Cover of Seven Seals of the Apocalypse

Seven Seals of the Apocalypse

Medieval Texts in Translation

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Medieval Institute Publications


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Filling today's religious book market are Apocalypse commentaries teaching that the seven seals of Revelation 5-8 describe tragedies that are to take place in the last days. Medieval Europeans, on the other hand, thought very differently about the seven seals. Some used the seven seals for catechetical purposes and associated them with seven major events in the life of Christ or seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. Other medieval writers taught that the seven seals contained symbols about life in the church between the first and second comings of Christ. Still others viewed the seals as milestones in the grand outline of salvation history. This book illustrates this vastness of medieval interpretive tradition on the seven seals. It includes fifteen texts from the sixth through the fifteenth centuries, which have been organized under three headings: those illustrating christological interpretations of the seven seals, those proposing ecclesiastical interpretations, and those giving historical interpretations.

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