Browsing Doctoral Degrees (Ancient Studies) by browse.metadata.advisor "Kruger, Paul A."
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- ItemThe intricate relationship between politics and religion in the Hebrew bible : the prophet Amos as a case study(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2013-12) Wax, Kevin Patrick; Kruger, Paul A.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Ancient Studies.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Politics, in modern society, has become intimately associated with poor governance, fraud and corruption, social decay, abuse of power, indifference to the plight of the poor, squandering of critical resources and self-enrichment. This situation has been further aggravated by the debate that religion and politics should be kept separate at all costs. The demand for social justice in marginalised communities has increased dramatically over the last few decades. The escalation of human conflict, poverty, social inequality and corrupt practices across the globe over recent years, demands a radical reassessment of how the human race engages politically, socially and economically with each other. Hebrew classical prophets such as Hosea, Amos, Isaiah and Micah have through their messages of condemnation, indictment, punishment and hope confronted the serious political and social challenges that prevailed during and subsequent to their time. They demonstrated immense bravery against the established order of the day as they proclaimed Yahweh’s gross displeasure and divine judgement for the manner in which those in power had treated the poor. Amos, in particular, has captivated scholars over many decades as they dissected every emotion, historical context, social structure, biblical tradition and literary convention in order to understand his message. This study is an attempt to re-evaluate the critical balance between politics and religion as demonstrated in the divine mandate provided to kings, centuries ago in the ancient Near East, to rule in a just and righteous manner. An examination of the role and function of the prophets, their relationship with the political and religious structures of the day as well as an exegetical study of selected Amos texts has been undertaken to determine how this social imbalance was addressed by the prophets. A general hypothesis is advanced to restore this intricate balance between modern politics and religion. The study further enables a theological re-evaluation of how this balance could possibly be pursued as a potential catalyst for its overall social restoration.