HTS : Theological Studies - Volume 65, Issue 1, 2009
Volume 65, Issue 1, 2009
When patrons are not patrons : a social-scientific reading of the rich man and Lazarus (LK 16:19-26) : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 65, pp 1 –11 (2009)More Less
This article presents a social-scientific interpretation of the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Attention is first given to the history of the interpretation of the parable and to the integrity and authenticity of this interpretation. A social-scientific reading of the parable is then presented in terms of the strategy and the situation of the parable. In terms of the latter, the parable is read against the backdrop of an advanced agrarian (aristocratic) society in which patronage and clientism played an important role. Regarding the parable's strategy, it is argued that the different oppositions in the parable serve to highlight their only similarity: those who have the ability to help do not help. The gist of the parable is that patrons who do not act like patrons create a society wherein a chasm so great between rich and poor is brought into existence that it cannot be crossed.
'Electricity is running through my veins' : die symbiose zwischen mensch und technologie in Marshall McLuhan's medientheorie : original researchAuthor Valia KralevaSource: HTS : Theological Studies 65, pp 1 –5 (2009)More Less
'Electricity is running through my veins' : the symbiosis between humankind and technology in Marshall McLuhan's media theory
In contrast to a widespread technical-mathematical media model that reduces electronic media to transmission channels, thereby making information into a quantifiable commodity, Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan, as early as the 1960s and 1970s, revealed the complex nature of the media irrespective of the contents that it conveyed. According to McLuhan, the media is an extension of the human body that expands human agency, but nevertheless leads to the 'amputation' of extended body parts. In this way, the medium becomes a constituent part of the body, while thereby taking on human qualities. Following McLuhan's media theory, this article reveals the symbiosis between technology and the human body and emphasises the significance of the artist for comprehending contemporary medial-technological reality and for overcoming the challenges that such a reality poses.
A theological reflection on the stories of police officers working under a new constitution : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 65, pp 1 –5 (2009)More Less
Fighting crime in the new South Africa has taken on new challenges under a new constitution. Using a narrative approach to research, the stories of police officers were listened to and reflected upon theologically. This process was carried out within a postfoundationalist and social constructionist paradigm that enabled further dialogue with other disciplines, seeking common ground as well as points of difference.
Intrapersoonlike transformasie by pastors - die paradoks van emosionele verwonding as bron tot genesingSource: HTS : Theological Studies 65, pp 1 –9 (2009)More Less
Interpersonal transformation of pastors - the paradox of emosional trauma as source to healing
This article reflects upon the way in which the interplay between reason and emotion influences pastors' lives and ministry. It studies the process of inner transformation as a meaningful way for pastors to become 'healed healers'. Inner transformation is described in terms of Aristotle's phron?sis and Paul Ricoeur's movement from mim?sis1 to mim?sis3. The article agrues that 'healing' in no way purports that pastors are able to heal others in a literal sense, but merely that by being conscious of their own wounds, pastors can experience the paradox that their own wounds could become a source of healing. This approach to woundedness is interpreted from two distinct perspectives. Firstly, it is seen from the perspective of Jesus as the human face of God. Jesus' emotional disposition towards the nobodies of his time is seen as paradigmatic for pastors' relationships with others. Secondly, woundedness is seen within the context of the metaphor of the wounded healer as narrated in ancient Greek mythology, and used by Carl Jung in a psychiatric setting. It is not only pastors' knowledge of the Bible, theological tradition and different pastoral and other therapeutic theories, models and methods that facilitates meaningful interaction between themselves and others. Central to pastors' role as wounded healers is their conscious acknowledgement of their own humanity and therefore their own woundedness.
Author Jakobus (Koos) M. VorsterSource: HTS : Theological Studies 65, pp 1 –6 (2009)More Less
In the body of research on an ethics of forgiveness, scholars differ about the place of remembrance in the act of forgiveness. One line of thought follows the argument of the philosopher Nietzsche, who maintained that people cannot live in the present when they are prisoners of the past. Without forgetting, the human species would have to relive the past continuously, and would never live in the present moment. Without forgetting, there can be no future. An opposite opinion follows the argument of Wiesel, who said that he discovered that only memory could help him to reclaim his humanity after the inhumanity of the Holocaust. What is therefore the relation between forgiveness and forgetfulness? This article deals with this question from a Christian ethical perspective. With a biblical-theological hermeneutical model as angle of approach, the investigation focuses on the evidence provided, in this regard, by the institution and meaning of the relevant feasts in the biblical history. These are the Passover, the Feast of the Huts, the Feast of Purim and the Lord's Supper. The study reaches the conclusion that remembrance is an essential part of forgiveness, and should be a core ingredient in socio-political transition.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 65, pp 1 –12 (2009)More Less
This article proposes a methodology for interpreting the parables of Jesus. The methodology put forward has as starting point two convictions. Firstly, the difference between the context of Jesus' parables as told by Jesus the Galilean in 30 CE and the literary context of the parables in the gospels has to be taken seriously. Secondly, an effort has to be made to at least try to avoid the fallacies of ethnocentrism and anachronism when interpreting the parables. In an effort to achieve this goal it is argued that social-scientific criticism presents itself as the obvious line of approach. Operating from these two convictions, the method being proposed is explained by using 12 statements (or theses) which are discussed as concisely and comprehensively as possible. It is inter alia argued that the central theme of Jesus' parables was the non-apocalyptic kingdom of God, that the parables are atypical stories (comparisons), and that the parables depict Jesus as a social prophet.
Author Jaco W. GerickeSource: HTS : Theological Studies 65, pp 1 –5 (2009)More Less
Philosophical approaches to ancient Israelite religion are rare, as is metaethical reflection on the Hebrew Bible. Nevertheless, many biblical scholars and philosophers of religion tend to take it for granted that the biblical metaethical assumptions about the relation between divinity and morality involve a pre-philosophical version of Divine Command Theory by default. In this paper the author challenges the popular consensus with several arguments demonstrating the presence of moral realism in the text. It is furthermore suggested that the popular consensus came about as a result of prima facie assessments informed by anachronistic metatheistic assumptions about what the Hebrew Bible assumed to be essential in the deity-morality relation. The study concludes with the observation that in the texts where Divine Command Theory is absent from the underlying moral epistemology the Euthyphro Dilemma disappears as a false dichotomy.
Author Daniel P. (Danie) GoosenSource: HTS : Theological Studies 65, pp 1 –10 (2009)More Less
Flanked by Cathedrals and Castles : theology and its political problem
This article is a reflection on the theological-political problem (i.e. the question about the relationship between religion and politics) in modern society. It presupposes that this problem was created by modernism. Because modernism distinguished in a reductive fashion between religion and politics, modern society was left with the burning question of how to mediate between them. The first part of the article focuses on a critical appraisal of the modern distinction. In different sub-sections it is argued that the modern distinction led to a reduction in meaning of both the religious and the political. However, the modern distinction cannot be maintained. Contrary to the modern distinction it is argued that the political is always already infiltrated by the theological. Modernism cannot deliver on its promises. In the concluding section the argument is raised that the theological-political problem can be addressed if we as are willing to listen to the voice of tradition. According to tradition, desire (eros) reaches out from the lowest to the highest levels of reality. The relationship between the political and the theological is inscribed within the erotic curve of desire. While eros reaches out to and also finds fulfilment in active political participation, this does not represent the end of its journey. Eros even reaches further, to the transcendent realms of philosophical contemplation and theological wisdom. In the concluding sections it is argued that both the political and the religious can again be experienced as glorious phenomena due to their erotic mutuality. Their mutuality is not (pace modernism) an argument against their own integrity, but precisely an argument in favour thereof.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 65, pp 1 –10 (2009)More Less
Intertextuality - encyclopedia and archaeology : Matteus's presentation of Jesus as saviour
This essay aims to explore and to apply what Gérard Genette refers to as kinds of transtextual relationships and what Ulrich Luz, in his application of these insights to the Gospel of Matthew, calls the encyclopaedia of the author or the original readers. The former enterprise entails exploring intertextuality at the synchronic level and the latter examines intertextuality at the diachronic level. The first pertains to Matthew's pretexts. The second enterprise entails an engagement with pragmatical aspects such as the context of the intended readers and the sedimentation of prior texts designated by the notion intertextuality. In this article the pragmatical aspects concern a discussion of the manner in which the first readers could be addressed by the pretexts of the use of the word sōzō ('to save'). It consists of three parts. The first represents a concise reflection on criteria and methods relevant to an investigation of intertextuality. The second exemplifi es the 'encyclopedia' of Matthew?s intertextuality, that is 'intertext', 'paratext', 'hypertext', 'hypotext', 'architext', and 'metatext'. The third part discusses the pretexts of the various occurrences of the word sōzō in Matthew.
Metaphorical bridge-building for promoting understanding and peaceful coexistence : original researchAuthor Johannes L. Van der WaltSource: HTS : Theological Studies 65, pp 1 –5 (2009)More Less
After briefly sketching the tumultuous nature of life in modern societies, the author calls on the reader to imagine for him- or herself the construction of a metaphorical traffic intersection that would enable those who make use of it to 'flyover' all the mayhem and disturbances. The proposed 'flyover' consists of three sub-structures or 'bridges', namely social capital, spirituality and education. A discussion of each of these sub-structures is followed by a discussion of the combination of all three in a virtual flyover that could contribute to a world characterised by greater understanding, respect, tolerance and peaceful coexistence.
Aspects of reformed missiology in Africa : a contribution to a German Lutheran debate : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 65, pp 1 –10 (2009)More Less
The article is based on a paper delivered at a Lutheran Missionary Conference in Bleckmar, Germany. The request was to give an overview of the development and the state of Reformed missiology with special reference to South Africa in order to stimulate the missiological debate in the German-Lutheran church. Within the space of an hour, one could only concentrate on the struggles and concerns of one's own church and its missionary institute. The border lines of the article are laid down by the major themes of Reformed theology and missiology, such as 'the Word alone', 'conversion', 'the formation of congregations', 'the glory of God' and 'ongoing reformation'. Readers are introduced to a few Reformed missiologists who had a decisive influence on the development of Reformed missiology, such as Gisbertus Voetius, Hendrik Kraemer, Arnoldus van Ruler, Johannes Verkuyl and Jürgen Moltmann. The initial Lutheran audience was informed about the self-caused problems in the Reformed tradition. Both the audience and the readership are cautioned not to withdraw from the basic Lutheran theologoumena, such as the 'two-kingdom theory'. The next decade will be a decisive period for the missionary efforts of the churches. Ecumenical solidarity and cooperation will be needed to work out new strategies whereby churches will be enabled to continue with missionary work on a new financial basis.
Akute trauma, en Rudolf Otto se godsdiens-psigologiese teorie as middel tot heling : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 65, pp 1 –6 (2009)More Less
Acute trauma, and Rudolf Otto's psychology of religion theory as means for healing
Empirical studies confirm that quantitative research is limited as far as the analysis, description and explanation of traumatic experiences are concerned. It is after all virtually impossible to quantify emotions. This article aims to overcome this obstacle by applying Rudolf Otto's theory of psychology of religion, and more specifically his theory on the transformation of fear (tremens) into awe (fascinans), to pastoral care with traumatised persons. Trauma is the internal experience of an external event, and causes fear and alienation. In psychology of religion, fear pertains to alienation from God and fellow believers, whereas awe refers to the emotionally laden response to transcendence. Moving from fear to awe leads to wholeness within a person, and peace in human interactions. Wholeness overcomes alienation, and facilitates respect for God and fellow human beings. Both fear and awe belong to what Otto calls the 'numinous', which is conceptualised in terms of pastoral care in this article.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 65, pp 1 –7 (2009)More Less
This article presents a canonical and literary reading of Lamentations 5 in the context of the book of Lamentations as a whole. Following the approach by Vanhoozer (1998, 2002) based on speech-act theory, the meaning of Scripture is sought at canonical level, supervening the basic literary level. In Lamentations, as polyphonic poetic text, the speaking voices form a very important key for the interpretation of the text. In the polyphonic text of Lamentations, the shifting of the speaking voices occurs between Lamentations 1 and 4. Lamentations 5 is monologic. The theories of Bakhtin (1984) are also used to understand the book of Lamentations. In this book, chapter 5 forms the climax where Jerusalem cries to God. We cannot, however, find God's answer to this call in Lamentations; we can find it only within the broader text of the Christian canon.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 65, pp 1 –6 (2009)More Less
Pastoral care with traumatised youth, the 'scapegoat' model, and Jesus as role model
Existing research shows that adolescents are victimised and traumatised more often than adults. Many a time it is left to pastoral counsellors to assist such traumatised youth to overcome such experiences. This article therefore aims to empower pastors in this task with reference to the insights of René Girard. As violence is inherent to traumatic experiences, two aspects of Girard's insights are pertinent. Girard's notions of imitation with regard to violence, as well as the scapegoat ritual can be useful to pastors who want to guide adolescents through their trauma. Girard's contribution has been widely acknowledged and used by theologians in their hermeneutical and theological endeavours. This article now applies these insights to the field of Practical Theology. In theology, Jesus has become both the 'role model' and the 'scapegoat'. This article applies both these aspects of Jesus' life to pastoral care with traumatised youth.
Author Cornel W. Du ToitSource: HTS : Theological Studies 65, pp 1 –8 (2009)More Less
This article explores a context for designing a new natural theology. The starting point is that traditional developments in this regard, from Augustine to Aquinas, Paley, Boyle and Barth, do not get us much further. Our thinking reflects our world - a world which has changed dramatically under modern and postmodern influences, especially those of the sciences. A new natural theology is simply an account of nature and creatureliness with due regard to scientific advances. Consequently natural theology today must start 'from below' with a new anthropology that reflects the worldview of our time. As a result the article rejects absolute transcendence, replacing it with a horizontal transcendence that accords with humans' biological makeup and with present-day scientific thinking. In the framework of horizontal transcendence the pivotal problem of the human condition is no longer death, but life. This has radical implications for theological thinking. The example used in the article is the impact this has on Paul's theological method. Examples of theology centring on the problem of life are discussed briefly with reference to Girard, iek and Vattimo.
Author Malan NelSource: HTS : Theological Studies 65, pp 1 –13 (2009)More Less
The research problem of concern here is : What criteria should be used when congregations are analysed? Congregations as faith communities are defined variously. Discerning the local congregation as a defined and as an empirical subject plays a major role in answering the research question. The theological points of departure are that any measure of a local congregation has to deal with issues like faithfulness to the gospel and the missional identity and integrity of the congregation as a contextual faith community. The hypothesis is that, when theologically informed and motivated, congregations can and should be analysed in the process of continuing reformation. This article describes a number of approaches to and outcomes of empirical research related to congregational analysis. Follow-up research to be submitted for publication will deal with the missional identity, the ministerial role-fulfilment of the congregation, and a proposal to analyse these in a way that is theologically faithful and contextually relevant.
Die mens as deelname aan 'n 'geskonde en besete wêreld' : C.K. Oberholzer, fenomenologie en Pretoria : original researchAuthor Pieter DuvenageSource: HTS : Theological Studies 65, pp 1 –7 (2009)More Less
Human participation in a scarred and frenzied world : C.K. Oberholzer, phenomenology and Pretoria
This article focuses on the living presence of phenomenology as an intellectual tradition at the University of Pretoria, and more specifically the role of C.K. Oberholzer (1904 - 1983) in creating a space for such reflection. The article consists of four (interrelated) parts: the founding years of philosophy at the University of Pretoria against the colonial backdrop of the British Empire, and the rise of Oberholzer under different circumstances in the 1930s; a succinct definition and description of phenomenology in four chronological waves of influence over the last century; the specific way in which Oberholzer interpreted and appropriated phenomenology in the Pretoria context; and finally, the political implications of Oberholzer's phenomenology and philosophical anthropology in the apartheid years, the present as well as the future.
Author Marius NelSource: HTS : Theological Studies 65, pp 1 –6 (2009)More Less
Children enjoy the tales of Daniel and his three friends, whether told in Sunday school, day school, by parents or grandparents. These tales are cast essentially in violent terms. In this article a specific version of the tales in a children's Bible is analysed to show in what way violence serves as the thread that holds the tales together and to suggest that this might imply that violence is condoned, be it violence committed by God for the sake of his children or by his children for their own sakes. Through ideology, criticism and deconstruction it is shown how a socially engaged reading of the text necessitates narrators of the Daniel tales to criticise violence embedded within the Biblical text, especially when these tales are narrated to children.
Postsecular spirituality, engaged hermeneutics, and Charles Taylor's notion of hypergoods : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 65, pp 1 –8 (2009)More Less
This essay sets out to argue that postsecular spirituality is about the quest for hypergoods within today's mass populist- and consumerist-oriented world. It shows that people who consider themselves to be spiritual not only have many values in their lives, but rank some values higher than others, with some being ranked as being of supreme importance, the so-called hypergoods. Such ethics has an interpersonal character, and in Christian circles this reopens the issue of biblical hermeneutics, especially the phenomenon of conflicting interpretations. Against the background of the various options of being religious in the secular age, the essay focuses on Charles Taylor's view of the discovery of spirituality in a posttheistic world and his emphasis on the love of God and the ethics of justice as hypergoods.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 65, pp 1 –9 (2009)More Less
Multiprofessional aspects of ageing seen from a pastoral perspective
The article describes existing research on gerontology, and explores the role of pastoral care. When focusing on gerontology from a pastoral care point of view, certain multiprofessional aspects need to be considered. The article aims to highlight insights on the subject from the field of sociology, and to enable pastors to engage meaningfully with elderly persons. Reflection on the changing social environment emphasises the difficulties that retirement and the resulting loss of authenticity pose to the older person. The article considers how pastoral care as part of a multidisciplinary team could fulfil a positive role in gerontology.