Listening to Voices at the Margin: The Washing of the Feet John 13:1–20

John Mansford Prior


Witnessing an entire congregation participating in the Maundy Thursday ritual of foot washing in Johannesburg led to a renewed consideration of the meaning of this, the final sign of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel (Jn 13:1-20), and its relevance for today. Making use of the dynamic of intercultural hermeneutics and so listen to voices at the margin, this reflection moves back and forth between the biblical text itself and a variety of contemporary cultural appropriations of the ritual in Asia and the Pacific, focusing upon issues of power, powerlessness, inclusion and exclusion.


Social hierarchy, power, vulnerability, inclusion, exclusion, servant leadership, discipleship of equals

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