8. Face-ing the Nations: Becoming a Majority Empire of God - Reterritorialization, Language, and Imperial Racism in Revelation 7:9-17

Critical Theory and Early Christianity - Walter Benjamin, Gilles Deleuze, Alain Badiou, and Judith Butler - Matthew G. Whitlock

Sharon Jacob [+-]
Pacific School of Religion
Sharon Jacob is an Assistant Professor of New Testament at Pacific School of Religion. Dr. Jacob earned her Masters of Divinity from Lancaster Theological Seminary and Masters of Sacred Theology from Yale University. She earned her Ph.D. from Drew University. Her research interests include gender and sexuality studies, feminist theory, race and whiteness theory, and postcolonial theory. Her publications include a monograph entitled, Reading Mary alongside Indian Surrogate Mothers: Violent Love, Oppressive Liberation, and Infancy Narratives. She has also co-authored an essay entitled, “Flowing from breast to breast: An Examination of Dis/placed Motherhood in Black and Indian West Nurses,” in Womanist Biblical Interpretations: Expanding the Discourses published by Society of Biblical Literature Press. Her essay entitled “Imagined Nations, Real Women: Politics of Culture and Women’s Bodies. A Postcolonial, Feminist, and Indo-Western Interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:8-15,” in Handbook to Asian American Biblical Hermeneutics was published by T & T Clark earlier this summer. More recently her essay entitled, “Jezebel and Indo-Western Women: Nation, Nationalism, and the Ecologies of Sexual Violence in Revelation 2: 20-25” in Ecological Solidarities: Mobilizing Faith and Justice for an Entangled World (World Christianity) was published by Penn State University Press, 2019.

Description

Sharon Jacob’s chapter, “Face-ing the Nations and Becoming a Majority Empire of God: Reterritorialization, Language, and Imperial Racism in Revelation 7:9-17,” illustrates the ways in which linguistic imperialism helps construct a homogenous subjectivity of the colonized other in the empire. Using D&G’s theories on deterritorialization, reterritorialization, facialization, and language to interpret Revelation 7:9-17, Jacob suggests that the image of the nations speaking in one language constructs them into pliable, compliant, recognizable, and comprehensible entities. At the same time, the insertion of heterogenous nations into a single, unified, homogenous vision of the empire of God can be viewed as the beginnings of the nationalistic vision of the divine empire of God. The new divine order “is a multinational, multicultural, multilinguistic multitude that speaks in one language. The facialization of these nations, illustrated through an overt and deliberate reterritorialization of their language and dress, racialized in order to familiarize, constructs a nationalized vision where only one nation, speaking one language, wearing one dress, gathers to worship only the one and true God.”

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Citation

Jacob, Sharon. 8. Face-ing the Nations: Becoming a Majority Empire of God - Reterritorialization, Language, and Imperial Racism in Revelation 7:9-17. Critical Theory and Early Christianity - Walter Benjamin, Gilles Deleuze, Alain Badiou, and Judith Butler. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. May 2022. ISBN 9781781794135. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=30151. Date accessed: 03 Aug 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.30151. May 2022

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