A Critique Of The Patriarchalistic Paradigm As Practised In The Kingdom Of Swaziland -- By: Neville Curle

Journal: Conspectus
Volume: CONSPECTUS 23:1 (Mar 2017)
Article: A Critique Of The Patriarchalistic Paradigm As Practised In The Kingdom Of Swaziland
Author: Neville Curle

A Critique Of The Patriarchalistic Paradigm As Practised In The Kingdom Of Swaziland

Neville Curle1


The Kingdom of Swaziland is inhabited, in the main, by a people who can trace their ancestry back to a limited number of Nguni clans with a common language – SiSwati. Those belonging to the Dlamini Nkosi clan rule within this hierarchical culture. Swaziland is also said to be a ‘Christian country’ where 80% of the population maintain that they are believers. As such, the country is unique as a case study in which to examine the impact of patriarchalism on the preaching of the Gospel.

The study investigates three aspects of patriarchalism, which are found to be in conflict with Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Paul effectively states that classism, sexism and racism have no place in the Kingdom of God (3:26-29). The article sets out the current position, and then theologically evaluates each of the three ‘isms in question in the light of these, and other verses. It then investigates Paul’s practical approach to

dwelling within the world but not being of it through his eschatological approach of living in the ‘now’ but ‘not yet’. Finally, it comments on the wider Church’s position on the outworking of the three ‘isms within the Kingdoms – of God and of Swaziland.

1. Introduction

Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu is more fondly known to the world as Mother Teresa. Throughout the greater part of her life, her mission was to care for ‘the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers; all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people who have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone’ (1979:¶7). Numerous sources report that she also said:

At the end of our lives we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made or how many great things we have done. We will be judged by: I was hungry and you gave me to eat. I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless and you took me in.

Hungry not only for bread—but hungry for love. Naked not only for clothing—but naked of human dignity and respect. Homeless not only for want of a room of bricks—but homeless because of rejection. This is Christ in distressing disguise.

In quoting the words of Jesus (Matt 25:31-40), Bojaxhiu omitted reference to thirst and race (p. 35), and sickness and incarceration (p. 36). Addae-Korankye (2014:151) summ...

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