n HTS : Theological Studies - The Banyamulenge people : their angst, honour and shame in the light of the Matthean Community

Volume 60, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 0259-9422
  • E-ISSN: 2072-8050



This article focuses on two theological contributions based on a social analysis of the Gospel of Matthew and its application to the Banyamulenge community in the Democratic Republic of Congo: the work of Overman (1990, 1996) on the formation of the Matthean community and its identity versus formative Judaism in their cultural setting; the work of Neyrey (1998) on honour and shame codes in the social context of the Matthean community. The article analyses the commitment of the first Banyamulenge Christian believers in light of the cultural codes of honour and shame, which were also part of the community's survival mechanisms. The life story of Madam Kibihira is compared to other women entries in Jesus' genealogy (Mt 1) and the Canaanite woman (Mt 15). Madam Kibihira was the first woman who became Christian and also the first Banyamulenge victim for her faith in Christ. The article argues that faith earns honour regardless of social status.

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