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Marginalization

"Emphasis on the Marginalized . . . in Luke the angelic announcement of his birth is made to 'shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night' (2: 8). As a class, shepherds are even lower in the social order than peasants and would qualify quite well as the 'lowly' and the 'hungry' of Mary’s hymn, the Magnificat. This is another overture preparation for a theme very much emphasized in Luke’s gospel. He insists, again more than the other gospels, on the obligations of the rich to the poor, the outcasts, and the marginalized."    - Borg, Marcus J.; Crossan, John Dominic ; The First Christmas


"Among the occupations of first-century Israel, shepherding had a lowly place. Shepherds were considered untrustworthy and their work made them ceremonially unclean. Thus the most obvious implication is that the gospel first came to the social outcasts of Jesus day."    - Walter L. Liefeld ; The Expositor's Bible Commentary


"The ancient Mediterranean world was dominated by the rule of imperial Rome. However, whereas I read from the center, Mark wrote from the Palestinian periphery. His primary audience were those whose daily lives bore the exploitative weight of colonialism, whereas mine are those who are in a position of enjoy the privileges of the colonizer.  In this sense, Third World liberation theologians, who today also write from the perspective of the collided periphery have the advantage of a certain 'affinity of site' in their reading of the Gospels."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


"Jesus seeks the root causes of why people are marginalized, there is no case of healing and exorcism in Mark that does not also raise a larger question of social oppression."    - Ched Myers ; Say to This Mountain: Mark's Story of Discipleship, p. 14


"One of the first steps of hope for people in such wilderness places is to understand that their situation reflects social and political forces, not the divine will . . .While the margin has a primarily negative political connotation as a place of disenfranchisement, Mark ascribes to it a primarily positive theological value. It is the place where the sovereignty of God is made manifest, where the story of liberation is renewed, where God's intervention in history occurs."    - Ched Myers ; Say to This Mountain: Mark's Story of Discipleship, p. 12


"But Mark reverses directions: Salvation is being regenerated not at the center but at the margins."    - Ched Myers ; Say to This Mountain: Mark's Story of Discipleship, p. 7


"Through this deft editorial combination of Malachi and Isaiah, Mark has introduced a major theme of his gospel. It is the tension between two archetypically opposite symbolic spaces: Temple and wilderness—center and margins."    - Ched Myers ; Say to This Mountain: Mark's Story of Discipleship, p. 6


"For Jesus, compassion had a radical sociopolitical meaning. In his teaching and table fellowship, and in the shape of his movement, the purity system was subverted and an alternative social vision affirmed. The politics of purity was replaced by a politics of compassion."    - Marcus J. Borg ; Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time


"The fact remains that those on the peripheries will have 'eyes to see' many things that those at the center do not."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


"There is something boundary shattering about the imitatio dei that stood at the center of Jesus’ message and activity. 'Be compassionate as God is compassionate.' Whereas purity divides and excludes, compassion unites and includes. (The purity system created a world with sharp social boundaries between pure and impure, righteous and sinner, whole and not whole, male and female, rich and poor, Jew and Gentile…)"    - Marcus J. Borg ; Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time


"All the poor, insignificant, forgotten people of the world can gather around the manger and dare to believe that the Babe who lies there really belongs to them."    - M. O. Tobert ; (unspecified)


"One trajectory of research deserves special mention: studies of the social context of ancient oral transmission among marginalized communities. Richard Horsley has shown how the popular oral storytelling of the Jesus movement, which drew on 'anti-hegemonic' cultural memory, was often in conflict with the elites's authority over texts. This is why Mark's references to scripture are always polemical . . . Moreover, Mark portrays actions in a way that calls to mind popular, oral tales about cultural heroes or peasant Israel such as Moses, Elijah, or Elisha, while the scribal class comes in for Jesus' severest criticism."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man


"White North American Christians, especially those of us from the privileged strata of society, must come to terms with the fact that our reading site for the Gospel of Mark is empire, locus imperium . . .  The 'irreducible meaning' of empire is the geopolitical control of the peripheries by the center . . . the fact remains that those on the peripheries will have 'eyes to see' many things that those of us at the center do not."    - Marty Coleman ; Introduction to Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus by Ched Myers


"At the heart of Luke’s understanding of the redemption wrought by Jesus was his knowledge that in him the excluded had been included and the outsider had been brought within the people of God."    - John Barton ; The Oxford Bible Commentary (Luke 2:8-21)


"The great apocalyptic novum, which invades the world at Jesus' baptism and sets salvation history in motion again, does not occur a the center of the social order, but at its peripheries."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


"He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’"    - Jesus ; Matthew 25.45


"There are few things more devastating than to have it burned into you that you do not count and that no provisions are made for the literal protection of your person."

   - Howard Thurman ; Jesus and the Disinherited


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