A Postcolonial Reading of Mark's Story of Jesus (The Library of New Testament Studies)

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9780567031327: A Postcolonial Reading of Mark's Story of Jesus (The Library of New Testament Studies)

Samuel has introduced a promising direction to read Mark that does not force the text into any idealized categories.--Sanford Lakoff

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This unique contribution to Markan studies reads Mark's story of Jesus from a postcolonial perspective. It proposes that Mark need not necessarily be treated in an oversimplified polarity as an anti- or pro-colonial discourse. Instead it maybe treated as a postcolonial discourse, i.e. as a hybrid discourse that accommodates and disrupts both the native Jewish and the Roman colonial discourses of power. It shows that Mark accommodates itself into a strategic third space in between the variegated native Jewish and the Roman colonial discourses in order to enunciate its own voice. As anambivalent and hybrid discourse it mimics and mocks, accommodates and disrupts both theJewish as well as the Roman colonial voices. The portrait of Jesus in Mark, whichSamuel showsto be encoding also the portrait of a community, exhibits a colonial/ postcolonial conundrum which can neither be damned as pro- nor be praised as anti-colonial in nature. Instead the portrait of Jesus in Mark may be appreciated as a strategic essentialist and transcultural hybrid, in which the claims of difference and the desire for transculturality are both contradictorily present and visible. In showing such aportrait and invoking a complex discursive strategy Mark as the discourse of a subject community is not alone or unique in the Graeco-Roman world. A number of discourses historical, creative novelistic and apocalyptic of the subject Greek and Jewish communities in the eastern Mediterranean under the imperium of Rome from the second century BCE to the end of the first century CE exhibit very similar postcolonial traits which one may add to be not far from the postcolonial traits of a number of postcolonial creative writings and cultural discourses of the colonial subject and the dominated post-colonial communities of our time.

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