The use of Ezra-Nehemiah in a quest for a theology of renewal, transformation and reconstruction in the (South) African context.
Farisani, Elelwani Bethuel.
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The purpose of this study is to reflect on how Ezra-Nehemiah can be used as a new paradigm in a quest for an African theology of renewal, transformation and reconstruction. The particular context of crisis of this study is the (South) African situation of poverty, debt, civil wars, ethnicity, racism, xenophobia, military coups, HIV/AIDS, child and women abuse etc. The study, then, consists of four related parts. One part consists of a detailed analysis of the philosophies of Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance. The focus here is on how these two concepts can be a theoretical framework within which the entire thesis rests. The second part consists of an analysis of how Ezra-Nehemiah has been used by African scholars, in a quest for a theology of renewal, transformation and reconstruction. The focus here is on Charles Villa-Vicencio, Jesse Mugambi and Andre Karamaga. The third part consists of a critical study of the text of Ezra-Nehemiah. The focus here is on three related issues. Firstly, we identify the prevalent ideology within the text, and how this ideology is used to sideline the am haaretz. Secondly, we analyse the possible author(s) and date(s) of Ezra-Nehemiah. Thirdly, we offer a sociological analysis of the ideology(ies) of the author(s) of the text of Ezra-Nehemiah. And the fourth part consists of the relevance of the critical study of the text for the (South) African context. The focus here is on contextualizing selected aspects arising out of the analysis of the study of Ezra-Nehemiah, as a way of making such contextualisation a basis for a theology of renewal, transformation and reconstruction for the (South) African continent. The setting for this study is Old Testament biblical studies. While this study begins by analysing both the philosophies of Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance as a theoretical framework for the whole thesis, its methodology is biblical sociological analysis.