More Information
ISBN: 9781783687633
Imprint: Langham Monographs
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 18
Publication Date: 31/07/2020
Pages: 334
Language: English

The Fellowship of the Throne in John’s Apocalypse

A Theo-Political Inquiry into Authority and Society and their Christological Bond


What relevance does the book of Revelation hold for our lived reality within secular societies? In this book, Dr Fabián Santiago explores concepts of authority, society, and political power against the backdrop of the Apocalypse and in conversation with Oliver O’Donovan’s political theology. Santiago offers a reading of Revelation that does not bypass its exegetical complexities, but instead allows for new possibilities of engagement. He investigates the conception of authority presented in Revelation – a conception centered on the throne of God and transformed by the exalted Jesus – and argues that this divine authority ultimately correlates with the Fellowship of the Throne, a liturgical community mediated by the risen Christ. An excellent resource for students of political theory and theology, Christology, and biblical narrative, this book offers a powerful theo-political critique of secular discourse on the nature of political authority.

Author Bios

Fabián Santiago

FABIÁN SANTIAGO has a PhD in Theology from King’s College London, UK. He is a researcher and speaker on biblical narrative, theology, ethics, and cultural analysis in connection with proαgΩn, a center for theological research and education which he founded in 2015. He also serves as a teaching pastor for Ekklesia, an urban church in Puebla, Mexico.


In this fascinating close reading of the biblical text of the Book of Revelation with Oliver O’Donovan’s political theology as his exegetical guide, Dr Santiago proposes from his Mexican context a new way forward for an avowedly secular state where over 90 percent of the population are active Christian believers with a rich religious heritage. Bringing together his upbringing and education in Mexico and his theological and biblical studies in London, he argues that the Apocalypse brings to a climax the biblical account of God’s kingly rule in which the throne of God, the basis of divine power, is supremely fulfilled through the exalted Christ in a liturgical sociality of the Fellowship of the Throne, which becomes the ultimate horizon for political power. This provides a welcome theo-political challenge to the secular public discourse of not only Mexico but much of the Western world, and a much-needed call to the church to embody the authority of the risen and exalted Christ in today’s society.

Rev Richard A. Burridge, PhD
Professor of Biblical Interpretation,
Dean, King’s College London, UK

This arresting book is theological interpretation of Scripture at work, or as the author would phrase it, theo-political engagement with Scripture at work. Santiago weaves deftly through Oliver O’Donovan, John Milbank and William Cavanaugh, and the wider intellectual tradition in which these voices are located, while being resolutely focused on hearing anew the Apocalypse of John as Scripture. The author’s contextual location is an added powerful presence throughout, lending extra impact to the reading.

Angus Paddison, PhD
Dean of Faculty,
Department of Theology, Religion, and Philosophy,
University of Winchester, UK

One of the most encouraging developments in theology over the last few decades has been the widening of the perspective by major contributions from the Majority World. Fabián Santiago’s detailed and perceptive study of the throne in the book of Revelation contributes immensely to the study of this particular book but also widens the discussion over the importance of the fusion between religion and politics and how the Bible can help us fill out our understanding.

The importance of emphasizing a christological centre for this study on the divine throne highlights the essential nature of biblically directed worship as a starting point for a legitimate political understanding of what the book of Revelation teaches. It turns out that the first political activity is worship and this is what equips the liturgical community for their social, economic and political activities.

Christopher Wigram, PhD
Visiting Lecturer,
London School of Theology and All Nations Christian College
Former International Director, European Christian Mission

Table of Contents

  1. Abstract
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. Abbreviations
  4. Chapter 1: Introduction
    1. 1.1 ODonovans Political Theology
    2. 1.2 The Apocalypses Political Theology
    3. 1.3 Thesis
    4. 1.4 Mode of Inquiry
    5. 1.5 Structure
  5. Part I: Method
  6. Chapter 2: ODonovans Theo-Political Hermeneutics
    1. 2.1 Principles for Engaging ODonovan
    2. 2.2 Hermeneutical Framework
      1. 2.2.1 YHWH Is King
      2. 2.2.2 Human Mediation
      3. 2.2.3 Two Cities / Two Rules
      4. 2.2.4 Evangelical Mode / Christological Turn
    3. 2.3 Theo-Political Implications
    4. 2.4 Conclusion
  7. Chapter 3: The Apocalypses Narrative
    1. 3.1 How To Navigate the Narrative
    2. 3.2 Narrative Unit 1: The Authorized Son of God Dictates Messages for Seven Congregations
    3. 3.3 Narrative Unit 2: The Throne, the Exalted Lamb and
    4. the Scroll
    5. 3.4 Dis/continuity?
    6. 3.5 Negotiating a Way Forward
    7. 3.6 Narrative Unit 3: Authority, Liturgy and Sociality in the Aftermath of Political Conspiracy
    8. 3.7 Narrative Unit 4: The Advent of the Holy City and the Materialization of the Fellowship of the Throne
    9. 3.8 The Apocalypses Plot
    10. 3.9 Critique from our Reading
    11. 3.10 Conclusion
  8. Part II: Authority
  9. Chapter 4: The Exalted Jesus
    1. 4.1 The First and the Last as the Son of God
      1. 4.1.1 Visionary Argot
      2. 4.1.2 A Blend of Divine and Messianic Overtones
      3. 4.1.3 Linking Portrayals of the Same Persona
      4. 4.1.4 Theological Implications
    2. 4.2 The Divine Throne Is Also the Lambs
      1. 4.2.1 What the Throne Stands for
      2. 4.2.2 The Messianic Lamb
      3. 4.2.3 Worship as an Exclusive Divine Prerogative
      4. 4.2.4 Theological Implications
    3. 4.3 The Womans Child Becomes Gods Son
      1. 4.3.1 The Advent of the Messiah
      2. 4.3.2 The Enthronement of the Messiah
      3. 4.3.3 What Does the Dragons Conspiracy Tell Us?
      4. 4.3.4 Theological Implications
    4. 4.4 The Divine King Speaks Justice
      1. 4.4.1 A Collage of Traditions about the King
      2. 4.4.2 Divine Prerogatives Ascribed to the King
      3. 4.4.3 And the King Said . . .
      4. 4.4.4 Theological Implications
    5. 4.5 Conclusion
  10. Chapter 5: Models of Authority
    1. 5.1 Contemplative Authority: The King Becomes a Philosopher
    2. 5.2 Coercive Authority: The Return of the King
    3. 5.3 Authority as Judgment
    4. 5.4 Critique from Divine Authority
    5. 5.5 Conclusion
  11. Part III: Society
  12. Chapter 6: The Liturgical Sociality
    1. 6.1 Archeology and Enactment of Liturgy
    2. 6.2 Sacred Space
      1. 6.2.1 Mediated Presence
    3. 6.3 Holy City
      1. 6.3.1 Landscapes
      2. 6.3.2 Re-building the City
      3. 6.3.3 Theological Boundaries
    4. 6.4 Liturgical Space as Theo-Political Category
    5. 6.5 Mexican Liturgical Space
    6. 6.6 Conclusion
  13. Chapter 7: Models of Society
    1. 7.1 Ancient Society
    2. 7.2 The Church as Society
      1. 7.2.1 The Church as Political Society
      2. 7.2.2 The Church as Post-Political Society
      3. 7.2.3 The Church as a Moral Society
    3. 7.3 Critique from Liturgical Sociality
    4. 7.4 Conclusion
  14. Chapter 8: Conclusions
    1. 8.1 I, John... Was in the Isle Called Patmos... Was in (the)Spirit
    2. 8.2 The Marriage of the Lamb Has Come
    3. 8.3 Who Bore Witness... as Far as He Perceived
    4. 8.4 This Calls for Discernment
    5. 8.5 If Anyone Has an Ear
  15. Bibliography
  16. A. Primary Sources
  17. B. Secondary Literature
  18. Index of Names
  19. Index of Subjects
  20. Index of Scripture

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