JESUS THE SAMARITAN: ETHNIC LABELING IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

Penwell, Stewart, K. (2016) JESUS THE SAMARITAN: ETHNIC LABELING IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN. PhD thesis, St Mary's University, Twickenham.

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Abstract

This thesis will answer, “How do ethnic labels function in the Gospel of John?” In order to answer this question properly, this thesis draws on social-scientific theories on ethnic groups, deviancy, and labeling. The primary examples of ethnic labeling for this thesis are John 4:9 and 8:48. In each instance, members from “the Jews” (ʼΙουδαῖοι) and “Samaritans” label Jesus as a member of each other’s group. The Gospel of John’s dual ethnic labeling of Jesus participates in a history of discourse between “the Jews” and “Samaritans.” Both people groups adhere to an “us” versus “them” mentality because they both identify themselves as Israelites while rejecting the other group’s claim to that identity. The parameters of the discourse are determined by not only how each ethnic group identifies themselves but particularly how they construct the category for the other’s group. Once the parameters of discourse are in place, then we can address the function of ethnic labels in the Gospel of John. On both occasions Jesus is labeled because he deviates from what are deemed to be acceptable practices as a member of “the Jews.” The function of Jesus’s dual ethnic labeling in the Gospel of John is to establish a new pattern of practices and categories for the “children of God” who are a trans-ethnic group united as a fictive-kinship and who are embedded within the Judean ethnic group’s culture and traditions. The Johannine Jesus is portrayed as “the Jews’” Messiah (1:45; 20:31), who brings “salvation from the Jews” (4:22), and who is “the savior of the world” (4:42). The Gospel of John presents Jesus as broadening the more restrictive boundaries within “his own people” (1:11) in order to “draw all people to myself” (12:32).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: 200 Religion > 220 Bible
200 Religion > 225 New Testament
200 Religion > 226 Gospels & Acts
200 Religion > 232 Jesus Christ & his family
School/Department: School of Education, Theology and Leadership
Depositing User: Kevin Sanders
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2017 09:52
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2017 09:52
URI: http://research.stmarys.ac.uk/id/eprint/1483

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