Proverbs and the African Tree of Life Dorothy BEA Akoto-Abutiate juxtaposes chosen sayings from Proverbs and selected Ewe Folk proverbs using the agricultural metaphor of “grafting,” which she calls a “hermeneutic of grafting.” Though these two sets of sayings come from completely different cultural contexts, Akoto argues that folk sayings/proverbs, which abound in Africa, should be considered as an already mature, established tree on to which a piece of the biblical tree is spliced or engrafted to produce hybridized fruits that have uniquely different tastes than the fruits of each tree individually. This metaphorical grafting process allows the message of the Bible (in Proverbs) to be understood, imbibed and appropriated in Africa.
Ubuntu, Migration and Ministry invites the reader to rethink
ubuntu (Nguni: humanness/humanity) as a moral notion in the context of local communities. The socio-moral patterns that emerge at the crossroads between ethnography and social ethics offer a fresh perspective to what it means to be human in contemporary Johannesburg. The Central Methodist Mission is known for sheltering thousands of migrants and homeless people in the inner city. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, primarily conducted in 2009, Elina Hankela unpacks the church leader’s liberationist vision of humanity and analyses the tension between the congregation and the migrants, linked to the refugee ministry. While relational virtues mark the community’s moral code, various regulating rules and structures shape the actual relationships at the church. Here
ubuntu challenges and is challenged.
Winner of the 2014 Donner Institute Prize for Outstanding Research into Religion.