Browsing by Author "Kassa, Friday Sule"
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- ItemHospitality and its ironic inversion in Genesis 18 & 19 : a theological-ethical study(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2017-12) Kassa, Friday Sule; Bosman, Hendrik; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Old and New Testament.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation is a study of hospitality and its ironic inversion in Genesis 18 and 19 towards a theological-ethical understanding of the concept in the Old Testament. Hospitality is one of the patterns of behaviour prescribed by the Old Testament towards the ‘other’ (i.e. strangers or foreigners or an alien). The Tangale people of Nigeria and many African tribes attach great importance to the care of strangers. However, in the last three decades, the traditional Tangale practice of hospitality has come under pressure due to factors such as ethnic and religious diversity, politics, economics, globalisation, as well as injustice of various forms and degrees. The concern of this dissertation is the investigation of the Old Testament stories of hospitality, guided by the Christian faith communities’ tradition to help in resisting the inhuman treatment of the ‘other’, especially within the Tangale contexts. Due to similarities in contexts, this study can also be extrapolated to some other cultures in Africa. This research focuses on the theological-ethical understanding of hospitality in the Old Testament and how it is expressed in the narrative of Genesis 18–19. It investigates the Old Testament concept, its significance and theological-ethical implications. It is proposed that a nuanced understanding of the Old Testament concept and practice of hospitality might reveal its transformative power to the readers. The proposal also anticipated that certain theological-ethical ideals might be gleaned from the Old Testament concept. This may serve as a theological underpinning to incorporate the fundamentals of the concept in contemporary ethical reflections without necessarily generalising meaning and drawing superficial parallels between ancient and contemporary contexts. The dissertation employs socio-rhetorical criticism of the two chapters of Genesis 18 and 19. Socio-rhetoric is a multidimensional approach to biblical text that allows for the multifaceted witnesses from the Old Testament traditions to be heard. This approach corresponds to the nature of the selected text because the rhetorical issues portrayed in hospitality and kinship are not only ideological, they are also ethical because they relate to issues of social justice as well. The approach identified irony as a rhetorical technique to understanding the selected passage. Socio-rhetoric reveals that Genesis 18 and 19 is a masterpiece of a literary art that exhibits an intricate network of texts. Different textures of the text show that the text must have been formulated during the postexilic period by a sage theologian who combined P and non-P scribal traditions, making them into a coherent whole. The multidimensional approach identifies seemingly incongruences in the double strand of stories. The incongruences were read as an ironic ploy to critic certain traditions thereof. The topic, Hospitality and its Ironic Inversion in Genesis 18 and 19: A Theological-Ethical Study, indicated the initial intention of the study. However, the ironic reading leads to a surprising realisation that hospitality is intricately linked to kinship in ancient Israel. Kinship provided the vocabulary for understanding the cultural practice of hospitality. It shows that hospitality entails individual and corporate responsibility and accountability towards Israel’s Yahweh’s covenant obligation of righteousness and social justice towards Yahweh.
- ItemNatural law and human dignity in the Old Testament? : a case study of Isaiah 1:2-3(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2014-04) Kassa, Friday Sule; Bosman, Hendrik; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Old and New Testament.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research investigates the role of nature and cultures/traditions in the ethical and theological interpretation of the Bible. To be specific, it is concerned with the legitimacy of the knowledge of the existence and attributes of God arrived at using only the natural faculties of sense and reason and whether moral norms or evaluative principles can be derived from or grounded in nature. When the issue of moral norms and principles appears, it leads to reflection on the issue of so-called natural law, an ethical principle which claims that moral duty can be learned through nature. The research argues that the invitation of the cosmic elements and the parable of the ox and donkey in Isaiah‟s prophetic indictment (Isaiah 1: 2-3) provide evidence of the traces of natural law in the book and the entire Bible. It also argues that natural law and natural theology correspond to elements of African cultures/traditional religions. As such, incorporating natural law in the theological-ethical interpretation of the Old Testament will be relevant for interpretive communities in Africa, like the Tangale in the northern Nigeria. The research also envisages that the natural law tradition and the elements of African cultures/traditional religions can have a favourable impact on the theological ethical understanding of human dignity if appropriately incorporated into the theological-ethical interpretation of the Bible.