This unit provides an introduction to apocalyptic studies, and apocalyptic literature. In this unit, the students will gain an overview of the nature of the apocalyptic genre and become familiar with the major views regarding the history and characteristics of the apocalyptic literature. The unit will examine the historical background, social settings, development, theology and exegesis of ancient Jewish and Christian apocalyptic literature. Selected ancient Jewish and Christian apocalyptic texts will be chosen for exegesis. Phenomena of modern apocalypticism will be introduced, and subversive power of apocalypticism will be addressed. In its conclusion, the unit will introduce questions of public proclamation of apocalyptic literature and offer possible strategies for preaching the message of apocalyptic literature.

Unit code: BS9920A

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Biblical Studies

Delivery Mode: Blended

Proposing College: St Athanasius College

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Learning outcomes


Describe and discuss the content, type and themes of Apocalyptic Literature


Analyse the theology of Apocalyptic Literature


Apply the message of apocalyptic literature to preaching


Critically evaluate the influence of various aspects of apocalypticism on modern history, art and popular culture


Argue the relationship between apocalypticism, radicalism and violence

Unit sequence

An introductory Old Testament unit at any level; or an introductory New Testament unit at any level


Synchronous and asynchronous. Pre-recorded lectures, real time zoom tutorials, class exercises and guided reading.

Indicative Bibliography

Carey, Greg. Ultimate Things: An Introduction to Jewish and Christian Apocalyptic Literature. St. Louis: Chalice, 2005.

Collins, John J., ed. The Encyclopedia of Apocalypticism. Vol. 1, The Origins of Apocalypticism in Judaism and Christianity. New York: Continuum, 1998.

Collins, John Joseph. The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature. Grand Rapids: Eerdman, 1998.

Collins, John J., ed. The Oxford Handbook of Apocalyptic Literature. Oxford University Press, 2014.

Cook, Stephen L. The Apocalyptic Literature: Interpreting Biblical Texts. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2003.

James H. Charlesworth, ed. The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (2 Volume set). Hendrickson Publishers, 2010.

McGinn, Bernard, ed. Encyclopedia of Apocalypticism: Volume 2: Apocalypticism in Western History and Culture. Bloomsbury Academic, 2000.

Reddish, Mitchell G., ed. Apocalyptic Literature: A Reader. Hendrickson Publishers, 1995.

Stein, Stephen, ed. Encyclopedia of Apocalypticism: Volume 3: Apocalypticism in the Modern Period and the Contemporary Age. Bloomsbury Academic, 2000.

Taylor, Richard A. Interpreting Apocalyptic Literature, Handbooks for Old Testament Exegesis. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2016.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Tutorial Paper/Seminar Paper 2000 25.0
Essay 2000 25.0
Essay 3000 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 14 Oct, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-10-14 15:21:39 +1100