AbstractIn the Global North, the notion of “sacrifice” is highly controversial in contemporary discussion. In recent years, the influential work of René Girard has succeeded in putting sacrifice back on the intellectual agenda, but his story of sacrifice has primarily emphasised the theme of violence. Today, many theologians consider sacrifice inherently problematic and some would like to do away with it altogether. In Africa, however, the notion is highly popular across a wide range of theological traditions. The work of three African theologians – John Ekem, a Ghanaian mother-tongue biblical scholar, Edison Kalengyo, a Ugandan inculturation theologian, and Mercy Oduyoye, a Ghanaian women’s theologian – challenge Girard’s theory in three important ways. First, they challenge his traditional typological approach with a dialogical typological one. Second, they challenge his focus on violence by highlighting multiple themes. Third, they challenge his lack of an ecclesial dimension with fresh ways of appropriating Jesus’ sacrifice today.
Carter, Jeffrey, ed. Understanding Religious Sacrifice: A Reader. London: Continuum, 2003.
AbstractThe Letter to the Romans presents a very interesting case study of atonement. In Rom. 3.25a, Jesus is portrayed as the one whom God `put forward' as ίλαστήριoν διά [τnς] πιστεως έν τω αύτou α~ματι… The exact meaning of ίλαστήρ ιoν in relation to the rest of the text is a subject of controversy among scholars. The article argues that it would be legitimate to interpret ίλαστήρ ιoν as `a revelatory means of atonement' and that Paul makes creative use of his thorough acquaintance with the Jewish scriptures to reinterpret ίλαστήρ ιoν from a Christological perspective. But the article goes beyond a traditional exegetical investigation to discuss the subject in relation to hermeneutical insights derived from selected translations of the Bible into some key European and Ghanaian languages. In this regard, the article employs the method of `dialogical exegesis' which embarks on dialogue between the biblical text, together with its embedded world-views, and these European/Ghanaian translations that reflect the world-views of their authors and target audiences. The article finally suggests ways in which the outcome of this investigation can enhance the preparation of context-sensitive Study Bible Notes and Commentaries in a Ghanaian/African setting.
Kalengyo, Edison M. “The Sacrifice of Christ and Ganda Sacrifice: A Contextual Interpretation in Relation to the Eucharist.” In The Epistle to the Hebrews and Christian Theology, edited by Richard J. Bauckham, 302–18. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2009.
Oduyoye, Mercy A. “Church Women and the Church’s Mission.” In New Eyes for Reading: Biblical and Theological Reflections by Women from the Third World, edited by John S. Pobee and Bärbel von Wartenberg-Potter, 68–80. Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1986.
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