I have probably reading and thinking a bit much of late, but I have been sick and unable to do the sort of ritual work that I’m itching to do, but to everything it’s season? I pulled Gẹlẹdẹ: Art and Female Power among the Yoruba off of the shelf and there is much here that resonates with the discussion of Moses, of the covenant, but in a quite different register, so I thought I would at least share a few bits of it.
I want to revisit the distinction between atonement, prophecy, and apocalypse. When I last wrote about them, I noted that they operated on a common scale. Atonement regulated, prophecy criticized, and apocalypse transformed. While those structures that animate atonement and prophecy do seem vital to understanding apocalypse, I was reaching somewhat to call apocalypse ‘transformative.’ I suspect transformation belongs more properly to the evolutionary than to the apocalyptic, though I do think transformation can be reconnected to the regulative and critical dimensions of atonement and prophecy.
Distinguishing an evolutionary aesthetic from an apocalyptic one will then demand some attention to that shared structure. When all is said and done, I think it is possible to replace the apocalyptic with the evolutionary while preserving a place for both atonement and prophecy. It isn’t said and done yet,, and I will need to spend a little more time with the apocalypse proper to get there.
This post is broken into two sections. The first contextualizes Revelation rhetorically and symbolically in relationship to atonement and prophecy. The second examines Revelation from an esoteric perspective.