Original Research - Special Collection: African Hermeneutics

Beyond the rhetoric of Genesis 34:1–28: Understanding the rape epidemic during the COVID-19 pandemic

Favour Uroko, Solomon Enobong
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 42, No 1 | a2211 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v42i1.2211 | © 2021 Favour Uroko, Solomon Enobong | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 January 2021 | Published: 01 July 2021

About the author(s)

Favour Uroko, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; Department of Old Testament and Hebrew Scriptures, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Solomon Enobong, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; Department of Old Testament and Hebrew Scriptures, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

This article explored the rape of Dinah in Genesis 34:1–28 and its implications to the escalating rape cases during the period of the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in Nigeria. By examining the rape in the pericope and other key passages in the Old Testament, this article argues that it points towards care and justice for victims of rape, and prosecution of rapists. These social ethics are analysed in relation to the contemporary rape epidemic during the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. Like the rape in Genesis, rape victims in Nigeria have little or no access to getting justice and counselling from society, non-government organisations and faith-based organisations, against their aggressors (the rapists). These problems highlight the relevance of this biblical narrative for the policyholders, the government and churches in Nigeria.

Intra/interdisciplinary implications: This research is based on the impact of rape on the victim and the aggressor in Genesis 34:1–28. Similar to what is obtainable amongst Nigerians during the COVID-19 pandemic, Genesis 34:1–28 reveals that rape has far reaching implications on the victim and the aggressor. It leads to low self-esteem, hate, suicide as well as the death of the aggressor or victim. Disciplines implicated include Old Testament, Religion, Cultural Studies and Sociology.


Keywords

rape; the book of Genesis; COVID-19; coronavirus disease 2019; justice; support

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