SC 402 - The New Testament: Reading Mark’s Gospel as Story

Module Level

Level 8

Related Department


Time Allowance

4 hours on campus lectures during the weekend residentials (divided between 2 weekends) 6 hours live on-line lectures on Wednesday evening, 6 hours of self-directed learning, Assignment – 15 hours, Private Study – 24 hours.


Essay and Interview (10 mins)

Module Aims

To read the Gospel of Mark with attention to its power as story to engage, confront and shape readers, so as to access its fundamental narrative and theological character, with sensitivity to the cultural contexts of its origin and those of contemporary readers.

Indicative Syllabus:

Ten lectures each with a passage of scripture

  • Opening the Story of Mark’s Gospel
  • Mark in its Roman Imperial Context
  • Gathering the Household
  • Sowing the Gospel (Parables)
  • Crossing Boundaries
  • Allegiance and Misunderstanding
  • Mark’s Strong Women
  • Jesus, Prayer and God
  • Death and Annihilation
  • Mark Among the Gospels

Core Text:

Rhoads, David M., Joanna Dewey, and Donald Michie. Mark as Story: An Introduction to the Narrative of a Gospel. Third ed. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2012. [226.3066 RHO] [and Kindle]

Learning Outcomes

  • • appreciate the complexity of Mark’s Jesus and the inherent Christology
  • • recognise the various conflicts that drive the plot and inform the theology of the Gospel story
  • • be able to situate Mark’s Gospel within its first century contexts
  • • be able to apply the reading for contemporary audiences


  • Byrne, Brendan. A Costly Freedom: A Theological Reading of Mark's Gospel. Collegeville, Minn: Liturgical Press, 2008. [226.306 BYR]
  • Harrington, Wilfrid J. Reading Mark for the First Time. New York: Paulist Press, 2013. [226.306 HAR]
  • Struthers Malbon, Elizabeth. In the Company of Jesus. Characters in Mark’s Gospel. London; Leiden: Westminster John Knox, 2000. [226.3066 MAL]
  • Telford, William. The Theology of the Gospel of Mark. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999. [226.306 TEL] [and ebook]
  • Powell, Mark Allan. Introducing the New Testament: A Historical, Literary, and Theological Survey. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2018, [225.61 POW] [and ebook]


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