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Space and place in the Gospel of John.

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The Fourth Gospel uses space to arrange its narrative and uses its narrative to represent Johannine space and experience. The spaces alluded to in John are full of contestation and serve as identity markers. By Nathanael asking if anything good can come from Nazareth, he represents Nazareth and its inhabitants as insignificant. Yet, by Jesus seeing in Nathanael, not a Galilean but an Israelite, Jesus subverts the regional stereotypes operative in Nathanael and John’s narrative world but maybe reflective of John’s concrete experience. By denying the sacred places of Jerusalem and Samaria, and proposing worship in spirit and truth, the Johannine Jesus is theologically and socially located on the margins of sacred place but at the centre of sacred presence. When the Johannine Jesus sees the arrival of the Greeks as the ‘hour of glory’ he subverts diaspora existence and marginalises the centre, Palestine. If the ultimate place to access God in John is utopia, then this is, no place.


Thesis (Ph.D.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2009.


Bible. N.T. John--Criticism, Narrative., Bible. N.T. John--Criticism, interpretation, etc., Space--Religious aspects--Christianity., Place (Philosophy) in the Bible., Theses--Theology.