Original Research - Special Collection: Women Theologies

Exploring gender relations in Paul’s use of salutations to house churches and the ubuntu oral praxis of sereto or isiduko

Abraham M.M. Mzondi
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 78, No 2 | a7573 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v78i2.7573 | © 2022 Abraham M.M. Mzondi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 March 2022 | Published: 18 October 2022

About the author(s)

Abraham M.M. Mzondi, Department of Practical Theology, South African Theological Seminary, Bryanston, South Africa


Paul usually ends his letters with salutations to believers who meet in someone else’s house. Far from being individualistic, these greetings also include people from different house churches. Considered from a functional angle, these greetings cement relationships between house churches. Within an ubuntu worldview, the oral praxis of sereto (Sepedi) or isiduko (IsiXhosa) (praise-poetry) establishes and confirms relationships between members of the same community (family, clan or tribe). The question is how such praxes affect women who belong to such communities.

Contribution: This article is a comparative analysis of how some of the salutations used at the end of some of Paul’s epistles touch on gender relations in the same way as the ubuntu oral praxis of sereto or isiduko touches on gender relations among members of a community (family, clan or tribe).


ubuntu; sereto; isiduko; women and men; house churches; community; gender relations.


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