The Apocalypse: A Brief History / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $79.85
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 24%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (6) from $79.85   
  • New (5) from $79.85   
  • Used (1) from $101.70   


For most people, the term "apocalypse" conjures disturbing images of impending doom. Yet historically, apocalypse encompasses far more than the cataclysmic events prophesied in the book of Revelation. The Apocalypse: A Brief History provides us with a concise historical and thematic introduction to the "apocalypses," the ancient Jewish and Christian works concerned not just with popular views of the Last Judgment and violent end of the world, but with reward and punishment after death, the heavenly temple, and the revelation of astronomical phenomena and other secrets of nature.

The book traces the tradition of apocalyptic writing through the Middle Ages, when Jews and Christians continued to record apocalypses and developed related forms of literature. It concludes with a look at the modern era, when the production of apocalypses may have ended, yet movements with intense expectations of the world's imminent demise continue unabated. Accessible and enlightening, this brief history provides readers with insights into the fascinating historical genre of apocalyptic literature.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is certainly a valuable addition.  We look forward to those which are yet to come." (Theological Book Review, 2010)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

Martha Himmelfarb is the William H. Danforth Professor of Religion at Princeton University. Her work has focused on Judaism of the Second Temple period and apocalyptic literature in particular. She is the author of Tours of Hell: An Apocalyptic Form in Jewish and Christian Literature (1985), Ascent to Heaven in Jewish and Christian Apocalypses (1993), and A Kingdom of Priests: Ancestry and Merit in Ancient Judaism (2006).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii

Chronology ix

1 Revelation in the Age of the Torah 1

2 The Book of the Watchers and Ascent to Heaven 15

3 The Book of Daniel and the Kingdom of the Holy Ones 31

4 The Heavenly Messiah 49

5 The Heavenly Temple, the Fate of Souls after Death, and Cosmology 75

6 Tours of Paradise and Hell and the Hekhalot Texts 97

7 Eschatology in the Byzantine Empire 117

8 Apocalyptic Movements in the Modern Era 137

Further Reading 161

Index 167

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)