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Verbum et Ecclesia

On-line version ISSN 1609-9982

Abstract

MASENYA (NGWAN'A MPHAHLELE), Madipoane. Engaging with the book of Ruth as single, African Christian women: One African woman's reflection. Verbum Eccles. (Online) [online]. 2013, vol.34, n.1, pp. 08-09. ISSN 1609-9982.

In their quest for knowledge, biblical scholars make the Christian Bible the object of scrutiny, analysis and critique. However, in the African-South African context dealt with in this article, the Bible is accessed not only for knowledge, but mainly for nurturing faith and for life. Hence, the character of Ruth in the Hebrew Bible is still viewed by some widows as providing a model of courage and steadfastness in a context in which heterosexual unions remain a norm. As the book of Ruth portrays some points of resemblance between the cultural milieu that produced it and many African contexts, this article has also benefited by investigating the kind of reading which might emerge if the book is read from the perspective of traditional African women. Questions addressed by this article were: which prospects may the story have if read in a traditional African female setting? Are there any prospects for knowledge, for belief and for life if the book is read from the perspective of single African Christian women in South Africa, women for whom the Bible remains important for their spiritual nurturing? If there are prospects, are these really knowledge-worthy, faith-nurturing and life-enhancing?

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