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Social Justice
Application of Johannine Themes 
to Social Justice Issues 
by John Traxler


My intention is to identify social justice issues contained in the Gospel of John.  While the Fourth Gospel is not as well known for its social justice content as Luke’s Gospel is, it does contain substantial evidence of human alienation within its society and culture, as I have tried to catalog.  It is the marginalized, the disenfranchised, that Jesus reaches out to and invites to join his group of disciples, his community (at the time of this Gospel's writing, the Johannine community).  From papers drafted weekly in accordance with the THST 698 course outline, I have aggregated the major material in general categories of social justice concern (see CONTENTS) for presentation in this document.  The source references identified at the end (BIBLIOGRAPHY) include the HarperCollins Study Bible (NRSV) and a number of commentaries, all with annotations as to their content.


    1.  Overview

    2.  Poor

    1. The Common Purse, Almsgiving

    2. Social Bandits

    3.  Handicapped

    1. Man Born Blind, The Paralytic

    2. Beggars

    4.  Common

    1. The Crowd

    2. Uneducated

    3. Galileans

    4. Jesus’ Origin

    5. The Royal Official

    5.  Foreigners

    6.  Women

    1. The Mother of Jesus

    2. The Samaritan Woman

    3. Mary and Martha of Bethany

    4. Woman Taken in Adultery

    5. Mary Magdalene

    7.  Religion

    1. Unbelief

    2. Nicodemus

    3. Exclusion—Phariseeism

    4. Expulsion from Temple/Synagogue

    5. Community Exclusion and Isolation

    6. Sectarianism

    7. Sectarianism—The New Commandment

    8. Sectarianism—Liberation

    9. Sectarianism—Forgiveness of Sins

    10. Sectarianism—Ecumenism

    8.  Institutions

    1. Perversion of Judicial Practices—Plan to Kill Jesus, Lazarus

    2. Perversion of Justice—Apprehension and Trial

    3. Perversion of Justice—Crucifixion

    4. The Redemption of Peter

    5. Fear of the Jews/Romans

    6. Slavery/Servitude

    7. Inclusive Language

    9.  Summary

    10.  A Social Justice Bibliography

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This page was last updated on  09/27/01
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