Urban living spaces for all peoples
The Vision of the New Jerusalem in the New Testament Book of Revelation (Rev. 21:1-22:5)
One of the most powerful religious narratives about completion and life after death in the New Testament is the visionary view of the New Jerusalem that descends from heaven to earth. The New Testament concludes with the vision of the Heavenly Jerusalem. In Christian tradition, it is therefore the keystone of the Sacred Scripture, the two-in-one canon of the Bible.
The great symbols of life and salvation in the Scripture are collective symbols: the meal, the wedding, and here: the bride-city, which does not show a city for people but people as a city. The seer sees a new polis; he speaks about it in visionary terms but thinks of it in a very concrete way. The focus is not on escapism – escaping the world and seeking something new and better above, but, in the light of the promised eschatological completion, a new view on a human society with an urban character on this earth.
This paper examines the images of the Revelation of John, their prophetic intention and esp. their relevance for the design of the contemporary human civilization, for our cities with their beauty and their aguish and pain.