AT 2016 Supplementum 24

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  • ItemOpen Access
    African Biblical hermeneutics on the threshold? Appraisal and wayforward
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2016) Speckman, M.
    What appears to be African Biblical Hermeneutics often refers to the geographical location of the authors rather than the content. There always appears to be something new on the horizon, but the colonial umbilical cord prevents a crossing of the threshold. This article contends that, in order for it to cross the threshold, African Biblical Hermeneutics has to go beyond the geographical location of the reader/interpreter to the development of a framework that is essentially African, while not compromising the catholicity of the church. A celebration of life is proposed as the closest interpretative framework to both the Bible and the multiple African cultures.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Reading Philemon with Onesimus in the postcolony: exploring a postcolonial runaway slave hypothesis
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2016) Tiroyabone, Obusitswe
    For centuries, the Philemon narrative has been read as the story of a slave that ran away from his master and must now be reconciled to him, and continue their master-slave relationship. Reading the narrative through a postcolonial lens yields another form of interpretation: reading the text with the signified and not the signifiers, reading with the oppressed and not the oppressor, and reading with the marginalised and not the centre. This article argues that the letter of Philemon and indeed the narrative of slavery must be decolonised. Using the Philemon narrative, this article proposes a postcolonial runaway slave hypothesis that shifts from John Chrysostom’s interpretation and those of many others after him significantly. The article argues that Onesimus was an intelligent person albeit a slave who sought to liberate himself using the very same system that oppressed him.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Reclaiming our Black bodies: reflections on a portrait of Sarah (Saartjie) Baartman and the destruction of Black bodies by the state
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2016) Mothoagae, I. D.
    The parading of the nude body of Sarah Baartman by the British colonisers led England and France to racially categorise her as a subhuman. Her Black body was viewed as something that can be violated, exploited, destructed, penetrated, and subjugated to various inhumane conditions. According to Fanon, there is a world order that determines who fits where and how: “The colonial world is a world cut in two”. The militaristic response by the state to the people’s protest point to the fact that technology, the regimes, and the targets still remain. In this article, I will argue that the use of violence by the colonial, imperial system against Sarah Baartman (Black people) has its origins in colonialism and slavery. I maintain that there is a distinction between “a body” and “the Body”. The paper will use as basis the intersectionality theory. Conclusions will be drawn. The biggest mistake the [B]lack world ever made was to assume that whoever opposed apartheid was an ally (Biko 1987:63).
  • ItemOpen Access
    Who calls the shots in Naomi's life? Reading the Naomi-Ruth story within the African religio-cultural context
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2016) Masenya, M.
    In Africa, the whole are religious and the dead are believed to be actively involved in the daily affairs of the people. Such a worldview, in which the Sacred Other, the living and the (living) dead formed an integral whole, can also be observed at critical points in Naomi’s life: when Naomi bid farewell to her daughters-in-law (Rt 1:8-9); Naomi’s confession about Yahweh’s faithfulness to both the living and the dead (Rt 2:20); Naomi’s plan to seek security for Ruth through “levirate” marriage (Rt 3:1), and when she acted as a nurse to Mahlon’s son (Rt 4:5, 16). Basing one’s arguments on the apparent resemblances between the world view in which the narrative of Ruth is embedded and the African (Northern Sotho) world view, how may it be far-fetched to argue that the dead (males) called the shots in Naomi’s life?
  • ItemOpen Access
    Black soteriology: the physiological and ontological process
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2016) Mdingi, H. M.
    The Black experience that is historical and continues in post-oppressive and racist regimes proves to be problematic for Black existence. This is particularly so when one considers that the freedom posed by colourlessness and universalism of humanity is an irrational ideal, which works to undermine the level of Black historical oppression, and a denial of justice. This is linked to the untapped reconciliation of the chasm and dichotomy in Black ontological and physiological existence, where their humanity has to be reconciled in both these paradigms for authenticity and even more so for salvation. Such a need ushers in a soteriology that is dialectical in the quest for Black ontology and physiology to allow true affirmation, which is redemption, of Black humanity as Black before God and the world. This soteriology exists through Black theology and the notion of the Black church by encouraging a Black soteriological syllogism.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Black Church as a caring community for the poor: Southern Synod as investigative centre
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2016) Modise, L.
    In this article, the researcher discusses first the Black Church in relation to God, one another, and the world and, secondly, the blackness of the URCSA reflected in terms of her membership’s pigmentation and her identity of the Black church. Thirdly, the author illustrates why a Black theology of liberation is needed in the post-apartheid era in terms of the poverty level in South Africa. On average, 4.35% of Whites are poor in comparison to 61.4% of poor Black African people. Finally, the author focuses on how the Black church should be a caring community for the poor, destitute, oppressed and wronged in both church and society.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Reading Isaiah 58 in conversation with I. J. Mosala: an African liberationist approach
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2016) Mtshiselwa, N.
    This paper sets out to draw on, and simultaneously depart from Mosala’s Black biblical hermeneutic of liberation in order to navigate liberating possibilities that Isaiah 58 could offer to the oppressed Black people in Southern Africa. First, the paper explores Mosala’s trajectory in biblical hermeneutics. Secondly, from both the liberative and the African philosophical – African liberationist – points of view, Isaiah 58 is re-read in light of the Southern African context. Finally, the author submits that, if read from an African liberationist perspective, the text of Isaiah 58 could contribute positively to socio-economic redress, particularly to poverty alleviation and, subsequently, to rebuilding relationships in Southern Africa.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Liberative Black theology: a case study of race in theological education
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2016) Naidoo, M.
    Our history in South Africa has shown that we are largely segregated and unequal, as race continues to define the opportunities of many. Post-apartheid interactions continue to be troubling in racial terms. The new interracial relationships that are created in religious organisations can become a model of social cohesion for South African society. However, Christian organisations are structured in patriarchal and hierarchical ways with their authoritarianism; hence, the roots of oppression lie deeper. Black theology is part of a larger ongoing movement of liberation and must turn its attention to persistent forces such as racism that cause human alienation. This article will attempt to analyse racism by unpacking the findings of an empirical research project on diversity, and explore the transformative methodology of Black theology in raising critical awareness on identity issues within South African theological education.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Decolonising Biblical hermeneutics in the (South) African context
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2016) Ramantswana, H.
    The recognition of social location as a heuristic device in biblical hermeneutics does not necessarily equate to the production of radical and alternative knowledge. From our own social location (Africa), biblical hermeneutics has to deal with the dynamics of coloniality. Africa, especially South Africa as a social location, is still burdened by coloniality. The orientation of African biblical hermeneutics has to be decolonial if it is to overcome the persistence of coloniality by privileging African knowledge systems and African thinkers. It also has to unmask the structures of coloniality that continue to destabilise the African imagination. The emergence of African biblical hermeneutics does not imply that the colonial systems have been overcome – coloniality is able to survive and thrive even under the tag “African”.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The prevalence of women sexual locking in a gender violence context - a pastoral perspective
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2016) Baloyi, M. E.
    Marriage is highly regarded in Africa. Many taboos and rituals were put in place to ensure that marriage endures for as long as the couple lives. Any attack on marriage was rendered as a great enemy that deserved to be arrested and destroyed. In order to curb extra-marital relationships that were a threat to marriage, some African communities applied sexual locking. Although it had been observed that cases of ‘stealing each other’s wives’ existed, these were not expected traditions among Africans. Some prefer this practice in order to eliminate treachery and fornication, but the experience thereof is humiliating to the couple, the family, and the community. The unliberated areas of African women’s lives are evident through their being locked sexually. This article aims to research and argue the downside of this unusual practice, which is growing among South African communities.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Allan Boesak: innocence and the struggle for humanity
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2016) Cloete, M.
    As a Black theologian and political activist, deeply committed to the cause of freedom, reconciliation and justice in South Africa, Allan Boesak has embraced the philosophy of Black consciousness as a legitimate moral-political foundation for the development of national unity. Boesak is of the view that post-apartheid South Africa is still deeply plagued by a racist legacy of moral-political “innocence”. I explore the validity of Boesak’s position from the perspective of his fundamental claim that the philosophy of Black Consciousness represents a legitimate framework for addressing the legacy of “innocence”, construed by him as an epistemic condition that refuses to engage with the historical “truth” of race thinking.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Does Black theology have a role to play in the democratic South Africa?
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2016) Dolamo, R. T. H.
    Black theology was conceived in South Africa in the mid-1960s and flourished from the 1970s, when White supremacy perpetuated by the apartheid state was at its zenith. The struggle against apartheid was aimed mainly at attaining national political liberation so much so that other forms of freedom, albeit implied and included indirectly in the liberation agenda, were not regarded as immediate priorities. Yet two decades into our democracy, poverty, racism, gender injustice, patriarchy, xenophobia, bad governance, environmental degradation, and so on need to be prophetically addressed with equal seriousness and simultaneously, for none of these issues can be left for some time in the future. Using Black Consciousness as a handmaid, Black theology can meaningfully play a role in the democratic South Africa.