ENG150Y1 Lecture Notes - Odysseus, Ninsun, Intertextuality

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Published on 18 Apr 2013
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Literary Tradition November 28th
GOSPEL OF MARK (Lecture 2)
Concept of God-Man circulated throughout ancient world (Rama, Augustus) as well as Son of
God (Achilles son of Thetis, Aeneas Son of Venus, Gilgamesh son of Ninsun) not unique to
Christianity
Figure of Jesus inverts God-Man concept, comes from humble background as opposed to being
a King
Divine order no longer underpins the exercise of power Monotheism is rejection of
Polytheistic Imperial logic
Mark’s story is that of expectations being frustrated
Very different narrative end story not going to end with great military victory, but rather
defeat/death/humiliation/abandonment
Social norms existent in ancient world
o Rejection that true order is created through violence (Odysseus killing suitors, etc.)
o Forgiveness instead of violence to maintain order in society (Love God, love neighbour)
The sign of defeat in Christianity is symbolized by crucifixion
When man asks Jesus how to be part of eternal kingdom, tells him to give up worldly
possessions
Withdrawal from the world
o "Render to Caesar, render to God…” coins belong to the world from which Jesus is askig
his followers to withdraw from
Inversion of the messiah
Mark’s story is enigmatic
o There is a meaning behind the mystery, conveyed through narrative structure
(beginning with baptism ending with suffering)
o Jesus death being symbolically hinted to
o Meaning is revealed through intertextuality of prior texts in Hebrew Bible
Recalls Moses (baptism = crossing of Red Sea/River Jordan)
Jesus is crucified during time of Passover (themes of death/deliverance)
Last Supper passing of wine, this is Blood of Covenant
Notion of fulfillment
o Appeals to fellow initiates of Jesus, readers are asked to put themselves in same
position as disciples interpretive imperative
Abrupt ending is key: “for they were afraid” - central mystery
Renouncers of the world suggesting that the model of the prophet is something to be
exemplified, not to think of themselves in relation to status quo (fishermen etc.)
Provided model, initiated powerful narrative ways for what it means to be a follower and to
withdraw from the world and orient ideas in transcendence
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Document Summary

Concept of god-man circulated throughout ancient world (rama, augustus) as well as son of. God (achilles son of thetis, aeneas son of venus, gilgamesh son of ninsun) not unique to. Figure of jesus inverts god-man concept, comes from humble background as opposed to being a king. Divine order no longer underpins the exercise of power monotheism is rejection of. Mark"s story is that of expectations being frustrated. Very different narrative end story not going to end with great military victory, but rather defeat/death/humiliation/abandonment. Social norms existent in ancient world: rejection that true order is created through violence (odysseus killing suitors, etc. , forgiveness instead of violence to maintain order in society (love god, love neighbour) The sign of defeat in christianity is symbolized by crucifixion. When man asks jesus how to be part of eternal kingdom, tells him to give up worldly possessions.

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