Revelation for Sale: An Intercultural Reading of Revelation 18 from an East Asian Perspective

Rohun Park


The early Christians’ radical critique of economy challenges both the inequality and reciprocity that were embedded in the Roman Empire. In particular, John the Seer saw economic exchanges between center and periphery, metropolis and the margins, imperial and colonial as doomed. These sorts of connections are also evident, today, by way of globalization – a process that reaches across diverse cultural, ethnic, and racial identities, while also creating ‘inside’/‘outside’ boundaries within which our identities are contested, challenged, and often jeopardised at each turn by strife and scarcity, dealing death as often as life. For its victims, poverty often functions as the will of ‘God’. In this regard, the Seer’s oracle emerges not from a ‘new heaven and earth’, but from the midst of colonial space and time, infested with scarcity and hunger. For an East Asian postcolonial, the vision as such has renewed poignancy in light of the cross-cultural and trans-historical constraints of imperialism and colonialism. This essay is an intercultural economic critique of Revelation 18 from an East Asian global perspective.


Revelation; eocnomics; empire

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Bible and Critical Theory: ISSN 1832-3391