In his historical overview of the context that produced the Book of Revelation, “The History of a Delusion,” Kirsch makes a compelling case that the author, John of Patmos, uses dream-like symbols to respond to Roman imperial rule and comment on its impact on Jewish and Christian communities in Asia Minor, in addition to predicting the end of the world.

For this week’s exercise, write a dream vision containing your own original imagery and symbolism that interprets a modern crisis or issue. Use Revelation as a model and Kirsch as a guide as you craft your apocalyptic text. You can draw on recent news or a present-day experience (yours or someone else’s), or a current debate of some kind. The issue can be anything, as long as it’s something that worries people living today.

  • Besides the dream vision format, include 2-3 additional tropes that should ensure that your reader recognizes your text as an apocalypse. Otherwise, your images and symbolism should be original–that is, NOT copied from Daniel or Revelation. Consider what your readers might be able to recognize if they came upon your text without knowing immediately what it was.
  • Consider how your apocalypse will deal with hope and despair. How are you addressing these feelings in your text and how are you trying to evoke a particular response in your readers?
  • Consider how your apocalyptic text will deal with the question of good and evil in the world and how these are related to a possible ending of the world.
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