A discussion of the 1974 film, 'The Conversation', by Francis Ford Coppola serves as an introductory illustration of the dangers of interpretation in isolation. The film, starring Gene Hackman, highlights the contextual nature of communication, where the viewer becomes increasingly aware of the development of a skewed inter-pretation of an overheard conversation. Utterances and events are interpreted in isolation and perceived as ultimate truths. The social commentary offered by Coppola serves as an analogy for the dangers of exclusivist approaches to biblical interpretation. This article critiques these approaches and offers contextual inter-cultural Bible reading as a life giving, alternative approach that draws from the combined hermeneutical framework of Feminism and African hermeneutics. In this article I will explore the creative possibilities of the intercultural Bible reading process as a space with communal meaning-making possibilities.
The theme of Jesus and the forgiveness of sin has always been a contentious one within historical Jesus research. This article gives a brief overview of the debate on the authenticity of various forgiveness logia in the Jesus tradition, as well as the different criteria that have been used in the past in an attempt to validate them. It focuses on two specific forgiveness logia in the Markan tradition (2:1-12, 3:20-35) in order to assess whether the manner in which they have been crafted as chreia can provide insight into how the άφίημι logia of Jesus have been preserved in the pre-Markan tradition.
Why does the protagonist in the film 'Hotel Rwanda' (2004) shelter almost 1300 refugees and in the process risk his own life? Most critics say it is because Paul Rusesabagina is a hero. Yet heroism as an individual act of courage may not be the only answer. I argue that an inclusive enactment of interconnected, communal belonging opens up the possibility to understand facets of Rusesabagina's bravery as a spiritual choice. To fail to consider clues from the Rwandese society and its heritage may, even with the best of intentions to do the opposite, result in projections of the self that compound the tragedy of othering in the Rwandan genocide of 1994 when the world turned a blind eye to the massacre.
This article examines two major sections of 1 Corinthians, 1:10-4:21 and 8:1-11:1, arguing that we find within Paul's gospel of Christ crucified an impulse to elevate the position of the disadvantaged members of the Corinthian congregation. In both sections the gospel serves as Paul's resource for working toward just and unified relations. The study of 1 Cor. 1:10-4:21 traces the apostle's own identification with the cross and with disadvantaged members of the church. Paul's call to imitate himself becomes a means of imparting to the whole congregation a new identity as a people of power, as they embrace the way of the cross and the apostles. The reading of 1 Cor. 8:1-11:1 exhibits Paul's use of Christ's death for the 'weak' as a model for his own personal adjustments on behalf of the gospel and in deference to the vulnerable. By imitating Paul, the Corinthians can work with - not against - the gospel's impulse to honour the disadvantaged.
Availability of advanced medical technology has generated various new moral issues such as abortion, cloning and euthanasia. The use of medical technology, therefore, raises questions about the moral appropriateness of sustaining life versus taking life or allowing someone to die. Moreover, the world-wide discussion on euthanasia has assumed different dimensions of acceptance and rejection. The modern advanced medical technology has brought this issue under extensive focus of philosophers and religious authorities. The objective of this article is to consider the Islamic ethical position on euthanasia with a view to appreciating its com-prehensiveness and investigating how an Islamic approach to medical treatment addresses the issue. The study observes that Allah gives life and has the absolute authority of taking it. In other words, the Qur'an prohibits consenting to one's own destruction which could be related to terminally ill patients who give consent to mercy killing. The study equally revealed that death is not the final destination of human beings but the hereafter; therefore, a believer should not lose hope when facing difficulties, suffering and hardship but should instead keep hope alive. The study calls on Muslims to ensure that Islamic teachings on medical ethics are entrenched in all fabrics of human endeavour.
Land is life and land is our mother. The absence of the content of liberation for the dispossessed in theologies that seek to address the question of land is the 'original' sin of the debate about land in South Africa. The history of the church and land dispossession is a bifurcated, dichotomised discourse of annihilation and quarantine of the disposed. With the rudiments of a Contextual Theology of Land and a Black Theology of Land, the prophetic imagination of the church post-1994 must subject any epistemological views that exclude the internal logic of black Africans to a rigorous hermeneutic of suspicion. Black Africans need land to live first and not to be agents of the commodification of land, a spirit that dominates the debate today.