Not just a dwelling but an incarnation space. The importance of the house in Mark’s Gospel

Rebecca Roberts

If asked the difference between a house and a home, we may give varied answers, but we all feel that there is a difference. Our attitude to domestic life is steeped in values, hopes and desires. This article shows that Mark’s Gospel uses the setting of the house to present an upheaval in domestic practice, and in doing so invites the followers of Jesus to pursue new ideals amidst ordinary life, patterned after the ‘things of God.’ Rebecca Roberts is a postgraduate Theology  student at the University of Nottingham.

The space between the four walls of a house is a rather mundane setting for the stories contained in Mark’s Gospel. As the setting of the routine rhythms of daily social existence, houses in every society and every age are spaces in which certain attitudes and practices are expected of those who inhabit them. The house is of course the setting of daily life, and as such it is the realm of regularity and normality. At the same time, spaces in the ancient world were not neutral backdrops.

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