The African Memory of Mark: About the Book

Now Featured at the Patheos Book Club:
The African Memory of Mark: Reassessing Early Church Tradition

By Thomas Oden

We often regard the author of the Gospel of Mark as an obscure figure about whom we know little. Many would be surprised to learn how much fuller a picture of Mark exists within widespread African tradition, tradition that holds that Mark himself was from North Africa, that he founded the church in Alexandria, that he was an eyewitness to the Last Supper and Pentecost, that he was related not only to Barnabas but to Peter as well and accompanied him on many of his travels.

In this provocative reassessment of early church tradition, Thomas C. Oden begins with the palette of New Testament evidence and adds to it the range of colors from traditional African sources, including synaxaries (compilations of short biographies of saints to be read on feast days), archaeological sites, non-Western historical documents and ancient churches.

The result is a fresh and illuminating portrait of Mark, one that is deeply rooted in African memory and seldom viewed appreciatively in the West.

About the Author

Thomas C. Oden (Ph.D., Yale University), formerly Henry Anson Buttz Professor of Theology at The Theological School of Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, is now director of the Center for Early African Christianity, at Eastern University, St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He is the general editor of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture and the Ancient Christian Doctrine series as well as the author of Classic Christianity, a revision of his three-volume systematic theology.

Additional Author Resources

Oden talks about the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture.

Visit the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture website!