Master of Arts (MA)
Martin Luther University College
Mona Tokarek LaFosse
The kingdom of God is an ambiguous term that Jesus does not explicitly define. Traditional scholarship has explained the kingdom in terms of its social, cultural and time aspects. Recent scholarship is examining the spatiality of the kingdom of God to uncover its characteristics as a “space.” Spatiality seeks to understand how humans interact with space. Space captures the experience of human life and activity and stories, and storytelling reveal that experience. It is at the intersection of space and storytelling that this project examines the kingdom of God. The Gospel of Mark is a story that grew from an oral tradition, weaving together stories and sayings of Jesus that elucidate the kingdom (1:15). The “story world” creates a universe that propels the reader/hearer alongside characters and plot, and invites the person to transfer the experience of the story to their real world. This is particularly present in the parable discourse of Mark 4. With a focus on the Parable of the Sower, I examine how Jesus assembled, defined and demonstrated the spatiality of the kingdom, analyzing the rhetorical argument and meaning of the text. I broaden my examination beyond the parables to encounters Jesus has with minor characters, demonstrating the kingdom as a space inhabited by Jesus and these other characters in the story world of Mark. Lastly, I explore how storytelling invites a person to visualize living within the kingdom space. Set within the Mark’s story world, Jesus brought the kingdom of God into the lives of his hearers.
Lankowski, Susan, "The Sower, The Story & Kingdom Space in the Gospel of Mark" (2021). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 2385.