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Addressed to the City of Hartford.

The woman Babylon in the Book of Revelation has had more than her share of violence, both in the Christian Bible, as well as in the scholarly writings about her text. Having the name, “Babylon,” she is automatically negatively perceived before one gets a chance to know her. Yet the woman Babylon is so much more than her name. She is so much more than a female-gendered metaphor for a city - representing the Roman Empire - that will be overturned by God’s Empire. She just may be more akin to us than we would ever dare to imagine. By reading the woman Babylon’s text from a postcolonial womanist perspective, the Reverend Dr. Shanell T. Smith will highlight the woman Babylon’s simultaneous ambivalent identification as a “brothel slavewoman” and as an “empress/imperial city.” She will then discuss how the woman Babylon incites tension within her because she reflects ever so sharply her continual conflicting reality of being simultaneously a victim of, and participant in, empire. Certainly, by the looks of Hartford, she is not alone.

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