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The African Memory of Mark

Chapter 13 and Conclusion

The Markan Nucleus of African Liturgy and Catechesis

Perhaps the greatest argument for a legitimate historical core to the African Memory is the impact left behind in Africa itself.  Dr. Oden catalogues some of the unique features left by a “Markan” tradition, shows how they fit with what we know of a historical Mark, and argues that there is a substantial basis for further investigation.



Note the accomplishments with which Mark is associated.  Why is Mark associated with books in his Icons?


How might Mark’s foundational work of laying the basis for a catechetical school reflect his associations with Paul?


What value is there for Evangelicals as well as Catholics and academia in trying to unearth and understand the primitive catechesis of Mark?


What does it say about the early church in Africa that many of the bishops served first at the Catechetical school?  Why should the people of Africa be justified in being proud of this connection?


The validity of the church leadership as a protection against heresy rested on its connection back to the Apostles.   Would you agree or disagree that the evidence given in this chapter and the rest of the book suggests that the African church was diligent about this task?


Is the gestalttoo tenuous?  Or does it hold together well enough that its worthy of further investigation?


Define the “Invention Hypothesis.”  Explain how it has to work to succeed.  What evidence does Dr. Oden present that undermines it?


What is Dr. Oden’s warning to academics that continue to resist a fair investigation of African tradition concerning Mark?