HTS : Theological Studies - Volume 67, Issue 1, 2011
Volume 67, Issue 1, 2011
Author Jacobus C.W. Van RooyenSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –6 (2011)More Less
The issue that this article dealt with is whether, in South African law, speech that infringes upon the religious feelings of an individual is protected by the dignity clause in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. The Constitution, as well as the Broadcasting Code, prohibits language that advocates hatred, inter alia, based on religion and that constitutes incitement to cause harm. Dignity, which is a central Constitutional right, relates to the sense of self worth which a person has. A Court has held that religious feelings, national pride and language do not form part of dignity, for purposes of protection in law. The Broadcasting Complaints Commission has, similarly, decided that a point of view seriously derogatory of 'Calvinistic people' blaming (some of) them as being hypocritical and even acting criminally is not protected by dignity. It would have to be accompanied by the advocacy of hatred as defined previously. The author, however, pointed out that on occasion different facts might found a finding in law that religion is so closely connected to dignity, that it will indeed be regarded as part thereof.
Author Philip J.W. SchutteSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –6 (2011)More Less
Cassirer, Jung and Bultmann share at least one principle, namely their appreciation of the role played by myth in experiencing the language of faith. All three of the theorists advocate the reading of mythological texts against the backdrop of a mythological world view. By accentuating the existential and transformational value of myth, they underline the importance of myth for religion. However, they do not promote a positivistic interpretation of myth, which might lead to the rebirth of biblical fundamentalism. This article advanced the perspective that biblical texts, when read as myth, could open up spiritual experiences, even to post-modern readers.
Origen of Alexandria : the study of the Scriptures as transformation of the readers into images of the God of love : original researchAuthor Paul B. DecockSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –8 (2011)More Less
For Origen, the purpose of reading the Scriptures is to be transformed more and more into the likeness of God, who is Love, through the Logos embodied in the Scriptures. This article first situated Origen's approach to the Scriptures in the broad agreement over the centuries that the Scriptures are meant to address the present readers and not merely the original readers. This has led to various approaches to actualise the text up to the present varieties of contextual exegesis. Secondly, the article showed how, for Origen, the aim of actualising the text is the transformation of the readers. It will be necessary, therefore, to briefly present some of the key aspects of Origen's pre-understanding. The third part focused on Origen's understanding of the reading process as a movement from the letter to the spirit, a process that involves the transformation of the reader. This process is a struggle to understand what love, which is both the mystery of God and the aim for which every being is created through the Logos, is.
'God kan net doen wat God wel doen' : Petrus Abelardus se Megariaanse argument in Theologia 'Scholarium', Opera Theologica III : original researchAuthor Johann BeukesSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –9 (2011)More Less
'God can only do what God does do': Peter Abelard's Megarian argument in Theologia 'Scholarium', Opera Theologica III
Peter Abelard's contribution to a constellation of central themes in post-Carolingian medieval philosophy, namely on causation, necessity and contingency, with its discursive undertone of the relation between potentiality and actuality, is worked out in a rather informal way in one of his later works, Theologia 'Scholarium'. Typical of the fusion of philosophical questions and theological premises in medieval philosophy, Abelard addresses the issue by asking whether God can only do what God does. Abelard argues that God can do or not do or omit doing only those things which God does do or does not do or omits doing and that God can do or can not do or omit doing those things only in the way or at the time at which God does and not at any other. Given Abelard's fragmented and restricted access to the Aristotelian corpus regarding causality, how did he come to this Aristotelian-orientated conclusion? This article stresses the ancient quality of Abelard's argument from another angle, reminiscent of the so-called Master Argument of the Megarians, with specific reference to the dialectical legacy of Diodorus Cronus, according to whom what can be is what is: what is, in turn, is what must be. Actuality, for the Megarians, exhausts potentiality. The path of actuality cannot be undermined or compromised by issues of potentiality. God's actions are thus for both the Megarians and Abelard strictly determined and determining. God, in the end, can only do what God does. This article contributes to scholarship in medieval philosophy or theology by making this connection explicit and by thoroughly exploring the link between Abelard and his ancient predecessors.
Author Maake MasangoSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –5 (2011)More Less
This article is dedicated to Prof. Dr Andries van Aarde who has mentored a large number of students during his time as a lecturer at the University of Pretoria. It is written at the time when workers in South Africa are striking. Industrial psychologists are involved in mediation and aim to develop a culture of understanding between workers and management. The article analyses some causes of tension between managers and workers in the South African context and indicates how mentorship may help to foster growth amongst workers and managers. A case study explores the issue of cultural differences which often lead to misunderstandings, especially when managers do not understand the world in which workers live. The aim of the article is to contribute to existing insights that may help to create a healthy working relationship between managers and workers which will benefit both.
Author Julian C. MullerSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –5 (2011)More Less
Author Cornelius W. Du ToitSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –10 (2011)More Less
This article dealt cursorily with developments in theology, philosophy and the sciences that have contributed to what one might call horizontal transcendence. The premise is that humans have evolved into beings that are wired for transcendence. Transcendence is described in terms of the metaphor of frontiers and frontier posts. Although the frontiers of transcendence shift according to the insights, understanding and needs of every epoch and world view, it remains transcendent, even in its immanent mode. Diverse perceptions of that frontier normally coexist in every era and we can only discern a posteriori which was the dominant one. Frontiers are fixed with reference to the epistemologies, notions of the subject and power structures of a given era. From a theological point of view, encounter with the transcendent affords insight, not into the essence of transcendence, but into human self-understanding and understanding of our world. Transcendence enters into the picture when an ordinary human experience acquires a depth and an immediacy that are attributed to an act of God. In philosophy, transcendence evolved from a noumenal metaphysics focused on the object (Plato), via emphasis on the epistemological structure and limits of the knowing subject (Kant) and an endeavour to establish a dynamic subject-object dialectics (Hegel), to the assimilation of transcendence into human existence (Heidegger). In the sciences certain developments opened up possibilities for God to act in non-interventionist ways. The limitations of such an approach are considered, as well as promising new departures - and their limitations - in the neurosciences. From all of this I conclude that an immanent-transcendent approach is plausible for our day and age.
Author Johan BuitendagSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –9 (2011)More Less
The famous premise of John Polkinghorne, 'epistemology models ontology', has been assessed in this article. It is interpreted that its logic is based on a linear trajectory of knowledge - being. Polkinghorne places much emphasis on the fact that he pursues a 'bottom-up' approach, that is, an inductive way of going about with reality. He opts for a 'critical realist' view of reality that leads him to interpret indeterminacy (Heisenberg) as a sign of actual ontological openness to the future and not primarily as an epistemological deficit. He applies subsequently the doctrine of the Trinity as a hermeneutical tool to understand reality. The author argues that Polkinghorne is inconsistent in this venture and that he should consider a multidimensional approach, where epistemology and ontology model each other mutually, that is, knowledge - being. In order to acknowledge the stratification of reality and the pluriformity of epistemologies, it is suggested that a rather 'constructive-realist' approach would serve better the theology of Polkinghorne; this is a shift from epistemology to hermeneutics.
Author Pieter G.R. De VilliersSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –9 (2011)More Less
This article investigated the presentation of the future existence of the believers in Paul's second letter to the Thessalonians. It analysed how the eschatological language of this letter reflects a situation in Thessalonica which has grown worse since the writing of 1 Thessalonians. It went on to explain to readers how this situation is handled by reflecting on it in terms of a divine plan and by portraying a future in which their suffering will come to an end. A close reading of some passages in 2 Thessalonians which speak of the dispensation which will follow on the glorious return of Christ at the end were presented during the course of this article. It investigated Christ's glorification at his return and delineated the way in which this return affects and determines the existence of those who accepted Paul's proclamation of the gospel. The future glory of the Lord is revealed, experienced and shared by believers in a mystical manner. The article ended with a brief discussion on the traditions which determined this perspective, the context in which the eschatological portrait must be understood and how the portrait of the future serves to support the community of saints in their time of suffering.
Angels as arguments? The rhetorical function of references to angels in the Main Letters of Paul : original researchAuthor D. Francois TolmieSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –8 (2011)More Less
The issue investigated in this article is the rhetorical function fulfilled by the references to angels in the Main Letters of Paul. For this purpose all the references to angels in Galatians, 1 and 2 Corinthians and Romans are investigated systematically and thoroughly. This study shows that Paul never uses any of the references to angels as a main argument in these letters. Furthermore, it is shown that Paul refers to quite a variety of (possible) roles that angels might fulfil, or characteristics that angels possess. From a rhetorical perspective, it is evident that Paul mostly mentions angels in contexts that can broadly be typified as hyperbolic - in the sense that the extent or broad scope of the issue under discussion is emphasised.
Author Jeremy PuntSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –9 (2011)More Less
Paul's hermeneutics, in dealing with the scriptures and traditions of Israel and his concern for a specific identity for the communities he interacted with, require attention for the reciprocal, interrelationship between hermeneutics and identity in his letters. Paul's quotations from and allusions to the scriptures of Israel but also his argument which was a re-interpretation of the traditions of Israel, functions in Galatians 4:21-5:1 at one level as counter-argument to the position of his opponents in Galatia but, at another deeper level, also as a forceful attempt to (re)establish and reinforce the identity of the community of followers of Jesus. His appropriation of the scriptures, his revisionist interpretation of the Abraham narrative and in particular his construal of its lasting implications provided the interpretative map on which Paul plotted an emerging 'Christian' identity. But, reciprocally, Paul's sense of a new or renewed identity in Christ also determined the contours of his hermeneutics.
Author Jean-Claude Loba-MkoleSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –11 (2011)More Less
The relationship between Saint Paul and the continent of Africa has never been a significant point of discussion in the New Testament studies. The same can be observed about other continents, even if the study of the Pauline corpus touches on some countries of Europe and the Middle East. The present article was triggered by the invitation of the Catholic Church to celebrate the 3rd millennium of Paul's birthday during the period of June 2008 - June 2009, which was declared as the Year of Paul all over the world. It raises and discusses the question of relevance of Paul to Africa and vice versa in the light of intercultural exegesis.
Author Johan StrijdomSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –4 (2011)More Less
In this article, it is argued that a postcolonial critique of the colonial study of religion should not preclude a critique of indigenous African religion itself. The latter may be developed from a human rights perspective and a critique of exclusionary views of indigeneity. The argument is illustrated by means of specific case studies.
Author Jonathan A. DraperSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –10 (2011)More Less
This article applies the model of the moral economy in the ancient world, as formulated by Karl Polanyi and applied by Halvor Moxnes, to the economic relations reflected in the Didache. The study partly confirms Aaron Milavec's contention that the instructions in the text would provide an 'economic safety net' for members of the community by putting in place a system of generalised reciprocity and redistribution, although Milavec's depiction of the community as an 'urban working class' movement is found to be anachronistic. The 'communion of the saints' is very much an economic system with aspects of resistance to the Roman imperial system. However, the moral economy of the Didache is seen to reflect a number of ambiguities, particularly in its adoption of the Christian Housetable ethic but also in its adoption of the patron client terminology in the dispute between prophets and teachers on the one side and bishops and deacons on the other.
Author Fika Janse Van RensburgSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –11 (2011)More Less
This article explored a methodology to construct the economic-historic context of the addressees of 1 Peter, which could serve as basis for an economic interpretation of 1 Peter and other New Testament books. After discussing 1 Peter as letter, external sources were used to construct the economic-historic context of the addressees of 1 Peter. This construction was then refined utilising the letter itself, by identifying, categorising and interpreting the economically relevant portions of 1 Peter. Finally, the economic-historic context of the addressees of 1 Peter was concluded and the method summarised.
Author Eduard VerhoefSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –7 (2011)More Less
Christians were confronted with many other religions during the expansion of Christianity. What was their attitude towards these other religions? Apparently Christians reacted very differently. Earlier I argued that the Christians in Philippi adopted some elements of the cult of Euephenes, an initiate in the Kabeiric cult of Samothrace. The Kabeiric cult was very much present in Thessalonica as well. In this article I argued that, here too, Christians took over some elements of the Kabeiric cult. In some other cities non-Christian cults were eliminated. These different reactions towards other religions and cults seemed to stem from the local situation. In particular, local religious customs seem to have been adopted and to have taken precedence over well-known national or even international religions. Apparently, it was very difficult for people to abandon strong local rituals.
In 1997, Andries van Aarde and Sanrie van Zijl published a very interesting article in which they drew attention to the pagan Hellenistic background that may have played a role in the development of Christology. Though more aspects should be taken into consideration it is self-evident to me that the entire history of the Christian church can be understood only against the background of the whole contemporary world. For example, Christians reacted very differently to non-Christian cults after they had assumed power in the Roman Empire. Sometimes temples and shrines were devastated, sometimes they were reused as churches. And sometimes elements of other cults were adopted in a more or less Christianised form. Recently I argued that in Philippi the cult of Euephenes, an initiate in the cult of the Kabeiroi on Samothrace, was succeeded by the veneration of Paul.
In the present article, however, I focused on the cult of Kabeiros in Thessalonica and its impact on the cult of Demetrios that was already thriving there, whereby the latter cult began to incorporate elements of the former. I concluded the article with short remark about the way Christians elsewhere adopted or rejected other cults, touching on the question why, in some cases, an older cult was integrated into the Christian cult and why it was terminated in other cases.
The comforted comforter : the meaning of παρακαλέω or παράκληοις terminology in 2 Corinthians : original researchAuthor Reimund BieringerSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –7 (2011)More Less
In the Pauline homologoumena, παρακαλέω or παράκληοις terminology is used almost two and a half times (in 2 Corinthians even six and a half times) as frequently as in the remainder of the New Testament. In the first part of this article, a survey of the use of παρακαλέω or παράκληοις in the undisputed letters and its three major meanings was given: to request strongly, to exhort and to encourage or comfort. In the second part of the article, the LXX background of the unprecedented use of παρακαλέω or παράκληοις in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 and 7:4.5-13, where God is the subject, was discussed. The conclusion was that when writing 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 and 7:4.5-13 Paul made use of the prophet Isaiah's Book of Comfort and in his use of παρακαλέω or παράκληοις allows himself to be influenced by the way the LXX translator uses παρακαλέω to translate נתם
Festivals, cultural intertextuality, and the Gospel of John's rhetoric of distance : original researchAuthor Warren CarterSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –7 (2011)More Less
Imperial and civic-religious festivals pervaded the late first-century city of Ephesus where John's Gospel was, if not written, at least read or heard. How did Jesus-believers as likely members of somewhat participationist synagogue communities negotiate such pervasive and public celebration of festivals? Did they participate in, ignore, or oppose such festivals? And how might John's Gospel have encouraged them to respond?
This article engages these questions by focusing on the narrative presentation of festivals in John's Gospel (some 42 times) as, amongst other things, occasions of conflict and condemnation. Employing Sjef van Tilborg's notion of 'interference', which prioritises the Ephesian civic interface of the Gospel's audience, the article argues that the cultural intertextuality between the Gospel and an Ephesian context destabilises and problematises Ephesian civic festivals and shows there to be fundamental incompatibilities between Jesus' work and Ephesian society, thereby seeking Jesus-believers to absent themselves from festivals. The Gospel's presentation of festivals belongs to the gospel's rhetoric of distance vis-à-vis societal structures.
Author Carolyn OsiekSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –5 (2011)More Less
We know very little about the everyday life of Christ believers in the first years. What can be extrapolated from other ancient sources must be combined with the minimal evidence from Christian sources. The two major rituals, baptism and Eucharist, may have been celebrated quite differently than we imagine. The lives of families must be seen as context for these celebrations.
Die vermyding van etniese spanning en konflik in Suid-Afrika : wat kan Paulus se ervaring ons leer? : original researchAuthor Markus CromhoutSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –8 (2011)More Less
Avoiding ethnic tension and conflict in South Africa: What can we learn from Paul's experience?
The dream of a 'rainbow nation' in South Africa appears to be on the wane as ethnic tension and conflict seem to simmer just beneath the surface. This article investigates Paul's approach to the issue of ethnic identity with reference to ethnicity and social identity theory. Initially, Paul adopted a radical approach, which basically rendered ethnic identity irrelevant. However, he came to realise that ethnic differences need to be accommodated within the group of Jesus followers. The article applies these insights in calling for strong, moral, visionary and discerning leadership in South Africa.