Perichoresis 14.1

Perichoresis 14.1 (2016)


Liberation as a Paradigm for Full Humanity in Africa

Ephraim Tshuma


The study is a response to the call for papers that focuses on African issues and discusses the issue of liberation. This paper seeks to explore the theme of liberation beginning with its definition. It will then proceed by looking at the history of Israel discussing the Egyptian bondage. The identity and role of Moses will also be explored in light of the prominent role that the Hebrew Bible gives him in the exodus motifs. It also highlights the life and role of Jesus of Nazareth in human liberation. In addition it will also highlight the importance of liberation and will pay attention to the fight for freedom and independence in Africa. Finally it looks at the quest for liberation among marginalized women and children in Africa looking at their struggles in the 21st century. The essay will use examples from both theological and secular sources. The Biblical/theological examples will be drawn from the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and commentaries. Since Africa is very big although sharing related issues, I will use specific examples from Zimbabwe and also use general information from across the continent. PDF

Atonement in African Pluralistic Context: Examples from the Luhya of Western Kenya

Wabomba Sychellus Njibwakale


The study is a response to the call for papers that focus on African issues and it discusses the issue of atonement. The question which is raised is whether the Jewish and Luhya traditional concepts of atonement are similar or not. To answer this question, I have attempted to explain the understanding of the concept in Jewish tradition before comparing and contrasting this with the Luhya traditional concept of atonement. The study shows that there is a sense of harmony maintained or restored between worshippers and their objects of worship. Through a study of comparative religions, we find various depictions of atonement in different religious traditions. But the goal is the same—the attainment of forgiveness and reconciliation. PDF

‘Blood as the Seat of Life’: The Blood Paradox among Afro-Christians

Francis Machingura , Godfrey Museka


The study is a response to the call for papers on African issues and it focuses on the theme of blood. The chapter seeks to answer the following questions: Why is blood, the sanctity of life, associated with defilement? How can the good and purity of life which blood symbolizes come out of impurities? How is the practice of blood manipulation represented in biblical texts? How can bodily refuse in this case blood be conceived as a symbol of purity, power and danger? How do readers of biblical texts understand the textual representations and interpretations of blood? Does each mode of blood manipulation rituals function as communicative symbols? Our response to these questions is threefold. First, we consider the sanctity of blood in relation to its purity and power. This is followed by an examination of danger beliefs associated with blood and lastly by an analysis of the sacred/taboo or purity/danger dichotomy within the context of the Old Testament and the New Testament as well as of the Shona Afro-Christians. PDF

Abraham and Jesus as Ancient Migrants: An African Migration Perspective

Zorodzai Dube


The study is a response to the call for papers that focuses on African issues and, I chose to discuss the issue of migration. Though not a historical document, the Bible records various journeys that the ancient people travelled;1 it narrates people’s relocations from one geographic place to the other. However, migration has never been the main focus of several biblical interpreters who seem to perceive the Bible mostly from a theological lens. Largely, this study is informed by current challenges associated with immigration, highlighting comparative migration experiences that seem embellished under theological themes. For examples, each day we hear about stories of migrants who drown in the sea while trying to cross to Europe or of foreigners, due to xenophobic conflicts over few economic resources, die in numbers in South Africa. This study explores two biblical characters—Abraham and Jesus from a migration perspective, focusing on the pushed or pulled factors embedded under their stories. PDF

Religio-Culture, Fear, and Zimbabwe’s Leadership Perceptions

Muchumayeli Bhebhe


The study is a response to the call for papers on African issues and discusses the notion of leadership in the Zimbabwean context. Based on material drawn through an interdisciplinary research process, this article argues that the phenomenon of fear emanating from a Zimbabwean religio-culture cuts across the country’s socio-political structures and affects its different forms of leadership. Therefore, by drawing on primary and secondary as well as literary and non-literary, sources, the article examines how and why religio-culture and especially its elements, such as the phenomenon of fear, continue to influence the people’s understanding of leadership. The quest for a cross-cultural perspective leads to the consideration of both African and non-African scholarly views. In order to draw on concrete data, I focus on the perceptions and experiences of ordinary citizens whether professionals or non-professionals. Furthermore, the study considers arguments and propositions from disciplines such as history, political science, religious studies, anthropology, and African philosophy, among others. PDF

Rethinking Christian Identity: African Reflections from Pauline Writings

Lovemore Togarasei


Despite its existence for over a century in Africa and statistics putting the Christian populations at average 80 percent mostly in sub-Saharan African countries, Christianity has not managed to provide an alternative identity to ethnicity as issues of identity continue dogging the continent. Many African societies remain divided and at war on the basis of identities, be they racial, tribal, creedal, gender, class, language or other identities. Surprisingly, this state of affairs is also found even within the precincts of the church. Many churches remain divided along racial, ethnic, tribal, and other identities. One does not need to look far and wide to acknowledge this reality. Does Christianity have an identity? Could the writings of Paul address the issues of Christian identity? Or do the writings address this problem at all? These are the questions at the heart of this paper. Making use of Pauline texts such as Galatians 3:28 and scholarly works such as those of Buell and Hodge (2004:237), I discuss Paul’s understanding of Christian identity and its implications for Christian identity in Africa today. PDF