The phrase like a bride adorned is one of the ways Revelation describes the new Jerusalem which descends from heaven. This phrase can also be read as describing one of the ways interpreters historically have understood the relationship between Revelation and its metaphorical language. In contrast to views that suggest Revelations metaphorical language is simple adornment, Huber argues that Revelations persuasive power resides within the texts metaphorical nature and she articulates a method for exploring how Revelation employs metaphor to shape an audiences thought.
In order to gain a sense of how metaphorical language works in Revelations highly metaphorical text,"Like a Bride Adorned: Reading Metaphor in Johns Apocalypse engages one set of conceptual metaphors in relation to Revelations literary and social-historical milieu. Specifically, Huber explores the conceptual metaphors undergirding Revelations nuptial or bridal imagery. Positioned at the culmination of the texts, nuptial imagery serves as one the texts final and arguably one of its most important characterizations of the Christian community.
Examining the function of Revelations nuptial imagery involves investigating how the text redeploys conventional metaphorical constructions used in the writings of the Hebrew prophets and how its imagery engages Greco-Roman depictions of women, weddings, and brides. Discourse about marriage and family was such an important part of Revelations historical context, especially as it was shaped by the Roman Empire, that any discussion of the texts nuptial imagery must examine how it reflects and responds to this discourse. By addressing these questions, we see that Revelations nuptial imagery serves to further the texts goal of shaping Christian identity in opposition to the social demands of the Roman Empire. Moreover, exploration of the conceptual metaphors undergirding Revelations "bride adorned reveals how John seeks to shape Christian identity as a transitional identity. Through metaphor, Revelation encourages its audience to envision the Christian community as a bride who constructs her own identity as she transitions into a new role in relation to God and the Lamb.
Through the process of exploring Revelations nuptial imagery with insights gained from conceptual metaphor theory, we uncover the ways that John employs metaphorical language to persuade his audiences thought about themselves and about others. Consequently, this work contributes both to our understanding of the texts nuptial imagery and to our knowledge of how Revelation employs metaphor as tool for persuasion.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Reading through the Veil of Obscurity: Interpreting Revelations Imagistic Language
Chapter 2: KNOWING IS SEEING: Theories of Metaphor Ancient, Medieval, and Modern
Chapter 3: Envisioning the City as a Woman: A Metaphorical Framework in the Jewish Literary Traditions
Chapter 4: Unveiling the Bride: Nuptial Traditions and Roman Social Discourse
Chapter 5: Alleluia . . . the wedding of the Lamb has come: Reading Revelations Nuptial Imagery
Chapter 6: Like a Bride Adorned: Reading Metaphor in Revelation
Appendix Babylon--A City without a Bride: Revelation 18:23
Lynn R. Huber is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Elon University in Elon, North Carolina.
Like a Bride Adorned by Lynn R. Huber was published by Continuum in August 2007 and is our 56101st best seller. The ISBN for Like a Bride Adorned is 9780567026743.