Original Research

Matthew and marginality

Denis C. Duling
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 51, No 2 | a1391 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v51i2.1391 | © 1995 Denis C. Duling | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 December 1995 | Published: 12 December 1995

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Abstract

This article explores marginality theory as it was first proposed in  the social sciences, that is related to persons caught between two competing cultures (Park; Stonequist), and, then, as it was developed in sociology as related to the poor (Germani) and in anthropology as it was related to involuntary marginality and voluntary marginality (Victor Turner). It then examines a (normative scheme' in antiquity that creates involuntary marginality at the macrosocial level, namely, Lenski's social stratification model in an agrarian society, and indicates how Matthean language might fit with a sample inventory  of socioreligious roles. Next, it examines some (normative schemes' in  antiquity for voluntary margi-nality at the microsocial level, namely, groups, and examines how the Matthean gospel would fit based on indications of factions and leaders. The article ,shows that the author of the Gospel of Matthew has an ideology of (voluntary marginality', but his gospel includes some hope for (involuntary  marginals' in  the  real world, though it is somewhat tempered. It also suggests that the writer of the Gospel is a (marginal man', especially in the sense defined by the early theorists (Park; Stone-quist).

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