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Wa re o Bona e Hlotša, wa e Nametša Thaba! Bibele, Basadi ba Maafrika ba Afrika-Borwa le HIV le AIDS

Madipoane Masenya(ngwan’a Mphahlele)

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 31, No 1 (2010), 7 pages. doi: 10.4102/ve.v31i1.412

Submitted: 30 June 2010
Published:  24 November 2010


The question of the history of the reception of the Christian Bible in South Africa particularly by African- South Africans has not been a smooth ride. It was part of a bigger package that included among others, the importation of European patriarchy onto African soil, the land grabbing exercise which resulted in among others, the impoverishment of African peoples and, the emasculation of the African man. The latter in turn led to the intensification of patriarchy within the average African family. The preceding situation, was not helpful to the context and/or situation of African women who were already then, at the bottom of the patriarchal ladder, because, as can be expected, within the context of the Black church and theology then, little if any except for a handful of liberation theologians and members of some ecumenical bodies, was done to make the theology propagated then, relevant to pertinent issues which affected the lives of Black people.

Given the historical marginalisation of women in the Bible and Theology, not only in South Africa, but also globally, it becomes obvious that even in our context, mainstream theology and biblical hermeneutics left issues pertaining to gender justice basically untouched. It is no wonder, as we will argue in this paper, that given that already vulnerable situation into which African women have been thrown into by the preceding factors as well as by how the Bible continues to be used in our HIV and AIDS contexts, their situation may be succinctly captured as that of a limping animal that has been made to climb the mountain! The Northern Sotho proverb or saying: Wa re o bona e hlotša, wa e nametša thaba (while limping, you let it climb the mountain) simply means that a certain situation is being aggravated (by an external factor). The present article will use the preceding proverb as a hermeneutical lens through which to analyse the reception of the Bible by African women in the HIV and AIDS context of South Africa.

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Madipoane Masenya(ngwan’a Mphahlele),


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ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

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