of the world that surrounds us. Let us stop at nothing to make space for others and amplify the voices of those who the powers and principalities wish to silence. And in the end, may you find that you have already, always, been on the inside of the multitude, surrounding the lamb of God.
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