Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Scriptura]]> vol. 114 num. lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Theological education in South Africa and the epistemological divide: In search of the African habitus</b>]]> The ethos of the academy in South Africa, as is the case in the West in general, has been shaped profoundly by the Enlightenment. Theological and religious studies in the secular academy have had to conform to this ethos. This has led to the anomalous situation of African students of theology being alienated from their faith at university level despite the fact that the sub-continent appears to be overwhelmingly Christian in its ethos. Theology departments need to take more seriously the epistemological divide between students of theology coming from an African background that has had little or no exposure to the critical approach that emerged within the history of the academy in the West. This does not mean that the critical approach must be abandoned but rather that it should be applied more rigorously to the secular world view of the university itself and recognition given of alternative world views that shape the African habitus. Such forms of contextualisation mean, amongst other things, that a more sympathetic articulation of the faith in African terms needs to be emphasised, the social sciences should not take the place of theology; an alternative, non-secular account of human rights needs to be found, and development discourse needs to take seriously Indigenous Knowledge Systems. <![CDATA[<b>Justice-making and the beloved community: Mapping emancipatory landscapes and the public role of theologians and religious scholars</b>]]> This article focuses on the religious world view and organizing strategies of United States activist, Joan Southgate who, at the age of 72, mapped out and completed a three-stage, 519 mile walk to North American Underground Railroad sites. Following this 2002 walk, Southgate founded Restore Cleveland Hope (RCH) in Cleveland, Ohio, to combat racism and other social ills. In their organizing efforts, Southgate and other community members envision and work to establish a "Beloved Community" of radical inclusivity that fuses Martin Luther King Jr. 's vision of the Beloved Community with notions of community found in Toni Morrison's 1987 novel Beloved. In this article, I draw upon Southgate's mapping strategies to establish a framework in which to discuss the public role religious scholars can play in giving voice to local religious activists and practitioners by mapping, analysing, and interpreting their emancipatory efforts. <![CDATA[<b>God in granite? Aesthetic-theological perspectives on the monumentalisation of religion</b>]]> In this article an introductory look is taken at the phenomenon of the monumentalisation of religion, particularly in view of its imperial expressions. The history and religious meaning of the Voortrekker Monument, situated outside Pretoria in South Africa, is outlined briefly as a case in point, followed by a number of aesthetic-theological perspectives on the notion of the monumentalisation of religion, using the keywords as lenses. The article concludes with a reflection on an art work by Argentinian born artist/architect Tomás Saraceno, entitled: 'On Space Time Foam '. <![CDATA[<b>Aspects of child evangelism and youth ministry in South Africa in the postmodern context of globalism, pluralism and current scientific knowledge</b>]]> After the demise of the Apartheid regime the Religious Instruction syllabus of the Christian National Education system was changed to 'Religious Education'. The new syllabus requires that all religions should be taught in schools. Compounding the difficulties of pluralism, the global postmodernist cultural context has promoted cognitive dissonance in young Christians in that Christianity is now only one option among other religions claiming the same character of truth and demanding the same adherence. Can traditional approaches to child evangelism and youth ministry still be relevant in the context of scientific education and pluralism in South Africa? To explore this question three recent apparently widely-diverging publications are consulted: 1) Jansen (2009), 'Knowledge in the blood. Confronting race and the Apartheid past'; 2) Claassen & Gaum (2012), 'God? Gesprekke oor die Oorsprong en Uiteinde van Alles '; 3) Gericke (2013), 'A philosophical clarification of the axiological assumptions behind the concept of goodness in Genesis 1'. <![CDATA[<b>Pentecostal hermeneutics and the marginalisation of women</b>]]> The Pentecostal movement remains one of ambivalence, tensions and paradoxes. On the surface, worship and practice appear democratic, yet research shows that women and men do not occupy the same status because the movement endorses male dominance and submission of women to men. While there is a sense that men and women are equal because both can receive the Spirit, women still remain in the margins. Sometimes women are affirmed and accepted because of the emancipatory role of the Spirit, but at other times they are marginalised through oppressive interpretative practices of the Bible. Although women are given voice, especially because of the belief within Pentecostal churches that the Holy Spirit speaks through men and women, the same voice is taken away when women are subordinated to male power. As such the Pentecostal space is ambivalent, although women are not completely silenced, they occupy a subordinate position. In this article I seek to demonstrate that the marginalisation of Pentecostal women is due to a considerable extent to the ways in which the Bible is read and interpreted within the Pentecostal tradition. I seek to demonstrate that there is a link between the marginalisation of women and Pentecostal hermeneutical strategies such as literal readings and proof-texting of the Bible. I will also highlight how the interpretation of the Trinity is also implicated in the marginalisation of women. In the final section of the article I will demonstrate how Pentecostals' openness to the work of the Holy Spirit should be a destabilising principle for all Pentecostals' oppressive activities, especially Pentecostal hermeneutics which tends to favour men over and above women. <![CDATA[<b>Attempting to define a Pentecostal hermeneutics</b>]]> What is distinctive about Pentecostals' reading of the Bible? In what way do Pentecostal people read the Bible so that they reach different conclusions than believers of other denominations? Is it possible to speak of a Pentecostal herme-neutics? In what way does it differ from the hermeneutics found in other theological traditions, such as the Catholic, Eastern and Reformed traditions? And how does their hermeneutics inform Pentecostals' practice? These questions are discussed and some preliminary conclusions reached. Pentecostals' religious consciousness expects an experience or encounter between God and human beings through his Spirit. This is supposed to happen in the worship service and also in the practice of Bible reading, whether individually or collectively. The presupposition is that the Word is revealed in the Bible only when people experience God, and the existential precondition leads to a Pentecostal emphasis of narratives describing such encounters in the Bible. <![CDATA[<b>Transforming congregational culture: Suburban leadership perspectives within a circuit of the DRC</b>]]> On 27 April 2014 we celebrated twenty years of democracy in South Africa. Celebrating this important day in our history also afforded us the opportunity to reflect on what has transpired in our country during the past two decades. From theories in theology and social sciences we learned that what is happening in the broader context in society directly influences the way we congregate in faith communities. And the way we congregate and structure faith communities once again influence the way leadership is exercised. In this contribution different theoretical constructs are used as interpretive frameworks to view the transformations that occurred in a Circuit of sub-urban congregations of the Dutch Reformed Church during the past twenty years, specifically concentrating on the leadership processes. The results of the data are also interpreted through the lenses of Mary Douglas's 'enclavement theory' and do not only open up a window on the past but also provide some clues for looking at the factors involved in the processes of transformation that is so prevalent in these congregations. The article will conclude with some theological reflection on leadership practices related to these processes of transformation. "The secret of change is to focus your energy, not on fighting the old but on building the new" - Socrates <![CDATA[<b>A white mist in the black Unisa</b>]]> The academic institutions in South Africa are systematically and structurally white. In short, shades of white ethics blight academic institutions such as Unisa. This article, therefore, aims to expose the argument that Unisa is still excluding black academics on the basis of race. Black academics are directly and indirectly subjected to institutional racism, which dramatically undermines their chances of academic success. Institutional racism, otherwise known as white ethics, positions itself as a standard or norm in the institution and at the same time places itself as the only good, and other experiences and knowledge as bad and does not meet the standard. The article will argue in contrast that blackness and black experience and knowledge should be placed as the good and whiteness as bad, thereby calling for black ethics. <![CDATA[<b>Black theology of liberation and radical democracy: A dialogue</b>]]> Radical Democracy proposes that capitalism should be theorised deeply and furthermore, that the liberal tradition must not be denounced and rejected by the Left. It is possible that what seems to be a 'confusion,' or 'confoundedness,' 'diffusion' and 'vicious' co-optation of liberation symbols since the demise of Apartheid, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union could be unravelled with this theory of Radical Democracy. More importantly, Black Theology of Liberation and its symbiosis with Black Consciousness - having assumed that socialism rather than capitalism was an appropriate historical project of obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ - must urgently engage Radical Democracy in order to deal with the rhetoric of liberation that is becoming increasingly sterile. This article argues that Black Theology of Liberation must move beyond reasserting, or rearticulating its core values by recommitting itself to social analysis - mokgwa wa yona (its very nature) - and relate to social theories of the reality of our current context. Radical Democracy is thus chosen as a conversant to examine our social reality post-1994 and to identify lessons that could be drawn from this theory. <![CDATA[<b>Religion and social transformation in Africa: A critical and appreciative perspective</b>]]> Religion constitutes an inextricable part of African society. As such, political and socio-economic activities are often flavoured with religious expressions and rituals. Whilst Africans are steeped in religiosity - this is expressed in many ways - poverty and corruption are rife on the continent. The question thus arises as to whether African religiosity gives impetus to poverty and corruption on the continent or whether religion has a crucial role to play in the liberation of African societies from poverty and corruption. By using the concept of religion in relation to African Traditional Religion, Christianity and Islam, this article investigates the role of religion in the crisis of poverty and corruption in African society and argues that whilst religion has been instrumentalised in some instances to perpetuate poverty and corruption on the continent, it remains a crucial component of 'Africanness' and could contribute to moral, socio-political and economic transformation. <![CDATA[<b>Prophetic criticism of temple rituals: A reflection on Malachi's idea about Yahweh and ethics for faith communities</b>]]> This article presents some perspectives about Yahweh and ethics from Malachi's criticism of the rituals of the temple. Malachi's theological and ethical uniqueness is observed somehow most clearly in the preponderance of negative emphasis the prophetic book places on temple rituals and the way the language of the cult dominates its analysis of malpractices. Prophetic criticism of temple rituals, as this article demonstrates, lies at the heart of the controversy between the prophets and the priest; namely the role of cult and ethics in the religion of Ancient Israel. While scholars have yet to explain fully the phenomenon of criticism of the cult in prophetic writings, this article brings the prophets and the priests closer by proposing that the one way to explain the discrepancy is to advocate that these prophets could not see the importance of rituals for the improvement of ethical life. If the cult is understood to be the vertical dimension of the Law and ethics its horizontal dimension, one would notice that these dimensions go together, both are expressions of God' s will. When the vertical dimension (worship, offering, sacrifice) is experiencing some degree of dysfunction, the horizontal dimension (social justice, etc.) will be affected. Malachi' s emphasis on the temple obviously helps one to see that there was nothing wrong with the cult unless it was not used appropriately and effectively to enhance the ethical life of the people as an essential component of the larger framework of the covenant relationship that Yahweh had with them as his people. The article thus emphasizes some underlying theological reflection on the uniqueness of Malachi's oracles about Yahweh and ethics for faith communities. <![CDATA[<b>A narrative pastoral involvement with adolescent girls who have experienced sexual abuse</b>]]> The phenomenon of sexual abuse is a complicated matter that includes therapeutic as well as legal aspects and which is the result of the complex interaction between individual, social and environmental influences. The purpose of this research is to map the importance of hope therapy from an eschatological perspective in the healing process of adolescent girls who have experienced sexual abuse. This article focuses, in the first instance, on the understanding of the identity of a teenage girl from a theological anthropological perspective. Secondly, the focus shifts to what the phenomenon of sexual abuse entails, the impact of this form of abuse on how an individual understands her identity in Christ, as well as a narrative pastoral involvement with female adolescents who have experienced sexual abuse. Thirdly, the importance of a perspective of Christian hope, born from faith in God, as space and place for the praxis of God's committed involvement in the life-story and suffering of adolescent girls who have experienced sexual abuse, is highlighted. This research is portrayed by the metaphor of cartography and the mapping of the research journey occurs according to the five directives of the ABDCE approach to narrative research as developed and used by Julian Müller and others. <![CDATA[<b>Land reform embedded in the constitution: Legal contextualisation</b>]]> Land reform is a temporal process that was embarked on in two distinctive phases in South Africa: first by way of an exploratory programme before the new constitutional dispensation commenced, followed by, secondly, an all-encompassing programme after April 1994. While a constitutional dimension distinguished these broad phases from each other, the second phase was furthermore characterised by having an interim Constitution for a period of time, followed by the final Constitution, which is currently still in place. With regard to land reform, the initial exploratory programme was conducted in the absence of a Constitution with a Bill of Rights. Following 1994 and the commencement of a Constitution, the interim property clause, section 28, did not provide for land reform specifically, although provision was made for the expropriation of property for public purposes. However, provision was made, specifically for the restitution of land and rights in land, but not within the property clause as such. In contrast, the final property clause, section 25 which commenced in 1997, provides for land reform in particular. This contribution explores the meaning of having land reform embedded in the Constitution generally and in the property clause specifically. To that end it becomes clear that being embedded in the property clause calls for a specific approach to and interpreting of all land reform-based and -related statutory measures and case law. It is also imperative that the structure of the property clause and the prominence of the reform-oriented clauses be taken into account when considering the property clause on the one hand and the aims and purposes of land reform, on the other. While this contribution focuses entirely on the constitutional dimension of land reform, it is also true that effective policy measures and legislation, implemented, interpreted and applied correctly, are furthermore non-negotiable to make land reform effective, although they are not analysed here. <![CDATA[<b>Good news for all? A feminist perspective on the Gospel of Matthew</b>]]> In the Gospel of Matthew the Kingdom of Heaven which Jesus preaches about is in conflict with the dominant culture which creates tension between what is and ought. Those whom society despises are pronounced 'blessed' (5:1-12); the inclusiveness of the kingdom is made manifest when outsiders (the despised) such as lepers, Gentiles, ' unclean' women, and the demon possessed are pronounced ' clean' (Chaps 8-9). Jesus' vision of the basileia as symbolically presented in parables entails hearing, understanding and embodying inclusivity. Based on this premise, this article explores the question of Good news for all in Matthew. While Matthew cannot be reduced to a feminist treasure chamber for gender justice it is possible to spot certain gynocentric interruptions of the dominant androcentricity of Scripture. Based on the observation that the Gospel of Matthew exhibits a tension that both excludes and includes others, this article argues for the possibility that Matthew may be a resource to proclaim 'good news for all' - including women. <![CDATA[<b>Beskerm deur ingeligte toestemming: 'n Gereformeerd-etiese besinning oor artikel 6 van die Universele verklaring van bio-etiek en menseregte</b>]]> In 2005 the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights (UDBHR) of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) was accepted unanimously by the world community - consisting of 191 member nations - which means that the declaration is currently the first and only bioethical text to which the entire world, including South Africa, has committed itself. Despite this fact, little or no attention is paid to the declaration in South Africa. According to UNESCO, the declaration should be brought to the attention of the community, because knowledge will promote more effective application of its principles. In an attempt to answer the call of UNESCO, article 6.1 of the declaration is discussed briefly in this article. It is clear that this principlereferring to a human right, comprises two important components, namely giving information and giving consent. These two ethical values must always be applied during medical intervention and research. Where they are applied, human autonomy is confirmed and human dignity expressed. Although the UDBHR is not judicially enforceable in the country, its universal nature offers a clear moral force in the bioethical debate in South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Philo of Alexandria: An introduction to the Jewish exegete and his intercultural condition</b>]]> Philo of Alexandria, the first century Jewish exegete, is one of the most important non-Christians in the history of Christianity. It is common to find brief reference to his works in theological manuals or introductory books on the New Testament. However, it is very common to find reductionist commentaries on the man and his works. In order to appreciate the real importance of Philo's treatises (and his relevance for our third world postcolonial context) it is necessary to realize the complexity of his cultural context and of his agenda. This is the main aim of this article. <![CDATA[<b>Living in three worlds: A relational hermeneutic for the development of a contextual practical theological approach towards a missional ecclesiology</b>]]> This article argues for an integrated paradigmatic approach to conducting practical theological research. This integration is prompted by the researcher's experience as theologian in a culturally diverse community where theologies from different perspectives share the same ecclesial landscape. Three primary thought paradigms are discussed as a frame of reference for this integration. These are the pre-modern paradigm, the modern paradigm and the postmodern paradigm. A relational hermeneutic is proposed that utilises the story of Scripture as told through the centuries and strives to share God's mission to the world. This relational hermeneutic could serve as the integrational focal point of ministry practice that spans theological viewpoints. <![CDATA[<b>Translating cultures: The creation of sin in the public space of Batswana</b>]]> This article seeks to trace the fussy boundaries of religion and the public space in the modern colonial archive of southern Africa. It investigates how drawing such boundaries became a central strategy in translating indigenous cultures into sin and creating guilt in communities that did not observe the sacred and secular boundaries. The article uses the attestations of the 19th century letters to Mahoko a Becwana, a London Missionary Society public paper, printed from Kuruman. While the Batswana worldview kneaded religion and all spheres of individual and collective public space, modern western colonial perspectives claimed otherwise. This paper analyses the letters for the intrusion of colonial religion into the public space of Batswana; the colonial agenda to translate key cultural beliefs and activities into the realm of evil and the various responses it initiated - thereby uncovering that perhaps the separation of religion from state has always been a mythological and ideological construction. <![CDATA[<b>John Wesley as a public theologian: The case of <i>Thoughts upon Slavery</i></b>]]> Public theology has become an important mode of theological engagement in secular and pluralistic contexts yet there is debate as to the character of this engagement. This article argues that an analysis of the nascent public theology developed by John Wesley can contribute to the development of a prophetic public theology. This nascent prophetic public theology is best demonstrated in his booklet Thoughts upon Slavery. Wesley's argument is critically analysed in the context of eighteenth century Britain. On the basis of this analysis eight propositions for a prophetic public theology are developed. <![CDATA[<b>Reconceptualising eucharist as subservient ritual: A missiological response to public violence in Africa</b>]]> In this article, I argue that the church as Christ's symbolic presence in the world is a Missiological expression of God loving non-violent involvement and witnessing presence in the world permeated with violence. Through two case studies that exemplify the relationship between public speech and public violence - the 1994 Rwandan genocide and the 2015 xenophobic attacks in South Africa - the article demonstrates the potential of liminality of Eucharistic encounter to inspire and empower African Christians prophetically to respond non-violently to the plague of public violence in many African countries. <![CDATA[<b>The 'Calvinist Patriarch' Cyril Lucaris and his Bible translations</b>]]> Cyril Lucaris ' Bible translation is a curious case from the Middle Ages. This article attempts to bring to the fore Lucaris ' efforts in translating the Bible and its aftermath. We begin by unfolding a few pages from the life of Lucaris in order to situate him in the context of his so-called grand endeavour. Our article then concentrates on his teachings on the Bible. Here focus is placed on his initiatives to translate the Bible into Modern Greek, a language of the masses. This enormous task, however, could not be accomplished individually. It required assistance and collaboration - political as well as intellectual - in order to gift his flock with a translated copy of the Bible. The last part of the essay presents the corrective measures taken by the Eastern Church to condemn the erroneous teachings of Cyril Lucaris. Various anathemas silenced his voice and reaffirmed orthodox teachings on the Sacred Scriptures. <![CDATA[<b>Jeremiah 31:34, new covenant membership, and baptism</b>]]> The promise of Jeremiah 31:34 that "all of them will know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, " has been of crucial importance for the paedo - vs. credobaptism debate. However, there has been little discussion of what the quantifier means based on Jeremiah's repeated and thematically linked uses. Throughout his prophecy, Jeremiah consistently uses this quantifier in reference to a group about which something is pervasively, though not exhaustively, true. Therefore, the quantifier in Jeremiah 31:34 should not be understood as presenting subjective knowledge of the Lord as the necessary condition of New Covenant membership to the exclusion of infant membership in that community and infant baptism as the sign of membership. <![CDATA[<b>Unbounded Christologies: The case of widows' Christology - 'Jesus Christ is breath'</b>]]> This article draws upon African widowhood for theological reflection. It shows that experiences of widowhood characterize widows in rural western Kenya as liminal individuals located at a threshold. These widows experience deep loneliness besides other hardships. Further, they feel an existential lack of appeasement of loneliness, which opens up room for the emergence of variant Christologies that are fluid and concern intermediate ('in between ') areas of experience. Thus this new dynamic of specific embodied experiences by African widows and the intermediacy they experience create the possibility for widows to see Jesus Christ in a manner which is similarly fluid, shifting, ' in between' and on the threshold. In order to capture this new Christology that is unbounded and creative, through metaphoric theology, "Jesus Christ is breath" articulates who widows in rural western Kenya say Jesus Christ is. <![CDATA[<b>Jürgen Moltmann and the theology of the cross in the Johannine priestly prayer</b>]]> Based on the cross-centred ecumenism of Moltmann, this article describes the problems of ecumenism among the churches of the global south. While acknowledging the paradigmatic shift in the centre of Christianity to these regions, it notes the problematic character of this shift for ecumenism especially in Africa. Situating Moltmann in discourse to the Johannine priestly prayer, it explicates some defining aspects of Moltmann's cross-defined ecumenism for the African church. In this regard, the paper describes the problems as well as prospects that this christocentric mapping of Moltmann' s thought provides for the unity of the churches in Africa. <![CDATA[<b>In search of a theoretical framework towards intercultural awareness and tolerance</b>]]> Even if legalised segregation (i.e. Apartheid) has ceased, individuals, groups and communities remain sensitive owing to past experiences. Furthermore communication obstacles lead to on-going misunderstandings that result in mistrust (Williams, 2002:5167). Without a process to stimulate intercultural awareness and tolerance, the legacy of the past cannot be undone. The question therefore is: How can we approach intercultural misunderstanding and mistrust so as to find a way to work towards intercultural awareness and tolerance? The aim of this contribution has been to identify a theoretical framework that could pave the way to finding practical ways of addressing the remaining misunderstandings and mistrust in present-day South Africa. The authors, working from a trans-disciplinary framework, first did a review of the literature in search of a theoretical framework. The contribution concludes with a proposed theoretical framework and some recommendations for further exploration of this topic. <![CDATA[<b>Semiotic interpretation of selected Psalms inscriptions (23, 35, 121) on motor vehicles in Nigeria</b>]]> Semiotics is defined as 'thinking in signs' that is, a set of theories and analytical practices concerned with the process of 'production of meaning.' Hence, semiotics is anything that is used to tell or communicate. Semiotic exegesis is the application of semiotic paradigms to critical biblical studies. The path of semiotic analysis as applied to the critical study of the Bible took off in the seventies and the turning points came in the eighties and continued in the nineties into the present. The inscriptions of Psalms 23, 35, and 121, represent the presence of the Almighty God who is believed to be travellers'r escort and that such signs or inscriptions on vehicles sanctify the vehicles against accidents, deaths, armed robberies and kidnappings on many of Nigeria's dangerous roads where no one is actually sure of any safe trip, because these are signs of protection, healing and success. <![CDATA[<b>Eat and/or be eaten: The evolutionary roots of violence?</b>]]> This contribution raises the question about where things have gone wrong in evolutionary history. In classic Christian discourse it is typically assumed that the primary problem is human sin, while the problem of natural evil is emphasised elsewhere. It seeks to test the distinction between natural suffering and socially-induced forms of suffering by exploring the roots of violence between species with reference to the emergence of the act of eating in evolutionary history. It draws on a corpus of recent literature on the consumption of food, with specific reference to the work of Edward Farley, Sallie McFague and Norman Wirzba, in order to address the following question: Is the violence associated with what Christians would redescribe as sin merely an extrapolation of the 'violence' embedded in the act of eating? The conclusion from this survey seems to be that an Augustinian approach is indeed less plausible and more counter-intuitive than Manichean or Pelagian assessments of where things have gone wrong in evolutionary history. If so, this would have far-reaching consequences for moral formation. The conclusion is offered here in the hope that it would be refuted by others! <![CDATA[<b>Hol(e)y texts; hol(e)y lives: On the Psalms and spirituality, with particular attention to Thessalonia DePrince, Thomas Merton and Beat Weber - described, compared and evaluated</b>]]> Continuing from the author's previously published research track on Biblical Spirituality, in this paper three different approaches to reading the Psalms in relation to faith experience are taken into review. First, the theoretical framework for the analyses to be conducted, is presented. Then, three specific works that focus on the Psalms and faith experience, but in quite different ways, are discussed: DePrince's generally esoteric approach, Merton's more spiritual approach and Weber's exegetically-grounded approach. Each of these approaches are, in turn, described and analysed, after which comparisons are drawn to indicate similarities and differences. Based on the initially presented theoretical framework, an evaluation is offered of each of the three approaches. In conclusion, the evaluative difficulty of the interaction between Bible text and reader's faith is touched upon. <![CDATA[<b>The Eurocentric, Christian patriarchal structural system approach of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC): A critical engagement with the book God, love, life and sex</b>]]> In 2013 the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference released the book. "God, Love, Life and Sex: Guide and Resource for Christian Living Marriage and Family. " In chapters five and six of this book assumptions are made on reasons why women choose to cohabit and have children outside of marriage. It further states that the African tradition and customs still need to be studied, thus objectifying and locating the African tradition within the categories of time, space and subjectivity. This categorisation of African tradition is an exercise of power and epistemic hierarchies within the colonial global normativity. In other words, they could not say anything on African tradition, precisely because, according to Canon Law, the Catholic Church does not recognise African traditional marriages as sacramental. For a Catholic and an African, such blanket statements made by the Catholic Bishops raise serious problems on the hermeneutical approach used by these bishops on the matter. It is the intention of this article to critically engage with the process of categorisation as an exercise of power. The socially constructed categories such as homosexuality, cohabitation, marriage and African tradition as outlined in the book God, Love, Life and Sex, indicate how patriarchy is a critical issue that negatively affects the lives not only of Black women, but of Black men as well. I will therefore argue that the approach of the Bishops is a Eurocentric, Christian Patriarchal Structural System of the West. Moreover, I maintain that these concepts are based on epistemic racism of the West, which continues to locate African tradition and worldview in the zone of non-being. The article will use two theories, Intersectionality and Decoloniality. Conclusions will be drawn as well as pointers for further research. This is not in line with the thinking of John Henry Newman who made the following assertion regarding the laity: " Really desire to know the opinions of the laity on subjects in which the laity are especially concerned.'" <![CDATA[<b>An evaluation of the canonical approach: Is it adequate for the task of Old Testament theology in Christian hermeneutic endeavour?</b>]]> The overarching question is: "How do we make the biblical text relevant for our present context?" The answer ultimately resides in reading the text theologically. Therefore, the question must be: "How do we read the Old Testament theologically?" This article shows that the canonical approach to Scripture brings out the theological significance of the text because it allows a number of windows to illuminate the exegetical task. In the article's consideration of literary form, it acknowledges that narrative is a sizeable window into both the historical and theological. Another window to Scriptural intentionality is found in the given shape of the Canon. The unity and, therefore, continuity of the text provide a large window to theological relevance. This article also intimates a smaller, but significant, window in aspects of biblical tradition, through programmatic themes. The Canon, however, with its varied literary forms, its tentative historical facts, and its veiled traditions, must stand out as the only constant in the theological task. Therefore the canonical approach to reading the text is indispensable to Old Testament exegesis and to Christian hermeneutics. <![CDATA[<b>Barnabas or Saul: Who is describing Saul's conversion in Acts 9:27?</b>]]> This article examines a problem of translation in Acts 9:27 regarding who should be the subject of the sentence - Barnabas or Saul. Through a close examination of the Greek text in its broader pericope, it explores whether Barnabas was the one who told the apostles in Jerusalem about Saul's conversion. It also discusses the importance of eyewitness testimony to Luke in his Gospel and Acts. The article closes with a fresh observation about the conversion account's significance within the narrative structure of Acts.