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: BS3920A

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Biblical Studies

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


Evaluate various aspects of apocalypticism in modern history, art and popular culture

Unit sequence

An Introductory Old Testament unit An Introductory New Testament unit


12 weekly sessions, required reading and additional reading sources.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Taylor, Richard A. Interpreting Apocalyptic Literature, Handbooks for Old Testament Exegesis. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2016. (recommended for purchase)
  • Reddish, Mitchell G., ed. Apocalyptic Literature: A Reader. Hendrickson Publishers, 1995. (recommended for purchase)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Taylor, Richard A. Interpreting Apocalyptic Literature, Handbooks for Old Testament Exegesis. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2016.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Written Assessment Task 2500 words

0 50.0

Written Assessment Task 1500 words

0 30.0
Oral Presentation

Presentation (in class or on forum) equivalent to 1000 words

0 20.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 1 Nov, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2019-02-22 11:05:35 +1100