How did the Gospel of Mark come to exist? And how was the memory of Jesus shaped by the experiences of the earliest Christians?
For centuries, biblical scholars examined texts as history, literature, theology, or even as story. Curiously absent however is attention to processes of collective memory in the creation of biblical texts.
Drawing on modern explorations of social memory in different cultural contexts, Sandra Huebenthal presents a model for reading biblical texts as collective memories. Using Mark’s Gospel as an example, she demonstrates that Mark is a text evolving from collective narrative memory based on recollections of Jesus’s life and teachings. Huebenthal investigates the principles and structures of how groups remember and how their memory is structured and presented. In the case of Mark’s Gospel this includes examining which image of Jesus, as well as which self-image, this text as memory constructs. Reading Mark’s Gospel as a Text from Collective Memory does not serve as a key to unlock questions about the historical Jesus, but to examine memories about him within a particular community of remembrance and narration.
Reading Mark’s Gospel as a Text from Collective Memory will stimulate discussion about the methods employed in biblical research and serve as an invaluable resource for the interpretation of Mark.