Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Missionalia]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0256-950720180002&lang=en vol. 46 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Cone's binary view of Africanness and Christianity through the eyes of his African American critics</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95072018000200001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Unlike some of his American colleagues, James Cone tended to distance Black Theology from Africanness in general and African Traditional Religions in particular. Throughout his life this tendency has evolved, but never disappeared altogether. This article sets out to achieve three goals. First, I give a historical account of Cone's relationship with Africa, particularly with African religiosity, focusing on the criticism he received from his colleagues in the U.S. (notably Gayraud Wilmore, Cecil Cone and Charles Long). Second, I analyse the tension between the Christian and the African in Cone's theological outlook by probing his notion of indigenization/Africanization among others. Third, I seek to interpret Cone's binary view of Christianity and Africanness in the light of his chief locus of enunciation, namely Western Christianity (albeit contested). My attempt here is to lay foundations for an engagement with Cone's attitude toward Africanness from the current South African (decolonial) perspective by considering it, first, within its original African American context. <![CDATA[<b>James Cone and the Crisis of American Theology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95072018000200002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The objective of this essay is to investigate the public function of Christian theology in the (politico-theological writings and hermeneutics of James H. Cone. It is also to articulate a critique of white American theology. In Cone's work, Christian theology is expressed as a public discourse and testimony of God's continuing emancipative movements and empowering presence in society with the goal (1) to set the oppressed and the vulnerable free, (2) to readjust the things of the world toward divine justice and peace, and (3) to bring healing and restoration to the places in which volitional (human) agents have inflicted pain, suffering, oppression, and all forms of evil. This essay is an attempt to imagine creatively with new hermeneutical lenses and approaches-anti-imperial, liberative, and postcolonial-the task of Christian theology as public witness to carry out the emancipative agenda and reconciling mission (salvation, healing, hospitality, wholeness, reconciliation, and peace) of God in contemporary societies and in our postcolonial moments. The basic argument of this essay is twofold. First, it contends for the essential role of liberation theology as a public witness in redefining Christian theology in general. Rather than being a "special interest" or merely political theme in theology, it suggests that black liberation theology has a special role to play in "freeing" Christian theology from racism, oppression, and imperialism. Second, by promoting some new understanding of Cone's work and applying it in some new context, this article is deploying Cone's public theology to critique or awaken dominant white theology to a new way of thinking about the whole field of theology in the 21st century. <![CDATA[<b>Purple Hibiscus: A Postcolonial Feminist Reading</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95072018000200003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The article investigates how Purple Hibiscus utilizes intertextuality and explores the intersection of class, gender, race, postcoloniality and violence in a context of theological imagination represented by two siblings, who express their Roman Catholic faith differently. The character of Papa Eugene, whose extreme religiosity and violence pervades the book, is depicted as a colonized subject, who embodies epistemic violence of a colonial past. The decolonizing postcolonial feminist perspective of the book is best modeled by the character of Aunty Ifeoma and how she expresses her Christian faith as an African woman. Whereas, Aunty Ifeoma is an articulate intellectual, women of different status are shown to use different means of resisting patriarchy and violence in the quest for liberating relationships, thereby modeling various expressions of feminist agency. This paper, therefore, explores the intersectionality of gender, class, race, religion, postcoloniality and power in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's debuting novel, Purple Hibiscus set in a political context of a military coup in Nigeria. <![CDATA[<b>The Bible and/as the Lynching Tree - A South African Tribute to James H. Cone</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95072018000200004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this tribute to James H. Cone I reflect on his biblical-theological hermeneutics, drawing on work that spans nearly fifty years, but concentrating on his most recent book, The Cross and the Lynching Tree. I identify in Cone's work radical hermeneutics of reception, which I then bring into dialogue with Itumeleng Mosala's radical hermeneutic of production. This dialogue, I argue, offers us significant biblical-theological capacities for a post-apartheid biblical hermeneutics of decolonisation, with specific reference to South Africa's land expropriation debate. <![CDATA[<b>A Haunting Responsibility to James Cone</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95072018000200005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The Communist Manifesto begins with the words, 'A spectre is haunting Europe - a spectre of Communism'. Maybe with the death of the father of Black Theology one could argue that a spectre of Black Theology is haunting the globe. A Spirit of Black Theology is haunting the globe and particularly South Africa, and this spirit is seeking to become manifest, in other words, seeking to be made manifest by finding an embodiment. Theologies in the South have inherited this spirit, the spirit of James Cone, and with this inheritance comes a responsibility. In this article I will seek to respond to this spirit, but in the light of another of Marx's texts, The Eighteenth Brumaire, where he argues that the new social revolution, which would maybe be an appropriate response to Cone's spirit, is a revolution that takes its poetics from the future. "The social revolution cannot draw its poetry from the past, but only from the future. It cannot begin with itself before it has stripped itself of all its superstitions concerning the past. Earlier revolutions relied on memories out of world history in order to drug themselves against their own content. In order to find their own content, the revolutions of the 19th century have to let the dead bury the dead. Before, the expression exceeded the content; now the content exceeds the expression" (Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire). The content, the cry, exceeds the expression. Between these two texts of Karl Marx (and Engels), I will specifically be reading Cone's expropriation of the cry of black pain, and how this cry calls for a response (expression) in the contemporary context of mass migration, fundamentalism and a shifting world order from a mono-polar world to perhaps multi-polar globe, whilst heeding Marx's words that the content exceeds the expression. <![CDATA[<b>Cracking the Eurocentric Code - A Battle on the Banks of the 'New Blood Rivers'</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95072018000200006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Belief in divine privilege or God's creation of a volk is fundamental a motif in the propulsion of the superiority of one race against another in the world, ipso facto, the continuous management of systems of knowledge, authority, economics, and a 'world civilization' now quintessentially fundamentalist and racially fascist are effects of this deeply hidden and coded belief. Apartheid simply, is a zenith of this supersessionist (replacement of Israel from the Bible with European white) world enunciated since the justification of the commodification and dispensability of black lives. To elucidate this thesis, this article first offers a presentation of Cone's theological grammar. Second, we punctuate the value of self-criticality as an indispensable criterion by demonstrating that Cone was engaged critically in Black Theology of Liberation's (BTL) internal discourses not only to clarify the relationship between Sunday and Saturday religiosities, but to distinguish and distance BTL from idolatrous imaginations of knowledge and history. Black faith oozes from the volcanic, rapturous explosion that dismantles the divide between Sunday and Saturday religions. Third, we make the point about the ghettoization of Cone's theology at its gestation and by this we seek to demonstrate this continuous relegation of the school to residential alienation and nihilism in the battle of ideas. For this reason, the article argues, cracking the "Western code," to break the coalition of black experience with the white power structure, is the space where BTL might have to dwell in the battle of 'New Blood Rivers.' <![CDATA[<b>Black Theology of Liberation - (Is it the) Thing of the Past? A Theological Reflection on Black Students' Experiences</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95072018000200007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article pursues a theological reflection on black students' experiences using the liberative paradigm found in Black theology of liberation (BTL). Reflecting on black students' experiences in the classroom, the article asks the question; is Black theology of liberation the thing of the past? Pertaining to the question, the article links James Cone and Steve Biko's experiences in university with my own experiences in the university, particularly as a student of theology in South Africa. Therefore, the focus of the article is threefold; James Cone's experiences as a student of theology in America, Steve Biko's experiences as a black student under the apartheid government. Lastly, the article investigates my own experiences to present a theological reflection on black students' experiences post-apartheid.