Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2021.

Degree Name

Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL)


Gina Hens-Piazza


The purpose of this thesis is to determine whether, in Mark 5:1-20, the author of Mark portrayed Jesus as an assimilated Jew or a transformative resistant. After preliminary matters concerning methodology, nature and scope, and significance, the theoretical framework is established (chapter 1). I discussed the origin of postcolonialism as a field of study, its relationship to biblical studies, and the postcolonial readings of Mark’s Gospel. Then, the thesis focuses on the Roman empire and its arrival in 1st century Palestine (Chapter 2). In this chapter, the roman imperial Weltbildung becomes the focus of the analysis. Subjugated people responded to this world-formation.

The thesis proceeds inductively. Chapter 3 describes the interpretive context of Mark 5:1-20, which provides a grid to understand Mark’s Jesus as a postcolonial hybrid character. Imperialism as a context, subtext, and pretext offers sufficient ground to account for the colonized people’s thingification. By the same token, Jesus’ identity becomes the focus of the thesis’ analysis. In the second part of this chapter, violence constitutes the thread binding it together. Mark 5:1-20 begins with violence and ends in violence. Critical Race Theories enables us to understand how imperial violence induces a state of chronic trauma. Moreover, such violence sustained by ruling structures finds its way to the people down the ladder. Hence, healing violence sometimes necessitates a little dose of violence.

Chapter 4 focuses on Mark’s Jesus as a hybrid character. To undertake His mission, he needed to stay within the boundaries and disrupt the binaries created by the empire. Mark’s hybridization of Jesus allows us to view Him as capable of challenging the empire and healing the ills caused by the imperial context. Espousing the imperial masculinity values, Mark’s Jesus proves to be strong enough to face the possessing forces. Portraying Jesus as such, Mark lactifies Jesus to resemble the imperial image of a man. However, Mark’s Jesus is disgusted by the harmful impact of such an oppressive system. Hence, the thesis confirms that Mark’s Jesus is not just an assimilated Jew but also a transformative resistant.