Original Research - Special Collection: Old and New Testament Studies

Teaching Mark through a postcolonial optic

Jeremy Punt
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 71, No 1 | a2970 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2970 | © 2015 Jeremy Punt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 March 2015 | Published: 16 July 2015

About the author(s)

Jeremy Punt, Faculty of Theology, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa


This contribution explores the potential value of a postcolonial approach for teaching Mark’s gospel. Investigating a number of texts from the gospel, it asks to what extent a postcolonial optic implies a different approach to the gospel, what it adds and where challenges exist. Teaching with a postcolonial optic entails framing the gospel in its 1st-century imperial context and focusing on the ambivalence and ambiguity of imperial rule, investigating texts with attention to hybridity and mimicry in particular. Teaching the Gospel of Mark through a postcolonial optic opens up new possibilities for interpretation and contextualisation, but at the same time poses certain challenges, pedagogically and otherwise.


Postcolonial; Empire; Mark; pedagogics


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