Satan and Apocalypse

And Other Essays in Political Theology

By Thomas J. J. Altizer

Subjects: Theology, Religion, Philosophy, Philosophy Of Religion, Continental Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Theology and Continental Thought
Paperback : 9781438466729, 132 pages, July 2018
Hardcover : 9781438466736, 132 pages, December 2017

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Table of contents


1. Satan and Apocalypse: A Renewal of Milton and Spinoza

2. The Transfi guration of Christianity

3. The Absolute Heterodoxy of William Blake

4. Nietzsche and Apocalypse

5. America and the Death of God

6. Joyce and the Christian Epic Tradition

7. Revolutionary Apocalypse

8. Political Theology: An Apology


Offers a profound vision of the Christian epic as the site of the modern apocalyptic reenactment of the original apocalypse.


Finalist for the 2017 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award in the Religion category

In this series of essays, Thomas J. J. Altizer explores the Christian epic as the site of modern revolutionary apocalyptic reenactments and renewals of the original apocalypse enacted by Jesus Christ and primitive Christianity. Beginning with the pivotal seventeenth-century figures Milton and Spinoza, Altizer analyzes the apocalyptic visions of key figures of modernity, including Blake, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Joyce, often juxtaposing them to surprising and illuminating effect. These revolutionary moments stand in opposition to what Altizer calls the pathological modern counterrevolution that dominates the world today, which is an effect of a new postmodernity and of a progressive dissolution of historical consciousness. Through his analysis of modern apocalyptic moments and thinkers, this book becomes an elegant and accessible guide to Altizer's own apocalyptic vision and his ultimate project of the total and comprehensive reconstruction of theology.

Thomas J. J. Altizer is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at Stony Brook University, State University of New York. His many books include The Call to Radical Theology (edited by Lissa McCullough); Living the Death of God: A Theological Memoir; Godhead and the Nothing; The Contemporary Jesus; and History as Apocalypse, all published by SUNY Press.


"This book is the summation of a lifetime of learning and thinking about what it means to live and think in a secular world, particularly in modern North America, as an heir to the Christian tradition, with its orthodoxies and heresies. In an age where so much of the writing on literature and politics is interminably predictable, dull, and smugly moralising, Altizer's Satanic Christianity, as well as his erudition, are a blast of fresh air. " — The European Legacy

"This is an indispensable work of closure coming from one of contemporary theology's most lucid, original, rebellious, provocative, and passionate voices. Altizer's most central and tenaciously held convictions are distilled into this essential testament. " — William Franke, author of Secular Scriptures: Modern Theological Poetics in the Wake of Dante

"This book is vintage Altizer: a vast and profound vision of the transformations of interiority, conceptions of the world, and the idea/image of God throughout the time of Western culture. Altizer is an incredible and amazing writer and thinker. I found myself stopped dead in my tracks, left to ponder anew everything that I thought I knew. His intuitions and insights are so penetrating and enlightening that they evoke sheer wonder at the marvel of his accomplishment. " — David E. Klemm, coauthor of Religion and the Human Future: An Essay on Theological Humanism