HTS : Theological Studies - Volume 69, Issue 2, 2013
Volume 69, Issue 2, 2013
The healing of life within the HIV and AIDS pandemic : towards a pedagogical reframing of paradigms concerning dysfunctional civil, health and ecclesial systems : original researchAuthor Gordon E. DamesSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –5 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i2.1256More Less
The inability of government, communities and churches to deal with complex HIV and AIDS challenges may foster pathological psychosocial and systemic dysfunctionalities. The reframing of pathological and disempowering pastoral therapeutic and health promotion praxes are sought. The objective was to construct a new pastoral and social therapeutic methodology. It should develop in line with health promotion praxes in strengthening both ecclesial and community health praxes. Reframing agents such as pastoral therapeutic and health praxes, as well as ecclesial and community systems, could ultimately engender a transformative process in transforming pathological HIV and AIDS praxes.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –8 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i2.1249More Less
Koinonia and diaconia as a missional kingdom dance
How does faith-based social involvement within a cultural diverse society express itself? Is the focus pure social outreach, that is, the rendering of services, or should the focus include meaningful interaction between the so called 'outreacher' and those being supported by the outreach? This article looks at the relationship between koinonia and diaconia in the creation of an intercultural space where individuals from different contexts are welcomed and supported in a mutual way. Through an interdisciplinary approach this article reflects on the experience of koinonia and diaconia in the mission of the church by bringing it into an interdisciplinary conversation with Sociology. God's reign become visible if koinonia and diaconia can dance together!
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –7 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i2.1187More Less
This article forms part of a study which was inspired by the ever-growing need for significance expressed both by my life coaching and pastoral therapy clients as well as the need for existential meaning reported both in the lay press and academic literature. The study reflected on a life that matters with a group of co-researchers in a participatory action research relationship. The study has been positioned within pastoral theology and invited the theological discourse into a reflection of existential meaning. Adopting a critical relational constructionist epistemology, the research was positioned within a postmodern paradigm. The implications for meaning and research were explored and described. This article tells the story of how spirituality was positioned in the narratives of meaning by my fellow researchers.
Die pastorale begeleiding van predikante van die Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk tydens die kerklike tughandeling : original researchAuthor Cornelis T. KleynhansSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –10 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org./10.4102/hts.v69i2.1230More Less
Pastoral guidance of ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church during ecclesiastical discipline
The process of ecclesiastical discipline evokes feelings of guilt and shame. Whilst literary study suggested this to be the case, the empirical research confirmed it. It is clear that the three-fold process was a traumatic and shocking experience for ministers. Most upsetting was the way that the process was handled. It was done in a non-professional way and without brotherly or sisterly love. The process triggered guilt and shame emotions in a number of ways, not least by the lack of support and guidance. Respondents indicated that they had positive and negative experiences of guilt and shame during the discipline process. Most respondents took action to amend their mistakes, and thereby used the guilt feeling functionally, whilst the use of defence mechanisms showed that they did not manage and process the feelings of shame. It is unsettling to realise that the Dutch Reformed Church fails her ministers in time of need. Only a few parishioners and ministers from other denominations provided some sort of comfort during the discipline process. The church gave no support and guidance in the processing of the feelings of guilt and shame. The church lacked in every aspect, even to show a basic understanding of the trauma, and none of the church councils offered any basic or interventive help. To remedy the situation, it is proposed that the church should take its task as caregiver during the ecclesiastical discipline of ministers very serious and give guidance in an official and professional way.
Author Elijah BaloyiSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –7 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i2.1226More Less
Menopause, with its physical and emotional changes, appears to be an inevitable road for women to travel. The moment of choice for women at menopause involves not only whether they will embrace the new self or try to cling to identities from earlier life but also how the society in which they live views women after menopause. Amongst other things, many African marriages face difficulties when the moment of menopause arrives. This situation is often characterised by a second marriage or a situation where husband and wife no longer share a room. Whenever this happens, it testifies to the idea that the sole purpose of marriage amongst African people is procreation - hence, when the period for that is passed, the bedroom setup changes. This is one of the ways in which senior women are deemed unfit for sexual encounters, a gender-equality concern. This article aims to unveil and discuss how some Africans use menopause as an excuse to exclude women from sexual intercourse, and how pastoral caregivers can help in such situations.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –9 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i2.1250More Less
An evaluation of three intercultural community projects
An intercultural framework for servanthood was explored in three Christian community projects. The framework consists of six basic principles, as defined by Duane Elmer, namely openness, acceptance, trust, learning, understanding and serving. This framework is brought into conversation with Miroslav Volf's metaphor of an embrace. In all of this koinonia and diaconia play a pivotal role - especially in the relationship between the two modi. With this hermeneutical framework as point of departure, an empirical study was undertaken to discern the processes and structures within intercultural Christian community projects; and to evaluate the transformation in relationships and the sustainability of the development projects.
Middelloopbaan-ontwikkeling deur spirituele lewenstylafrigting : verkennende teoretiese perspektiewe : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –9 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i2.1246More Less
Middle-career development through spiritual lifestyle coaching : preliminary theoretical perspectives
This study bases itself in the epistemological and methodological development of a broad and interdisciplinary dialogue where various voices in the form of different domains converse in order to establish an integrated whole. The research contributes to the actual corporative question regarding spirituality in the workplace, specifically aimed at the individual in the middle-career phase. This phase is characterised as a re-evaluation period aimed at personal and professional growth. A shift in emphasis to the meaning and sense of work is linked to spiritual intelligence as spirituality can be described and understood as a type of intelligence. The study shows that the middle-career experience provides opportunity for an altered future view. Lifestyle coaching serves as facilitating process and offers guidance in answering existential questions which are included in the spiritual. The probable outcome promises to add meaning as a manifesting component in a dynamic and transforming life strategy.
A possible solution for corruption in South Africa with the church as initiator : a practical theological approach : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –10 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i2.1298More Less
According to Transparency International, Africa is the most corrupt region in the world. In South Africa, there is an annual 'loss' of about R30 billion as a result of bribery and corruption. It would appear that it is exactly the poor and the vulnerable who suffer most under the scourge of corruption. The purpose of this research was to investigate the effect of corruption on victim(s) and to evaluate it in an effort to formulate solutions as to how such individuals can be guided and supported in the suffering and hardship that they endure and that specifically emanate from corruption. In the research, an effort was made to move away from the trend of the fragmenting of aid and to present guidelines or suggestions that can lead to a global solution, where multi-disciplinary involvement can be facilitated. The researchers agree that the church can play a key role in this, and the solution was sought in the principles expounded in 1 Corinthians 12. The research method known as action research was investigated as a workable method to be used by the multi-disciplinary aid team in their struggle against corruption. In the final instance, the principles used by Touching Africa in their work were investigated so that these could also be used in the quest for a solution.
Author Johan CilliersSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –6 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i2.1296More Less
In this article the aesthetical practical theological notion of fragment, as introduced by the German Practical Theologian Henning Luther, was brought into dialogue with the African understanding of fullness, as articulated for instance in the concept Ubunye [we are one]. In the light of this, some basic tensions of worshipping in Africa were profiled, id est the dynamic interaction between individuality and communality, between the already and the not yet (present and future), between identity as being and identity as becoming, et cetera. The article concluded with some suggestions concerning worship in Africa as a space of paradox.
Practical Theology as part of the landscape of Social Sciences and Humanities - a transversal perspective : original researchAuthor Julian C. MullerSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –5 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i2.1299More Less
At the University of Pretoria the author, a practical theologian, experiences a fruitful soil for the development of an interdisciplinary process. He referred to concrete examples of cooperation, but used the article to reflect on best practices for the interdisciplinary dialogue. He came to the conclusion that it probably made more sense to talk of Practical-theological alternatives rather than to describe the subject in a single fixed manner of understanding and action. Our goal should rather be to open up the boundaries between Practical Theology, Human, Social and Natural Sciences.
Author Amanda L. Du PlessisSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –8 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i2.1245More Less
Meditation : Bible based or a mix of religion? A pastoral investigation
The influence of other religions on the Christian community was a perceptible trend that cannot be ignored in the realm of spirituality. Meditation was one such example and consequently requires thoughtful investigation. Some Christians found meditation a valuable spiritual discipline that aids their spiritual growth but, in my opinion, also opened up the door for them to become victims of a subtle spiritual deception. The question posed was: how can Christians distinguish between the many and often-conflicting views on meditation found in easily accessible literature? A need therefore exists to define meditation as a possible Christian spiritual expression by distinguishing its uniqueness from the influences of other non-Christian religions and popular opinion.
The concept of shalōm as a constructive bereavement healing framework within a pluralist health seeking context of Africa : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –8 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i2.1285More Less
Absence of health, that is, sickness in Africa is viewed in personalistic terms. A disease is explained as effected by 'the active purposeful intervention of an agent, who may be human', non-human (a ghost, an ancestor, an 'evil spirit), or supernatural (a deity or other very powerful being)' (Foster). Illness is thus attributed to breaking of taboos, offending God and/or ancestral spirits; witchcraft, sorcery, the evil eye, passion by an evil spirit and a curse from parents or from an offended neighbour. In view of these personalistic theories of ill health, treatment is through ritual purification, exorcism or sacrifices. For an appropriate diagnosis and intervention, it is imperative to determine 'who' caused the illness and then 'why' it was caused, to which answers are offered through divination by a healer. This interpretive framework, is applicable to all types of sickness, facilitates co-existence of African traditional healing and biomedical treatment, that is, plurality of health seeking practices. The approach fails to offer a constructive approach and contradicts the biblical healing framework whereby one may not have explanatory causes to a situation of ill health. This article engaged the biblical concept of shalōm as a relevant constructive framework. The Hebrew concept of shalōm, though distinctly salvific, is inclusive of holistic and personalistic healing aspects. The concept encompasses constructive aspects of completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquillity, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony and the absence of agitation or discord, which provides a useful holistic healing theological framework. It therefore provides a health and well-being framework that is relational, sensitive and applicable to healing patterns in Africa. Using the case study of the Abaluyia people of East Africa, this article discussed bereavement as a state that requires healing and how the biblical framework of shalōm could be applied in fostering bereavement healing.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –12 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i2.1326More Less
Worldwide, church membership is decreasing. A decline in the number of young adults that attend church services is also evident. The purpose of the research was to determine whether the application of a well-established body of knowledge of marketing theories and principles could be used by churches to encourage young adults to return to the church. The application of services marketing to the church as a non-profit organisation is discussed by focussing on non-physical and physical atmospheric cues in the church's servicescape that could enhance church attendance. A quantitative approach was used by testing the opinions of 200 church service attendees of different denominations. The findings indicated that certain elements in the servicescape of a church may be useful in attracting young adults. It was found that music is a strong determinant of whether young adults attend church services, followed by layout and design of the church and then by the signs and symbols used in the church. Females reported significantly higher levels of positive perceptions concerning the layout and design. Although the research showed that some marketing elements, such as a positive servicescape, could improve church attendance, other personal elements such as forming personal relationships with fellow Christians and God need to be further explored.
Service to the South African society through prophetic testimony as a liturgical act : original researchAuthor Ben J. De KlerkSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –9 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i2.1941More Less
It is suggested that a clear prophetic voice of the congregational gathering could change the society to which the congregants belong. The problem is that this prophetic voice seems to have disappeared in many cases. A solution might be found if the point of view is taken that the prophetic voice in the congregational gathering is heard in the liturgical acts or rites. In the science of Liturgy attention must be given to the revitalisation of the gift of prophesy. In this article the prophetic testimony of the Old Testament prophets and of the Prophet, Jesus Christ, were used as sources. Following in the footsteps of Brueggemann, an effort will be made to establish in relevant scripture passages what the attitude and practise of prophetic testimony should be. The possibility of rendering service through prophetic testimony as a liturgical act in the South African society is wide open. Prophetic testimony serves to criticise the dominant perception in order to dismantle it, but is also serves to energise persons and communities by its promise of another time and situation towards which the community of faith could move.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –5 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i2.1163More Less
The care of terminally ill patients can be physically, emotionally as well as psychologically exhausting. In the era where everyone is busy with his or her hectic daily schedule, caring for someone diagnosed with HIV on her or his deathbed can be a daunting challenge. Caring for someone dying of AIDS does not only challenge the physical being but rather leaves the carer emotionally drained. What was of concern to the author was to see the struggle that the caregiver goes through whilst caring for the sufferer. More often than not, pastoral care and counselling concentrate mainly on the pain and the suffering of the sick person. In the process, pastoral care loses sight of the agony, the emotional strain and, above all, the trauma of the caregivers in their search for answers as they care for the infected. This scenario has prompted the author to look into the theology of caring with an emphasis on pastoral care of the carers with a view of alleviating their emotional burden in caring for the HIV patients.
Source: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –10 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i2.1917More Less
Shifting ecclesial perspectives on sexuality and marriage in a postmodern world.
The aim of the article is to critically question whether the church is still able to guide people to make meaningful choices with regard to marriage and sexuality when values keep shifting. This question is especially relevant where the church still tends to uphold premodern values (heteronormative, patriarchal, monogamous) with regard to sexuality and marriage as the only (prescriptive) model for marriage in a postmodern world. The article consists of the following sections: changing values versus traditional values; marriage and sexuality from biblical times to the present; church in crisis; and eco-feminist family ethics.
Author Elmo PienaarSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –9 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i2.1997More Less
The article discussed the idea of skilled helping in relation to what has been put forward as practical theological facilitation. It has been argued that various helping relationships, amongst which the author refers to coaching, facilitation, and therapy has more in common than what differentiates them if epistemology is viewed as a unifying concept. As such the scope of practical theology in terms of the contexts and themes in which it might be involved is said to widen. The public dimension of the organisational context, more so than the congregational context, has been put forward as an important habitus of practical-theological facilitation. The organisational involvement of the practical-theological facilitator in terms of professional-vocational skilled helping takes on an actual role through facilitation and other helping modalities.
South Africa's service-delivery crisis : from contextual understanding to diaconal response : original researchAuthor Ignatius SwartSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –16 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i2.1996More Less
This article proceeded from the assumption that the theme of service delivery in present-day South Africa could well be qualified by the notion of 'crisis', to the extent that this qualification, from a theological perspective and on the basis of comparative social analysis, well recalls the statements in such critical and profound theological documents as The Kairos Document and Evangelical Witness in South Africa on the 'crisis' in the latter years of apartheid. The further recognition that the theme of service delivery constitutes an essentially new focus for practical-theological scholarship in South Africa led the author, who has a pertinent interest in the field of Christian diaconia, to thereupon go the full circle of practical-theological interpretation in developing such a focus. This was done by, firstly, attempting to develop a deeper contextual understanding of the problem of service delivery in the country on the basis of the prevailing debate on service delivery in South Africa, after which the ideas from conceptualisations of two different modes of diaconal practice within contexts of endemic poverty in the practical-theological literature were explored. The discussion concluded with a more pertinent consideration of the extent to which these two conceptualisations could be taken as providing direction in conceptualising a transformational diaconal response to the current service-delivery problem.
'They worship in our churches' - an opportunity for the church to intervene in order to diminish the corruption that is hindering service delivery in South Africa? : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –11 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i2.1933More Less
This practical-theological study aims to develop a contextual theology in the areas of business and government that will aid a successful intervention by the church in diminishing the corrupt practices prevalent in South Africa. It seeks to prove that corruption is a major factor in causing the delays experienced in the implementation of service delivery, and that this is causing much anger and increasing disillusionment with the present system of democratic government. At the moment the church has a window of opportunity for this intervention to take place, since many of those responsible for supporting, organising and implementing service delivery, both in government and industry, worship regularly, as committed members, in local Christian congregations. A modified application of the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) approach using focus groups is suggested as both a tool for intervention and for further research.
Author Petria M. TheronSource: HTS : Theological Studies 69, pp 1 –7 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i2.1942More Less
The South African demographic statistics echo the global trend of an ageing population. This fact poses challenges to the country's labour supply, to health care, retirement and intergenerational relations. The elderly are faced with specific challenges such as negative views regarding older people, discrimination and prejudice based on age, changing roles, the loss of a support system when children emigrate, financial problems, abuse and neglect, emotions of fear and depression, and the struggle to find meaning in life and suffering. The field of study that concerns ageing and older adulthood is called gerontology. Joan Erber defines it as 'the study of the biological, behavioural, and social phenomena that occur from the point of maturity to old age.' It is an interdisciplinary field where different disciplines seek to address the problems associated with ageing. Biologists focus on the biological processes of ageing, psychologists focus on aspects like mental abilities, personality and behaviour, whilst sociologists study the social roles, group behaviour and status of older people. The question may be asked what is being done regarding the spiritual and emotional needs of the elderly. This is the niche of practical theology, as indicated by one definition of practical theology that it is 'a place where religious belief, tradition and practice meet contemporary experiences, questions and actions and conducts a dialogue that is mutually enriching, intellectually critical, and practically transforming' according to Pattison and Woodward. The aims of this exploratory article are (1) to investigate to what extent research in practical theology has addressed the spiritual and emotional needs of the elderly and (2) to identify opportunities where practical theology may provide service in the field of gerontology.