Turning from Toxicity to Healthy Leadership Environments An Inner-Textural Analysis of John 10:1-21

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Mark Atterson


The research explored John 10:1-21 by utilizing an inner textural analysis to discover if the dark side of leadership and toxic followership was contrasted with healthy leadership and followership. In the passage, Jesus utilized a Hebrew form of teaching called a mashal (short allegory or parable) to contrast his leadership with that of the Judean religious leaders. The research provides a window into the toxic, Judean spiritual leadership of the first-century contrasted with the shepherd leadership metaphor utilized by Jesus.  The Judean leaders lacked compassion and ostracized the man healed of blindness, while Jesus, a new kind of leader, (noble, altruistic, self-sacrificing, and follower-oriented) provided a new community for those excommunicated from the Jewish synagogue and community for believing in Jesus’ teaching. The analysis and conclusion found in the mashal add to the current literature on the dark side of leadership and toxic followership, while providing an alternative form of follower-oriented leadership and pathway for followership.  


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Atterson, M. (2019). Turning from Toxicity to Healthy Leadership Environments. Theology of Leadership Journal, 2(1), 73-85. Retrieved from http://theologyofleadership.com/index.php/tlj/article/view/43