Book Review: "Biblical Hermeneutics and Black Theology in South Africa" By Itumeleng J. Mosala

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Book Review

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African History | African Languages and Societies | Comparative Methodologies and Theories | History | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


This book by Black South African scholar I. J. Mosala of the Religious Studies Department, University of Cape Town, is one of the finest contributions to date to the discussion in South Africa and other places about biblical hermeneutics. What Mosala proposes expressly for a liberation agenda is a historical-materialist reading in an effort to uncover the nature of political-economic, social cultural, gender and racial struggles behind biblical texts. Such a reading, it is argued, offers a critique of and goes far beyond "bourgeois biblical hermeneutical assumptions," and provides a critical tool in the contemporary struggle for liberation against apartheid.

In order to commend the historical materialist reading to Black South Africans, Mosala argues that the latter must "read" their own history as "struggle," and engage biblical texts in light of this history.

Case-studies focusing on texts from Micah and Luke are included in demonstration of the fruitfulness of the proposal.

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©1991 Princeton Theological Seminary

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