Without a voice, with a violated body: Re-reading Judges 19 to challenge gender violence in sacred texts

Madipoane J Masenya


Although they are a majority of the South African population, African women in South Africa remain on the periphery of the margins of our communities. They are women who, although are a majority, mostly remain without a voice. Does it occasion any surprise then that they continue to be the face of violence in our contexts? It is a fact that the present South African landscape is characterised by, among other social evils, the violent acts perpetrated against women and children. That South Africa ranks among the leading countries in the world with appalling statistics on violence against women is well known. Such violence against a section of the South African population is entrenched by, among others, pronounced patriarchies, female voicelessness, dangerous masculinities and violent biblical hermeneutics. The latter hermeneutics is buttressed by some violent sacred texts interpreted in our predominantly patriarchal contexts. The present article seeks, among others, to bring a voice to the muted voice of the pilegesh in the text of Judges 19 by challenging gender-based violence both in the biblical text and in the African-South African context.


Bosadi (womanhood) approach; female voicelessness; piligesh; the Levite; Judges 19; African-South African women; Judges 19; gender based injustice.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7832/40-3-29


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