Nathan Bond's TART Remarks

Religion: Respect? Ridicule!

Thabo Mbeki’s Bible

with 28 comments

Thabo Mbeki’s Bible:
The role of the religion
in the South African public realm after liberation

By Gerald O. West

Ujamaa Centre for Community Development and Research
School
of Religion and Theology, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Pietermaritzburg
, South Africa

Published 2008-03-01

More than a decade and a half before liberation, in one of the bleakest periods of the liberation struggle, the South African Black theologian Takatso Mofokeng emphasised the contested nature of the Bible. Against a backdrop during the 1970s of Black Theology’s predominantly positive appropriation of the Bible, Mofokeng insisted that there are numerous “texts, stories and traditions in the Bible which lend themselves to only oppressive interpretations and oppressive uses because of their inherent oppressive nature.” What is more, he continues, any attempt “to ‘save’ or ‘co-opt’ these oppressive texts for the oppressed only serve the interests of the oppressors”. While Black theologians may not have recognised this reality, Mofokeng argues, ordinary organised young black South Africans, “have categorically identified the Bible as an oppressive document by its very nature and to its very core” and have argued that the best option “is to disavow the Christian faith and consequently be rid of the obnoxious Bible.” Indeed, says Mofokeng, some “have zealously campaigned for its expulsion from the oppressed Black community”.

Mbeki remains concerned about the African soul, but we can discern a shift from a soul that includes a socio-cultural breadth to a narrower Church-Theology-type moral soul. We see too, I suggest, a growing awareness in Mbeki that he is addressing at least two audiences, a small well-educated vaguely liberal elite who are somewhat embarrassed by religion (as is Mbeki himself) and a large less-educated mass of religious believers, most of whom are Christians. Mbeki wants to address them both, and the Bible lends itself to this task. It remains classic literature, even for the post-religious postcolonial educated elite. And it resonates with the believing religious masses, for it remains a favoured silo.

Cedric Mayson, long time liberation theologian and now National Coordinator of the ANC Commission for Religious Affairs calls for “Secular Spirituality” (and the upper case is his): We need to liberate religion into a new secular spirituality (lower case this time) which drives away superstition and fear, and empowers millions of agnostics and believers who are seeking a spirituality not wrapped in colonial religions. It means a new evangelism, a unity in diversity of people seeking values which change society, a new prophetic context which sees politics and economics as godly spheres.

Read the full text

Written by Nathan Bond

March 1, 2008 at 17:03

28 Responses

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  1. Hanswors prewel (Januarie 10, 2012 om 22:25):

    Terloops, ek volg nie enige dogma nie, want sulkes dog hulle weet waaroor die Bybel gaan en tog dwaal hulle in hulle onkunde.

    Daar is net mooi geen flippen woorde nie.😆:mrgreen:😆:mrgreen:😆:mrgreen:😆:mrgreen:😆:mrgreen:😆

    Con-Tester

    January 10, 2012 at 22:30

  2. Shazee, volgens Joh. 1, is God die “woord”. Niks in jou of my begin het ontstaan sonder woorde, dus God bestaan. God is liefde en ek is seker jy het ook liefde in jou, dus God bestaan. God is lig (verstaanbaarheid) en ek is seker, dat jy ook baie dinge verstaan en nog baie dinge, wat vir jou duister is, gaan nog vir jou lig (verstaanbaar) word.
    Ek ly nie, die lewe is baie interesant en dit is lekker om met die engel te worstel.
    Mense molesteer kinders, mishandel vrouens/ mans ens. Dit wil voorkom of jy nog nie mooi die voorbeeld nagegaan het wat Jesus daar vir ons gestel het.
    Terloops, ek volg nie enige dogma nie, want sulkes dog hulle weet waaroor die Bybel gaan en tog dwaal hulle in hulle onkunde.

    Hans Matthysen

    January 10, 2012 at 22:25

  3. Hans, ek wil jou nou mooi vra,dink asb hieroor met n oopkop.
    As daar n almagtige god is en hy is lief vir jou, waarom speel hy hierdie speletjies met jou?
    Waarom verwag hy van jou om “met n engel te worstel”?
    Ek neem aan jy is ook n pa. Sal jy jou kinders so laat ly? Sal jy sulke sigopatiese kopspeletjies met hulle speel? Sal jy agter n gordyn wegkruip terwyl hulle vriende vir hulle lag en hulle spot omdat hulle jou glo?
    Ek glo nie jy sal nie.
    My vraag is nou; waarom verdedig jy n god wat dit aan jou doen? Hy bestaan nie man, hy kan nie ,en ek is oortuig dat jy dit ook in jou hart van harte weet.
    Net omdat jy graag wil he iets moet waar wees, of dalk dink dit sal goed wees as dit waar is, maak dit nie waar nie.
    Ek dink dit sal wonderlik wees as geen kind gemolesteer word en geen vrou mishandel word nie – ek glo met n passie aan hierdie idiale – dink jy dit beteken geen kind word gemolesteer of geen vrou mishandel nie? Natuurlik nie!

    Jy het n verstand man, gebruik hom om vir jouself te dink in stede daarvan om n logies onhoudbare proposisie te probeer verdedig.

    Jy moet verstaan dat ek nie hierdie pos skryf om met jou te spot nie, ek hoop teen hoop dat jy net vir n oomblik uit jou gekondisioneerde dogma kan ontsnap en helder en logies oor die dinge sal begin dink.

    Shazee

    January 9, 2012 at 23:20

  4. Shazee, nee, ek worstel met die engel tot dagbreek (tot ek verstaan waaroor als gaan).

    Hans Matthysen

    January 9, 2012 at 22:03

  5. Hans, het ek reg gelees? Jy eet nie alles vir soetkoek op nie? Is daar dele van die bybel wat jy met n knippie sout neem??? Broer, as jy daai sak sout oopmaak en regtig begin om vir jouself te dink mag daar dalk nog hoop vir jou wees.

    Shazee

    January 8, 2012 at 09:40

  6. Hanswors prewel (Januarie 7, 2012 om 23:23):

    Ek aanvaar ook nie als vir soetkoek nie.

    Daar is net mooi geen fokken woorde nie.😆:mrgreen:😆:mrgreen:😆:mrgreen:😆:mrgreen:😆:mrgreen:😆

    Con-Tester

    January 7, 2012 at 23:29

  7. Shazee, die Bybel gaan nie oor die skepping van die natuur nie en het baie simboliek daarin. Ek aanvaar ook nie als vir soetkoek nie.

    Hans Matthysen

    January 7, 2012 at 23:23

  8. Nice attempted dodge Hanswors, but I’m asking you — you who “understand more of the Bible than what you ever can know or understand” (Discombobulation thread, December 22, 2011 at 23:20). Or are you also going to “rest [your] case with [me]” and “from here on out [I] will for the largest part be ignored by [you]”?

    Con-Tester

    January 7, 2012 at 23:22

  9. Con-Tester, what is your answer to the question?

    Hans Matthysen

    January 7, 2012 at 23:18

  10. Hans, daar is nogal heelwat bewyse dat die bybel feitlik nie korrek is nie.
    Die aarde is byvoorbeeld nie 6000 jaar oud nie. Die mens is nie oombliklik geskep nie, en verseker ook nie die ander lewende wesens nie (evolusie,onthou jy nou weer?) Jesus kon nie gebore gewees het op die tyd wat die bybel beweer nie.
    Twee weersprekende skeppingsverhale in Genisis.
    Twee geslagsregisters vir jesus wat nie ooreenkom nie, en nog baie meer.

    Verder, as die lewe n klaskamer is, het ek geleer om nie perdedrolle vir vye te eet nie. Ek het geleer dat n bietjie bewys vir bewerings nodig is, anders vertel mense jou enige stront wat hulle wil,soos jy alte duidelik probeer doen.

    Ek glo dat “aliens” n papegaai ontvoer het wat besig is om hulle Engels te leer, wed jou jy kan my nie verkeerd bewys nie.

    Shazee

    January 7, 2012 at 18:42

  11. Hanswors, keep your prayers, see? They’re worthless and, more importantly, ineffective. Rather, answer my question. I can say with much confidence that I won’t outgrow it, no matter how hard you evade and dodge.

    Con-Tester

    January 6, 2012 at 22:39

  12. Con-Tester, dit wil voorkom of jy in jou kinderdae ‘n traumatiese ondervinding beleef het en daarom hak jy vas by Mickey Mouse. My gebed vir jou is, is dat jy dit sal ontgroei.

    Hans Matthysen

    January 6, 2012 at 22:30

  13. Shazee, jy kan nie bewys dat ek nie reg is nie, wat die Bybel betref en jy blyk vasgepen aan reëls wat iemand vir jou neergelê het, dus kan jy moontlik nie vir jouself dink nie? Ons is in elk geval nie in ‘n hof nie want die lewe is eerder ‘n klaskamer.

    Hans Matthysen

    January 6, 2012 at 22:23

  14. Jip,dit lyk my jy kan nie met iemand redeneer wat “weet” hy is reg nie

    Shazee

    January 5, 2012 at 22:21

  15. Toe maar Shazee, indien jy dit nog nie raakgesien het nie, sal jy kort-kort agterkom dat dìè spul godiote/galoofiote/bibliote/relegiote/apologiote net dìt lees wat mooi in hul heelwat beperkte sin pas. Enigiets buite die benoude kring van hul gestremde redenasievermoëns òf ignoreer hulle sommer net òf trek hulle deur hul agterente voor hulle dit op ’n kant vee met ’n strooibesem (hier lê die klem natuurlik op die “strooi”)…

    Con-Tester

    January 5, 2012 at 16:30

  16. Ja, wat ek regtig nie kry nie is waarom die ouens aanhoudend die bybel aanhaal. Wat is so moeilik om te verstaan dat jy nie iemand wat nie glo dat die bybel enigiets meer is as n blik op die lewensbeskouing van n groepie antieke,stowwerige bokwagters nie, gaan oortuig van jou geloof deur dieselfde lawwe bron oor en oor soos n “demented” papegaai aan te haal.

    Shazee

    January 5, 2012 at 13:32

  17. I think that Mickey Mouse is much better because his moral instruction is far less violent, bloodthirsty, long-lasting or threat-soaked than anything in the Holey Babble. Of course, Hanswors never discusses Mickey Mouse either despite being invited to do so on many occasions. It really looks like he’s kakbang

    Which reminds me: Hey Bollocksed Goofs (😆😳 ), what’s your answer, “yes” or “no”? (Crickets still chirping and…) Or are you still frantically “rest[ing your] case with [me]” with a tub-full of “from here on out [I] will for the largest part be ignored by [you]”?

    Con-Tester

    January 5, 2012 at 08:45

  18. Hans, in enige hofsaak moet n mens eers die egtheid van n dokument bewys voordat n mens die meriete van die inhoud kan bespreek. Sover ek weet. Is ons nog nie verby die eerste stap nie.
    Ek het jou al voorheen gevra om my eers van die egtheid van jou dokument te oortuig – ek wil nie hoor dit is waar omdat die bybel se dit is nie, anders kan ons maar Rooikappie ook bespreek as jy wil

    Shazee

    January 5, 2012 at 06:00

  19. Ja Hans, as ek gedink het die bybelversies is van enige waarde in n argument sou ek “kakbang OF them” gewees het. Omdat ek weet dit is onsinnige stront is ek “kakbang FOR them, jy weet, soos in – I fear FOR your sanity –

    Shazee

    January 5, 2012 at 05:48

  20. Shazee, you atheists are kakbang for Bible verses as you don’t ever want to discuss what is written in the Bible.

    Hans Matthysen

    January 4, 2012 at 22:24

  21. Ek sien Piet Stassen kruip agter bybelversies weg in enige debat. Prof, het jy nie n opinie van jou eie nie? Een waaroor jy byvoorbeeld n bietjie gedink het nie?

    Shazee

    January 4, 2012 at 08:09

  22. Well, I spoke to Jeeeebusssst! just this morning over coffee and a buttered croissant (which he looked at a little warily). He said he’d changed his mind because commanding love was as daft and fruitless as herding cats. Instead, he now commands that all godiots cease talking kak forthwith. I told him that would also never work. He looked a bit miffed, maybe ’cos he secretly knew that I was right…

    Con-Tester

    September 20, 2011 at 08:32

  23. John 15:11 I have spoken these things to you so that My joy might remain in you and your joy might be full.
    John 15:12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
    John 15:13 No one has greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
    John 15:14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

    – Jesus Of Nazareth –

    Piet Stassen

    September 20, 2011 at 06:53

  24. P, I totally agree.

    Hans Matthysen

    August 26, 2009 at 20:56

  25. Great, now we’ve got an exegesis expert! Maybe you can set Daan Van der Merwe, Hans Matthysen, Johannes Coetzee and other contributing believers here straight on a variety of scriptural issues because they can’t even agree among themselves on what they really believe.

    Con-Tester

    August 26, 2009 at 11:01

  26. you poor devil. africa has been evangeliest through Eteopia hears and years before colonisation. it is obvious you dont know the bible. Many have tried and were crushed. you cannot crush the word of God. you really are a idiot

    p

    August 24, 2009 at 21:25

  27. Seen this?
    http://www.alternet.org/story/113063/

    Regards
    Pete

    bewilderbeast

    December 20, 2008 at 08:22

  28. I spose simply pulling our fingers out and doing good and doing unto others as we’d want to be done by is out of the question?
    Thought so.

    Good to hear there are some “ordinary organised young black South Africans who “have categorically identified the Bible as an oppressive document” and want to “disavow the Christian faith and be rid of the obnoxious Bible.” Who “have zealously campaigned for its expulsion from the oppressed Black community”.

    BUT WHERE ARE THEY, PLEASE? Can we hear more of them? I desperately need to see that there are indigenous Africans who DO NOT think a god had to arrive from Europe on wooden sailing ships to save their barbaric asses. That see that it was all just a sinister plot to subjugate them.
    Please. (what? too late, you say? co-opted? O, shit . . )

    bewilderbeast

    September 5, 2008 at 12:37


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