Each morning from 9-12noon, Dr. Barbara Rossing will present a series of talks on the ecological themes in the book of Revelation. These sessions will be lecture format, but will feature ample opportunities for discussion and participant involvement.
- 1. Rapture in Reverse: God Comes to Earth
Revelation takes us on a journey of hope and transformation, a journey into the heart of God’s own dream for our world. The entire book of Revelation leads up to the wondrous vision of New Jerusalem, the city of beauty, welcome, and ecological renewal that descends from heaven to the earth. As followers of Jesus the Lamb, God’s people undertake an Exodus out of the Roman imperial system into life. God comes to live with us on earth. This vision is the very opposite of Armageddon.
- 2. End of Empire, not End of the Created World. Eschatology shapes Ethics
What aspects of our political economy must come to an end today? In the first century, Revelation helped communities of Jesus’ followers see the inevitable “end” that lay ahead, and gave them the courage to “come out” of empire before it was too late. With its radical diagnosis of the pathology of empire, Revelation gives us eyes to diagnose our ecological crisis as a spiritual crisis, and to find the medicine we need– a different vision of hope.
- 3. Tree of Life for Healing the World
The central image of Revelation is the nation-healing tree of life, growing beside the river of life. Each element of the New Jerusalem vision’s radiant urban paradise helps us envision the healing that flows from the throne of God, into our world. Healing comes not directly from God but through the creation, from a tree. Revelation’s invitation is sacramental and ecological, “Let everyone who is thirsty come.”