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Old Testament Essays

versión On-line ISSN 2312-3621
versión impresa ISSN 1010-9919

Old testam. essays vol.22 no.1 Pretoria  2009


"For better or for worse?" - The (Christian) Bible and Africana women1



Madipoane Masenya (ngwan'a Mphahlele)

University of South Africa





In her quest for the continued close connection between the Christian Bible and Africana women's realities, the author uses the folktale of the Rabbit and the Lion (cf. Ndebele 2007) as a background to portray the ambiguous post-apartheid South African reality. The South African context, which is the author's social location, serves both as a point of departure and a connecting link between African women in South Africa, those on the African continent as well as women of the Africa Diaspora regarding the intersection of power, the Christian Bible and Africana women's realities. The main question addressed by the article is: Why do Africana women continue to cling dearly to this Book that has, historically, mostly been used "for worse" in their varying interpretive contexts? The agency of these women in the interpretative processes is also highlighted. As one form of redress, a communal Africana women's reading strategy is employed to read some of the texts from the Hebrew Bible.



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Prof. Madipoane Masenya (ngwan'a Mphahlele)
Department of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern Studies
P.O. Box 392, University of South Africa, UNISA, 0003, South Africa



1 This article was first, albeit with a few revisions, read as the inaugural lecture at the University of South Africa, 28 August 2008.

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