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Discourse of doubt: the testing of apocalyptic figures in Jewish and Christian traditions of late Antiquity

Discourse of doubt: the testing of apocalyptic figures in Jewish and Christian traditions of late Antiquity
Discourse of doubt: the testing of apocalyptic figures in Jewish and Christian traditions of late Antiquity
This paper will examine Jewish and Christian apocalyptic literature of the seventh–eighth centuries to discuss a shared ‘discourse of doubt’ that cuts across different religious traditions. This discourse is manifested in the doubts of different sections of society regarding the end of time and their place in the future world, and the associated requirement that major apocalyptic figures undergo tests to prove their identity, most commonly through performing the miracle of resurrection. This discourse indicates the need to endorse the religious claims of a given group, which in turn reflects the wider political turmoil of the seventh century and a search for identity and clarification of status in uncertain times. The analysis presented here not only contributes to discussion on the relationship between Jewish and Christian apocalyptic writings of this period, but highlights what potential contacts and conflict as evidenced in this literature can reveal about the state of Jewish–Christian relations at a formative period for the Abrahamic religions.
apocalyptic literature, seventh century, jewish-christian relations, sefer zerubbabel, otot ha-mashiah, pirqe mashiah, messianism, miracles, resurrection
1462-169X
109-126
Spurling, Helen
32891ac1-3747-4e86-96d6-084495d54677
Spurling, Helen
32891ac1-3747-4e86-96d6-084495d54677

Spurling, Helen (2015) Discourse of doubt: the testing of apocalyptic figures in Jewish and Christian traditions of late Antiquity. Jewish Culture and History, 16 (3), 109-126. (doi:10.1080/1462169X.2015.1084109).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper will examine Jewish and Christian apocalyptic literature of the seventh–eighth centuries to discuss a shared ‘discourse of doubt’ that cuts across different religious traditions. This discourse is manifested in the doubts of different sections of society regarding the end of time and their place in the future world, and the associated requirement that major apocalyptic figures undergo tests to prove their identity, most commonly through performing the miracle of resurrection. This discourse indicates the need to endorse the religious claims of a given group, which in turn reflects the wider political turmoil of the seventh century and a search for identity and clarification of status in uncertain times. The analysis presented here not only contributes to discussion on the relationship between Jewish and Christian apocalyptic writings of this period, but highlights what potential contacts and conflict as evidenced in this literature can reveal about the state of Jewish–Christian relations at a formative period for the Abrahamic religions.

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Discourse of Doubt - Spurling Accepted July 2015.pdf - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 17 July 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 28 September 2015
Published date: November 2015
Keywords: apocalyptic literature, seventh century, jewish-christian relations, sefer zerubbabel, otot ha-mashiah, pirqe mashiah, messianism, miracles, resurrection
Organisations: History

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 380784
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/380784
ISSN: 1462-169X
PURE UUID: 87db06ac-d3e6-476b-a0fe-ff1d19f12efa
ORCID for Helen Spurling: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0332-6909

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 01 Sep 2015 16:32
Last modified: 31 Mar 2022 01:43

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