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The importance and challenges of finding Africa in the Old Testament: the case of the Cush texts

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dc.contributor.advisor Van Heerden, S.W. en
dc.contributor.advisor Holter, K. en Lokel, Philip en 2009-08-25T10:46:36Z 2009-08-25T10:46:36Z 2009-08-25T10:46:36Z 2006-06 en
dc.identifier.citation Lokel, Philip (2009) The importance and challenges of finding Africa in the Old Testament: the case of the Cush texts, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <> en
dc.description.abstract The thrust of this study proceeds from the presupposition that first, the Cush texts of the Old Testament which may be used as a conduit for finding `Africa' in the Bible have generally been `ignored' or not given the priority they deserve especially by traditional western biblical scholarship. Second, that when, however, they have been accorded a `token paragraph or two', the interpretations given more often than not tend to portray a negative image of the African Cush. As a result, those of African ancestry who tend to trace their identity (however that term is understood) and historical roots to the biblical Cush tend to take offence at such interpretations. They perceive them as a deliberate attempt to `de-Africanize' or `de-emphasize' the African presence in and contribution to the Bible. This thesis argues that there are serious consequences for `de-Africanizing' the Bible, especially for the African peoples. This constitutes the fundamental argument in chapter one. To highlight the problem dogging the Cush texts even more, a sample excursion into the works of the major interpreters of the Cush texts is offered. As a result of this, two groups of scholars emerge: the Eurocentric on one hand, and the Afrocentric on the other. It is observed that each of the two groups more or less interprets the texts from its own cultural perspective. This is basically the subject matter of chapter two. Against this background, the researcher is consequently obligated to return to the sources and, in so doing, attempts another re-reading of all the fifty-six Cush texts from the historical-critical perspective, as well as from other perspectives. This is carried out with the intention of developing an interpretative model which, first of all, does justice to all the Cush texts, thereby offsetting what traditional western biblical scholarship has hitherto done; and which, second, attempts to offer an interpretation of the Cush texts which tries to take into consideration both Eurocentric as well as Afrocentric perspectives and concerns. In this way, a balance of sorts is struck. This is the main focus of chapters three, four and five, which comprise the main corpus of this thesis. The approach employed in the analysis of the Cush references is a `thematic' one. In other words, texts are grouped according to their presumed `themes' and are analyzed under the subtitles of `Preliminary remarks' and `Analytical remarks'. The former generally focus on literary matters such as those pertaining to the grammar and syntax of the MT, although to a certain extent are also interpretative. The latter attempts an explanation of the given reference as the main focus, but also takes into consideration the views of other scholars. This is how all the references are treated. The MT however is the pivot around which all the analyses hinge. The procedure is `fluid', however, in that there is much overlapping of the arguments put forward. Finally, a conclusion summarizing the findings related to all the references belonging to one thematic group is provided at the end of each chapter. The last chapter, which comprises the conclusion to the whole thesis, focuses on the importance and challenges of the Cush texts for Africa. In this connection a way forward is also proposed as to how such texts may be organized and read with some sense in a context of higher learning such as that which obtains in an African University. en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (xii, 305 leaves)
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject 'Cush' ('Kush') en
dc.subject 'Cushit' en
dc.subject 'Cushite' en
dc.subject 'Cushim' en
dc.subject 'Cushiyyim' en
dc.subject Africa en
dc.subject African en
dc.subject African-American en
dc.subject Afrocentric en
dc.subject Eurocentric en
dc.subject Analysis en
dc.subject Texts en
dc.subject Old Testament en
dc.subject 'De-Africanization' en
dc.subject Interpretations en
dc.subject New Trend(s) en
dc.subject 'Thematic' Approach en
dc.subject Traditional Western Biblical Scholarship en
dc.subject.ddc 221.089935
dc.subject.lcsh Bible. O.T. -- Criticism, interpretation, etc.
dc.subject.lcsh Blacks in the Bible
dc.subject.lcsh Cushites
dc.title The importance and challenges of finding Africa in the Old Testament: the case of the Cush texts en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.department Biblical and Ancient studies en D. Th. (Old Testament) en

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