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DISCIPLESHIP IS SLAVERY: Investigating the Slavery Metaphor in the Gospel of Mark

KANEEN, EDWARD,NOBLE (2017) DISCIPLESHIP IS SLAVERY: Investigating the Slavery Metaphor in the Gospel of Mark. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Slavery was ubiquitous in the ancient world and the metaphorical use of slaves and slavery was equally common. This is the case in the New Testament also where the use of slavery as a metaphor in the Pauline literature has been particularly well investigated. However, in the study of the gospels little attention has been paid to the metaphor of slavery and its role in creating a model for discipleship. This thesis will remedy this by considering both how such an investigation should be conducted and what the results would be in the Gospel of Mark. It will therefore pursue both a methodological and an exegetical course.

Building on careful use of metaphor theory, not previously employed in investigating this metaphor, the thesis will utilise Conceptual Blending Theory to argue that the historical reality of slavery is vital to the understanding of the metaphor. It will therefore pay equal attention to both Roman and Jewish sources to understand the reality of slavery and the ideology at work in these representations, as well as the ways in which writers could use this to imagine slavery and apply it as a metaphor. In doing so, it will show that the physical abuse of slaves is an important element of slavery – in reality and in metaphor – which is sometimes underplayed in NT scholarship.

On the basis of this investigation, the thesis will engage in close analysis of slavery texts in the Gospel of Mark, something not accomplished in this level of detail before. In reading the relevant sayings and parables in Mark, the study will show that they share a thematic unity in their narrative contexts in this gospel, along with sharing the ideological values of slave owners. They emphasise, in particular, the expected suffering of discipleship, drawing on the physical costs of being a slave. It will be argued that, by this means, the metaphor DISCIPLESHIP IS SLAVERY provided a conceptual framework for Mark’s disciple-readers to interpret their particular setting in their world, and their response to it.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Gospel of Mark, Mark's Gospel, Slave, Slavery, Disciple, Discipleship, Conceptual Blending Theory, Metaphor, New Testament, Servant
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2017
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:25 May 2017 11:20

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