Jonathan Ben-Dov

Apocalyptic Temporality The Force of the Here and Now

Volume 5 () / Issue 3, pp. 289-303 (15)

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The first part of the article demonstrates the case for the existence of a distinct concept of Time in apocalyptic literature and in the writings of the Yahad. The second part addresses the force of the 'here and now' in these two corpora. While earlier readers of apocalypticism like Martin Buber denied the force of a concrete theopolitical hour in apocalypticism in contrast to biblical prophetic literature, the force of this 'hour' is demonstrated here. In fact, readers of Daniel and members of the Yahad experienced a 'thick' present, with the dimension of time playing a crucial role in the fabric of reality. This was especially the case in sectarian hermeneutics, as discussed here, with surprising analogies to problems raised in 20th century continental philosophy.

Jonathan Ben-Dov Born 1971; has been a research fellow at New York University (ISAW), The University of Durham, and the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies (Jerusalem); currently associate professor at the department of Bible, Tel Aviv University.