This volume intends to give voice to one of the local agents of religious change in Africa by listening to the voice of Paul Dzampah, a Christian singer-songwriter in Ghana.
Among the broad movement of new, post-modern Christianity in Africa the songs which are documented in this volume are kind of outstanding as the author never tried to establish his own church and never intended to make his living with his songs. We find a prophetic voice here which does not want to be “churchy” and which moves beyond the wide-spread attempt of making money with religion.
The volume refrains from intensive analysis or extensive comment. The editor rather is just documenting these texts, and leaving the scientific analysis to others.
BiAS 12 examines the phenomenon of prophets and prophecy in contemporary Zimbabwe. By applying insights from biblical studies and other approaches, the volume sheds light on how this contentious phenomenon has been discussed in the Zimbabwean context. The different chapters highlight the role of the Bible, gender, media, literature and other perspectives have influenced attitudes towards prophets and prophecy in Zimbabwe. While the phenomenon has been principally associated with the new wave of Pentecostalism, it remains critical to appreciate pre-existing attitudes towards prophets from African Initiated Churches (AICs), as well as traditional healers in African Indigenous Religions (AIRs). Contributors to this volume have explored the complexities that characterize prophets and prophecy. The volume is of interest to scholars in biblical studies, theology, religious studies, political science, anthropology, philosophy and other disciplines. General readers, church leaders and civil society activists will also find the chapters in this volume valuable.
Taking the word ḤSD in the Book of Ruth as an example, this study argues that the meaning of a word can only be fully determined by taking into consideration the linguistic and socio-cultural contexts within which it functions. A basic assumption is that the biblical source text serves as a frame of reference for the semantic analysis of a particular word. The text provides an integrative semantic and pragmatic framework within which a biblical term must be investigated with reference to its wider socio-cultural setting.
This book was passed as a PhD thesis at Bayreuth University, Germany. The author challenges African Biblical scholars and Christian leaders to premise Biblical interpretation on the experiences of the often neglected underclasses. The author argues that from a comparative historical, cultural and material methodological point of view, the experiences of the Zimbabwean underclasses whose collective ordeal is represented by the experiences of domestic workers are strikingly similar to those suffered by slaves among other underclasses in the biblical world. In the same way religion was appropriated by the elite to validate oppression of the underclasses in the biblical world, the author shows that since the colonial era, Christianity in Africa, through biblical interpretation among many other tactics has been an influential force on the side of the dominant class to advance their racial, class and gender interests. To date, in Zimbabwe for example, the Bible (and religion in general) is manipulated by the dominant minority to justify and entrench the exploitation of the majority underclasses. On the other hand, the author observes that the history of ancient Israel, Roman colonial Palestine and colonial Zimbabwe evidences that when religion is appropriated (and/or the Bible is read and interpreted) from the historical cultural and material conditions of the underclasses, it can be a valuable resource not only for their mobilization to overthrow oppressive systems but also for justifying their resistance tactics. Aluta Continua!!(The Struggle goes on!!)
That the Bible is a manual for daily living is attested in almost all Christian denominations, how this role is transformed into practice is clearly an area that remains a contested terrain among Christians. This volume is our modest contribution to looking at the relationship between the Bible and our practices. The central question that the articles in this volume respond to is: how is the Bible related to our daily life? This question is especially important on the African continent where religion appears to be gaining influence. Without taking anything away from western biblical scholars, African biblical scholars must also engage with the question: how do we put into practice the teachings of the Bible? This volume contains papers presented at the International Bible Symposium 2009 in Bamberg (Germany) and additional contributions.
This volume was passed as doctoral thesis by the University of South Africa (UNISA). The author contends throughout the book that it is arguably clear that the AIDS epidemic has infected and affected our world in radical ways. Although every sector, including Biblical Studies, has come to its ‘senses’, by realising the urgency to respond; there still appears to be inadequate contextual engagement with the biblical text to stimulate empowering and transformative readings of the Bible.
The author presents his interpretative case aimed to contribute to scholarship by determining the extent to which the church, the academy and Persons with HIV have adhered to stigmatising interpretations. He uses reader response method theoretical framework as applied within the context of African theology because it is socially located.
Unlike many books, this one emerges from empirical findings. The data was collected through focus groups and personal interviews. The purposive sampling included 70 participants, who were divided into three key categories: academic theologians, university students and persons with HIV. All participants in the study re-read 2 Samuel 13:1-14:33 in order to ascertain if the characters therein could be relevant to the context of AIDS.
Towards the end, the author sums up his case by endorsing that, characters from 2 Samuel 13:1-14:33 can provide an empowering message in the context of AIDS. Although this biblical text has often been misused to promote stigma, this study confirmed that it was nonetheless possible to use the same text to unearth redemptive and empowering interpretations. Therefore the book recommends that the move towards an HIV/AIDS Biblical Hermeneutics invites socially engaged scholars along with ordinary readers to read the text together for transformative purposes.