n Neotestamentica - Reading Revelation 18 : a South African theo-ethical feminist perspective in a context of violence against women - research

Volume 53 Number 2
  • ISSN : 0254-8356
  • E-ISSN: 2518-4628


This year, 2019, South Africa celebrates twenty-five years of democracy. As “times have changed,” the plight of women remains the same. While many South Africans have benefitted from the fruits of freedom, women are not free from being harmed, raped and killed, as the recent spate of violence against women indicates. In this article, I argue that the pressure of our time—and perhaps the pressure of all times—has been patriarchal privilege. Patriarchal privilege is endorsed, upheld and defended when feminist insights that aim to expose the inherent gender bias in texts and contemporary contexts are dismissed. In this regard, I refer to the interpretation of Revelation 18 as an example of violence against women. Here, the re-reading seeks to explore the value of a socio-rhetorical interpretation of Revelation 18 from a theo-ethical feminist perspective in a contemporary South African context—a country lauded for its non-violent transition to democracy, while, at the same time, dubbed the rape capital of the world.

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