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Otherness and Identity in the Gospel of John

Otherness and Identity in the Gospel of John

by Sung Uk Lim
Publication Date: 05/01/2021
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In this book, Sung Uk Lim examines the narrative construction of identity and otherness through ongoing interactions between Jesus and the so-called others as represented by the minor characters in the Gospel of John. This study reconfigures the otherness of the minor characters in order to reconstruct the identity of Jesus beyond the exclusive binary of identity and otherness. The recent trends in Johannine scholarship are deeply entrenched in a dialectical framework of inclusion and exclusion, perpetuating positive portrayals of Jesus and negative portrayals of the minor characters. Read in this light, Jesus is portrayed as a superior, omniscient, and omnipotent character, whereas minor characters are depicted as inferior, uncomprehending, and powerless. At the root of such portrayals lies the belief that the Johannine dualistic Weltanschauung warrants such a sharp differentiation between Jesus and the minor characters. Lim argues, to the contrary, that the multiple constructions of otherness deriving from the minor characters make Jesus' identity vulnerable to a constant process of transformation. Consequently, John's minor characters actually challenge and destabilize Johannine hierarchical dualism within a both/and framework.
Christian theology
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Springer Nature Switzerland AG
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