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Old Testament Essays

On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
Print version ISSN 1010-9919


MASENYA, Madipoane. For ever trapped? An African voice on insider/outsider dynamics within South African Old Testament gender-sensitive frameworks. Old testam. essays [online]. 2014, vol.27, n.1, pp.189-204. ISSN 2312-3621.

The desire to "fit in" within one 's sphere of operation does not seem to be a challenge for teenagers only. It appears to be inherently human. Those whose operational sphere is academia also have such a desire. Since the inception of feminist theologies in South Africa in the early eighties, gender-identified biblical frameworks have started trickling in slowly but surely. Just like many a scholar within mainstream biblical studies, gender-identified biblical scholars have been hard pressed between mimicking what has been and continues to be done by mainstream biblical scholars elsewhere in the Global North and what would be more specific to their local context. Within such a setting, insiders to academia, who choose to have their gender frameworks first and foremost informed by the concerns of their own local (read: African) contexts, rather than outside, albeit hegemonic contexts, are familiar with the challenge of a split identity. Within a scholarly context whose mimicking of Eurocentric frameworks remains a norm if not natural, an insider/outsider who chooses to remain first and foremost relevant to the context of many a person on the ground becomes trapped, almost like a royal cow; damned if one accompanies it and damned if one leaves it unattended. The present article is an attempt at elaborating on such insider-outsider dynamics as they are played out within selected South African OT gender-sensitive biblical scholars' works.

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