St. Justin Martyr

On Visually Reading the Apocalypse

                                                                      The Apocalypse Tapestry (14th cent.), Angers, France

In the late 14th century, Europe had passed through the Black Death, killing a third of its population (and a full half of its doctors and priests), was in the midst of the 100 Years’ War and had two rival claimants to the papacy. In 1373, the Duke of Anjou commissioned a woven depiction of the numerous scenes from the Book of Revelation, the book in which, somewhat paradoxically, Christians had always looked for consolation in times of trial (its famous “happy ending,” of course, is the explanation). 

I was invited in 1990 to record a line-by-line commentary on the book, which was divided into ten tapes. The copyright holders have graciously allowed me to use the sound track of commentary to accompany images of sacred art concerning the last book of the Bible. The Apocalypse Tapestry of Angers serves as the visual golden thread. 

The preparation of the visuals for the series has been time-consuming for my gifted web designer; we only have one episode (#5) currently finished. I decided to go ahead and publish it, due to the straitened times we are living through. Even in isolation from the other episodes, it gives a revealing glimpse of what will be made available within a few months when all ten recordings have been edited. 

The other episodes will be posted in audio for the time being (1-3 are already available under English posts). 

Episode 5 can now be viewed at my youtube channel: Episode 5: God’s Justice.

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