Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Under the radar

It is fair to say that at most the Roman themes touched on in the prologue [to the Gospel of John] are implied rather than explicit. But this should not be surprising. Warren Carter and Tom Thatcher both draw on the work of James C. Scott to better appreciate the subtle ways in which resistance can occur. The forms of resistance are often very subtle, for good reason. Carter summarizes,
An expectation of explicit naming is unlikely in a text that originates with those subjected to imperial power and yet are concerned, in part, to contest it. The powerless rarely engage in direct and open confrontation but employ self-protective, calculated, disguised arts of resistance along with continual acts of accommodation. [Carter, John and Empire, 150]
Just because the allusions and engagement are subtle does not mean they are not significant.—Matthew Gordley, New Testament Christological Hymns, p. 165

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