Symbolic Interactionism in the Gospel according to John
A Contextual Study on the Symbolism of Water
Imprint: Wipf and Stock
98 Pages, 5.00 x 8.00 x 0.20 in
- Published: June 2014
- Published: June 2014
Symbolic interactionism is a social-scientific perspective that seeks to describe how human beings create meaning with one another in their daily lives. Since the world is populated by symbols that characterize all interactions among living beings, this book explores the importance of symbols and symbolic interaction while moving beyond the social sciences to theological studies. By examining the way symbolic interaction is portrayed among characters in the Gospel according to John in the "water narratives," this book argues that the Bible is a symbol that is itself full of symbols whose meanings are worthy of our study. Hence, the interaction of characters in the Gospel of John and the whole Bible, along with the symbols they use in their interactions, demonstrates that symbolism is directly linked to human life because symbols are major means of communication, and without symbols, human beings are in chaos.
"Mligo's work is a great contribution in the scholarship of John's gospel. Employing social science approaches, particularly the perspective of symbolic interactionism, Mligo demonstrates that in John's gospel, water not only signifies purification and initiation, but also life and healing, discipleship of service, abolition of boundaries that separate people based on their race, and a vehicle through which people become members in God's rule. This book is insightful, intriguing, and educative. I endorse it because it is good for students, ministers, and scholars as well."
--Stephen S. Kimondo, Lecturer in New Testament, University of Iringa, Tanzania
"Produced in a specific setting with a specific intent, the possibilities inherent within the [Gospel of John] go beyond that original intent as the reader enters into the interpretive conversation. The reader may see possibilities in the text that are valid interpretations in his or her setting but which differ significantly from the writer's intent by using the symbolic interactionism methodology. This book provides a road map how . . . in biblical interpretation."
--from the foreword by Lechion Peter Kimilike