ABOUT THIS BOOK
A collaborative project with a variety of critical essays
This final volume of studies by members of the Society of Biblical Literature’s consultation, and later seminar, on Ancient Myths and Modern Theories of Christian Origins focuses on Mark. As with previous volumes, the provocative proposals on Christian origins offered by Burton L. Mack are tested by applying Jonathan Z. Smith's distinctive social theorizing and comparative method. Essays examine Mark as an author’s writing in a book culture, a writing that responded to situations arising out of the first Roman-Judean war after the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in 70 CE. Contributors William E. Arnal, Barry S. Crawford, Burton L. Mack, Christopher R. Matthews, Merrill P. Miller, Jonathan Z. Smith, and Robyn Faith Walsh explore the southern Levant as a plausible provenance of the Gospel of Mark and provide a detailed analysis of the construction of Mark as a narrative composed without access to prior narrative sources about Jesus. A concluding retrospective follows the work of the seminar, its developing discourse and debates, and the continuing work of successor groups in the field.
- A thorough examination of the relation between structure and event in social and anthropological theory that provides conceptual tools for representing the project of the author of Mark
- An exploration of the southern Levant as a plausible provenance of the Gospel, a permanent site of successive imperial regimes and culturally related peoples
- A detailed analysis of the construction of Mark as a narrative composed without access to prior narrative sources about Jesus