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The Fellowship of the Throne in John’s Apocalypse : A theo-political inquiry into (divine) authority and liturgical sociality, as redefined by the exalted Jesus, guided by and in critical interaction with Oliver O’Donovan’s political theology.

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

From amongst modern inquiries into what constitutes the political, and within the current environment of hostility towards what the field of theology can offer to its study, Oliver O’Donovan emerges with his unique brand of political theology. His method of inquiry, resourced by Scripture and Christian tradition, and predicated on Christology, offers a construal of authority distilled from the Bible’s own account of God’s kingly rule as understood within the biblical narrative of salvation history, with momentous implications for the realm of the political, in particular as relates to the categories of authority and society and their interplay. Given O’Donovan’s manifest interest in the Book of Revelation and the centrality within the book’s narrative of themes intrinsic to O’Donovan’s political theology, the Apocalypse, we argue, offers the ultimate ground for a discussion about the political in the terms suggested by O’Donovan. In undertaking this exercise we find that the Apocalypse’s own construal of authority is in fact about divine authority conceived around the throne of God, the seat of divine power, which has undergone a Christological shift
brought about by the exalted Jesus. We then go on to argue that throughout the
Apocalypse a correlation gradually becomes apparent between the divine authority and a liturgical sociality defined by the presence of the exalted Jesus. This correlation of divine authority and liturgical sociality which is mediated by the very same exalted Jesus we have called the Fellowship of the Throne. And it is this Fellowship of Throne, we argue, which must now become the ultimate horizon of the political.
Original languageEnglish
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Award date2014

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