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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

On-line version ISSN 2412-4265
Print version ISSN 1017-0499


FARISANI, Elelwani B. Interpreting the Bible in the context of apartheid and beyond: An African perspective. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2014, vol.40, n.2, pp.207-225. ISSN 2412-4265.

During the apartheid era in South Africa, the Bible was used both as a tool to legitimise the apartheid ideology and as a site of struggle against it. Today, in the post-apartheid context, the Bible still plays a significant role in addressing the current challenges. Accordingly, in this article my aim is twofold: first, to chronicle how the biblical text has been used to support the apartheid ideology and second, to spell out the role of the biblical text in the post-apartheid context. I begin by discussing how uncritical and literal interpretations of Scripture have been used by the white minority to exclude, oppress and sideline the black majority in South Africa. I then present a biblical interpretation which may serve as a safeguard against our tendencies to exclude, oppress, marginalise and sideline any minority or powerless group in our society. I conclude by suggesting ways to interpret the Bible that are less likely to lend themselves to abuse by the powerful in the post-apartheid context.

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