Rev Samantha Chambo BTh (NTC-South Africa), MA (NTC-Manchester)
Title: ‘Ritual meals for the formation of holy community in 1 Cor 8:1-11:1 and in African communalism’ (NTC)
Samantha was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. She served as a pastor and Bible school teacher in Mozambique for 5 years and as a missionary in the Africa Regional Office for 10 years. She currently lives in Lenexa, Kansas, with her husband Dr. Filimao Chambo and their two teenaged children Tsakani, 18, and Emanuel, 15.
Samantha’s thesis explores the role of ritual meals in the formation of holy community. She suggeststhat ritual meals are a powerful means to shape individuals and communities and that Paul’s directives concerning the consumption of ειδολοθύτα in 1 Corinthians 8:1-11:1 should be read in this light. Paul sees eating ειδολοθύτα as a problem because he believes that ritual meals have the power to build or to destroy community and are consumed in communion with spiritual powers, be it the Holy Spirit or demons, and this makes the decision on whether to eat or not to eat, and how to eat, very important. It further suggests that Paul’s directives concerning the consummation of ειδωλόθυτα could be applied to the African context where ritual meals also have a central function in community life. Victor Turner’s ritual theory of liminality is used as a heuristic devise to explore this premise.