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“Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation”

Elaine Pagels
Harrington Spear Paine Foundation Professor of Religion, Princeton University
Date and Time: 
Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - 17:30

Department of Anthropology
Main Quad - Building 50
Room 51A (Colloquium Room)


How has Revelation, a book of visions written as wartime literature by a Jewish prophet nearly two thousand years ago, not only come to be included in the New Testament, but still read by countless people interpreting world events today? We’ll consider how the structure of these visions allows for such wide-ranging--often diametrically opposite--interpretation of the same events, from the Muslim conquest of Egypt to the presidency of Barack Obama.


Elaine Pagels joined the Princeton faculty in 1982, shortly after receiving a MacArthur Fellowship. Perhaps best known as the author of The Gnostic Gospels, she has published widely in the history of religion. Her most recent book and topic of this session, is Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation (2012).