Original Research

Deus ex Machina? Religious texts, spiritual capital and inequalities: In continuation of a current debate (a response to colleague Farisani)

Christo Lombaard
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 36, No 1 | a1378 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v36i1.1378 | © 2015 Christo Lombaard | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 August 2014 | Published: 20 April 2015

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Often, theological debates stand in the tension between idealist and realist perspectives. This is true too of a discussion in which I have participated on the Africanisation or contextualisation or relevance of the Bible in (South) Africa. In this debate I have at times been cast as being opposed to such Africanisation or contextualisation or relevance. Such criticism is mistaken. I am, however, critical of too idealistic views on the ways in which Old Testament research can impact African problems. In an interdisciplinary manner, the sociological concept of spiritual capital proves useful in illustrating my view. With this, I hope to be understood correctly and, more importantly, to contribute to greater realism concerning the relationship between research and societal problems. In that way, the Africanisation or contextualisation or relevance of the Bible in (South) Africa can become a greater reality. This is of increased importance in the post-secular time frame in which we currently find ourselves, in which the role of religion in the public sphere is again finding greater acceptance rather than being side-lined. On all counts, thus, the plight of the marginalised may be better served. Such broader acceptance of religion also demands that Bible scholarship takes full cognisance of the societal processes through which such upliftment can occur in reality. Therefore, en route to publication, this contribution is presented for critical consideration in three intellectual fora:




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