"It Is Requir'd You Do Awake Your Faith"
Reader-Response and the Gospel of St Mark.
Proceedings of the Irish Biblical Association, 27.
Wholly lacking in the kind of experience and expertise which the specialist theologian would possess, it is with some trepidation that a student of English enters into unknown territiry and embarks on a literary-critical approach to the gospel of St Mark. One may, however, take courage - and one's cue - from Frank Kermode's statement in the "Preface" to The Genesis of Secrecy, where he suggests that "the gospels need to be talked about by critics of a quite unecclesiastical formation". He later claims that literacy critics, although secular, are nonetheless "the heirs of the exegetical and hermeneutic traditions" and, as such, they "should be allowed their secular say on the cardinal texts" (Kermode 15-16).
In what follows, I shall in fact be making significant use of this fine study by Kermode, although I hope to strike out in a different direction.
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