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<< Return to SBL Forum Archive Struggling to Find "Africa" in South Africa: The Bosadi (Womanhood) Approach to the Bible

A general perception that South Africa is not an integral part of the African continent seems to persist in the minds of many a South African, even in the post-apartheid South Africa, ten years after the inauguration of the new democracy. This perception continues despite the calls to take the African renaissance seriously. It may be argued that such a perception is rooted in the colonial mentality, given the observation that though South Africa is a Black majority country, historically and even today the views of the White minority have continued to dominate the South African landscape.

This tendency to view South Africa through non-African eyes is evidenced by, among other factors, a general Western outlook on life. The latter is manifested not only in the everyday lives of the peoples of South Africa, but also in the nature of the curricula for higher education, with the curricula for theological education and biblical studies being no exception. It is on account of this foreign state of affairs, this general tendency to alienate Africa in the South African Biblical Studies methodologies, that I was prompted to develop a uniquely African-South African methodology. I have called this methodology the bosadi (womanhood) approach (1996) to the reading of biblical texts. This paper will shed more light on this methodology and on how helpful this approach has been to date in making the Bible accessible to the wo(men) of Africa in South Africa.

Artificial Horns: Can They Stick?
Let us imagine a cow—after having grappled for some time with the appearance of her horns and the mockery she has endured from other animals concerning the shape and the alleged ugliness of the horns—ultimately succumbing to the temptation, or rather, "pressure," to have reconstructive surgery performed on her horns. Suppose that, in her view, the horns that would best suit her head were those of the merino sheep!

I invite you to picture the sight of this cow after such "cosmetic" surgery! The horns might be beautiful in her view, and in the view of her mockers, but, "beautiful" as they might be, they are not hers. They are artificial horns. As a result, they will utterly fail to serve the exact purpose for which they were created. In the same vein one author has titled his book: Born an Original, Don't Die a Copy!

The Northern Sotho proverb says: Dinaka tsa go rweswa ga di gomarele hlogo. Literally, artificial horns cannot stick permanently on a different head. The tenor of the proverb is as follows: Attempts at imitating others, however excellent they might be, will prove inefficient because the bottom line is that they are artificial. Elsewhere in my writings, I have used this proverb, in conjunction with the folk tale of a hare that pretended unsuccessfully to be a lion(ness), to show the state of biblical studies / Old Testament studies in present-day South Africa. I have argued that the theological curricula and Old Testament studies in South Africa still rely heavily, if not totally, on the West, rather than on Africa itself. I have shown that as a result of this dependence, a legacy inherited from colonial and apartheid South Africa, as Old Testament scholars we have produced graduates who, after completion of their studies, remain irrelevant to their African-South African contexts: a situation that is alarmingly similar to what used to be the case in apartheid theology during apartheid South Africa. In the latter, the powerless were trained to read the Bible as though they were in power: an African person would end up being trained to read the Bible as though s/he were White—a poor person being steeped in elitist hermeneutics; a woman being socialized to appreciate androcentric biblical hermeneutics, as though the latter were the norm.

I have shown the dilemma of an African scholar who chooses to be faithful to the context of many grassroots African Bible readers, who do not have the luxury to theorize and carry out biblical hermeneutics distant from the harsh realities of life on the ground. Such a commitment is bound to earn one an insider-outsider status:

Ours is a theological education characterized by one assuming the role of an insider in one context and that of an outsider in another context. One becomes an insider as one is being trained as a student, an insider to the theologies which are foreign to oneself, an insider as one trains African students in Western-oriented studies of the Bible, an insider as one does research. If the research conducted is not played according to the rules inside the game, it will not earn this "insider/outsider" accreditation to the Western academic status quo, which itself remains basically an outsider to the African status quo.

I have further argued that:

Even as one interacts with one's colleagues, one is still confronted with these "insider/outsider" dynamics. In an attempt to take off the lion(ess)'s skin/artificial horns, and to become an outsider to the academic status quo, one runs the risk of not making sense to one's peers and of one's methodologies being dubbed by some as being unscientific! In such circumstances, one cannot but suffer academic suffocation. It is no wonder that one usually finds African (out-of-South Africa) academic encounters quite refreshing and affirming, though we must acknowledge that there are other Western contexts which are willing to listen to African voices.

The above analysis is meant to inform the reader about the struggle that one still encounters in finding or recognizing "Africa" in South Africa. This is despite the observation that we are already ten years into a democracy. The latter, as we all know, has enabled South Africa to come up with one of the most beautiful constitutions in the world, the beauty of which consists in its supposedly inherently liberatory nature. An important question for the present paper is: If Africa, not necessarily as more of a geographical construct rather than an ideological one, is still viewed with distaste, if the African context is still pretty much "othered" in our theological and biblical hermeneutical endeavors, how liberated are South Africans in the "non-sexist", "non-racist" post-apartheid South Africa?

Examples of how Africa is "othered" in South Africa are in order at this stage. It is commonplace to hear South African academicians comment: "There are applications from students from Africa" or "I have been attending a conference in Africa." White colleagues may even address the following question to fellow Black colleagues: "How is the situation in your context regarding patriarchy?" Such a query implies that although the two persons are both South Africans, their contexts are different. Perhaps the slogan "Proudly South African" makes sense against such a background: To "separate" South Africa ideologically from the rest of the African continent!

Coupled with this is the observation that South Africa, even in continental and global circles, is usually viewed with esteem and appreciation. Almost everybody seems to want to come and visit South Africa. Why is this the case? Is it because of the long history of subjugation to which African peoples have been subjected? Is it because of the resources easily tapped (in terms of the low rand/dollar exchange rates) that the country can offer to tourists, particularly the White ones? Indeed, if one were to visit the Cape Town Waterfront restaurants on a daily basis, particularly during the evenings, one would wonder whether one were in Africa or in Europe or North America!

What is still more disturbing is that this "othering" of Africa and African peoples is even more glaring among fellow African persons. The negative designation "makwerekwere" to refer to fellow African persons from other parts of Africa has said it all. It denotes the hate and denigration of African-South African peoples for fellow African people. This is an unfortunate xenophobic situation , particularly given the important role that some of these fellow Africans played for many African-South African exiles during the apartheid era. The term is used to buttress the perception of the "strangeness" of these sisters and brothers. This is an ironic situation indeed, given the strangeness into which African-South Africans were plunged by the previous regimes. As most readers of this article are aware, the South African Black masses became legitimate South African citizens only in 1994.

In my doctoral thesis, titled Proverbs 31:10-31 in a South African Context: A Bosadi (Womanhood) Perspective, and subsequently in my newly published book, How Worthy is the Woman of Worth: Rereading Proverbs 31:10-31 in African-South Africa—in my quest to find "Africa" in South African biblical hermeneutics, as well as to affirm the African-ness of African-South African wo(men)—I have developed what I have since called a bosadi approach to biblical texts. This has resulted from a process of removing the artificial horns of other women's liberationist discourses.

A herstory of my initiation into what I prefer to call "women liberationist discourses," given the diversity of women's experiences covered by the women theologians in the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians, will reveal that I underwent two major horn surgeries. Initially, after becoming attracted to women's liberationist theologies through reading feminist resources, but with no mentor by my side, I underwent my first surgery and came out of theater, sporting feminist horns. As I continued reading and mentoring myself regarding issues of women (basadi), I came to realize that African-American women (Womanists) also articulate their own experiences in their search for affirming definitions of what it means to be a woman. I did not have to read many sources to understand that, probably sooner rather than later, I would need to undergo another surgical operation. Why? I found the situation of my African-American sisters to be almost exactly the same as that of African-South African women. The latter's focus was on their Africanness, issues of class, race, and gender, while the former's main focus was on gender. Indeed, I went into theater again. I had to. All these surgical procedures were prompted by my desire to name myself appropriately. I noticed that, given the history in which the racial factor played a major role in many aspects of South African life, a history in which African peoples were named and their culture defined, I needed to name myself appropriately, even at the cost of being misunderstood. I already knew then that it was going to be artificial, if not impossible, to share the same women's liberation discourse with my White counterpart. The reader must be aware that all my actions were carried out in isolation, with no guide at my side, on account of the severe lack of Black female biblical scholars in the South African context.

It was only when I was in Evanston, at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, that I came to be aware that though African-American Womanism has close points of resemblance with what might be an African-South African theological or hermeneutical discourse, it is still uniquely African-American. It was on account of this discovery, and also owing to my commitment to make Africa a hermeneutical focus —given the history of the denigration of Africa through the years—that I have decided to name my framework a bosadi (womanhood) approach to the reading of biblical texts, thus undergoing one more session of surgery that has enabled me to put on horns that will, for the first time, hopefully stick!

What is this bosadi concept all about?

The Bosadi Biblical Hermeneutic
Since my employment of the concept bosadi in several published works, readers have drawn their own conceptions of what they think (I say) about this hermeneutics. Some have found close similarities between the bosadi approach and African inculturation hermeneutics. Plaatjie holds: "Masenya's approach is somewhat akin to African inculturation hermeneutics, which compares biblical and African cultures. A feature that distinguishes Masenya's approach from inculturation is that she foregrounds gender concerns." As a matter of fact, Plaatjie devotes almost four pages to what one might, to a large extent, call an unfounded critique of the bosadi approach. In this critique, she makes definite, conclusive, but erroneous assumptions regarding the bosadi hermeneutic/concept, basing her arguments on an article that was submitted to Semeia in 1995, while the research on this same concept was still in process. One however wonders why she chose to focus only on an incomplete version, which she, as a matter of fact, also misunderstood. Some such erroneous readings are in order from the above quotation:

Masenya's approach is somewhat akin to African inculturation hermeneutics, which compares biblical and African cultures....

The bosadi approach is not simply a comparative analysis between the biblical text and the African culture. It not only critiques both cultures and texts in terms of gender concerns, but it also includes issues of class, of "woman-as-strange," and of Africans-as-strange in their very own territory. Unlike many past Black male theological South African discourses and those African theological discourses that set great store by inculturation hermeneutics, the bosadi concept does not accept uncritically the idea of the Bible as Word of God. It is therefore aware of the (self-perceived) chosen-ness of the Israelite nation and of how this same notion has been used in apartheid theology to justify the exploitation of Black peoples. My very elaborate background to the situation of the Black South African woman in chapter two of my dissertation and my engagement with issues of "insider/outsider" dynamics in the Book of Proverbs bear witness to the fact that the bosadi approach cannot afford to be blind to the political crisis into which African-South African peoples, particularly women, were thrown in the past dispensation. At the same time, though the bosadi concept is an attempt to resuscitate the African culture from the ashes into which it was thrown, it does not idolize that culture. To this we will return at a later stage.

Perhaps the use of the very word bosadi in this regard has misled readers to quickly judge it as being culturally-oriented, preoccupied only with "ethnic" concerns. Maluleke remarks:

It is my reticence that Masenya's proposal, although not always argued well and often misunderstood, blazes a new trail and holds great potential for future African hermeneutics. Unlike many critiques of Masenya, my reticence about bosadi has little to do with its ethnic tenor. bosadi is no more "ethnic" than Alice Walker's womanism or Oduyoye's bold and otherwise preposterous declaration that all African women are "daughters of Anowa", an Akan woman. It is inadequate and ineffectual to engage Masenya at this level.

Indeed, to those who choose to read or understand this approach through Western or, rather, non-African eyes, the bosadi concept might appear ethnic and local. However, in the light of the brief background I have given above, the reader now has to come to grips with the fact that the name bosadi was deliberately used not only with national and continental concerns in mind, but also global concerns. To do this effectively, one had to start at home, not only in the Northern Sotho setting, but in the African-South African setting. As I have stated elsewhere in my book, the word mosadi also occurs, though in different words, in other African-South African languages: wansati (Xitsonga); umfazi (Zulu); musadzi (Tshivenda); mosadi (Tswana and Southern Sotho). Yet, I deliberately make my African-South African sisters' context the main hermeneutical focus and name the framework using a concept that, though a male-construct as Maluleke rightfully calls it, is familiar to them. I am therefore desiring to be first and foremost committed to my context. The words of Okure concerning the desirability of a relationship between grassroots African women and professionally trained theologians seem to endorse my conviction:

Our greatest, but not yet fully tapped resources, are these so-called ordinary women. They are close to life at the grassroots; they see themselves in the texts of scripture and respect them as God's abiding word, sometimes too literally and in ways that oppress rather than liberate them. The professionally trained African women theologians, on the other hand, can be tempted to subscribe to abstract ways of theologizing in order to find acceptance in the field. Thus they can lose focus on life, or seek answers to hermeneutical questions put by others, instead of identifying and addressing their own questions. The sisterhood in reading is needed by all.

This concept cannot, therefore, afford to be an elitist concept read and practiced from the comfort of academic halls, as Plaatjie argues: "Masenya neither reads with nor from non-academic Northern Sotho women...She chooses to speak for them, and places them in the role of sub-alterns who cannot speak. Rather she theorises about the bosadi approach and applies it from the comfort of academic halls...."

As I have already argued, reclaiming the use of the very African-South African indigenous word mosadi/bosadi is, in my view, contrary to Plaatjie's accusation, one demonstration that the bosadi approach, as a framework, makes sense to African-South African women at the grassroots. As these are women with whom I interact constantly and in a more natural and spontaneous way, I do not need to conduct a Bible Study in order to "read with" them. I pray with them, rejoice and weep with them. I sit at their feet, to hear them share the Word of God, even as they also do likewise to me.

The bosadi approach also succeeds in enabling these women to read the Bible in a way that affirms them. Plaatjie needs to be reminded that as a matter of fact, my choice of this particular "elite" text was motivated by my observation of how this same text is abused by the powerful to the detriment of the powerless grassroots woman "others."

In the elaborate response to Plaatjie's critique above, I hope that it has become clear to the reader that the major hermeneutical focus in the bosadi biblical hermeneutics is on the unique experiences of an African-South African woman, with a view to her liberation. It is, first and foremost, an African woman's liberation hermeneutic. African women, facing such multiple life-denying forces as sexism in the broader South African society, inherited from the legacies of colonialism and apartheid; sexism in the African culture; post-apartheid racism; classism; HIV/AIDS; woman-as-strange; and xenophobia, are made the main hermeneutical focus. As in liberation theologies, the experiences of the marginalized, in this case women, and not the contexts that produced the Bible, are the starting point of one's encounter with the biblical text. It is therefore a contextual woman's liberationist approach geared towards reading the Bible to empower African women. The words of Renita Weems concerning African-American women make sense in terms of the previous point:

Real flesh-and-blood people with real vested interests were behind the production and transmission of the Bible's contents; and real flesh-and-blood readers are behind all modes of interpretations and readings with positions and agendas that prompt them to be more invested in one reading over another. The point here clearly is to decenter for marginalized readers the privileged status of the dominant readings and the dominant community of readers. A womanist biblical hermeneutics takes as its starting point the fundamental notion that people have power, not texts…women of color have to insist upon their right to read and interpret sacred texts for themselves and should not have to defend or apologize for their interpretations to privileged women in the (dominant) culture who remain ignorant to how race, class and colonialism shape and divide us as women.

What is the place of the Christian Bible in the bosadi methodology? We now turn to this question.

The Bible in the Bosadi Biblical Hermeneutics
Underlying the use of the bosadi methodology is the presupposition of the powerful role that the Bible continues to play in African-South African women's struggle for liberation and survival. As a matter of fact, the Bible as an important resource in African women's lives is not only uniquely African-South African, it is also a key feature in African women's lives. Oduyoye captures this central role of the Bible succinctly:

The Bible empowers us to proclaim God's will in the name of Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit....The Spirit that came mightily at Pentecost is alive and well and powerful in African Christianity.... The Bible has brought the message of hope to Africa and African Christians; therefore we hail and love the Bible. If one finds the Bible in a cot in Africa, one should know that it is a symbolic expression of God's continued care of the whole of creation, especially of those too weak to fend for themselves.

The bosadi approach acknowledges the positive role that the Christian Bible continues to play in the lives of African-South African women believers. As women, we continue in faith to experience the power of the risen Christ confirmed in our everyday lives as we are enabled, despite the fact that we are women, to cast out demons, to heal the sick, and to proclaim liberation to those who are in bondage. We are humbled by our observation of the Christ who identifies with those at the margins of society: the poor, women, Gentiles, and others. Hence, the important emphasis put on the Bible as Word of God in my African-South African setting.

However, given the history of the introduction of the Bible in the colonial era, the negative use of the Bible in apartheid South Africa, and the continued use of the Bible to endorse patriarchal domination in post-apartheid South Africa, as well as the existence of some problematic ideologies in the Bible, the bosadi concept is somewhat cautious about the notion of the Bible as "Word of God." Though the authority of the Bible is acknowledged in essence, particularly since the Bible proclaims life, abundant life—righteousness, love, justice, peace and obedience, it is not taken for granted. Elsewhere I have argued:

This rosy picture I have given about the Bible does not, however, imply that the Bible is an innocent book. It does have the elements that alienate some people including women, the poor and dwellers in rural areas. Such areas reveal its ideological nature because the Bible is a human book. As I have argued, it is the responsibility of the interpreter to spot such elements and reject them for they will not be in line with the words of life which the Bible proclaims....The Bible is both oppressive and liberative. What would be beneficial, would be to look for relevant ways by which to render the Bible message relevant to Bible readers in 21st century post-apartheid South Africa.

In my interpretive context, as in other such contexts on the continent, the Bible is approached with hope, with a view to transformation by its liberative power. The bosadi approach's foregrounding of the element of the believer's faith makes sense in such a context. The Bible is not viewed first and foremost as a book for scholarly arguments and mental gymnastics. As Word of God, it is believed to have power to change situations positively in favor of women's lives. It is no wonder that the authority of the Bible as Word of God is taken for granted in such situations. Okure ["Reading from this Place: Some Problems and Prospects"] contends:

Such a reading implies that the reader is one who believes that he or she can discover life from the Bible. In other words, I am interested here, not in any scientific or literary reading of the Bible that leaves the believer's life untouched by the exercise. I am concerned rather with a person who believes that the Bible is fundamentally the word of God, even though it has been expressed in human language with all its sociological and historical moorings. In this respect, the question whether or not the Bible can be regarded as word of God does not really arise…Readers who approach the Bible from this standpoint of faith…seek in it the message of God that can challenge, liberate, and energize their lives in their own social locations.

How may socially engaged biblical scholars, who will naturally use the critical tools of biblical scholarship, interact in a more balanced way with readers who have such a strong commitment to the Bible as Word of God?

Particularly if our concern is to make the marginalized persons our main hermeneutical focus, this means that their views, even though they may appear to us as "conservative" and perhaps unacceptable, have to be engaged in a more balanced, yet affirming way. This, I believe, will in the process lead to a redefinition of the Bible as Word of God in our effort to make the Bible more accessible and liberating to those who have been for so long, and are even today, marginalized by the women-unfriendly interpretations of the same Bible as Word of God. Though in our efforts to make the Bible more accessible and affirming to our woman readers we may at times find it useful to draw from our knowledge of the contexts that produced the text (e.g., social-scientific and historical-critical methodologies), we will refuse the temptation to give these more priority than the experiences of our main interlocutors.

As I draw to a close, not really having exhausted what the bosadi approach is all about, but hopefully having given you a glimpse of what it fundamentally does, I wish to revisit my definition of what ideal African womanhood is or should be. In that sense, I hope to reflect briefly on the role of the African-South African context or culture (including the African culture) and the Christian Bible in their definition of woman.

What and Who Is the African-South African Eshet Hayil (Woman of Worth)?
In traditional African cultures, a woman (and a man for that matter) becomes a complete, normative adult only after marriage. The African-South African word, mosadi, musadzi, wansati, etc., has that connotation. Not only is a mosadi supposed to marry and not remarry after the death of her spouse, she is supposed to bear children, preferably sons. These are roles that are akin to those that were expected from Israelite / Jewish women (and men). However, in my rereading of the text of Proverbs 31:10-31, it seems to me that these roles, particularly that of mosadi as mother, do not emerge clearly.

In its redefinition of womanhood/bosadi , the bosadi concept acknowledges the important role that women as wives and mothers played in pre-colonial and apartheid South African settings. Though it also acknowledges that African cultures were sexist even before colonialism and apartheid, it contends that the latter systems helped to exacerbate the already marginalized position of African women. This was a situation that led to the devaluing of the important private sphere of the home and of the person who operated from there: the devaluation of the hard work (with no remuneration) carried out by African women in favor of western money introduced by the capitalist economy.

In the bosadi view of reality, a woman or a man who chooses to operate from the private sphere of the home should be allowed such a space. The private sphere of the home, just like the public sphere of church and work, should be found to be providing, for both women and men, girl children and boy children, safe and affirming spaces in which they exercise their God-given potential. I therefore want to problematize the absolutization of the public sphere (though I am aware that in traditional pre-colonial African-South Africa, African women, just like the Woman of Worth in Prov 31:10-31, also went out to the public sphere of work). I problematize this "idolization" of the public sphere of work in view of the fact that if this sphere is to be viewed as one of the key signs for the empowerment of women today, and thus as providing the definition of affirming notions of womanhood, it will leave many African-South African women forever disaffirmed. As I have argued, many of these people—given the reality of the previous systemic social evils of apartheid and African patriarchy, which afforded little or no education to the girl child even as she goes out to "the public sphere of work"— end up in the "privatized" semi-public sphere of domesticity in the houses and farms/gardens of White bosses/madams and middle class Black women and men.

A mosadi could therefore be defined as any African-South African woman human being, irrespective of her socio-economic status, ethnic status, marital status, and her status in respect to child bearing, as well as irrespective of her sphere of operation (private or public), who is created in God's image— and all such women are. Such a woman human being has been endowed with the potential to exercise her God-given capacity. If the bosadi biblical hermeneutics can produce not only such a view of what it must mean to be a mosadi in my African-South African context, and the African context to an extent, but also such persons in reality, it will have succeeded in its goal.

Having said this, let me also note that in the bosadi approach the struggle for the affirmation of the dignity of women as equal human beings created in God's image is not, and should not be, only a woman's struggle. The expression: Motho ke motho ka batho, translated, "a human being is a human being through other human beings," could guide us in this regard. Applied to African bosadi communal-oriented mentality, it therefore means that a man cannot be fully human if he still revels in denying woman her full dignity. Given the racial oppression to which Africans in South Africa have been subjected through the years, it makes sense that of all the people to understand and support the struggle of African women against all life-denying forces, our African brothers and fathers should be the most keen to do so. Such should naturally be the case because it is they who know, fairly well, how wounding and dehumanizing it is to be discriminated against as a person, merely on account of one's God-given skin color. The situation existed in which a less educated Afrikaner person could remind an educated African person that: My graad is my vel, "My degree is my skin." That is, "No matter how educated you might be, if your skin colour is not politically correct, you will not win the game". If African menfolk continue to shun attempts at liberating fellow African women and girl children, can they really hope to succeed by means of their "androcentric degrees" and fully enjoy their proceeds freely? Is it not the case that the apartheid era Black slogan, "an injury to one an injury to all," still holds water today, when more than half of the South African Black majority still remain injured? This is truly the case, even when we consider our fight against all that which denies our womenfolk their God-given dignity.

Conclusion
The words of the former president of the Republic of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, on the African renaissance come to mind as I conclude this paper:

As we dream and work for the regeneration of our continent, we remain conscious that the African renaissance can only succeed as part of the development of a new and equitable world order in which all the formerly colonized and marginalized take their rightful place, makers of history rather than the possessions of the others.

The bosadi approach is one of those responses that takes this call seriously: as African persons, in the process of making our own herstory/history and charting the course for our own futures, we will have the courage to call ourselves by our own names and in our own voices.

Madipoane Masenya (ngwana' Mphahlele ), Department of Old Testament, University of South Africa, masenmj@unisa.ac.za

Bibliography of works by author:

Proverbs 31:10-31 in a South African Context: A Bosadi (Womanhood) Approach (Unpublished D. Litt et Phil. Thesis, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa, 1996).

"Redefining Ourselves: A Bosadi (Womanhood) Approach," Old Testament Essays 10 (1997): 439-448.

"Reading the Bible the Bosadi (Womanhood) Way," Bulletin for Contextual Theology in Southern Africa and Africa 4 (1997):15-16.

"Proverbs 31:10-31 in a South African Context: A Reading for the Liberation of African (Northern Sotho) Women," Semeia 78 (1997): 55-68.

"A Bosadi (Womanhood) Reading Genesis 16," Old Testament Essays 11, (1998): 271-287.

"A Mosadi Reading of Prov31:10-31," Newsletter on African Old Testament Scholarship (1999): 2-6.

" Making the Context of African-South African Women Hermeneutical Focus in Theological Education," in National Initiative for the Contextualisation of Theological Education (2000).

"Teaching Western-Oriented Old Testament Studies to African Students: An Exercise in Wisdom or in Folly?" ( Unpublished paper read at the Annual Meeting of the Old Testament Society of South Africa, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2001).

"Is White South African Scholarship African?" Bulletin for Old Testament Studies in Africa 12 (2002): 3-8.

"Teaching Western-Oriented Old Testament Studies to African Students: an Exercise in Wisdom or in Folly?" Old Testament Essays 17 (2004).

The Bible, HIV/AIDS and African / South African Women (Unpublished paper read at Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, 2004).

How Worthy is the Woman of Worth? Rereading Proverbs 31:10-31 in African-South Africa (New York: Peter Lang, 2004).

"Theirs Hermeneutics was Strange! Ours is a Necessity! Reading Vashti in Esther 1 as African Women in South Africa," in Her Master's Tools? Feminist Challenges to Historical-Critical Interpretations: Global Perspectives on Biblical (2005).

Citation: Madipoane Masenya (ngwana' Mphahlele), " Struggling to Find "Africa" in South Africa: The Bosadi (Womanhood) Approach to the Bible," SBL Forum , n.p. [cited May 2005]. Online:http://sbl-site.org/Article.aspx?ArticleID=402

 
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