Axolile Qina

South Africa & Stellenbosch University, 2016

I am a researcher who is interested in theology, particularly the field of New Testament. My research area is currently situated in John’s Gospel and it’s intersection with Christian Identity Formation. I am particularly concerned about how biblical texts are involved in formulating identity. These texts are constructed to present Jesus Christ in various ways, and yet people in diverse contemporary settings read, believe, and interpret these scriptures. My aim is to develop hermeneutical models that can primarily assist African Christians articulate their faith within their ethnic identity, but also other indigenous peoples who grapple to make sense of the Gospel of Jesus Christ within their cultural context.

My education background is in Theology, and I hold 3 theology degrees: a Bachelor Degree in Theology (BTh) (Honours included), and a Master of Theology (MTh) (New Testament) from Stellenbosch University; and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS) from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. During this time I won various bursaries, such as: Recruitment Bursary for my 4 year undergraduate degree, HB Thom Bursary and Stellenbosch Merit Bursary in 2015-2016 for the Master's degree. Moreover, during my masters, I also won the prestigious Mandela Rhodes Scholarship in 2016. This scholarship allowed me to further enhance my personal and leadership development through the workshops we were expected to attend as part of the scholarship. In addition, the books that we were responsible to read for these workshops, also helped me grapple with social issues that currently affect people on the African context.

Prior to this, I was very involved in student leadership at Stellenbosch University, where I became the first African Black President (Head Student) at Helderberg Mens' Residence, and the first African Black Male Chairperson (President) of the Student Representative Council (SRC). My passion for wanting to see people reach their full potential and formulate their identity, led me to further my studies. As a Mandela Rhodes Scholar, I was able to apply for a prestigious Doctoral scholarship, in partnership with Leverhulme Trust, for a PhD degree in New Testament and Christian Origins at Edinburgh University. This opportunity allows me to possibly develop a hermeneutical model that can help bridge the gap between these ancient texts and contemporary readers ethnic and social challenges, by creating interpretive ways that can make these texts more contextually relevant to people's lives today.

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