This book reads Revelation through the lens of the monster. Using monster theory, Heather Macumber approaches the cosmic beings in John’s Apocalypse as other and monstrous regardless of whether they are found in heaven or the abyss, with significant attention paid to the monstrous body and how it causes both unease and wonder. Intertwined with descriptions of cosmic monsters, this book also interrogates the role of John as a maker of horror stories, who casts his opponents as the other and monstrous. Despite the tendency to view John and the heavenly creatures as the heroes of this apocalyptic tale, Macumber aims to recover their own liminal and hybrid characteristics that mark them as monstrous.
Heather Macumber is associate professor of biblical studies at Providence University College in Manitoba, Canada.
1.Recognizing the Monstrous
2.Monsters in the Community
3.Hidden in Plain Sight: Monstrous Deities
4.Uncovering a Divine Army
5.A Familiar Tale: The Great Red Dragon
7.Woman Babylon: An Abjected Creature
From the Lamb covered in eyes, to the beast with seven heads and ten horns, and back to the flaming eyed rider named "Faithful and True," Heather Macumber shows the truly monstrous character of John's vision as a response to Imperial domination, but also how John embraces the Imperial impulse. A necessary and valuable contribution.
Recovering the Monstrous in Revelation is a fantastic volume. Through a skillful combination of postcolonial and monster theory, Macumber guides her readers into a realm of defamiliarization and the uncanny as she casts off the moral classifications of good and evil, and instead re-views the liminal and hybrid beings of the Apocalypse through the lens of the monstrous. From the beasts, dragon, and the abyss dwellers, to Jezebel and Babylon, to the Lamb and even John himself, this highly-engaging examination reveals a host of critical insights as it explores how the landscape of the Apocalypse is replete with the monster. The result is a genuinely eye-opening and paradigm-shifting study that is a must read for anyone interested in understanding the unsettling beings that populate the text of Revelation.
Heather Macumber’s Recovering the Monstrous in Revelation offers an exciting new way of thinking about Revelation and its multiple monsters, from the usual suspects to those less frequently labeled as monstrous. Given this, this book offers an excellent introduction to Revelation and its interpretive issues. Moreover, by offering an accessible and smart introduction to the interdisciplinary field of monster theory, which associates itself with postcolonial reading, Macumber aptly demonstrates how theoretical approaches open new ways of thinking about texts with long interpretive histories. She convincingly shows how the monstrous is a helpful category for thinking about the complexities of this fantastic and horrific text.
With accessible yet erudite prose, Heather Macumber invites readers to confront the monstrous. Her present book on Revelation dismisses the oft-held notion that the Apocalypse’s implied “evil” beings are the only implied “monstrous” beings. Revelation’s heavenly Lamb, Macumber makes clear, is just as monstrous as Revelation’s Beasts, which pushes us to challenge our own use of language and assumed accompanying moral qualifiers. Monsters, it seems, linger across worlds—not just under our beds.