HTS : Theological Studies - Volume 67, Issue 3, 2011
Volume 67, Issue 3, 2011
Self-transcendence and Eros : the human condition between desire and the infinite : original researchAuthor Cornel W. Du ToitSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –12 (2011)More Less
This article treats self-transcendence - like all transcendence - as a fact of human life. Inter alia this means that the human mind perforce operates in terms of binary concepts such as finitude-infinity, inner world-outside world, self-other, desire-fulfilment, separation-union and the like. We find these concepts in most myths of origin. The concept of desire (Eros), combining unfulfilment and the infinite, particularly epitomises self-transcendence. Ralph Waldo Emerson is cited as a precursor of the mid-19th century transcendentalists, whose ideas are resurfacing in present-day secular spirituality. In this article, we examined desire in the Christian conception of the Fall as envisioned by the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber and by Hegel, who integrates mind and nature in his philosophy of Spirit. The works of Emmanuel Levinas and Paul Ricoeur are used as points of reference to help us understand self and other in a framework of self-transcendence. The impact of these ideas on a postmetaphysical epistemology was also explored. Affectivity is a neglected area in Western thought and displays the same infinitude as rationality. The article concluded with present-day strategies of self-construction in a techno-scientific consumer culture.
Author Ulrich H.J. KortnerSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –8 (2011)More Less
The argument of human dignity plays an important role in current debates on human rights and their relevance in modern biomedicine. When discussing the contribution of Christian theology to current debates on human dignity and human rights the thesis is not that the modern idea of human dignity depends on a theological grounding. Also, it is not the task of theology to legitimate rights as Christian a posteriori. We do not need to deduce modern human rights from theological doctrines. The theological challenge is to find an access for Christians from their belief to the modern idea of human rights and human dignity and to discuss the contribution which theology and the churches can make to further development of human rights. The Christian image of man, which serves as the foundation for the church position on bioethical topics in the German-speaking context, is a mix of biblical motives, a Kantian interpretation of the concept of human dignity and an interpretation of the German constitutional law inspired by the Catholic tradition of natural law. The following presented theological understanding of human dignity, in contrast, was inspired by the insights of the Pauline doctrine of justification and its Protestant reinterpretation.
Author Johannes L. Van Der WaltSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –7 (2011)More Less
This article sprung from previous structural analyses of religion as onticity, but went somewhat further by placing more emphasis on encounters with the numinous as the core of religion, as well as on the dynamic character of religion. In doing so, this analysis methodologically transcended the limitations of a structuralist view of religion. The post-structuralist approach that was followed, assigns greater prominence to the interpretive and constructivist activities of the actors involved in religious experience. Application of this expanded view of religion to the South African Policy on Religion and Education (2003) demonstrated that the Policy caused a break between the various facets of religion education and resultantly disrupted the wholeness of religion education.
Possible objections to a philosophical approach to ancient Israelite religion : a critical refutation : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –7 (2011)More Less
There exists a certain consensus amongst biblical scholars that involving philosophy in the attempt to understand ancient Israelite religion is hermeneutically fallacious. A philosophical approach to ancient Yahwism is considered out of place, given the non-philosophical nature of the Hebrew Bible, the normative concerns of philosophy and the historical agenda of biblical scholarship. In this article, however, the author attempted to show why none of the traditional objections should be considered as devastating as they were once thought to be.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –5 (2011)More Less
Culture plays a significant role in people's lives in Zambia and in Africa as a whole. Consequently, there is a need to take Zambian or African culture seriously in order to look at the salient elements of cultural practices in rites of passage that influence the spread of HIV and AIDS. This article analyses four rites of passage associated with birth, puberty, marriage and death. There are numerous rites of passage in Zambian culture. Some of these rites help to curb the spread of HIV and AIDS, whilst others exacerbate the spread of the virus. Using the Reformed Church in Zambia Bible Study Method of Subgroups, discussions were held that allowed victims of cultural practices to tell their stories using the narrative model. This article sought to shed light on cultural practices that exacerbate HIV and AIDS and more importantly, provide culturally sensitive alternatives to these harmful practices.
Author Elritia Le RouxSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –8 (2011)More Less
Leviticus as background to Mark 5:25-34 interpreted in terms of honour and shame
This article investigated whether Mark 5:25-34 proposes a radical discontinuity with the Jewish purity codes and subsequently, holds drastic liberating implications for women as far as access to the temple is concerned and more existentially speaking, access to Yahweh. It determined whether Leviticus speaks about women in such an androcentric and exclusive manner and whether Jewish culture is indeed so discriminating. This article argued that Mark 5:25-34 does indeed radically turn the Jewish purity codes upside down and that the Jesus movement proclaims a drastic liberation for women from social marginalisation. However, the original meaning of the text in Leviticus should not be viewed so negatively. The dreadful consequences of the exile and the destruction of the temple lead to the idea amongst the orthodox rabbi's that the purity codes should be maintained in a very strict way. These codes were thought to ensure that the holiness of Yahweh would manifest in the social sphere, the people of Yahweh would be blessed and a catastrophe of these immense proportions would be avoided in future. Unfortunately, this lead to the degeneration of the cult, that became exclusive as many people were deprived from the presence of Yahweh. The author of the Gospel according to Mark is reacting to this and clearly voices his criticism against this marginalisation.
Theological poverty of churches in the developing world : its causes and effects : original researchAuthor Jae-Buhm HwangSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –7 (2011)More Less
By and large, the non Protestant churches from the developing world rarely have a creative theology that is unique to their own cultures and religiosity. It was my hypothesis that the theological barrenness of churches from the developing world is partly as a result of the anti-intellectualist legacy of the past missions from the developed world. This legacy was fostered by the strong paternalism of these past missions on the one hand and on the other, by their revivalist conversionism. The anti-intellectual legacy has brought two notable results to the missionised churches from the developing world: their profound dependency on theologies from the developed world and their resulting theological poverty, both interdependent elements.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –12 (2011)More Less
One of the most fundamental concepts in Sociology of Religion, the concept of God, was emphasised in this article. Although the God concept is not the same as the transcendental existence of God, it is this concept that is the most fundamental social construct in the entire history of world religions. The aim of this article was the conceptual reconstruction of God amongst the youth of Iran, who may be free from a theological approach. This article aimed to examine the God concept in the 'epistemological', 'emotional' and 'social action' domains. The Iranian society is in transition, faced with delusion about the traditional and modern belief systems, and multiplicity of interpretations and new presentation of One God Allah. A spectrum of these plural presentations of God embodies micro and macro social levels. Some of the most important of these concepts are: individual and personal concept of God, the God in family, in educational system, in religious rituals, and the dominant concept in the society.
HIV and/or AIDS, migrant labour and the experience of God : a practical theological postfoundationalist approach : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –6 (2011)More Less
Migrant workers in the Deciduous Fruit Industry are part of the marginalised communities in South Africa who have been severely affected by HIV and/or AIDS. A postfoundationalist approach and the Seven Movements proposed by Müller were traced to present the research undertaken amongst migrant workers with HIV or AIDS. The practical theological investigation was developed from the praxis of HIV and AIDS and the question that it aimed to answer was: 'What is the experience of God in the lives of persons affected by or infected with HIV/AIDS?' Whilst it is understood that Christian belief has its own, exclusive integrity, if it is to be valid, it should be able to incorporate the different dimensions of our modern practice to give it the maximum level of meaning and significance.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –8 (2011)More Less
This article argued that the utilisation of philosophy of religion in the study of the Hebrew Bible is possible if we look beyond the stereotype of erroneously equating the auxiliary field with natural theology, apologetics or atheological criticism. Fruitful possibilities for interdisciplinary research are available in the form of descriptive varieties of philosophy of religion primarily concerned with understanding and the clarification of meaning rather than with the stereotypical tasks of propositional justification or critical evaluation. Three examples are discussed in the article: analytic traditions (Wittgensteinianism and ordinary language philosophy), phenomenological perspectives involving reduction (bracketing) and comparative philosophy of religion that works in tandem with the history of religion and comparative religion.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 67, pp 1 –4 (2011)More Less
This article presented a metaphorical testimonial approach in the interpretation of 2 Timothy 2:19 and the use of sealing. As starting point, attention was given to the concept of 'seal' through the Old Testament and Ancient Near East. These periods attest the fact that sealing was also utilised in a figurative way as a sign of ownership, property and authenticity. Σφραγΐς in 2 Timothy 2:19 describes the intimate relationship between Christ and his followers through the terms γινωσκω [personal and vital relationship that transcends in practice] and άναγινωσκω [mainly an exterior knowledge]. These two vocables are in opposition to άδικία [to apostate from]. The message expressed in 2:19 exemplifies the principles that Christ lived by and he empowered his followers to stand by. Σφραγΐς in 2 Timothy 2:19 is an imitatio Christi response against the άδικία of moral standards and entertainment in the ancient Roman world. It includes a rapid contemporary reflection on practical faithfulness for today's life.
Mentor as maestro - van mineur na majeur : die rol van oordrag tussen mentor en mentee : original researchAuthor Johan NelSource: HTS : Theological Studies 67 (2011)More Less
Mentor as maestro - from minor to major: The role of transfer between mentor and mentee
This article takes a glance at the role played by a mentor. The emphasis is on the authentic mentoring process. The metaphor of music is used to illustrate the different keys in which people experience life at large. The hypothesis poses that the transgression takes place during the interaction between the mentor and mentee. As in music, lives can be modulated into another, major key, which may lead to a life of abundance.