Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - SCU Access Only


Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2018.

Degree Name

Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL)


Jean-François Racine


The Road to Emmaus is a post-resurrection narrative specific to the Gospel of Luke. In the narrative, two travelers leave Jerusalem on a journey to Emmaus after having witnessed the events of Jesus’ passion. Though they have heard from some women that Jesus’ tomb is empty and that he is alive, nevertheless the two travelers depart for Emmaus where Jesus joins them on the way, but they do not recognize him. The motivation for the travelers’ departure is the main conflict of the narrative in which they reveal that they “had hoped” Jesus would be the one to redeem Israel. Understanding that this hope is no longer a reality for the two travelers, the sociological theories of Emile Durkheim’s anomie, Peter Berger’s nomos and marginal situations, and Victor Turner’s liminality can help the reader to understand the depth of despair the travelers are experiencing, no longer believing Jesus is the redeemer. These sociological theories also propose what the travelers must do to avoid an anomic state, and how, upon seeing Jesus in the taking, blessing, breaking, and giving of the bread, they now know about the resurrection. With this knowledge, their belief in Jesus as the redeemer is resurrected, indicating that the Road to Emmaus is not just an account of Jesus’ resurrection, but also an account in which the travelers’ belief in him as the Christ is renewed.

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