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Eschatology and the Risen Lord: Mary and the Dialogue Gospel Genre

PARKHOUSE, SARAH,JANE (2017) Eschatology and the Risen Lord: Mary and the Dialogue Gospel Genre. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Author-imposed embargo until 14 November 2018.


The dialogue gospel was a popular literary genre in early Christianity. Texts include the Apocryphon of John, the Pistis Sophia and the Epistula Apostolurum, all which depict the risen Christ appearing to select disciples and answering a series of questions on life, death and the cosmos. The revelation in dialogue gospels can vary greatly (from affirming the resurrection of the flesh to denying it completely), yet each text is based on the premise that their gospel contains new or clarified teaching from the risen or glorified Lord, often seen as a final revelation concerned with the disciples’ eschatological salvation.
In Part One, I argue for an open view of genre in which disparate texts can be brought together for comparative analysis. A genre of 13 dialogue gospels is constructed as a base for examination of the genre itself, its individual texts and their literary neighbours. In chapter two, dialogue gospels are read alongside selected themes and traditions from the canonical gospels and Pauline epistles, demonstrating that they are all part of the same conceptual world. The breadth of the work in Part One sets the foundation for Part Two in which a single text is focused on: The Gospel of Mary. Chapter three analyzes the narrative frame of GMary, arguing that it does not just frame the dialogue but informs and shapes it. Chapters four and five focus on the gospel’s cosmic and individual eschatology, reading it christologically. Christ has come to dissolve the material cosmos; Christ has ascended so Christian souls can follow him into Rest. At points, GMary’s eschatology converges with Luke, John, GThom and 1ApocJas. The work ends with appendices with notes on how to read the MSS, texts and translations and a synopses of the Greek and Coptic recensions of GMary.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
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:22 Nov 2017 10:37

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