A postcolonial analysis of the Markan discourse of power : an argument for the narrative cohesion of Mark 10:1–45.

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This project offers a postcolonial narrative analysis of Mark 10:1–45. It is argued that Mark 10 serves, not only as a teaching discourse on discipleship, but also as a pivotal chapter in the creation of the Markan Jesus’s discourse of power. This discourse takes aim directly at the hegemonic Roman discourse of power as well as the essentialist resistance narrative of the disciples. Responding to the disciples’ continued resistance to the Gentile mission and their desire for positions of power in the coming kingdom of God, the Markan Jesus seeks to reform the disciples’ vision of power. He constructs a catachrestic vision of power to teach the disciples the meaning of power in the kingdom of God, a meaning that stands in contrast to the Roman vision of power. The Roman vision and application of power, while not equal to the activities of Satan in this world, are squarely situated as a visible and active expression of Satan’s reign, the outworking of which has infiltrated even the disciples, necessitating Jesus’s response. The stories of Mark 10 focus on the inclusion of the marginalized and “other” and advocate an alternative political practice that allows for both Gentile inclusion and Roman resistance. Each story in Mark 10:1–45 responds to Roman colonial practices and the nativist traditions of the colonized community. Jesus calls for an alternative means of resistance to Roman colonial authority through an alternative discourse of power that rewrites communal boundary lines and offers an alternative empire to that of Rome. Mark’s Jesus, critiques Roman imperial practices as visible expressions of the powers of evil in the world and advocates for an alternative empire, the empire of God.

Mark. Postcolonial analysis. Narrative analysis. Discourse. Power.