Reconstructing Socio-Cultural Institutions in the Gospel of Mark
Allan Wright [+]
University of Alberta
The Gospel of Mark can be interpreted through a lens of lamentations. While indeed displaying personal alienation and social disenchantment, Mark also engages in the restitution of these social incongruities. In other words, Mark’s Gospel is not merely a document of lamentations. It also attempts to reconcile his current social-political struggles. By immersing himself in a reconcilable discourse, Mark proposes various solutions for his tenacious communal struggles. This examination will emphasize Mark’s creative (re-)construction processes of social identification. Throughout his narrative, Mark replaces the lost “here” and “there” sacred space with a “universal/anywhere” one. Mark reconstructs imagery and symbols as rallying points for his rectified socio-cultural identity. In other words, through intellectual activity, Mark offers specific discourses that remedy his chaotic world. The first section discusses Mark’s reconciliation for Jerusalem’s destroyed temple. The second segment inspects how Mark reconfigures lost authoritative social representation. Finally, this essay explores Mark’s endeavours to reimagine his desired social community. The culmination of Mark’s socio-cultural institutional reconciliation results in a depiction of Jesus as a social healer for communal ills. Overall, this investigation argues that Mark constructs methods of rectifications, to overcome his situational incongruities, by creating new social identification institutions through narrative.