Scielo RSS <![CDATA[HTS Theological Studies]]> vol. 76 num. 3 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>The Holy Communion and African rituals: An encounter between African religion and Christianity</b>]]> African lifestyle is informed, influenced and guided by African cosmology or cosmologies. These cosmologies (especially from the AmaZulu tribes, who are the focus of this study) shape social norms that are drawn from and explained by various indigenous knowledge systems that view the cosmology as intertwined. Consequently, according to this view, the spiritual world is not necessarily divorced from the physical world. This configuration of rationality could be observed during traditional and cultural gatherings in which myth is not only orally narrated but re-lived through rituals. In such cases, rituals provide a sphere where both the human world and the spiritual world converge in sharing a mythic experience represented in meals, drinks, songs, clapping of hands and dances. This convergence of God, amadlozi or badimo (generally translated as 'ancestors' or 'predecessors') brings the lived experience of the previous generation to reality. Therefore, the main argument in this contribution would be that the story of Jesus could still be re-lived through its most significant rituals such as the Holy Communion. This article reflects on the ritual of Holy Communion, which more emphatically addresses African cosmological views. The question of exclusivism of participation in this ritual is addressed to probe their individualistic pattern, which is perhaps more Western than African. <![CDATA[<b>Ritual, myth and transnational giving within the Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa</b>]]> This article interrogates how rituals and myths may reshape Pentecostal ideology and practice in ways that resonate with the practical concerns of born-again congregants in an exclusive foreign labour market. It draws on a series of field observations conducted in Johannesburg, at two congregations of the Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa (ZAOGA) - a born-again movement with roots in Zimbabwe - between 2009 and 2016. The authors critically examine the shifting architecture of the ritual of Working Talents and its contradictory use of myths. The authors consider the intended consequences of both the ritual of Working Talents and often contradictory myths used to bolster it, for the transnational growth of the church and its involvement in the development of the nation. A phenomenological observation qualitative research was utilised to establish the experiences, feelings and behaviours of the ZAOGA congregants regarding the gospel of Working Talents at two of their assemblies in Johannesburg. A key finding was that Working Talents contains ethical action and empowerment narratives, and it aspires to create Pentecostal congregants with collective cultural identities, disposed to give money to support the causes of the church. In doing so, myths and rituals have reshaped the ZAOGA Pentecostal ideology into a nuanced version of the Prosperity Gospel, one that emphasises notions of indigenisation, empowerment and self-propagation. <![CDATA[<b>'Suspected killer': Tamar's plight (Gn 38) as a lens for illuminating women's vulnerability in the legal codes of Shona and Israelite societies</b>]]> The story of Judah and Tamar in Genesis 38 is one of the most intriguing stories in the Hebrew Bible. While it yields many useful insights into the character of God, the nature of sin and the aspiration of our redemption, it is equally offensive when one looks at it from a human rights perspective, considering, in particular, the vulnerable and defenceless woman, Tamar. Her being returned to her father's house is portrayed as acting in accordance with the law for a childless widow (Lv 22:13; Rt 1:8). However, using the critical hermeneutical lens, it becomes apparent that the real motive that drove Judah to send her away was his fear lest his only surviving son Shelah should share the fate of Er and Onan, whose deaths he plainly attributed to Tamar's doing. As such, Tamar was deprived of the right to marry Shelah as provided for in the levirate marriage law. Using feministic hermeneutics and the comparative approach, this article foregrounds the vulnerability experienced by women, especially when their husbands mysteriously or suddenly pass away. Because of the patriarchal hegemony of African and Israelite societies, childless widows often find themselves ostracised from the same families which they thought they were now part and parcel of by virtue of having married into that family. Much of the ostracism emanates from the fact that they are usually fingered as the prime suspects responsible for having played a part in their husbands' deaths. Hence, the crux of this article is to present the interface between the Israelite and African worldviews, highlighting the parallels between the plight of widows in the Israelite and Shona societies. <![CDATA[<b>A missional reflection on the challenges of getting married faced by the poor: A case study from Soshanguve</b>]]> This is a case study that is written from the perspective of a black African who lives in a community of poverty. He has observed a growing number of adults who desire to get married, but only cohabit. He formed a focus group with five cohabiting couples who desired to get married. Through this focus group, they discussed impediments of getting married as well as alternatives for converting challenges to resources that would make marriage a reality. A mission practitioner who values being a tangible sign of hope through involvement in social matters catalysed the happenings of this case study through a group he put together. The results of the focus group reveal stories of both success and failure. <![CDATA[<b>The new Ukrainian Autocephalous Church and its image in the ecumenical space</b>]]> An important moment in the recent history of the Eastern Orthodox Church was for sure the recognition granted to the Ukrainian Orthodoxy by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople with the Tomos of autocephaly (2019). Praised by some Orthodox churches and damned by other, it was preceded by some attempts of negotiation initiated by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and by a few meetings between the representatives of the aforementioned institution, Russian Patriarchate and the Ukrainian local churches that was later recognised by Constantinople and by a Schism between the Constantinople and Moscow. At the same time, it divided the local Orthodox churches between the ones who sustain one or the other side or prefer to remain in a neutral state and determined later meetings like the one from Amman in Jordan (2020), between leaders and representatives of the Orthodox Church. Conscious of the relevance of the event and its potential consequences, we have tried here to see how it was reflected in the ecumenical space. Therefore, we have proceeded to the investigation of the journals from the ecumenical area that spoke about it, and we analysed the way how they saw it and emphasised the main elements that have raised their interest. Together with the ecclesiastical challenges, we found that they were also interested in this problem not only for its theological meaning but also because of its geopolitical relevance. The research, based on the literature investigated, therefore presents the Ukrainian problem and its image in the ecumenical space. CONTRIBUTION: The research investigates how the image of the Eastern Orthodox Church changed in the ecumenical space after the foundation of the New Ukrainian Church and the debates that followed inside of the Orthodox space in this context. It is linked with the scope of the journal due to the fact that investigates a topic relevant for the ecumenical area and presents a topic that can contribute in the future to the change of the relationships with different churches with the Orthodox one. <![CDATA[<b>Regenerated without being recreated? A soteriological analysis of the African neo-Pentecostal teaching on generational curses</b>]]> The African neo-Pentecostal (ANP) teaching that Christians continue to suffer from generational curses or bloodline curses is analysed from the perspective of Christian salvation as spiritual recreation. The main question considered in this article is: Soteriologically, how may we evaluate the ANP view that 'born again' Christians remain vulnerable to generational curses? The article describes the ANP assertion that Christians live under the threat of generational curses. Furthermore, the ANP's understanding of the nature of generational curses is examined. Attention is further given to the ANP's view of the role played by a person's blood in the transmission of generational curses and how this makes Christians vulnerable to generational curses after their conversion. The article also analyses how the doctrine of generational curses expresses a notion of Christian salvation with limited creative powers in Africa. Lastly, some elements that should inform an understanding of Christian salvation when addressing the fear of generational curses among the ANPs are proposed. The significance of this article lies in contributing a theological analysis that will help African Christians find confidence in their Christian salvation. CONTRIBUTION: The article attempts to contribute towards the formulation of a biblically informed systematic theological framework of analysing and critiquing the logic of salvation in the ANP teaching that generational curses remain on regenerated Christians <![CDATA[<b>Religious pluralism and its implications for church development</b>]]> Religious pluralism model holds the belief that there is virtue in every religion, just as all religions are good and are of equal value. It does not consider religion's particularity but is interested in the ideas that have not favoured any religion. The issue with this concept is not its assertion of the validity of all religions. It is rather with its denial of the finality of any religion as the way by which people could come to God. Hence, it allows the existence of multiple religions in a given society and encourages religious tolerance. The beauty of pluralism is its flexibility which makes religious practicing a wilful act and religious conversion a choice and not a force, although it has the tendency to encourage syncretism. This research examines critically the implications of pluralism using historical approach on the development of Christian church. Data for the research were basically obtained from secondary sources. The findings reveal that although religious pluralism has its negative sides, it gives the much needed boost to development of church if its tenets are followed. Accordingly, the article recommends that Christian churches in pluralist societies such as Nigeria should imbibe the virtues of religious tolerance, and dialogue, if they want to remain alive and continue to be relevant. CONTRIBUTION: Religious pluralism is a panacea to inordinate and incessant religious conflict, if given its proper place in Nigeria, will breed religious tolerance, peace and progress. This work would be of immense of benefit to government, missionaries and students across all strata of discipline <![CDATA[<b>Black Christ and Cross-Roads Jesus for white South African Christians</b>]]> A significant factor undermining real racial reconciliation in post-1994 South Africa is widespread resistance to shared historical responsibility amongst South Africans racialised as white. In response to the need for localised 'white work' (raising self-critical, intragroup historical awareness for the sake of deepened racial reconciliation), this article aims to contribute to the uprooting of white denialism, specifically amongst Afrikaans-speaking Christians from (Dutch) Reformed backgrounds. The point of entry is two underexplored, challenging, contextualised crucifixion paintings, namely, Black Christ and Cross-Roads Jesus. Drawing on critical whiteness studies, extensive local and international experience as a 'participatory' facilitator of conflict transformation and his particular embodiment, the author explores the creative unsettling potential of these two prophetic 'icons'. Through this incarnational, phenomenological, diagnostic engagement with Black Christ, attention is drawn to the dynamics of family betrayal, 'moral injury' and idolisation underlying 'white fragility'. 'White fatigue' is challenged by stressing the Biblical nature of Cross-Roads Jesus' confrontational, 'ugly' portrayal of the systemic violence of apartheid and colonialism. It is also argued that a combination of Louw's shocking portrayal of an enraged, emaciated township Jesus with the explicit depiction of white historical responsibility in Black Christ increases the counter-cultural potential of these icons to disrupt denial amongst white South African Christians. However, the realisation of this potential will require the cultivation of more capacity to work creatively with the intense emotional, moral, spiritual discomfort brought to the surface by this type of religious icon. CONTRIBUTION: The article argues for a contextualised, South African engagement with the crucifixion of Christ, through an embodied interpretation of two anti-apartheid religious paintings. It makes a contribution to critical whiteness studies and practical theology and thus fits into the interdisciplinary, hermeneutical scope of HTS. <![CDATA[<b>Can religion (un)zombify? The trajectories of psychic capture theology in postcolonial South Africa</b>]]> 'Police arrested suspected criminals in a satanic place masquerading as a church … There is no church there, but there is Satanism … Those people are not praying for anything, but they have hypnotised abantu [people]'. Informed by a decoloniality lens in relation to motifs such as coloniality of power and knowledge and being, I argue that mafiarised religions in South Africa thrive through psychic capture theology. Some emerging religious movements subject their followers to unthinkable practices, which makes outsiders question the way in which both religious leaders and adherents operate outside the conventionally accepted practice of religion, and, instead, indulge in practices characterised by manipulation, corruption and mental destabilisation. I respond to two questions: What are the trajectories of a religion that zombifies, and how can the social pathologies of psychic capture theology be addressed? I respond to these questions with special reference to the Seven Angels Ministry and Penuel Mnguni. I argue that some emerging ministries strive to destroy the psychic ability of adherents, to achieve strategic distance that dehumanises, removes people from the zone of being, and causes them to question their ontological density. I end the article by arguing that there is a need for religion to be regulated, and reintroduced, to challenge religious mafias that thrive through mental destabilisation. In doing so, religion can be reconfigured and have relevance in a postcolonial state, such as South Africa, especially in contexts where the rationale of religious discourses is questionable. CONTRIBUTION: The article contributes to knowledge in the sense that it calls for religion to be problematised and reconstructed within education and sociological space when it dehumanise and removes people from the zone of being. Through this approach, the article fits with the scope for the journal that calls for interdisciplinary approach to the study within the international contexts <![CDATA[<b>Politics of the body, fear and ubuntu: Proposing an African women's theology of disability</b>]]> There is increasing research on the inclusion and exclusion of people with disabilities in African spaces, which are perpetuated by religious and cultural fear. Decision to shun or embrace people is defined by the politics of the body and influenced by the religion and culture of fear. In politics of the body, women are discriminated against because their bodies are often controlled and put under surveillance. Women with disabilities experience this discrimination more than their able-bodied counterparts and men with disabilities. Written from the perspective of the ethic of ubuntu, this article examines the fear of disability among the Ndebele of Matetsi in Zimbabwe, as well as how the politics of the body are used by women with disabilities to denounce this fear. These women described how they used (in childhood) and (adulthood) and still use their bodies to call for inclusion in their communities. The article employs findings from the politics of the body emerging from the narratives of women with disabilities to propose an African women's theology of disability. CONTRIBUTION: The article problematises fear of disability as a cause of discrimination and exclusion of differently abled people particularly women with. It therefore proposes an African women's theology of disability that is informed by the interdisciplinary approach of Ubuntu promoting the inclusion of all people including women with disabilities into the web of life <![CDATA[<b>'That song moves me to tears' - Emotion, memory and identity in encountering Christian songs</b>]]> This article aims to explore the complex issue of the emotive effect of Christian songs. It is based mainly on a literature survey, using sources both from Christian hymnology and musicology. It also uses illustrative examples from three informal surveys in congregations on the reasons particular songs are favourites. The point is made that exploring this issue scientifically is very complex as there are so many variables in people's appreciation of songs. Some of these elements are discussed, such as the effect of the external setting in which people experience a song, factors important in the appreciation of a text, such as poetic quality and knowledge of the author's background. Other factors are the emotive quality and level of difficulty of a tune and in what time this style was popular. Then there are the internal factors, such as the link of a song with group identity and special memories. Some of the survey results corroborate the pointers in the literature for what makes certain songs particularly emotionally appealing. Some of these were a preference for musical styles popular in one's youth, the importance of relationships with significant others for forming favourites and the important element of memory in the emotional impact of songs. Concluding pointers for worship include motivating for different styles of music in worship and carefully finding those songs in each new musical genre, which have the potential for sustaining today's youth into the future. CONTRIBUTION: This article makes a contribution in what is a complex and often emotionally charged issue in congregations: Worship styles and musical preferences. It argues for the importance of using different musical styles and bringing the generations together <![CDATA[<b>Challenges and prospects of partnership among local and foreign Christian missionaries in Nigeria</b>]]> The subject of partnership is one that is receiving attention in different spheres of life today. Businesses are seeking to expand by bringing together different specialisations to complement each other. All these grew out of a desire to have better output. The Christian missions' enterprise should not be an exception in the quest for better performance; hence, the need to explore the opportunity of partnership for the expansion of God's kingdom. This article researched how foreign and local mission agencies could develop an effective partnership in Christian missions. The article considered the concept of partnership, the biblical basis for partnership, the historical development of the partnership, the importance of partnership in the 21st century, the prospect of partnership in the 21st century, challenges of partnership in the 21st century and finally, how both local and foreign mission agencies could build an effective, efficient and dynamics partnership mission project before the conclusion of the 21st century. <![CDATA[<b>Consumer society: Its definitions and its Christian criticism</b>]]> Except for some economists, who think about the consumer society as a way to the political stability and economic progress, the philosophical and sociological view on consumptionism and consumer society is predominantly pejorative. Depending on their axiological starting points, theorists of consumptionism stress its destroying forces for societies, like social idleness, an implosion of social institutions, deepening of social divisions and social exclusion and, last but not least, ecocide. Criticism of the consumer society is also of growing significance for the theological agenda of various Christian Churches and the teaching of ecumenical organizations like the World Council of Churches. The article aims to summarise different approaches to consumptionism and its definitions, which are ordered in two categories: analytical and historical. It also discusses the teaching of Pope Francis, who contributes to the theological perspective of the criticism of the consumer society and focuses on the term of anthropological error as a hermeneutical instrument of this criticism. This task requires employing two main research methods: analysis of selected and relevant literature and synthesising exposition of the results of research. The discourse consists of two parts. The first one presents the term of consumptionism and highlights the scope of discussions on the definitions of this phenomenon. The second demonstrates the Christian interpretation of the problem. The first and the second chapters create a hermeneutical background to the third one; they even might be regarded as its contextualisation. The theological critique of consumer society contributes to the interdisciplinary theory of consumptionism. CONTRIBUTION: The theological critique of consumer society contributes to the interdisciplinary theory of consumptionism. It also shows how theology might refer to social studies. Such a juxtaposition of the theological and sociological fields of reflection converges with the focus and scope of the journal to promote multidisciplinary aspects of studies in the general theological area. <![CDATA[<b><i>Adzan Pitu</i>? Syncretism or religious tradition: Research in Sang Cipta Rasa Cirebon mosque</b>]]> Adzan Pitu is one form of the legacy of Syarif Hidayatullah in spreading Islam in Cirebon. One of the ways in which Sunan Gunung Jati spread Islam is by building mosques. The construction of the Sang Cipta Rasa mosque aims to centre the spread of Islam in Cirebon and surrounding areas. A Mosque is symbolised not only as a place of worship but also as a place of studying Islam. This is what underlies the construction of the Sang Cipta Rasa mosque by Syarif Hidayatullah which is now in the Kasepuhan palace complex in Cirebon. The noble goal is constrained by the evil intentions of the Mataram envoy who wished to thwart the construction of the mosque. Until today, when the People of Cirebon are affected by an epidemic such as measles, they have to perform Adzan Pitu to repel the outbreak and sacrifices as a condition to purify the spell that was spread by the envoy of Mataram. Adzan Pitu is a call to prayer with seven people at the same time. It is a form of mixing of Islamic and Hindu culture. Adzan Pitu has character values in it, which include religious values, hard work and social care. The values contained in Adzan Pitu are a reflection of Syarif Hidayatullah's struggle in spreading Islam in Cirebon. In addition, these values are also a legacy of Sunan Gunung Jati in an effort to increase the value of character for the nation's next generation. CONTRIBUTION: This article contributes from a multidisplinary theological perspective to hermeneutical studies behind philosophies related to the Abrahamic religions as expressed in the Qur'an. <![CDATA[<b>Food, memory and cultural-religious identity in the story of the 'desirers' (Nm 11:4-6)</b>]]> This article examines the nutritional and cultural meaning underlying the list of foods mentioned in the claims of the Israelites in Numbers 11:4-6. The foods eaten by the Israelites in Egypt express stability and a familiar routine, whilst the foods of Eretz Israel, although depicted as choicer, express uncertainty. The list of foods has a literary role on several spheres: (1) The foods are elements distinguishing the agricultural practices in Eretz Israel and Egypt. (2) Fish and vegetables are an indicator of the low class of the Israelites - eating fish reflects the practice of obtaining protein from small animals available to the poor. In Egypt, vegetables were more readily available and were a more prominent ingredient in the diet of the poor and slaves. (3) The food is an indicator of the Egyptian cultural identity of the Israelites - the Bible identifies the longing for the fish and vegetables characteristic of their Egyptian diet as a sign of the Israelites' cultural and mental affiliation with Egypt. Although they left Egypt physically, they remained affiliated with Egyptian culture and identity. CONTRIBUTION: This article contributes to the understanding of the biblical story of the 'desirers' (Nm 11:4-6) from a multidisplinary perspective. It combines the fields of ancient Egyptian agriculture, nutrition, culture and research on features of immigrants' foods. <![CDATA[<b>Exploring Psalm 73:1-10 through sensing and intuition: The SIFT approach among Muslim educators</b>]]> A group of 20 Muslim educators participating in an M-level module on Islamic Education were invited to explore their preferences for sensing and intuition (the two functions of the Jungian perceiving process). They were then invited to work in three groups (eight clear intuitive types, four clear sensing types and eight individuals who expressed less strong preferences) to discuss Psalm 73:1-10, specifically addressing two distinctive perceiving questions: What do you see in this description (sensing) and what ideas does this passage set running in your mind (intuition)? Clear differences emerged between the ways in which sensing types and intuitive types handled these two questions. The intuitive types relished the opportunity to chase after ideas and to make connections. The sensing types stuck more closely to a literal analysis of the text and felt much less confident in chasing after ideas and making connections. These findings support the thesis that scriptural interpretation is shaped, at least to some extent, by the psychological type preferences of the reader. CONTRIBUTION: Situated within the reader-perspective approach to biblical hermeneutics, the SIFT method is concerned with identifying the influence of the psychological type of the reader in shaping the interpretation of text. The present study demonstrates that this theory holds true for the way in which Muslim educators read Psalm 73. <![CDATA[<b>An existential phenomenological understanding of early church diversity</b>]]> The New Testament documents represent a variety of perceptions about the church, showing that the early church was not unitary in practise or theology. How do we explain the diversity in the early church? Existential phenomenological hermeneutics can shine insightful light on this question by utilising Heidegger's concept of Dasein in an interpretation model. The model used the pre-structure of Dasein (pre-understanding, presuppositions and prejudice) and its interactive circular dynamic with the hermeneutical concepts of world and phenomena to table aspects of the hermeneutic situation and the resultant Dasein types as self-understanding developed from various groups' interpretations of Jesus. In this way, the hermeneutic dynamic explains the variety of pre- and post-Easter groups. The results show that there is no objective, standard view of Jesus and no objective set of Jesus' teachings available; no ideal Dasein type is presented for faith communities. The kerygma of the Crucified and Risen One as God's act of salvation is the central presupposition of the church's Dasein. The historical nature of hermeneutics cannot be denied. Historical-critical exegesis and its circular dynamic of understanding is a legitimate and sound hermeneutic model. Unhistorical hermeneutics have definite limitations and should be deemed insufficient. There is no plain meaning of any phenomenon or text, only the text or phenomenon as it is understood. Faith communities consciously partake in the hermeneutic dynamic and recognise the influence of their pre-understandings, presuppositions and prejudices which constantly be questioned and adjusted to facilitate their authentic Dasein. CONTRIBUTION: This historical hermeneutical study explains that different hermeneutical situations lead to different Dasein types as various self-understandings developed according to Jesus groups' interpretations of Jesus varied. No ideal Dasein type for faith communities is presented. These findings resonate with HTS Theological Studies focus and scope regarding historical thought in research. <![CDATA[<b>Navigating paradox: Towards a conceptual framework for activism at the intersection of religion and sexuality</b>]]> At the intersection of religion and sexuality, this article explores how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people navigate dynamics of inclusion and exclusion within faith-based settings. Situated in a postcolonial setting, and with a specific focus on South Africa, the article delineates the oppressive dynamics at work at this intersection, along with how these are resisted through contemporary forms of activism. Grounded in a feminist analysis of relevant literature and of the field of activism in question, and supplemented by interviews with key informants, the research offers a conceptual framework to advance transformative inclusion for LGBTIQ people within, and against, the dominant institutions, discourses and practices of faith. CONTRIBUTION: This article contributes to the field of scholarship that concerns activism on sexual and gender rights in faith-based settings. It straddles theory and practice, offering an epistemological grounding for political action that advances the rights of LGBTIQ people. In bringing practitioner insights into academic discourse, the article adds to the burgeoning academic enquiry in this area, and offers a conceptual approach for supporting existing and new initiatives against marginalisation, exclusion and violence at the hands of faith. <![CDATA[<b>Right-wing populism in New Turkey: Leading to all new grounds for troll science in gender theory</b>]]> After years of progress in terms of gender and sexual rights, since 2012 Europe is facing a so-called gender backlash - opposition directed to issues related to reproductive policies and abortion, violence against women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) rights and gay marriages, gender mainstreaming and sex education at schools as well as antidiscrimination policies. In this article, firstly, by taking the anti-gender developments as point of reference, I examine the emergence of anti-gender movement in Europe via the use of what I call troll science. Troll science is based on (distorted) scientific arguments moulded into populist discourse, creating an alternative narrative on the conceptions of gender equality. Similar to troll accounts posting provocative, superfluous and even off-topic messages on social media to start arguments and quarrels aiming to distract, troll science, I argue, creates an alternative narrative opposing the scientific facts and discourses (i.e. climate change, evolution, vaccination and gender theory). Later, I discuss the emerging conservative troll-scientific discourses and the gendered public normative order of Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi (AKP; Justice and Development Party) government, under the New Turkey. I previously argued that New Turkey and the society under the party's rule perpetuated by a new set of standards create an alternative narrative on the conceptions of gender equality through troll-science narratives. I concluded by showing how such ideological discourses help create emotional echo chambers - enabling its fast distribution and acceptance by the ideologically conservative groups. CONTRIBUTION: This paper contributes to the Special Collection Gender Justice, Health and Human Development with the theory of troll-science it introduces to discuss the alternative and anti-gender scientific discourse that is dominating academia. <![CDATA[<b>Interlocution after liberation: Who do we interpret with and which biblical text do we read with?</b>]]> This article aims to point out two seminal reflections on interlocution: Frostin's insightful late-1980s (1988) analysis of 'Third World' liberation theologies and his contention that the decisive question for liberation theologies was the question of who the primary dialogue partners of liberation theology have been and should be, and Vuyani Vellem's more recent millennial (2012) reflection on how South African Black Theology after liberation has grappled and should grapple with the notion of interlocution. My choice of these two scholars is not idiosyncratic, for Vellem uses Frostin's work as one of his starting points. I build on this conversation, reflecting with Vellem on how we might understand the issue of interlocution within black and kindred liberation and prophetic theologies today. My particular emphasis is on biblical hermeneutics; therefore, my contribution to the conversation frames my reflections within a particular phase of Black Theology in which the Bible is most significantly problematised, what Tinyiko Maluleke refers to as the second phase of Black Theology. The conundrum Itumeleng Mosala poses for Black Theology is how the recognition of the Bible as itself - intrinsically, inherently and indelibly - 'a site of struggle' reconfigures interlocution. Mosala, I will argue, forces us to not only ask who we interpret with when we do Black Theology, but also ask which biblical texts we read, for not all biblical texts offer resources for liberation. CONTRIBUTION: This article makes a contribution to the VukaniBantuTsohangBatho - Spirituality of Black Liberation collection in which the work of Vuyani Vellem is celebrated and critically engaged. Specifically, the article interrogates and contributes to Vuyani's Vellem understanding of 'locution', and asks how this concept impacts our understanding of biblical text.