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Book: Critical Theory and Early Christianity

Chapter: 8. Face-ing the Nations: Becoming a Majority Empire of God - Reterritorialization, Language, and Imperial Racism in Revelation 7:9-17

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.30151


Sharon Jacob’s chapter, “Face-ing the Nations and Becoming a Majority Empire of God: Reterritorialization, Language, and Imperial Racism in Revelation 7:9-17,” illustrates the ways in which linguistic imperialism helps construct a homogenous subjectivity of the colonized other in the empire. Using D&G’s theories on deterritorialization, reterritorialization, facialization, and language to interpret Revelation 7:9-17, Jacob suggests that the image of the nations speaking in one language constructs them into pliable, compliant, recognizable, and comprehensible entities. At the same time, the insertion of heterogenous nations into a single, unified, homogenous vision of the empire of God can be viewed as the beginnings of the nationalistic vision of the divine empire of God. The new divine order “is a multinational, multicultural, multilinguistic multitude that speaks in one language. The facialization of these nations, illustrated through an overt and deliberate reterritorialization of their language and dress, racialized in order to familiarize, constructs a nationalized vision where only one nation, speaking one language, wearing one dress, gathers to worship only the one and true God.”

Chapter Contributors

  • Sharon Jacob ( - sjacob) 'Phillips Seminary'