School of Religion, Philosophy & Classics

UKZN hosts LGBTI Virtual Contextual Bible Study

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp

The Gender and Religion Programme and the Ujamaa Centre within UKZN’s School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics partnered with Inclusive and Affirming Ministries (IAM) to host a virtual Contextual Bible Study with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people from across South Africa that are engaging in lived realities during the COVID-19 crisis. 

According to Professor Charlene Van Der Walt, ‘Human rights organisations have reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the insecurity and vulnerability experienced by LGBTI people who are confined to their family homes in southern African countries.’

During this period, faith leaders have reached out to their congregations via social media through online worship services and daily devotions. In some instances, these devotions sought “theological clarification” for the pandemic.

‘Conservative South African cleric, Pastor Oscar Bougardt blamed the COVID-19 pandemic on LGBTI marriages because of God’s “wrath”. Families and faith communities often contribute to multiple forms of violence, causing indelible trauma for LGBTI people and their bodies,’ said Van Der Walt.

An episode from the Joseph narrative in Genesis 37 was used during the webinar to bring together LGBTI people of faith to critically and creatively engage these life-denying realities and to search for hope. ‘We explored Joseph’s “queer” vulnerability as a collective resource to enable resilience and hope during COVID-19. Participants joined the conversation from KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape, North West and the Western Cape,’ said Van Der Walt.

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
On Key

Related Posts

Heidi Matisonn

Is Absolute Free Speech a Plague in the Time of Coronavirus?

As I write this, the US has recorded its 40 565th COVID-19 death (and 764 265th infection), and South Africa (SA) its 54th death (and 3 158th infection) (www.worldometers.info/coronavirus). Given their populations (as of January 2020), of 331 million and 57 million respectively, the US’s mortality rate is 129 times that of SA’s.

Advocate Mahomed Vahed (centre) with UKZN students and lecturer Dr Heidi Matisonn (back row, far right).

Young Leaders Academy Workplace Readiness Programme

Students from the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics participated in the Young Leaders Academy (YLA) Workplace Readiness Programme led by the CEO of Iqraa Trust Dr Mahmoud Youssef-Baker, and YLA’s Advocate Mahomed Vahed.