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Old Testament Essays

versão On-line ISSN 2312-3621
versão impressa ISSN 1010-9919

Old testam. essays vol.23 no.3 Pretoria  2010


Unstructural analysis of the bible reinforcing unstructural analysis of African contexts in (South) Africa?



Gerald West

University of KwaZulu-Natal





In the 1980s South African biblical scholar Itumeleng Mosala argued that there was a danger within South African Black Theology that "unstructural understanding of the Bible " might simply "reinforce and confirm unstructural understanding of the present." This article argues that what Mosala predicted might happen within Black Theology has indeed happened, but that it has happened more generally within the religious sector as well as the state sector in post-apartheid South Africa. The article goes on to argue, using the work of Paul Gifford, that this trend brings South Africa into alignment with a similar development in many other African countries. The article concludes with some reflection on what a "structural understanding" of the biblical economic systems might contribute to a more structural understanding of current African contextual realities.



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Gerald West
Ujamaa Centre, School of Religion and Theology
University of KwaZulu-Natal

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