HTS : Theological Studies - Volume 67, Issue 3, 2011
Volume 67, Issue 3, 2011
Author Pieter G.R. De VilliersSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –10 (2011)More Less
This article discusses the praxis of Reformed Spirituality by investigating the diary of Reverend A.D. Luckhoff which he wrote during the Anglo-Boer War as chaplain in the infamous Bethulie concentration camp. The article locates Luckhoff and his diary in the context of Reformed Spirituality and in the study of Spirituality with special attention to their transformative actions on behalf of others and how this, in turn, affected his Spirituality. It points out the diary's significance before it analyses the nature of Luckhoff's Reformed Spirituality as it is evident in his pastoral activities and work ethic, his struggle for justice and dignity, and, finally, his political approach in a difficult situation. In conclusion some remarks are made about the nature of Luckhoff's Reformed Spirituality.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –8 (2011)More Less
In our pluralistic society, the diverse religious traditions offer an opportunity for interreligious dialogue which has as its aim an appreciation of, and respect for, the integrity of individual traditions. Swami Abhishiktananda is a clear example of one who offered an alternative to Christian exclusiveness in his willingness to engage in an inter-spiritual lifestyle in which Eastern and Western mystical traditions are seen to be mutually enriching. By opting to make his own life a crucible to test his beliefs and convictions Abhishiktananda endured lifelong trials and tribulations. His life can broadly be divided into four phases, namely the 'fulfilment' phase, with its typical Western triumphalist missionary mentality, followed by the crisis phase thanks to his encounter with Hindu spirituality. This led him to the third phase in which he dared to relativise all conceptualisations as concretisations of the inexpressible Mystery. During the final two years of his life he entered the fourth and the last phase of liberation or 'explosion' of all previous concepts. Abhishiktananda spoke of an experience, which he called ati-Advaita, or Advaitatita which is an experience of Unity and Trinity. He claimed that the sages of India were correct to say neither one nor many, but just to say, not two, advaita, and not-one, an-eka.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –9 (2011)More Less
This article utilised the theory of intertextuality to investigate the way in which religious texts, specifically Judith 16, generate meaning in the act of the production of texts. The groundbreaking work on intertextuality done by Julia Kristeva served as the theoretical point of departure. Kristeva utilised Mikhail Bakhtin's literary theory to develop her own views on intertextuality. According to the theory of intertextuality, all texts are intersections of different texts and are therefore polyvalent. The article argued that the ideology (or ideologies) of author(s) of texts underpin the ways in which other texts are used and alluded to. The purpose of the investigation was to illustrate how intertextual allusions in Judith 16 are used to describe 'God/the Lord' as a God of war and, thereby, to maintain an already existing ideology of war:
We know now that a text is not a line of words releasing a single 'theological' meaning (the 'message' of the Author-God) but a multi-dimensional space in which a variety of writings, none of them original, blend and clash. The text is a tissue of quotations drawn from the innumerable centres of culture.
Regeneration and resurrection in Matthew - peasants in campo hearing time signals from scribes : original researchAuthor Andries G. Van AardeSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –7 (2011)More Less
The article aimed to describe the distinctive element in the use of the motif of the resurrection in the Gospel of Matthew in comparison with Mark, Luke and the Sayings Gospel Q. It argued that the distinctive element occurs where parallel texts in Luke 22:24-30, Matthew 19:27-29 and Mark 10:28-31 converge. The distinctive element pertains particularly to the meaning of the Greek expression 'en t? palingenesia' in Matthew 19:28. By elaborating on time as a social construct, the article showed how Matthew deals with the conception of time differently than both Mark and Luke. It illustrated that the Gospel of Matthew represents a storyline consisting of a circular movement between 'genesis' (Mt 1:1) and 'palingenesia' (Mt 19:28), where the word 'palingenesia' denotes the meaning 'regeneration' rather than 'resurrection'. Matthew does not narrate an abrupt transition from linear time to clock time. Both co-existed in a world where illiterate peasants and literate scribes scheduled their lives in terms of motifs pertaining to a linear and a punctual conception of time.
I'm okay, you're not okay : constancy of character and Paul's understanding of change in his own and Peter's behaviour : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –8 (2011)More Less
Paul argues in Galatians 2:11-14 that Peter was guilty of hypocrisy because he had withdrawn from eating with Gentiles in Antioch. Paul's argument is best understood through the social and rhetorical conventions related to the encomium. The problem for Paul is that his own behaviour is inconsistent, and the Galatians know of his changed behaviour (Gl 1:13). Paul, then, is at pains to explain how his own changed behaviour, as a result of a commissioning from God, is different from Peter's changed behaviour, as a result of fear of those from the circumcision. Paul's concern for explaining his own change in behaviour as positive and Peter's as negative is related to his overall concern to prevent future changes in the Galatians' behaviour given that they are, as Paul himself is, commissioned by God for a new freedom.
Author Zeba A. CrookSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –7 (2011)More Less
The phenomena of friendship and giftship in antiquity have been the focus of much anthropological interest, yet those terms are still used much too broadly, wherein any one can be friends and anything exchanged is a gift. This article argued that proper friendship requires equality of exchange and status. When inequality of exchange is present, we will almost always also have inequality of status. These two things together naturally and necessarily result in the absence of frank speech. At this point, proper friendship (defined by frank speech) and the exchange of gifts (defined by equality of value) are impossible, and we have fictive-friendship, a term I have introduced in this article. Fictive-friendship refers to the practice, often but not exclusively amongst elites, of using friendship language to mask relationships of dependence (patronage and clientage). I closed my argument by looking at two examples of fictive-friendship in the Gospel of John.
Do not question my honour : a social-scientific reading of the parable of the minas (Lk 19:12b-24, 27) : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –11 (2011)More Less
This article attempted to read the parable of the minas in a 30 CE context, employing a social scientific reading. The integrity of the parable was delimited to Luke 19:12b-24 and 27. It was argued that this version of the parable (that stems from Q) goes back to the earliest layer of the historical Jesus tradition and is a realistic version of the historical background, political background and socioeconomic background of 30 CE Palestine. In this reading of the parable, attention was given to an aspect much neglected in previous scholarship regarding the interpretation of the parable, namely that the third slave in the parable is not condemned. It was argued that this neglected aspect is important for the strategy of the parable. The reading concluded that the parable has two foci; it shows how, in the time of Jesus, the elite exploited the non-elite and how to protest in a situation where the peasantry (the exploited) had no legitimate way of protesting against the exploitative practices of the elite.
Preaching with integrity, imagination and hope
Preaching as a language of hope (Studia Homiletica 6), Cas J.A. Vos, Lucy L. Hogan & Johan H. Cilliers : book reviewSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67 (2011)More Less
A new discussion on the approach to this subject is taking place in South African homiletical circles. We are busy revisiting our theories developed after the turn to empirical studies in practical theology after the 1960s. Over the last 40 years, epistemological questions, hermeneutics as it pertains to homiletics, and communication theories are being developed.
De onthulling van seksueel geweld
Child sexual abuse, disclosure, delay and denial, Margaret-Ellen Pipe, Michael E. Lamb, Yael Orbach & Ann-Christin Cederborg (Eds.) : book reviewAuthor Tiny Van Der SchaafSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67 (2011)More Less
Making Jesus' parables accessible to postmodern people
Preaching parables to postmoderns, Brian C. Stiller : book reviewSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67 (2011)More Less
Preaching in our day has become an increasingly difficult and challenging task. The preacher has to build a bridge between today's people in their unique situation and the Biblical message that originated in a different context. Today's people are highly pluralistic, showing great diversity in spirituality, and with multiple needs. Furthermore, some have been raised on Bible stories and others cannot tell a biblical saying from an honored maxim. In this changing and radically secular age, Stiller addresses the following question about preaching, 'How are people to understand the Bible if they have less and less knowledge of it or its stories?'
Ecology and economics : partners in theological conversation
Theology that matters : Ecology, economy, and God, Darby K. Ray : book reviewAuthor Gafie Van WykSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –2 (2011)More Less
The editor describes this book as a symposium on three themes critical to Christian thought and practice in the 21st century: God, ecology, and economics. She argues that the current situation demands that ecology and economics be recognised as crucial partners in any theological conversation or construction. Her intention with this symposium on three themes was to gather material by some respected and original (meaning creative and imaginative) Christian thinkers, inspired by the example and work of Sallie McFague. An essay by McFague, Human dignity and the integrity of creation, is included in this work as an epilogue. That the editor has great admiration for McFague is clear. She writes: 'McFague's Christian theology has through the years been ahead of its time in its recognition of the interpenetration of God, ecology, and economics' (p. 7).
The theological intent of the Lukan Jesus-story
Handbuch zum Neuen Testament 5 : Das Lukasevangelium, Michael Wolter : book reviewAuthor Dieter H. ReinstorfSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67 (2011)More Less
In this voluminous work the author confines himself to a tradition-historical approach, as determined by the publishers of the Handbuch zum Neuen Testament series, in order to explore the theological intent of the Lukan Jesus-story. As such, it continues in line with the traditional approaches in Biblical criticism, the previous commentary in this series being a form-historical approach by Erich Klostermann (1919, 1929). Tradition-historical criticism is, in short, a study of the process by which the oral and written traditions underlying the present text are developed. Wolter's commentary is accordingly characterised by a careful study of the Lukan 'text' and the use and meaning of each word or phrase within the cultural context of the ancient 'Jewish' (Hebrew or Judean), Greek, and Roman writers. It is an approach that highlights typical Lukan phrases and expressions and as such provides the reader with one key, amongst other, for understanding the uniqueness of the Gospel.
Christian faith for ordinary Christians
Kijk op Geloof Christelijk geloof uitgelegd, Henri Veldhuis : book reviewAuthor Andre J. GroenewaldSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67 (2011)More Less
'Kijk op Geloof Christelijk geloof uitgelegd', is an explanation of the Christian faith for ordinary Christians. The author says in his introduction that his intention is to explain the Christian faith according to the Bible and the tradition in which this faith was expressed. He wants to provide the reader with a vision of faith in which the Bible and tradition play an important role.
Jews enemies of Christianity?
Presumed guilty : How the Jews were blamed for the death of Jesus, Peter J. Tomson : book reviewSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –2 (2011)More Less
How did it come about that the Jews were blamed for the death of Jesus? How is it possible that the Jews are, by definition, seen as enemies of the gospel and Christians as the enemies of the Jews, if one takes into consideration that the oldest Christian creeds are composed of Jewish concepts and beliefs? What does the Jesus movement have to do with the Jews? And Jesus, the Jew? How were the Jews made into enemies of Christianity? Where should we look for the roots of anti-Semitism? These are the questions Tomson addresses in Presumed guilty: How the Jews were blamed for the death of Jesus (which is a more succinct edition of his book "If this is from heaven ...": Jesus and the New Testament authors in their relationship to Judaism, Sheffield Academic Press, 2001).
Experiencing Wüstenberg's Habilitationsgeschrift (2003)
Die politische Dimension der Versöhnung, Ralf K. Wüstenberg : book reviewAuthor Danie P. VeldsmanSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67 (2011)More Less
The research focus of Wüstenberg's Habilitationsgeschrift (2003), published by the Theologische Fakultät der Universität Heidelberg, Germany is on the experience of guilt and reconciliation in a post-conflict (or war) context, and then specifically theological reflection on the preconditions for reconciliation in a 21st century political context. The question for him is: can theology help in such a concrete political situation, and if so, how can it help? He refers to the theme as: 'Der Suche nach einer friedlichen Nachkriegsordnung' ['In search of a peaceful order after war'].
Missionary history of the Dutch Reformed Church
Being missionary, being human, Willem A. Saayman : book reviewAuthor Christo Van Der MerweSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –2 (2011)More Less
Being missionary, being human is a must, especially for those with an interest in missiology. It not only provides a fresh perspective on the missionary history of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) in South Africa, it also provides a clear description of the interactive relationship between context and mission. The author is a respected missiologist who is also well acquainted with the history of mission in the Southern African context. His method of research can be termed an interdisciplinary approach of interaction between culture, religion, and political economy.
A case of tribal defilement in a Kenyan rural village : a narratological and socio-rhetorical function of the motifs of 'hearing and understanding' and 'contrast' in Matthew 15:10-11 vis-à-vis Leviticus 11:1-4 : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –8 (2011)More Less
This article employed a case study to explore the theme of defilement as experienced in a Kenyan village. To provide a basis for the theological reflection on this case study, the article investigated two motifs in Matthew 15:10-11. 'Hearing and understanding' and 'contrast' [ούάλλα, 'not...but'] was examined in respect of Leviticus 11:1-8 to determine the extent to which Matthew 15:10-11 depicts Jesus as 'relativising' the Mosaic law (Lv 11:1-8). This approach provided a basis to argue that defilement in Matthew 15:10-11 is not only a matter of external or ritual perspective, but of moral disposition. A methodology that combines both socio-rhetorical (Socio-rhetorical criticism is a methodology that derives value and meaning as an outcome of an active reading process that occurs within specific cultural contexts. In this case, the examiner produced the meaning of given texts by participating in a complex of socially constructed practices' [Growler n.d., http://userwww.Service.emory. edu/~dgowler/chapter.htm]) and narratological (Narratological criticism is the study of narratives that involves a kind of 'structure and practice that illuminates temporality and human beings as temporal beings'. Using classifications such as plot, narrator and narratee, narratology becomes a useful instrument for the description, classification and interpretation of literary narratives [see http://www.hum.aau.dk/~yding/storytelling/narratology%20rerevisited. pdf]) approaches were engaged as the most appropriate to address the concerns of this article. These two methodologies greatly helped this article to explain the meaning and significance of defilement in Leviticus 11 with respect to the theological understanding of the Leviticus code of purity. This code presents a temporal view of defilement intended to reflect on the holiness and sovereignty of Yahweh, over and against idols of the surrounding nations. In addition, this kind of methodology facilitated an interpretation of the motif of 'contrast' [ούάλλα, 'not but'] in Matthew 15:11 as the evangelist's intentional attempt to depict Jesus intensifying the Leviticus code of ritual purity within an ethical frame work. The village case study was surveyed, exegesis done on Matthew 15:10-11 with respect to Leviticus 11:1-8, the perception of defilement for 1st century Jews assessed and a brief comparative study of the findings from Matthew 15:10-11 engaged with a Kenyan village-case study for ethical reflections. This case study pointed out that cultural difference prompted a major tribe (Wataita) to consider a minor tribe (Wasanye) to be defiled, albeit the minor tribe did not describe the major tribe in the same derogatory term.
Religion, civil society and conflict : what is it that religion does for and to society? : original researchAuthor Jaco BeyersSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –8 (2011)More Less
Human consciousness instinctively tries to make sense of reality. Different human interpretations of reality lead to a world consisting of multiple realities. Conflict occurs when differing realities (worldviews) encounter one another. Worldviews are socially created and determine human behaviour and, as such, most often find expression in religion. The discussion of conflict and the role of religion in civil society take place within the discourse of the sociology of religion. Religion is socially determined. Peter Berger's insight into the sociology of religion therefore plays an important role in establishing the relationship between religion and civil society as one that takes on different forms. Thus, a clear definition of both civil society and religion was needed to understand the nature of these relationships. The role of religion in civil society with regard to the presence of conflict in society was further investigated in this article. The conditions under which conflict in society occurs were discussed, as were the conditions for tolerance in society, for religion ultimately becomes the provider of moral discernment when conflict occurs in civil society.
Author Retief MullerSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –7 (2011)More Less
This article critically evaluated the role of Christian Ethics in response to globalisation. It showed that ethical critiques of globalisation inevitably fall short when Christianity's historical contributions to processes of globalisation are neglected or de-emphasised. A Christian Ethics that attempts completely to wash its hands of and disavow globalisation is therefore indicated to be perched on a false premise. In this regard, the author specifically discussed the divergent stances of Max Stackhouse and Rebecca Todd Peters and opted for the former as the more helpful when considered from an interdisciplinary approach. In the final analysis, the author argued that the problem of globalisation might fruitfully be addressed with an ethics that is not averse to bring the various insights of missiology, church history and practical theology to the table, focusing particularly on rituals of reconciliation and forgiveness.
Author Johann-Albrecht MeylahnSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –8 (2011)More Less
Seeking the good often authorises and legitimises certain forms of violence: violence that defines the state (Benjamin's law-founding violence) by the exclusion of others and the violence that coerces or binds (religare) the public into a common understanding of the good at the exclusion of other interpretations of that good (Benjamin's law-maintaining violence). The secular modern state has never been without religion functioning as religare. The modern state, often seen as a peacemaker, is founded on these two forms of 'legitimate' violence against what is other or different, just as the peace, prosperity and good of the state is sought through the elimination of the different and a unification of the state under the banner of a 'common' good. This 'legitimate' violence will always produce the counter-violence of difference (i.e. excluded others) seeking a legitimate place within the common space of the republic (Benjamin's divine violence). With the rise of religious fundamentalism, institutionalised religion has been allowed to return to the public debate. Is the call for this return one that further sanctions legitimate violence by eating and sharing the fruit of knowledge of good and evil? Is the call the church is hearing one that seeks to clarify and clearly define the good that will bind us (religare) into a stronger and more prosperous and peaceful city - onward Christian soldiers marching as to war? Or is there another calling, one that requires us to be Disciples of Christ - with the Cross of Jesus going on before - entering the space of violence beyond the knowledge of good and evil as peacemakers? In this article, I sought to understand this 'peacemaking' space by bringing into dialogue Žižek's interpretation of Christianity with Derrida's interpretation of hospitality.