The Kingdom of God is like an intergalactic starship in constant orbit around the earth. No on can see it, but its tremendous power is available at all times to anyone who is dedicated to its transcendent message. With this splendid metaphor, Maloney launches into an engaging study of the Gospel of Mark.He argues forcefully that the key theme of the book is eschatology (death and resurrection) and his argument goes against the grain of the majority of Markan scholars who contend that the themes of the Gospel are discipleship and the Messianic secret. Maloney asserts that Markan scholars have so often missed this point because of their location in the First World. They lack the cultural orientation to understand the force of Mark's message about the coming Kingdom of God. Thus, traditional interpretations of Mark have emphasized a privatization of morality among Christians and a lack of concern for the well-being of the worldwide human community. The remedy for such a reading of Mark is to read it through the eyes of the people whose experience is most like that of Mark's original audience. Maloney uses the insights of Latin American biblical interpreters and the results of social science research into the first-century Mediterranean world to provide a fresh and provocative reading of Mark's gospel.
Elliott C. Maloney, O.S.B. is Professor of New Testament Studies and Biblical Languages at Saint Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, a member of the Religious Studies Faculty at Saint Vincent College, and the author of Semitic Interference in Marcan Syntax.