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HTS Theological Studies

On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422


KOBO, Fundiswa A.. Womanism, land and the cross: In memory of Vuyani Vellem. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2022, vol.78, n.3, pp.1-7. ISSN 2072-8050.

Premised by Vuyani Vellem's deep-seated understanding of spirituality and the cross expressed in 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me', the paper explores the paradox of learning to die in order to live, which is a dominant message of the Gospel. The cross that symbolises humiliation, oppression and death, is also the cross that symbolises liberation, life and resurrection. The liberative power of the cross concealed in the establishment/dungeons of oppression and bigotries of racism and sexism, can be located in the institution of the church that has become an establishment that Christ stood against. The paper thus looks at the cross, that is, spirituality in juxtaposition to racism, patriarchy and the establishment/dungeons, and posits that one cannot begin to embrace the cross unless one is also conscious of the darker side of the cross. Excavating spirituality and the cross from the establishment is a statement of critique of ideological frames that have shaped the liberation story or narrative that is indisputably racist and patriarchal. To follow Christ is to embrace a spirituality epitomised and exemplified in struggles against the bigotry of racism and patriarchy, and it is to embrace a spirituality that enables one to learn to die in order to live. CONTRIBUTION: This paper on womanism, land and the cross that attempts to deal with paradoxes, at epistemological, cultural and metaphysical levels, engages the work of the late Prof Vuyani Vellem whose life and scholarship was embedded in paradoxes in the quest for the liberation of black humanity

Keywords : cross; Vuyani Vellem; spirituality; racism; sexism; establishment; dungeons; land.

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