Babylon and the Brethren, James Harding
James Harding

Babylon and the Brethren

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This book is a history of the Whore of Babylon image found in the book of Revelation, with an emphasis upon the use and influence of the text on the Brethren of the nineteenth century. The Brethren developed a multi-layered exegesis of the text, using Babylon as a form of vituperative rhetoric through which to vilify all other Christians in order to define their own religious identity. Those with divergent doctrinal beliefs belonged to an epistemological Babylon; those polluted by the world belonged to secular Babylon. Babylon was contagious! It is from the pens of these writers that the Secret Rapture of the Church doctrine developed as a biological “fight or flight” response, and a psychological “fear and fantasy” response. Whilst the Brethren of the nineteenth century are the central focus, the book will have a wider appeal to those interested in the history of exegesis, hermeneutics, and Apocalypse studies, for it also offers an overview of hermeneutical approaches to the reading of Revelation, a survey of Babylon's “afterlife” throughout the history of the church, and new insights into the ways in which readers, texts, and contexts interact in the broader context of sectarian biblical exegesis.
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410 printed pages
Original publication



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