Specters of Mark: The Second Gospel’s Ending and Derrida’s Messianicity

In: Biblical Interpretation
Peter N. McLellan Drew Unviersity, USA

Search for other papers by Peter N. McLellan in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):


This article engages Mark 16:1–8 with Jacques Derrida’s concept of the messianic as elaborated, primarily, in his 1993 volume Specters of Marx. Working with the concept of a circular Markan narrative, the tomb is explored as a haunted space in which readers are invited to return to the beginning of the story with an eye toward its spectral bodies. Indeed, the absence of a raised body in the sepulcher, coupled with an injunction to return to Galilee introduces a temporal disjunction by invoking the narrative past and exploring the incalculability of a future. While the other three canonical Gospels privilege the presence of a material body in their resurrection scenes, a Derridean analysis of this passage allows for an even more expanded notion of what a body might look like and opens the possibility for the immanence of justice to-come: justice that comes for the marginalized in the Second Gospel.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 270 27 4
Full Text Views 240 4 0
PDF Views & Downloads 64 11 0