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Gathered around Jesus

Gathered around Jesus

by Eric C. Stewart


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Modern theorists are virtually united in understanding that space encodes social practices and power relations. Those who control space exert their control by means of particular spatial practices. Models of critical spatiality, such as that of territoriality, show how social relationships are predominant in the classification, communication, and control of space. Space is seen as a relational category rather than an absolute category.
In this innovative study, Stewart addresses Mark's editorial and/or compositional control over the geographic presentation of Jesus's ministry. He makes the case that Mark presents the world spatially in a manner widely consistent with geographic traditions found in Greek and Roman texts. In Mark, Stewart argues, Jesus offers an alternative spatial practice, one that is centered on himself. The kingdom of God exists spatially in the area around Jesus in which the new community "gathers."

"In a splendid presentation, Eric R. Stewart guides the reader through the intricacies of critical social theory of spatiality and argues that Mark eschews the space of the synagogue, house, and city in which to locate the movement of Jesus, and instead founds Jesus's movement in the borderland territories of the wilderness/desert, the sea, and the mountain. There Jesus creates the new space of the kingdom of God in gathering people around himself. This is an important book."
--Dietmar Neufeld
Associate Professor of Christian Origins
Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies
University of British Columbia

"For the first time in the long scholarly discussion of Mark's problematic geography, Stewart uses both modern spatial theory and an exhaustive review of ancient evidence to demonstrate how Mark's spatial perceptions reflect Greek, Roman, and Jewish understandings of human geography. Moving well beyond the anachronistic studies that have dominated the discussion to date, he has provided a significant advance in the study of the Gospel of Mark."
--Richard Rohrbaugh
Professor Emeritus of New Testament
Lewis and Clark College

About the Contributor(s):
Eric C. Stewart is Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Notre Dame. He is co-editor of two volumes: In Other Words: Essays on Social Science Methods and the New Testament in Honor of Jerome H. Neyrey and The Social World of the New Testament: Insights and Models.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781498211277
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 11/01/2008
Pages: 254
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.69(d)

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