Monday, 24 December 2012

Review of 'Can the Book of Revelation be a Gospel for the Environment?'

Matthew Coomber's excellent edited volume 'Bible and Justice: Ancient Texts, Modern Challenges', in which I have a chapter, has been reviewed by Shannon E. Baines in the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures.

Of my chapter, she says:

The third and final section of the volume, “Prospects for Applications of Bible and Justice,” comprises papers written by J. W. Rogerson, David Horrell, Simon Woodman, Diana Lipton, and Matthew Coomber...

Woodman, in his essay, “Can the Book of Revelation Be a Gospel for the Environment?,” views Revelation as containing both negative and positive images about the environment. The book describes environmental destruction which will result from God's judgment on evil but is limited to Babylon (i.e., Rome). The destruction entails the removal of oppressive systems and liberates all of creation. Woodman believes that the four creatures worshipping at the throne in Rev 4 represent all creation, human and non-human, as only one of the creatures has human facial features. He concludes that the book of Revelation is “good news” in that it “revolve[s] around God's justice: justice against evil, justice for righteousness, and justice for creation” (p. 191).

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