HTS : Theological Studies - Volume 69, Issue 1, 2013
Volume 69, Issue 1, 2013
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –6 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1949More Less
The aim of this article is to present the critique that Adolf von Harnack (1851-1930) formulated on the Orthodox tradition in his famous book Das Wesen des Christentums, as well as to comment on its affirmations in the context of his time and way of thinking and to try and find explanations for his criticism. The article concludes that although Harnack's critique on the Orthodox tradition may have presented negative perception of Orthodoxy, particularly amongst Protestants and many Orthodox theologians who were furious after reading his paper, yet, his critical affirmations also have constructive aspects. However, some of the conclusions of Harnack's criticism are genuinely rejected by the Orthodox theologians and are no longer sustainable. As a theologian, Harnack cannot be considered an opponent of the modern ecumenical movement, but rather as one of its pioneers. Harnack could be included in the category of frank ecumenists who prefer to express in a critical, but constructive way that which he believes about his own Christian tradition, as well as other Christian traditions.
Dynamically remembered present : virtual memory as a basis for the stories we live : original researchAuthor Cornelius W. Du ToitSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –8 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1937More Less
In this article memory was viewed as a crucial key to the discovery of reality. It is the basis of historical research at all levels, hence it is not confined to a function of human consciousness (brain operations): its physical vestiges are discernible in the universe, in fossils, in the DNA of species. Memory inscribes information in various ways. On a human level it is not recalled computer-wise: imagination, emotion and tacit motives play a role in how we remember. The article investigated the way in which memory underlies the operation of every cell in any living organism. Against this background the role of memory in humans and its decisive influence on every level of human life are examined. Gerald Edelman's work in this regard was considered. Marcel Proust's focus on memory is an underlying thread running through his novels, unrivalled in literary history. Some prominent examples were analysed in this article. In light of the foregoing the role of memory in religious experience was then discussed. The virtuality of memory is encapsulated in the statement that we remember the present whilst reliving the past. Memory characterised by virtuality is basic to our autobiographic narratives. The nature of memory determines our life stories, hence our perception of the human self as dynamically variable and open to the future.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –5 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1368More Less
In this contribution the author looks at the ecclesiology and church polity of the Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika (NHKA) as a case study. Different approaches to ecclesiology and church polity by different NHKA theologians are examined. The conclusion is reached that a paradigm shift is required, to assist the church in the process of transformation. Part of the transformation process, is the creation of a church order with a stronger missional orientation. It is argued that, in the context of the 21st century, the missio Dei paradigm and missional ecclesiology could be a suitable point of departure in the creation of a new church order for the NHKA.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –7 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1944More Less
The Reformed Church and apartheid.
This contribution examines the changing attitude of the Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika (NHKA) towards apartheid, specifically since the Second World War. The NHKA's views started with a theological justification of apartheid and the complete identification of the church with Afrikaner nationalism, moving to a position of critical solidarity and eventually the rejection of apartheid and its own theological justification of apartheid in 2010.
De creativiteit in de wereld en de werkelijkheid van God. De theologie van Gordon Kaufman in betrekking tot Wilhelm Herrmann en Rudolf Bultmann : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –9 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1925More Less
The creativity in the world and the reality of God. The theology of Gordon Kaufman in relation to Wilhelm Herrmann and Rudolf Bultmann.
The article aims to defend the compatibility of Kaufman's concept of a world grounded on immanent creativity and Bultmann's concept of God who addresses us in the proclamation of the cross. Since Darwin's natural selection it is hard to conceive of a universe that is designed and allows for the assumption of a creator. Theologians have grappled with the meaning of nature and history from the time their purposiveness was contested. Wilhelm Herrmann argued that we undergo a transforming goodness in our experiences of Jesus' inner life which makes us confess that the goodness of a hidden God determines the world and makes us contribute to its development. We cannot prove the influence of God's goodness, but we can experience it personally. Rudolf Bultmann radically changed this perspective. He argued that we are not placed in a meaningful world on behalf of Jesus' inner life; instead, the proclamation of the cross liberates us from any worldview in order to live authentically. Gordon Kaufman proposes an understanding of God as the creativity in the world and its evolution without any dualism or supernaturalism. He denies a blueprint for creation but accepts a serendipitous creativity that can function as the basis for the articulation of our worldview and our orientation in the world. According to Kaufman, Bultmann still retains the dualistic presupposition of the traditional understanding of God. This article argues that the differences between Kaufman and Bultmann are limited, for whereas Bultmann underlines the reality of God who addresses us in the proclamation of the cross and thereby recreates us, Kaufman wants to construct a worldview grounded on creativity. The creativity in the world and God's (re)creative acts are not incompatible.
Author Jaco BeyersSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –10 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1945More Less
The calling of the church.
The question as to the calling of the church is not a practical but a theological issue. The church can easily keep itself busy with activities that seem important. However, are these activities really the motivation behind God's call to the church? This article investigates the calling of the church as perceived from various relationships: church and world, church and culture and church and church. Church and world addresses the age-old argument that the church is in the world but not of the world. The church does have an obligation in the world towards politics and ecology. Another factor addressed in the article is the way in which the church copes with the secularised society. Regarding culture, the premise is that the church has no obligation towards culture. Culture merely becomes a means to an end for the church. The church wants to exist in a 'free culture', as Barth suggests. When discussing the calling of the church, an ecclesiology of some sorts is in fact presented. This is reflected in the paragraph on church and church. The church is always seen in relationship with God's intention with the community He assembles. This might be the true calling of the church: to be a community that calls others to community.
Author Daniel P. VeldsmanSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –10 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1374More Less
In friendship with Darwin in designing an anthropology from a Christian perspective?
Best science and best theological reflection - the two belongs together for the sake of both. This is argued for in the exposition of the justification of friendship with Darwin (best science as evolutionary science) which is argumentatively connected from a Christian perspective to the praiseworthiness of God as creator (best theological reflection). Concretely, this implies making theologically sense of the important contemporary contribution of evolutionary biology on the origin of life and the descriptions of life. This endeavour necessitates a critical re-reading not only of Darwinian abuse and misperceptions but also of the larger historical context of the aforegoing scientific revolutions and their aftermath. Therefore, both discoursesof abuse on the extreme spectrum of reflection on creation and life are critically addressed, namely creationism or Intelligent Design and bio-fundamentalism. As hermeneutical tool of discernment, the argument of evolutionary re-conceptualisation is unfolded as a distinction between an official story and alternative story to highlight not only the exciting implications of the latter but also especially as act of the de-domestication of our understanding of God as the praiseworthy God of creation.
Author Izak J.J. SpangenbergSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –8 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1992More Less
Ever since the 4th century, Christian theologians have linked Romans 5:12-21 with Genesis 2-3. Augustine (354-430), one of the Latin fathers of the Church, propagated the idea of 'original sin' according to his reading of these chapters. This idea eventually became a fixed doctrine in Western Christianity and a large number of Christians still believe and proclaim that humans would have lived for ever but for the misconduct of Adam and Eve. They also proclaim that Jesus, through his obedience, death and resurrection, re-established God's original creation plan. Death was conquered and eternal life can be inherited by all who believe in Jesus as saviour and second Adam. However, since both the introduction of the theory of evolution into biology and the paradigm shift in biblical studies (at the end of the 19th century), the view that death was to be linked to 'original sin' came under severe criticism. This article argues that Romans 5:12-21 and Genesis 2-3 do not support the idea of 'original sin' and that death is a normal part of life on earth, as argued by evolutionary biologists and proclaimed by many Old Testament texts.
'Die pen is magtiger as die swaard' : oor skrifgeletterdheid, skrifgeleerdes en Israel se Tweede Tempeltydperk : original researchAuthor Gerda De VilliersSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –9 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1987More Less
'The pen is mightier than the sword': Literacy and scribes in Israel during the Second Temple period.
This article is divided in two parts. Part one examines scribal education and scribes in the ancient Near East and Israel. Although no real evidence exists for scribal schools and education in Israel, it is argued that some form of institutionalised training must have taken place in order to produce literary texts of such a high quality as are found in the Hebrew Bible. Comparative material from Mesopotamia serves to trace the education of scribes in general. Part two focuses on the Second Temple period in ancient Israel. Ezra the scribe emerges as a typical scribe from that era. Post-exilic Israel was grappling with its identity.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –4 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1985More Less
The article aims at a reflection on the concept 'religious educational theology'. Three aspects are addressed, namely, (1) the relationship between 'catechetical theology' and 'religious educational theology'; (2) the potential significance of 'religious educational theology'; and (3) the relationship between 'religious educational theology' and 'systematic theology'.
Author J.P. (Kobus) LabuschagneSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –14 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1986More Less
Human beings make choices, and get caught up by their choices. One cannot escape the choices one has made. Your choices draw the picture of who you really are. Sometimes you are haunted by the dire consequences of the choices you have made. Where does the necessity of taking responsibility for yourself, and the choices you have made, take you? Ethics and moral conduct make sense only in conjunction with the moral agent - humankind. This article is an introductory reflection on ethics and anthropology. The argument develops mainly from the view of a human being as a relational being. People are inescapably relational beings - always being in relation with other human beings, and never able to sever the lifesaving ties to God as the human being's Maker. Human beings become themselves in relation to other human beings, and ultimately in relation to the One Other, God their Creator and Re-creator.
Author Gert T.M. PrinslooSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –11 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1975More Less
Habakkuk 3 is one of the most controversial texts in the Hebrew Bible. Diverging opinions have been expressed on literally every facet of the text. Quite surprising though, interpreters are virtually unanimous in their opinion about the structure of the pericope. Apart from a superscript (3:1) and subscript (3:19b) four units are normally demarcated: a prayer (3:2), a theophany (3:3-7), a hymn (3:8-15) and a confession of trust (3:16-19a). Unit delimiters in ancient Hebrew manuscripts demarcate two (3:1-13 and 3:14-19) or three (3:1-7; 3:8-13; 3:14-19) units. This study evaluates this evidence and reads Habakkuk 3 in the light of the units demarcated in ancient manuscripts. It raises awareness of interesting structural patterns in the poem, calls for a rethinking of traditional form critical categories, and opens avenues for an alternative understanding of the pericope.
Author Wilhelm WesselsSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –8 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1960More Less
The book of Micah is known for its judgement oracles against the leadership structures in the Southern Kingdom, Judah. Besides the judgement oracles, however, the book also contains oracles of salvation. Scholars have noted and commented on this interruption of predominant judgement oracles by oracles of salvation. The composition of the book has been scrutinised, with many scholars suggesting that the salvation oracles were inserted later to soften the harsh, condemning nature of the book. For the purposes of this article I would like to propose a theological reading of the juxtaposition of Micah 3:12 and 4:1, two passages containing judgement and salvation oracles respectively. The solutions offered to explain the drastic contrast between these two passages have to a great extent reached an impasse. However, from a theological perspective, I argue that these two radically contradictory messages are a reflection of the very nature of YHWH's interaction with his people. Micah 3:12 reflects a point in history where YHWH has had enough of morally corrupt leaders and people, and announces that he is bringing matters to a painful end. However, YHWH is also the God of new beginnings. He states in Micah 4:1ff. that there will come a day when things will change for the better for the people of Judah and that a time of restoration will come for his people. His desire remains to be their God and to restore them to be his people. The article seeks to show that this example, which reflects YHWH as the God of new beginnings, is not an isolated example in the prophetic literature, but consistent with YHWH's nature.
Reading and proclaiming the Birth Narratives from Luke and Matthew : a study in empirical theology amongst curates and their training incumbents employing the SIFT method : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –13 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.2001More Less
Drawing on Jungian psychological type theory, the SIFT method of biblical hermeneutics and liturgical preaching suggests that the reading and proclaiming of scripture reflects the psychological type preferences of the reader and preacher. This thesis is examined amongst two samples of curates and training incumbents (N = 23, 27), serving in one Diocese of the Church of England, who completed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Firstly, the narrative of the shepherds from Luke was discussed by groups organised according to scores on the perceiving process. In accordance with the theory, sensing types focused on details in the passage, but could reach no consensus on the larger picture, and intuitive types quickly identified an imaginative, integrative theme, but showed little interest in the details. Secondly, the narrative of the massacre of the infants from Matthew was discussed by groups organised according to scores on the judging process. In accordance with theory, the thinking types identified and analysed the big themes raised by the passage (political power, theodicy, obedience), whilst the feeling types placed much more emphasis on the impact that the passage may have on members of the congregation mourning the death of their child or grandchild.
Religious interfaith work in Canada and South Africa with particular focus on the drafting of a South African Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –13 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1319More Less
Constitutional protections for religious freedom (and related freedoms of conscience, belief and association and equality), once interpreted by courts and tribunals, apply in a recedential manner to future cases. They have an influence well beyond the particular community to which they first applied. For this reason, religious communities have increasingly banded together and sought to intervene or even, on occasion, to initiate legal actions asserting or defending their rights. This article reviews some of the principles around the freedom of religion as understood in South Africa and Canada to show how courts have understood the freedom of religion in its social context. In addition, interfaith cooperation is discussed with particular reference to the recent process which led to the formation of a Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms pursuant to Section 234 of the South African Constitution (which is attached to the article). This section, a unique provision in any constitution, allows for the creation of additional Charters to give greater specificity to the general language of the Constitution itself. As such, it is an encouragement to civil society to determine what it thinks are the important provisions that should be spelled out to give guidance to politicians and the judiciary. A wide variety of religious groups participated in the creation of the Charter. The Charter does not claim to be, nor could it be, exhaustive of such concerns but demonstrates that religions can cooperate across a host of issues in education, health care, employment and other issues. The next stage - passage into law, is still in the future but the first important hurdle has been crossed with the signing of the Charter in October of 2010. The Charter might be a template for other countries though changes would be necessary to deal with local issues.
Author Annelie BothaSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –9 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1965More Less
Marriage and marital roles in the Afrikaans cultural and religious context.
The article investigates women's socialization in terms of their position in society and the church, and their roles in the marriage relationship. A brief historical overview is given of how the understanding of marriage has developed, with specific emphasis on marriage and marital roles in Afrikaans cultural and religious contexts. The authors examine the ecclesiastical magazines Die Hervormer and Die Jaarboek van die Nederduitsch Hervormde Sustersvereniging (Yearbook of the Netherdutch Reformed Women's Association). The article shows that the message communicated to women who are members of the Netherdutch Reformed Church with regard to marital roles is that they must be submissive. Centuries of conditioning has created submissiveness and inferiority in these women and this has affected them negatively not to be equal to men in society and marriage relationships.
'n Postliberale perspektief op 'n ekklesiologiese modaliteit as 'n ecclesiola in ecclesia - heroriëntasie in die Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika : original researchAuthor Andries G. Van AardeSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –14 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.2012More Less
A postliberal perspective on an ecclesiological modality as an ecclesiola in ecclesia - reorientation in the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa.
This article investigates the legitimacy of a middle position between Reformed orthodoxy and critical theology. Is such a middle position the solution to the current conflict in the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa? The tension between 'liberal' and 'orthodox' is investigated by comparing these to the alleged tension between psychology and critical exegesis in Schleiermacher's thinking. The article finds that these poles constituted a dialectic rather than a tension in Schleiermacher's thinking. An organised middle group will lead to a greater schism in the Netherdutch Reformed Church. The argument unfolds by means of a reflection on 10 theological nuances, the most important of which are not the poles of conservative confessionalism and critical liberalism, but ethical-dialectical and critical-realistic theology. The conclusion is that reconciling diversity remains a Biblical-theological imperative rather than the organisation of an ecclesiological modality.
Author Johan BuitendagSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –9 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1976More Less
Go to the ant, consider her ways, and be wise. Metaphor or paradigm?
This article takes as its point of departure two citations. The one is from Marshall and Zohar's contention that the wave-particle dualism is more than a metaphor and the other is from Clayton claiming that indeterminacy was not merely a temporary epistemic problem, but reflected an inherent indeterminacy of the physical world itself. What does it mean if it is not a mere way of speaking? The author of this article departs from the premise that the task of systematic theology is the endeavour to understand reality and that this is a collective enterprise together with other sciences as well. A constructive empiricism could indeed lead to an understanding of reality where reality is more than merely idealistically conceived. Truth is therefore to be replaced with a pragmatic, but value-laden concept of understanding or comprehension. This has the effect that both epistemology and ontology have to be revisited and subsequently panentheism too. The argument finds its niche in Old Testament wisdom literature and Proverbs 6:6 forms the lens of reference. The late South African ethologist Eugène Marais's epic work, The Soul of the Ant, is applied to illustrate such a proposed epistemic community.
Social ethics in South Africa : initiating a dialogue between its relevance and current status : original researchAuthor Willem FourieSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –9 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1978More Less
South African biblical scholars - particularly those who focus on the Old Testament - are known for their engagement with themes that can be termed social ethical. This impulse is used as starting point to investigate the relevance of social ethics in South Africa and its current status. It is argued that social ethical reflection is of particular relevance for South Africa. This thesis is investigated in two ways. Firstly, the applicability of social ethics as academic field is examined and it is shown that post-apartheid South African political institutions, systems and processes themselves are subjected to major changes and developments - a traditional area of focus of social ethics. Secondly, the current status of social ethical reflection in theological journals based in South Africa is investigated. The article concludes by showing that the current status of social ethical reflection in South African academic theology does not reflect the perceived need for social ethical reflection.
Deconstructing masculinity : dominant discourses on gender, sexuality and HIV and AIDS from the experience of the adolescent male orphan : original researchAuthor Juanita MeyerSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –12 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1947More Less
As a postfoundational practical theological study, this article is interested in the description of the co-researchers' experiences, as these are continually informed by various traditions of interpretations. It listens to and describes the current narratives of three co-researchers and deconstructs these narratives by looking at various concepts of masculinity and sexuality. It looks specifically at how these concepts are created and maintained through various sociocultural dominant narratives related to gender, sexuality, and HIV and AIDS, and how these dominant narratives influence the creation of self- and alternative narratives of the co-researchers. This article employs research methods from the qualitative and case study research design and works from the theoretical viewpoints of a postfoundational practical theology and narrative therapy.