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Mark, Mutuality, and Mental Health

Mark, Mutuality, and Mental Health: Encounters with Jesus

Simon Mainwaring
Series: Semeia Studies
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 374
  • Book Info
    Mark, Mutuality, and Mental Health
    Book Description:

    An incitement to re-assess how society relates to persons with poor mental health

    Mainwaring explores the societal contexts of those who suffer poor mental health, and in particular the relational dynamics of how identity, agency, and dialogue are negotiated in personal encounters. This work seeks to serve as an experiment, such that interested readers might better understand the dynamics of relational power that pervade encounters with persons with poor mental health.


    Foucauldian analysis of the relational dynamics of poor mental health used to re-imagine hegemonic relational dynamicsClose readings of encounters between individual characters to evaluate how mutuality operates in those encountersStudy of mutuality as it has emerged in mental health literature, feminist theologies, and theologies of disability

    eISBN: 978-1-58983-986-1
    Subjects: Religion, Psychology

Table of Contents

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  1. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  2. Foreword
    (pp. ix-x)
    Gerald O. West

    Our custom in Semeia Studies is to allocate a member from the editorial board to work alongside the author or editor of the project submitted. As the General Editor of Semeia Studies, I usually try to identify someone from the board who would resonate with the project and offer support to the author or editor. In this case, I allocated myself!

    Semeia Studies assigns itself the task of trawling the edges of the discipline(s) of biblical studies, in search of projects that push and transgress the boundaries and that offer innovative sites of interpretation and methods for interpretation. My own...

  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-14)

    Conversations matter. Connections matter. How people relate to one another matters. The above vignette describes one of many relational encounters that have served for me as a motivation to undertake the work that follows. It has been via conversations such as these that I have found both a passion and an intellectual interest emerge for how people relate to persons with poor mental health.¹ Even in this age of inclusion, of antidiscrimination legislation,² and of altered nomenclature,³ fear and stereotypical representation of poor mental health and the denigration of persons with poor mental health are still commonplace in North Atlantic...

  6. 1 Relational Dynamics of Poor Mental Health: Assessing Existing Paradigms
    (pp. 15-42)

    I begin this chapter’s exploration of the societal location of poor mental health with an anecdote from the reading group Bible studies that form the heart of this book. The anecdote touches on questions of identity, agency, and dialogue, the three fundamental concerns of this work with regard to how people with poor mental health are related to in contemporary societies:

    C: I think very often, more a feeling or knowing and a willingness and desire to take responsibility of judging. In my own view mental health professionals as a group can be judgmental to greater extents than some others....

  7. 2 Mutuality: A Postcolonial Praxis for the Relational Dynamics of Poor Mental Health
    (pp. 43-62)

    The centrality of societal power in liberation hermeneutics and in Foucault’s work, the concept of power as relational, and the incitement in his work to reimagine hegemonic power dynamics are the core features of the previous chapter that I carry into this one. Moreover, in parsing the significance of these two paradigms, one of the key insights that I think Foucault offers over liberation hermeneutics is the assertion that individuals can exercise agency in the reimagination of discourse. In other words, the “disempowered” of the liberation paradigm do not need to be empowered by some source external to them; they...

  8. 3 Dialogue and Difference: Mutuality and Biblical Hermeneutics
    (pp. 63-88)

    In chapter 2 I explored the core concept of mutuality as a postcolonial praxis and defined mutuality as the praxis of resisting and potentially transforming hegemonic relational dynamics via the renegotiation of perceptions of identity, representations of agency, and instances of dialogical exchange. Taking this core concept of mutuality into this chapter’s exploration of reading method, I first consider how mutuality’s location within the broad milieu of postcolonial criticism relates to my use of postcolonial biblical criticism as a way of preparing to apply mutuality to the relational dynamics of texts.

    A number of predominant strands of postcolonial biblical criticism...

  9. 4 Identity, Labels, and Resistance: Mark 3:1–6 and 3:19b–35
    (pp. 89-128)

    1 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2 They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3 And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come forward.” 4 Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5 He looked at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, “Stretch...

  10. 5 Negotiating Marginal Agency: Mark 5:21–43 and 7:24–30
    (pp. 129-166)

    21 When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. 22 Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet 23 and begged him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” 24 So he went with him.

    And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. 25 Now there was a woman who...

  11. 6 Dialogue and Mutuality: Mark 5:1–20 and 15:1–5
    (pp. 167-202)

    1 They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. 2 And when he [Jesus] had stepped out of the boat, immediately a man out of the tombs with an unclean spirit met him. 3 He lived among the tombs; and no one could restrain him any more, even with a chain; 4 for he had often been restrained with shackles and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart and the shackles he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and on...

  12. 7 Mutuality and Mark: Reflections Textual and Contextual
    (pp. 203-222)

    As I argued in chapter 2, to see mutuality as both a resistiveanda transformational praxis is to push at the boundaries of what counts as postcolonial agency, that is, beyond praxis only as reactive survival operating from within the assumption of hegemony. I explored the effectiveness of mutuality as an agency that might hold the potential both to resist hegemonic discourses and to some extent to begin to transform those discourses.

    As a piece of contextual biblical criticism, this work has followed the classic pattern of moving from context to text and then back again to context. It...

  13. Appendix: Reading Group Transcripts
    (pp. 223-314)
  14. Index of Ancient Sources
    (pp. 345-348)
  15. Index of Modern Authors
    (pp. 349-354)
  16. Index of Subjects
    (pp. 355-360)