A socio-rhetorical reading of Luke 7:36-50: A contra-cultural view in a patriarchal society
Cloete, Rynell Adrianno
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A number of biblical scholars have observed that the Bible has been used by dominant groups in certain societies to justify and condone discrimination and oppression. Slavery, colonialism and apartheid are often cited as examples of racial oppression based on particular understandings of the Bible. Some biblical scholars have pointed to the fact that theologians who work in contexts of racially liberated societies, such as South Africa, are slow in recognizing the injustices caused by gender discrimination. Instead, male privilege continues to be upheld particularly through the Biblical justification of male headship. The popularity of the 'Mighty Men' Conference is a case in point as it encourages men to take their supposedly rightful, "God-given" place as prophet, priest and king in marriage and family relationships. The emerging popularity of male-headship theology thwarts whatever gains have been made in the areas of gender justice and equality in various spheres of society, including the church. Headship theology often goes unquestioned because it is supported by particular interpretation/understanding of biblical texts which are quoted out of context to support and justify male dominance. For example, Luke 7: 36-50 is often interpreted in showing the "sinful" woman as one who needs forgiveness.