Prophetic critique and land dispossession : the significance of spatial awareness for the interpretation of I Kings 21

Booys, Petrus Johannes (2003-12)

Thesis (DTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2003

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The dissertation is an answer to the question: How should the story of Naboth's land (I Kings 21) be theologically understood by a Khoi who is dispossessed of his/her land and kept on the periphery? The ftrst chapter consists of the hypothesis, the theological assumption of the research, a summary of existing research on the story of Naboth's land and the point of view from which a Khoi looks and listens to the story. The place, from which the story would be looked and listened to, the methodology, is followed by a list of concepts used in the research. The second chapter is an exposition of the hermeneutical position of the Khoi in the theological debate regarding land as a living space for humankind. Opinions from outside (European) and opinions from inside (Khoi) the living space of the Khoi are placed in contrast with one another to illustrate the divide between landed and landless people on the land. Against the European negation of their knowledge of God, the Khoi put their knowledge of God as their Supreme Being, Father and Ruler who has his abode in the clouds but who is always and everywhere powerfully present for the sake of humankind. Against the negation of their human dignity, the Khoi put the dignity of human beings as the creations of God. Against the violent invasion of their land, the Khoi put their viewpoint that human beings should live in peaceful coexistence with neighbours in their physical living space. Against those who violate their spatial identity, the Khoi affirms their identity as Khoi on the periphery of their land under foreign occupation. Against those who deny them a cultural living space, the Khoi establish their right on a cultural living space and their right to think and be heard in their mother tongue. The third chapter is a contribution to the theological debate regarding the story of the land of Naboth from the perspective of a dispossessed Khoi. The personal identities of individuals and of groups are discussed according to their relationships with fellow human beings with whom they had to share their living space. The identity of the city of lezreel as a physical and cultural living space is discussed in accordance with the attachments of Naboth and Ahab to it. Upon this discussion follows an exposition of land as communal possession (Naboth's living space) and land as private property (Ahab's living space). The purchase and the dispossession of ancestral land by Ahab to demote Naboth's family to the status of dependent subjects are identified as acts of violence. The dispossession of ancestral land caused Naboth and Elijah to protest against the violation of the spatial order because of God. The fourth chapter contains an exegesis of the story of the dispossession of the land of Naboth from the perspective of a dispossessed Khoi. The moral of the Khoi stories of the ancestral figure Heitsi Eibib determines the understanding of the story of the dispossession ofNaboth's land by Ahab. Chapter five is an exposition of the significance of the Khoi perspective for the theological understanding of the story of Naboth's land. Chapter six is a summary of the dissertation and shows other possibilities to further develop the theological debate regarding the dispossession ofNaboth's land.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die dissertasie is 'n antwoord op die vraag: Hoe moet die verhaal van Nabot se grond (I Konings 21) teologies verstaan word deur 'n Khoi wat van sylhaar grond onteien is en op die periferie gehou word? Die eerste hoofstuk omvat die vraagstelling, die teologiese begronding van die ondersoek, 'n kort opsomming oor bestaande navorsing oor die verhaal oor Naboth se grond en die plek vanwaar 'n Khoi die verhaal bekyk en beluister. Die plek vanwaar die verhaal bekyk en beluister word, naamlik, die metodologie, word gevolg deur 'n Iys van woorde wat in die ondersoek gebruik word. Die tweede hoofstuk is 'n uiteensetting van die hermeneutiese posisie van die Khoi in die teologiese debat oor die grond as 'n leefruimte vir die mens. Opinies van buite (Europese) en opinies van binne (Khoi) die leefruimte van die Khoi word teenoormekaar gestel om die skeiding tussen grondbesitters and grondlose mense te illustreer. Teenoor die Europese miskennings van die Khoi se kennis van God, stel die Khoi hul kennis van God as hul Opperwese, Vader en Heerser wat bokant die wolke woon maar altyd en orals magtig teenwoordig is ter wille van mense. Teenoor die miskenning van hul menswaardigneid, stel die Khoi die waardigheid van mense as God se skeppings. Teenoor die geweldadige inname van hulle leefruimte, stel die Khoi die standpunt van die vreedsame saambestaan van mense binne dieselfde fisiese leefruimte. Teenoor die standpunt van diegene wat hulle ruimtelike identiteit geweld aandoen, bevestig die Khoi hul identiteit as Khoi op die periferie van hulle land wat in vreemde besit is. Teenoor diegene wat hulle kulturele leefruimte geweld aandoen, vestig the Khoi hulle reg op 'n kulturele leefruimte en om te dink: en gehoor te word in hul moedertaal. Die derde hoofstuk is 'n bydrae tot die teologiese debat oor die verhaal van die grond van Nabot vanuit die perspektief van 'n onteiende Khoi. Die persoonlike identiteit van individue en groepe word bespreek in tenne van hulle verhoudinge tot medemense met wie hulle hul leefruimte moes dee!. Die stad lezreel se identiteit as fisiese en kulturele leefruimte word bespreek volgens die gehegdheid van Nabot en Agab daaraan. Hierop volg 'n uiteensetting van grond as gemeenskaplike leefruimte (Nabot se leefruimte) en grond as privaat eiendom (Agab se leefruimte). Die koop en onteiening van die erfgrond deur Agab om van Nabot se familie afhanklike onderdane te maak word as dade van geweld geidentifiseer. Die onteiening van erfgrond het veroorsaak dat Nabot en Elia protes aangeteken het teen die geweld teen die ruimtelike orde ter wille van God. Die vierde hoofstuk bevat die eksegese van die verhaal oor die onteieing van die grond van Nabot vanuit die perspektief van 'n onteinde Khoi. Die morele betekenis van die Khoi verhale oor Heitsi Eibib bepaal die verstaan van die verhaal van die onteiening en besetting van Nabot se grond deur Agab. Hoofstuk vyf is 'n uiteensetting van die betekenis van die Khoi perspektief op die verhaal van Nabot se grond vir teologiese denke. Hoofstuk ses is 'n opsorruning van die dissertasie en wys op moontlikhede hoe om die teologiese debat oor the onteiening van Nabot se grond verder te ontwikkel.

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