HTS : Theological Studies - Volume 64, Issue 2, 2008
Volume 64, Issue 2, 2008
Author John H. ElliottSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 681 –695 (2008)More Less
Addressing a hostile situation that called for courageous and exemplary leaders, the letter of 1 Peter employed in 5 : 1-5 a cluster of vocabulary and images (elders, overseers / exercise oversight, shepherds, flock) representing a growing coalescence of terms for leaders and their functions in the early Jesus movement. As one of the earliest witnesses to this constellation and its symbolization of community leaders as elders-pastors-overseers, the text of 1 Peter 5 : 1-5a deserves more attention than it has hitherto been accorded in the study of early Christian ministry and church order.
Author Eduard VerhoefSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 697 –714 (2008)More Less
It has been known for a long time that the history of Christianity has seen the incorporation of syncretistic elements. This is not at all exceptional. On the contrary, in order to grow, any religion necessarily fits in with the existing frame of reference. It is hardly surprising then, that elements of Hellenistic hero worship were adopted in the veneration of the Christian martyrs. Over a century ago, E Lucius presented several examples of such phenomena in his book, Die Anfänge des Heiligenkults in der christlichen Kirche (1904), arguing that Christian churches adopted several rituals and ideas from older pagan cults. Indeed, excavations in Philippi have revealed a connection in the first decades of the fourth century between the Christian cult and the cult of a certain Euephenes, son of Exekestos. He was probably an initiate into the mystery cult of the Kabeiroi. This can only mean that in Philippi as elsewhere syncretistic elements must have crept in. In the beginning of the fourth century the Basilica of Paul was added onto the Hellenistic shrine, so that the buildings shared one wall. In the first half of the fifth century this Basilica was replaced by the bigger Octagon. A baptistery was constructed, and the Hellenistic heroon was incorporated into these buildings. Around this time the cult of the Hellenistic hero Euephenes was supplanted by the veneration of the Christian hero par excellence, the apostle Paul.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 715 –738 (2008)More Less
Public and ecclesial discourses influence opinions on the institution of heteronormative marriage. The term "discourse" indicates that private knowledge and experiences are made known in the public sphere. Against this background the article focuses on three postmodern approaches to a theology of marriage with regard to the significance or insignificance of the biological difference between femaleness and maleness. The first approach is that of marriage as a linguistic expression of intimacy in a relationship. According to this view, heterosexual marriage is not seen as the only possibility for expressing the intimate relationship between God and human beings. The second approach assumes that love and caring, supposedly inherent to heterosexual marriage, can also exist in other relationships. This implies that marriage as institution should also be available to people in relationships other than heterosexual. The third approach emphasizes marriage and sexuality as being embedded in community. Such a view makes sexual difference and procreation peripheral to sexual ethics. The aim of this article is to suggest a further option for consideration, namely the "de-centre-ing" of sexual difference in the theology of marriage. This postmodern option pleads for a respect for privacy with regard to sexual intimacy, also in ecclesial and public discourse.
Pastoral care and gays against the background of same-sex relationships in the Umwelt of the New TestamentSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 739 –765 (2008)More Less
The focus of the article is to show how the hegemony of heteronormativity compromises attempts at gay-friendly pastoral care and counselling with sexual minorities. Ecclesial resolutions with regard to same-sex relationships are based on Biblical propositions, theologies of heterosexual marriage, and often also on social stereotypes. This article investigates the textual evidence on same-sex intimacy in antiquity in order to demonstrate that views on sexuality and marriage are not fixed, but change over time. It also traces the formation of the theology of heterosexual marriage in the institutionalized Christian religion. Same-sex intimacy during the period from the end of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Roman Imperial period is discussed, as well as during early Christianity up to and until marriage was sacramentalized. As a consequence of this historical legacy, churches have largely condemned same-sex relationships and have alienated sexual minorities from the faith community. The article contends that the hegemony of heteronormativity is based on an essentialist view on sexuality, as well as a positivist ethical reading of the texts of the New Testament and the contemporary world. It illustrates that the ecclesia itself has not yet been transformed by the gospel message of inclusive love.
"Anthropological rabbits" and "positivistic ducks" : an experiential reflection on Pieter Craffert's "shamanic Jesus"Author Andries Van AardeSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 767 –798 (2008)More Less
This article aims at conversing with aspects of the contribution Pieter Craffert (New Testament scholar from the University of South Africa) has made in his book on the historical Jesus, The life of a Galilean shaman : Jesus of Nazareth in anthropological-historical perspective (2008). In the book traits of the "shamanic complex" are heuristically used to explain the layering of traditions as reconfigurations of each other within the same cultural area and to argue for continuity from the cultural constitution of a social personage to the communication and enscripturation of that social personage within the same cultural system. Jesus' healings and his encountering of spirits are understood in terms of the notion of alternate states of consciousness as polyphased consciousness. The book's point of departure is the conviction that an anthropological-sensitive reading scenario represents an epistemological alternative to that of scholars who emphasize the historical-critical analysis of strata in the development of the Jesus tradition. The article consists of an appraisal and a critique. It argues for a different judgment rather than posing a thesis of a paradigm shift. The approach of some scholars who consider the investigation into the stratification of overlays in the Jesus tradition as central to historical Jesus studies is evaluated as complementary to a cultural-sensitive reading scenario.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 799 –818 (2008)More Less
This study is not an exercise in Vernon Robbin's groundbreaking socio-rhetorical criticism as put forth in his impressive The Tapestry of Early Christian Discourse and Exploring the Texture of Texts. It does have much in common with his "social and cultural texture". It also touches "inner texture" in relation to Paul's implied argument, "intratexture" with respect to the implied importance of scripture for Paul, and "ideological texture" in relation to Paul's statements about the righteousness of God, millennial hopes, and ethical norms in contrast with his ethnic identify. These suggestions only scratch the surface of possibilities for using socio-rhetorical criticism to interpret ethnicity in Philippians. Social-rhetorical critics, I trust, will see even more socio-rhetorical potential for this subject than I have mentioned. Indeed, I hope that it stimulates such analysis.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 819 –843 (2008)More Less
In this article historical criticism, rhetorical criticism and ethnicity theory are combined to interpret Paul's boasting about his ethnicity in 2 Corinthians 11 : 22. Partition theory helps to establish the historical / social context that 2 Corinthians 10-13 is a fragment of the "tearful letter," which represented the low point (high conflict) of Paul's relations with the Corinthians. Rhetoric - the theatrical "Fool's Speech," which contains irony, self-praise, and comparison - helps to understand Paul's boastful argumentation in his self-defence; and ethnicity theory helps to interpret Paul's construction of his ethnic identity. Paul boasted of his ethnicity by taking up rhetorical comparison and self-praise. But he did so in the so-called "Fool's Speech", which is full of irony : his ethnic heritage was part of his argument that he was equal to that of his opponents, but - here is the chief irony - his ethnicity "in the flesh" ultimately meant nothing to him.
Author Francois P. ViljoenSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 845 –860 (2008)More Less
The phenomena of dreams and the star of Bethlehem in Matthew's birth narrative have intrigued scholars through the ages. Scholarship in this regard went through the stages of identifying the origin of the material and of arguing the historicity of these events. Currently scholarship is moving into a new stage of investigating the meaning of these narratives. Without engaging the arguments developed by the first two stages mentioned, I investigate the significance of these unusual forms of revelation in this article.
Die hermeneutiek van kerkgeskiedenis en "teologiegeskiedenis" : 'n "nuwe paradigma" vir kerkgeskiedenisAuthor J.P. (Kobus) LabuschagneSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 861 –883 (2008)More Less
The hermeneutics of church history and the "history of theology" : a "new paradigm" for church history
This study reflects on a new paradigm for church history. The traditional definition of church history, as a study of the growth and development of the church in all its facets, constricts church history to disclose too little about too much. This paper argues in favor of all that can be gained by a new paradigm for church history as a history of theology. A history of theology focuses more on the different theologies and the theological debates of the different periods in the history of the church.
Author Salomon J. TerreblancheSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 885 –906 (2008)More Less
This article explores the tension between history and salvation as theme in contemporary social and humanist philosophy. Special reference is made to Emmanuel Levinas' work in order to delineate the scope of the questions involved, and to critically elucidate the position on history, death and hope in new-Marxist philosopher Ernst Bloch. The article then illuminates Levinas' phenomenological account of fecundity, parenthood, patience and institutional justice as hopeful moments that are contained in his philosophy on history.
Author Christo LombaardSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 907 –919 (2008)More Less
In this paper, a new interpretation of the Genesis 22 : 1-19 account is offered. Based on the new view of biblical historiography as anecdotal (Frykenberg), and drawing on the author's own recent studies on the historical problems related to, and historically sensitive narratological interpretative possibilities of, this Genesis text, a new meaning and a new dating for Genesis 22 : 1-19 are concluded to. This text, namely, reflects the end of a struggle for dominance between the different tradents of the patriarchal traditions, in which the Abraham tradents finally subjugate, with this Genesis 22-text, the Isaac tradents. This occurs late in the compositional history of the Pentateuch, namely between 400 and 250 BCE.
Author D.F. O'KennedySource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 921 –934 (2008)More Less
Forgiveness for the sake of YHWH's Name (Ps 25 : 11)
This article investigates the concept of divine forgiveness as illustrated in Psalm 25, especially verse 11. Psalm 25 : 11 is one of only four references in the Psalms where the Hebrew stem סלח. Scholars agree that the petition for forgiveness in verse 11 forms the core or centre of the entire Psalm. This article will offer a possible answer to the following question : what motivates the supplicant to ask for forgiveness? In contrast to other forgiveness passages the Psalmist does not regard repentance or obedience as motivation for the petition. He rather emphasizes the fact that his sin is great (v 11b). The true motivation for this prayer for forgiveness lies in the Name and honor of YHWH (v 11a). He experienced YHWH as 'n faithful God in the past; therefore he has the courage and honesty to plea for forgiveness.
Author Paul KruegerSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 935 –957 (2008)More Less
Happiness and lament in the house of Jacob
The birth narrative in Genesis 29 : 31-30 : 24 is a coherent mini drama in its own right, although it is embedded in the patriarchal narratives and as such furnishes important background to the unfolding drama in Jacob's house. In this narrative, the reader is invited right into the intricate family relations of a dysfunctional polygamous marriage, where two rivals communicate with each other and their mutual husband by means of the names given at birth to their children and the children of their slave girls. This article focuses on the quest for happiness, which is evident in the births and name-giving in the house of Jacob. Although true happiness remains elusive, at the end both women receive their dues. God keeps a balance between the two contenders, but the birth of Rachel's son calls for a resolution still to come. The text is thus left open ended.
Author M.M. KhechaneSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 959 –976 (2008)More Less
In an environment which is ethically and from a human rights point of view overly sensitive and in which interculturism is becoming more and more a norm, pastoral care practitioners need to be committed to providing services that are ethical, intercultural and respecting patients' rights. This article demonstrates how application of the Symphonology Bioethical Theory (SBT) as the framework for practice in pastoral care and counselling can help Pastoral Care Practitioners (PCP) to be ethical while upholding patients' human rights, and it can also help to bridge the intercultural chasm while simultaneously explaining the rationale for the practice. Symphonology is a context-driven, ethical decision-making model guiding holistic interaction between patients and PCPs. The Symphonological decision-making matrix is based on a practitioner-patient agreement for pastoral care that emphasizes patient preferences, pastoral psychological and theological knowledge, the pastoral care content and the context of the situation. The goal of the PCP is to ethically incarnate the divine presence and thus to bring about hope and emancipation to the patient using the bioethical standards of autonomy, freedom, objectivity, self-assertion, benevolence and fidelity.
Author Louise Du ToitSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 977 –1003 (2008)More Less
A philosophical discussion of the feminine and femininity of the divine
This article considers the importance of the feminine of the divine (or 'the goddess') from the perspective of a philosophy of sexual difference, as the latter is proposed mainly by French feminist philosopher, Luce Irigaray. The article considers why we have lost the feminine of the divine, why she is making a comeback, and the strongest reasons - philosophically speaking - for retrieving some of those elements for the sake of the world and humanity today.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 1005 –1020 (2008)More Less
Pastors as wounded healers : emotional experience and cognitive dissonance
The relevance of reflecting on pastors' identity and ministry is precipitated by the paradigm shift from modernity to postmodernity. Pastors often suffer from cognitive dissonance because of the paradigm shift. This dissonance comes to the fore in that pastors and the people they are supposed to serve, frequently find themselves in different, opposing worlds. In their attempt to adapt to this situation, pastors often experience emotional woundedness and do not always have the psychological disposition and skills to process their emotions in intelligent and creative ways. The paradigm shift in the Christian faith community can be described as a movement from a traditional to an emerging paradigm. This article aims to reflect on the meaning of this movement for pastors and their functioning in a new world.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 1021 –1042 (2008)More Less
The aim of this study is to illustrate the ethnocentrism of Western thought by projecting its own science-oriented culture onto cultures with different beliefs. A comparative study between African witchcraft and the Greek phenomenon of the evil eye will be done to investigate whether similar reasons can be given for their existence today. The article reflects on the view that has been prevalent since the Enlightenment, namely that belief in the supernatural is "primitive" and has no place in a world where most things can be explained or solved scientifically. Against this background, contemporary Western perspectives on evil are explained and compared with those of the Greek Orthodox worldview, which shows similarities with New Testament textual evidence. This correlation is demonstrated by an anthropological perspective on the phenomenon of the evil eye as seen from a social, cultural and ecological point of view. These insights are compared with the belief in witchcraft, demonic possession and exorcism within African tradition and spirituality.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 1043 –074 (2008)More Less
A pastoral perspective on the threatening loss of employment
The changing employment situation in South Africa is currently characterized by the various challenges it poses to individuals in the workplace, such as affirmative action, voluntary severance packages and discharges. Discharges are often associated with employment insecurity and the threatening loss of employment. A psychological approach to the threatening loss of employment is on its own inadequate. The aim of this article is to investigate the possibilities of a holistic approach as part of pastoral support to persons experiencing the threat of losing their employment. It aims to argue that pastoral care can benefit from a multi-disciplinary approach to the threatening loss of employment. However, pastoral care needs guidelines to facilitate its relationship with psychology and to assist in dealing with faith in the counselling process. This article makes use of Gerkin's model for pastoral care in order to provide some guidelines for pastoral care for individuals who are experiencing a protracted threat of loss of employment. Gerkin's model will be brought into dialogue with a cognitive behavioural therapeutic model.
Author P.J.W. (Flip) SchutteSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64, pp 1075 –1089 (2008)More Less
This is a review article on George W E Nickelsburg's book Resurrection, immortality, and eternal life in intertestamental Judaism and early Christianity. The aim of this article is to reflect on the results of Nickelsburg's research with regard to the earliest Christians' understanding of Jesus' resurrection. Nickelsburg investigated the topic of the afterlife in intertestamental Judaism and early Christianity from three perspectives namely, resurrection, immortality, and eternal life. The book focuses on the origins of these perspectives and the dynamics involved in the development of theological understanding of Jesus' resurrection in earliest Christianity. Part one of the article represents the content of Nickelsburg's book, and part two consists of comments debating the results that Nickelsburg puts on the table.
Coming of age : exploring the identity and spirituality of younger men, D.W. Anderson, P.G. Hill, R.D. Martinson : book reviewAuthor W.J. SmithSource: HTS : Theological Studies 64 (2008)More Less
Coming of age (214 pages) is an impressive publication from the pen of three authors who have a sound knowledge of children, youth and family ministry. It is highly recommended to assist pastors and ministry leaders in their efforts to understand and help young men in their relationship with Jesus Christ. Coming of age is of high academic value and shows a solid theological understanding of the Word of God, but it is still a creative, engaging and interesting work for every reader.