Hearing Kyriotic Sonship

A Cognitive and Rhetorical Approach to the Characterization of Mark's Jesus


In Hearing Kyriotic Sonship Michael Whitenton explores first-century audience impressions of Mark’s Jesus in light of ancient rhetoric and modern cognitive science. Commonly understood as neither divine nor Davidic, Mark’s Jesus appears here as the functional equivalent to both Israel’s god and her Davidic king. The dynamics of ancient performance and the implicit rhetoric of the narrative combine to subtly alter listeners’ perspectives of Jesus.

Previous approaches have routinely viewed Mark’s Jesus as neither divine nor Davidic largely on the basis of a lack of explicit affirmations. Drawing our attention to the mechanics of inference generation and narrative persuasion, Whitenton shows us that ancient listeners probably inferred much about Mark’s Jesus that is not made explicit in the narrative.

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Michael R. Whitenton, Ph.D. (2015), Baylor University, is a Lecturer at Baylor University. He has published in top journals on cognitive and rhetorical approaches to the gospels and is currently completing Configuring Nicodemus: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Complex Characterization (Bloomsbury, 2018).
"Whitenton’s work moves Markan scholarship forward with its coherent approach to the characterization of Jesus. I would argue that this is a must-read for those engage in intertextual readings of the Gospels. For those interested in performance criticism, whether novice or advanced, Hearing Kyriotic Sonship would be a helpful companion." - Kara Lyons-Pardue, Point Loma Nazarene University, USA
"The monograph is a helpful reference on rhetoric, performance, and cognitive approaches, given the breath of Whitenton’s interaction with primary and secondary sources as well as recent scholarship on the subject. Whitenton has provided Markan scholarship with a helpful resource with fresh perspective on the Gospel of Mark’s characterization of Jesus." - Abson Joseph, Wesley Seminary, Indiana Wesleyan University, USA
All interested in Mark’s Gospel, the discursive world of Hellenistic rhetorical culture, cognitive approaches to the gospels, audience-oriented criticism, and NT christology.