SBL is right around the corner and I will be presenting at the Redescribing Early Christianity section. This year the theme is redescribing time and anachronism. Here is my abstract.
Mark’s Jesus as Post-War Subject in Pre-War Galilee
Abstract: While most scholars agree Mark was composed around the time of the Judaean War, many are reluctant to see any implications in the Gospel aside from isolated pericopae (e.g., Olivet Discourse, rending of the temple veil). This paper will suggest that in fact the conditions of Palestine after the Judaean War resonate throughout Mark. It will argue that Mark presents Jesus as a time-displaced subject from the post-War period that inhabited Galilee during the reign of Herod Antipas. In so doing, the Markan Jesus operates with an anachronistic hindsight allowing him to authorize a number of practices for the Markan readers in the post-War period, whether through explicit instruction or exemplary practices of his own. This paper will take Jesus’ discussion of tax practices (12:13-17) as its point of departure, examining anachronisms and their authorizing function. Two further examples will also be discussed more tentatively: 1) cultic reconfigurations adjusting for the loss of the temple and 2) authorizing the site of Galilee – Capernaum in particular – as the locus for refugee activity. In so doing, Jesus’ peculiar status as a post-War subject residing the pre-War period (and the continuity the Markan readers ostensibly hold with his practices) legitimates their claims in the context of post-War Jewish authenticity politics. This paper will elaborate on the functions of anachronism and time-displaced subjectivity in Markan patterns of legitimation.