Review by Library Journal Review
As the millennium approaches, one can expect a demand for books relating to the apocalypse. This multivolume set, a masterfully conceived work covering the vast historical literature of apocalypticism, will disappoint the casual reader and utterly delight the serious scholar. Though it focuses narrowly on Judaism and Christianity, with a few articles on Islam and scattered mentionings of Persian, Greek, and Roman folk religions, such limiting was necessary to present this topic in an accessible manner. The three volumes comprise articles written by noted scholars of religious studies and literary criticism. Volume 1, edited by Collins (Univ. of Chicago), covers the beginnings of apocalypticism in the ancient Near East, moves through early Judaism, and ends at the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. Volume 2, edited by McGinn (Univ. of Chicago), begins with the apocalypticism in early Christian theology (100 C.E.) and concludes with discussions of apocalyptic influences in medieval and renaissance literature (up to 1800 C.E.). Of special interest are the articles by Roberto Rusconi on the Antichrist and by Robert E. Lerner on millennialism, both works relevant to anyone interested in biblical Armageddon. Volume 3, edited by Stein (Indiana Univ.), brings the discussion into the 20th century and focuses on the influences of apocalypticism on modern popular culture, art, science, politics, and thought. Although the articles are surprisingly readable for an academic text, the arcane nature of the topic makes casual reading difficult, and only those truly interested in a comprehensive exposition of apocalypticism will find treasures in this great work. There is nothing here for the fans of UFOs, crop circles, or the re-emergence of Atlantis or Mu. Strongly recommended for academic libraries, especially theological ones.Glenn Masuchika, Chaminade Univ. Lib., Honolulu (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.