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Document Details :
Title: The Oracle of the Potter and the 'Apocalyptic Worldview' in Egypt
Author(s): BAZZANA, Giovanni B.
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 94 Issue: 2 Date: 2018
The article examines the contribution that can be derived from a preliminary analysis of the Egyptian Oracle of the Potter towards a better understanding of an ancient 'apocalyptic worldview'. Most recent scholarship has tended to exclude the Oracle from consideration alongside other Jewish and Christian apocalyptic texts on account of its generic peculiarities. However, if one adopts a more flexible and polythetic definition of 'apocalyptic literature', it is possible to draw useful conclusions from an examination of this Egyptian writing. First, the Oracle displays a specific regime of temporality that can be fruitfully inserted within the trajectory of eschatologization and apocalyptization that leads from earlier Egyptian prophetic materials to later full-fledged apocalypses. Second, the Oracle lends itself quite well to a socio-cultural analysis of its readership that might illuminate also the parallel situation of Jewish and Christian materials. The circulation of the Oracle in the Egyptian chora and the absence of anti-Roman sentiments seems to indicate at least the possibility that it attracted the attention of 'free readers' for its antiquarian or entertaining character.