The Shape of Morality in the Gospel of Mark: An Experiment in Hermeneutics

In: Horizons in Biblical Theology
Author: Gerry Wheaton1
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The following work draws from the philosophical hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer to form an inquiry into the moral vision of the Gospel of Mark. The metaphor of slavery is identified as a central component of the moral instruction of Jesus to his disciples. Following a brief analysis of the metaphor in Greco-Roman literature to identify its basic import in Mark’s Gospel, a dialogue is developed between the second Gospel and the moral philosophy of Zygmunt Bauman. Three lines of thought are isolated in the work of Bauman and utilized to illuminate and elaborate the moral vision of Mark that emerges from the metaphor of slavery: the conceptualization of morality as responsibility for others; the rooting of moral action in emotion; and the location of morality at the center of what it means to be human.

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