Philippians 2:5-11 : an Afrocentric hermeneutical study of New Testament morality from a Shona cultural perspective
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Philippians 2:5-11 have been investigated extensively by means of methodologies and epistemologies that are Western or Euro-American dominant. Since the pioneering work of Lohmeyer (1928) until the most recent work by Weymouth (2015), the interpretations of this pericope have not benefitted from the application of African epistemologies. The result has been that topics like the mind which was in Christ, humility, the humanity and servanthood of Christ, self-emptying, obedience unto death, resurrection and post-death exaltation are all interpreted and explained primarily from contexts alien to Africa. The dominant interpretations tend not to be exhaustive of the latent possibilities of meaning embedded within the text. The encounter with the text is a concept apparently alien to most Euro-American scholarship. A critical examination of these themes from an African perspective generally, and a Shona context specifically, may advance richer trajectories of meaning. Chimhanda (2014:306) states that the Shona consist of five major ethnic groups namely the Karanga, Zezuru, Manyika, Korekore and Rozvi. Due to the heterogeneous character of the Shona ethnic groups, this thesis shall be based on the Zezuru group of the Shona. Hence, wherever the term Shona appears throughout the thesis, it is referring to the Zezuru ethnic group. In this thesis, Philippians 2:5-11 is studied within the context of death and morality metaphors from a Shona cosmological perspective. Such an approach could yield insights from the vantage point of a hitherto marginalised African hermeneutic that will advance scholarship of the letter to the Philippians.
- Theology