A postcolonial reading of Mark's story of Jesus
This thesis reads Mark's story of Jesus from a postcolonial perspective. It proposes that Mark need not necessarily be treated in an oversimplified polarity as an anti- or pro-colonial discourse. Instead it may probably be treated as a postcolonial discourse, i. e., as a strategic essentialist and transcultural hybrid discourse that accommodates and disrupts both the native Jewish (nationalistic and collaborative) and the Roman colonial discourses of power. This thesis shows that Mark accommodates itself into a strategic third space in between the variegated native Jewish and the Roman colonial discourses in order to enunciate its own voice. As a mimetic, ambivalent and hybrid discourse it mimics and mocks, accommodates and disrupts both the native essentialist and collaborative as well as the Roman colonial voices. The portrait of Jesus in Mark, which I presume to be encoding also the portrait of a community, exhibits a colonial/ postcolonial conundrum which can neither be damned as pro- nor be praised as anti-colonial in nature. Instead the portrait of Jesus in Mark may be appreciated as a strategic essentialist and transcultural hybrid, in which the claims of difference and the desire for transculturality are both contradictorily present and visible. In showing such a comindrumic portrait and invoking a complex discursive strategy Mark as the discourse of a subject community is not alone or unique in the Greco-Roman world. A number of discourses-historical, creative novelistic and apocalyptic-of the subject Greek and Jewish communities in the eastern Mediterranean under the iniperizini of Rome from the second century BCE to the end of the first century CE exhibit very similar postcolonial traits which one may add to be not far from the postcolonial traits of a number of postcolonial creative writings and cultural discourses of the colonial subject and the dominated post-colonial communities of our time.