TALK: UCSB-Westmont Annual Lecture in New Testament: Violence and the Book of Revelation: Žižek and John, Together at Last

Steven Friesen (Religious Studies, University of Texas Austin)
Thursday, October 11 / 6:00 PM
McCune Conference Center, 6020 HSSB

The recent work of Slovenian Marxist philosopher Slavoj Žižek on the New Testament suggests that Žižek may have more in common with the author of the Book of Revelation. Žižek’s work may offer a better understanding of the Revelation than do the writings of many specialists.  In particular, Žižek’s distinction between systemic and subjective violence shows that John and Žižek are both much more concerned about systemic violence than are most specialists in Revelation. There are also deeper homologies: the Real; the role of commodity; doing nothing as the quintessential revolutionary act; and the special access to these topics that dreams provide.  Friesen’s main publications are Imperial Cults and the Apocalypse of John: Reading Revelation in the Ruins; Ancestors in Post-Contact Religion: Roots, Ruptures, and Modernity’s Memory; and Urban Religion in Roman Corinth: Interdisciplinary Approaches.  His current research interests include economic inequality in the early churches. He is also the host of the podcast interview series “Religion Report”, on the study of religion.

Sponsored by Westmont College, UCSB Ancient Mediterranean Studies Program, UCSB Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, the Virgil Cordano OFM Endowment in Catholic Studies at UCSB, the Dept. of Religious Studies, the Dept. of History, and the IHC’s Ancient Borderlands RFG.

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