Mark 12:41-44 as a Script for Persuasive Speaking in Lovangai Church Congregations

Fast, Lesley
This article links the oratorical application of the original Gospel of Mark in Græco-Roman society with a parallel oratorical application of Mark in contemporary Melanesian church congregations in northeast Papua New Guinea. It is based on the thesis that the original text of Mark was designed to be delivered orally to mostly preliterate groupings of Jesus followers in the Græco-Roman world. Individual Lovangai church congregations are likewise practicing a similar rhetorical delivery as a useful and practical translational activity that addresses practical concerns relevant to the Lovangai society. This article discusses the characteristics of text as script in relation to Græco-Roman rhetorical practise and interacts with selected scholarly works that treat the identity of the Gospel audiences. Effect in translation is connected with the phenomenon of speaking, integrated with practical life experience. This view is presented as an alternative to models that would have effect primarily taking place in the domain of cognition. Insights from anthropological studies into how humans pass on cultural knowledge are applied to an understanding of persuasive speaking, and we maintain that this can be seen as directing group members toward a desired change of practise. To illustrate translational activity for Mark 12:41–44, one Lovangai church member is followed as she speaks from her own interpretation of the script to a matter of import in the social setting of one church congregation.
Papua New Guinea
Content Language:
speech act
Subject Languages:
Nature of Work:
pages 67-79
Entry Number:
55 624