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An Aural-Performance Analysis of Revelation 1 and 11

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Kayle B. de Waal

This book breaks fresh ground in the interpretation of the Apocalypse with an interdisciplinary methodology called aural-performance criticism that assesses how the first-century audience would have heard the Apocalypse. First-century media culture is probed by assessing the dynamics of literacy, orality, aurality, and performance in the Gospels, parts of the Pauline corpus, and also Jewish apocalyptic literature. The audience constructs of informed, minimal, and competent assist the interpreter to apply the methodology. Sound maps and an aural-performance commentary of Revelation 1 and 11 are developed that analyze aural markers, sound style, identity markers, repetition, themes, and the appropriation of the message by the audience. The book concludes by examining the sociological, theological, and communal aspects of aurality and performance and its implications for interpreting the Apocalypse.
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Chapter Three: Ancient Performances and the Audience

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CHAPTER THREE

Ancient Performances and the Audience

Introduction

This chapter examines the centrality of performance in the ancient world and how ancient texts were performed. It is not claimed that the customs of ancient performances and the practises of orators is what governed the reading of Revelation. Rather, this aural-performance analysis is being situated in its broader ancient context and an attempt is being made to historically reconstruct the ancient performance of the Apocalypse. In the previous chapter I introduced the point that the ability of the speaker to communicate was valued in an oral culture. This point will be explored in greater detail in this chapter. Furthermore, the influence of Greek drama is looked at, the performance setting of Revelation is discussed, and the role of the prophet-performer is introduced.

The Signficance of Oral Performance

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