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Practical Theology in South Africa = Praktiese Teologie in Suid-Afrika - latest Issue
Volume 24, Issue 2, 2009
Author M.E. BaloyiSource: Practical Theology in South Africa = Praktiese Teologie in Suid-Afrika 24, pp 1 –17 (2009)More Less
A childless marriage in an African context has traditionally had little chance of survival. Marriage and procreation are seen as a unity, and infertility has always been regarded as an affliction or disgrace among Africans. The majority of the childless couples are therefore treated as abnormal and less important in our communities and churches. Some marriages end in divorce while other couples see polygamy as a solution. The theoretical question of the article is : "If people are rejected for their infertility status, in which way can pastoral care play a role to help them regain their dignity in African context?" This question occurred to me through observing the deep distress of childless couples. It is my conviction that pastoral care-givers as well as the entire community have a role to play in helping the infertile people to accept themselves. This article will unmask the view and attitude of African community towards infertile people, and later prove from the biblical point of view that infertility is not a disgrace (in contrast to the traditional African view). People without children must not be mocked, cast out or marginalised, since the Bible does not condemn them for their barrenness.
From the ridiculous to the sublime : practical theological perspectives on the healing power of humorAuthor J.H. CilliersSource: Practical Theology in South Africa = Praktiese Teologie in Suid-Afrika 24, pp 18 –37 (2009)More Less
Laughter has a deep philosophical meaning; it is one of the essential forms of the truth concerning the world as a whole, concerning history and humanity; it is a peculiar point of view relative to the world; the world is seen anew, no less (and perhaps more) profoundly than when seen from the serious standpoint. Therefore, laughter is just as admissible in great literature, posing universal problems, as seriousness. Certain essential aspects of the world are accessible only to laughter. In a world full of pain we need the liberation of laughter. The keyword in humour is incongruence. Small wonder then that religion offers such a delightful playing field and such useful raw material for humorists : it intrinsically embodies some of the most extreme opposites, for instance between being lost (sin) and being found (salvation); between foolishness and wisdom; between the things on high and things here below; between ideal and reality; between the gift of grace and the call to obedience; between life and death, etcetera. In this paper some of the implications for practical theology are taken cognisance of, for example in terms of epistemological, communicative, and transformative viewpoints.
Source: Practical Theology in South Africa = Praktiese Teologie in Suid-Afrika 24, pp 38 –60 (2009)More Less
The 21st century could be defined as the century of exponential loss. The search for a practical theological hermeneutical response to threatening and imminent scenarios of loss is called for. This article seeks to develop a hermeneutic of Divine encounter for humanity's existential moments of psychophysical and psycho-social loss. The principle thesis of this attempt is that loss can only be understood and encountered in and through faith in light of the Gospel. The meaning, process and implication of "loss" (Corr, Nabe & Corr 2000; Worden 1991) will firstly be addressed; the methodology of encountering as a pastoral being-function (Louw 2004; Kübler-Ross 1969) will secondly, be developed; and finally a description of the biblical and theological essence of God's faithfulness in the reality of loss (Louw 2004; 2005; Berkhof 1985) will be outlined.
Source: Practical Theology in South Africa = Praktiese Teologie in Suid-Afrika 24, pp 61 –80 (2009)More Less
The story of the merging of the Vergesig congregation (DR Church) : a case study
The merging of congregations is a practice occurring also in the church in South Africa. In the DRC alone about 104 mergers or fusions took place during the last few decades and more are planned for the future. But the question can be posed if this practice should be maintained as a healthy practice. It has been questioned in some circles and should therefore be investigated. This is an introduction and attempt to look into this complex phenomenon by way of a qualitative research in one congregation's situation. Vergesig congregation (DR Church) in central Johannesburg has had several unifications with neighbouring congregations. Further research is however needed to check on the preliminary results in this study.
A breath-based apprehension of the Holy Spirit : practical theological, psychological, phenomenological and contextual perspectivesAuthor S.D. EdwardsSource: Practical Theology in South Africa = Praktiese Teologie in Suid-Afrika 24, pp 81 –98 (2009)More Less
The sacred role of the breath is recognised in the great spiritual healing traditions such as Ancestor reverence, Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism, Christianity and Islam, as fundamental indicator of consciousness, when manifest in individual existence as breath or incarnated soul, and in transpersonal and cosmic existence as Breath or Spirit. This article explores a breath-based apprehension of the Holy Spirit from Christian, practical theological, psychological, phenomenological and contextual perspectives. Themes addressed include life-breath spirituality, the Holy Spirit as manifest through divine breath, the Trinity and the healing function of the Holy Spiritual Breath. There is special focus on local flourishing forms of breath-based Holy Spirit experience as exemplified in African Indigenous Church meetings and empirical research with profound practical theological and spiritual healing implications.
Author J. GathogoSource: Practical Theology in South Africa = Praktiese Teologie in Suid-Afrika 24, pp 99 –121 (2009)More Less
The article sets out to demonstrate, through a historical survey, the "practical" nature of African theology of reconstruction. By practical, it means that it is an all-inclusive theology for all, which is pastorally sensitive to the plight of the "other" - in the post-colonial Africa. In its methodology, the article surveys the Biblical and historical background of the Jewish people who are metaphorically compared with the African peoples. It then analyses cold war and its implication for reconstruction in the Africa of the 21st century. Seen from a comparative analysis, the article attempts to show that in both Jewish and African context, the "post-exilic" people of God have to build on the framework of inclusivity as opposed to exclusivity - as we undertake the all-important task of rebuilding the society; as pre-exilic injuries can only be "treated" holistically and pastorally. In post-apartheid or post-colonial Africa, a theology of reconstruction provides this opportunity for healing. As a pastoral duty, Africa now has a chance to reconstruct herself holistically.
Author M.E. HestenesSource: Practical Theology in South Africa = Praktiese Teologie in Suid-Afrika 24, pp 122 –140 (2009)More Less
Prof Donald Browning of the University of Chicago Divinity School is a past President of the International Academy of Practical Theology and has produced a vast corpus of books. He has also edited the prestigious Theology and Pastoral Care series, been an associate editor of Zygon : Journal of Religion and Science as well as being the chief editor of the Religion, Culture and Family project under the auspices of the University of Chicago which has produced a dozen books. The author of this article argues that it is important to understand Browning's earliest five books, to gain a perspective of his extraordinary productivity and ability to harmonise vast fields of knowledge such as theology, psychology, sociology, philosophy, anthropology, politics and ecology and (world) religions into one coherent system of thought. Browning's ecumenical and cosmopolitan correlation of such a variety of disciplines is an important part of his inspiring legacy as a public practical theologian.
Author C.J. HugoSource: Practical Theology in South Africa = Praktiese Teologie in Suid-Afrika 24, pp 141 –160 (2009)More Less
This is a second article dealing with the challenge posed by postmodernism for church ministry and practical theology. In the first article, the embedded rationality of practical theological paradigms was described. This enabled the researcher to evaluate the challenge of postmodernism (the philosophy) for practical theology. In this second article the focus is on the challenge of postmodernity (social culture or context) for church ministry. The challenge is described in terms of the impact of culture on the church. Modernity and postmodernity address variations in culture and liberalism (focus on the reason) and conservatism (focus on revelation) speak to differences in theology and the ministry. As with previous eras the postmodern era presents great opportunity and grave peril for the church. Church ministry is described in terms of various fields of action, namely preaching, pastoral work, youth work, hymnology, evangelism and missionary work. Relevant journal articles on the subject of these fields of action are evaluated in terms of the research question.
Doing the job well : looking at the role of ethics and ethical dilemmas in the work of pastoral counsellorsSource: Practical Theology in South Africa = Praktiese Teologie in Suid-Afrika 24, pp 161 –179 (2009)More Less
This article looks at the experiences and needs of pastoral counsellors and ministers regarding ethical dilemmas in performing their duties. The problem that arose is that pastoral counsellors have an ethically and psychologically dangerous task and are not necessarily adequately prepared for or supported in that task.
It is a study conducted within the framework of practical theology. A social constructionist paradigm, supported by a narrative approach to research was chosen. Thus the research was of a descriptive, qualitative nature. The empirical research took the form of unstructured interviews with pastoral counsellors and others who work in related circumstances. Three themes were investigated as playing a role in pastoral counsellors' experiences of ethical issues. They are : training and the role of mentors, approach to ethics and ethical dilemmas. Professional ethics was also identified as a contributing factor in the literature review.
This study has shown that the emerging profession of pastoral counselling is faced with challenges in terms of ethics.
Communalism and hospitality in African urban congregations : pastoral care challenges and possible responsesSource: Practical Theology in South Africa = Praktiese Teologie in Suid-Afrika 24, pp 180 –198 (2009)More Less
This article investigates the problem behind the protracted crisis of how hospitality ought to be understood and practised in the urbanised and pluralistic congregations of Zambian Society ("the problem of hospitality"). The focus is not only on the Zambian context, but explores in general the traditional African way of life. The activities of the early missionaries, colonialism and the incompetence of independent African states are discussed with particular emphasis on their role in communal life and hospitality. It reveals that in the aftermath of colonialism and of the missionary era, where African traditional patterns were disrupted, the traditional communalism and hospitality were distorted. The article therefore argues that Africans are at a crossroads, and the resulting effects are uncertainty, disillusionment and despair. Both religious and philosophical worldviews are now developed along the lines of cultural idolatry, that is, culture is emphasised above God. Consequently, there is a defective and deceptive view of life in relation to others, as can be noticed in the problem of the practice of hospitality among Zambians. Thus the article proposes practical guidelines for a relational response within pastoral ministry as an approach to addressing the challenge of hospitality.
Transversal rationality as a practical way of doing interdisciplinary work, with HIV and AIDS as a case studyAuthor J.C. MullerSource: Practical Theology in South Africa = Praktiese Teologie in Suid-Afrika 24, pp 199 –228 (2009)More Less
This paper starts of with the story of Sizwe and his hesitancy about testing for HIV and AIDS. The story is used as a case study to illustrate an interdisciplinary process. The author proposes postfoundationalism and especially transversal rationality as a practical way of guiding the interdisciplinary discussion. Six scholars from different disciplines were asked to respond on the story of Sizwe. The author then reflects on these responses in an effort to create practical guidelines for an interdisciplinary process of transversal rationality. The reflection in this paper represents a third movement of reflection. The first was done in a paper delivered at a congress, and the second in the article that was published.
Author I. NellSource: Practical Theology in South Africa = Praktiese Teologie in Suid-Afrika 24, pp 229 –247 (2009)More Less
The wave of xenophic attacks that broke out in various places in South Africa in 2008 caught most of us unawares. In fact, we're still struggling to come to terms with the reality that this happened in a country which is worldwide considered to be a role model of reconciliation. In this paper the underlying causes of these xenophobic attacks are examined and placed within the wider context of violence. Finally the impact of violence on the Christian faith practice of preaching is discussed, asking the question : "How do we preach within this context of violence?"
Source: Practical Theology in South Africa = Praktiese Teologie in Suid-Afrika 24, pp 248 –273 (2009)More Less
The body of Christ metaphor : perspectives on building up the assembly
The congregation is God's vehicle through which He comes to the world, and therefore the congregation should concentrate on the building up of the congregation. God has a specific purpose for each congregation to exist and function in a definite place and time. The purpose of this article is to investigate the noun καταρτισμός within the context of Ephesians 4:7-16. The intention is that members will be equipped so that the congregation can function metaphorically as the body of Christ. The building up of the congregation is to be comprehensive-intentional, in other words, expansive and with specific purpose aimed at the renewal of the congregation in substance, existence and functioning. Building up the congregation implicates the challenge of continual transformation in line with God's will for the church in this world.
There is a substantial difference between being a church interpreted as a gondola (one person rowing while all the passengers on board enjoy the panorama) and a rowing boat (all the passengers on board rowing together as a team towards a mutual goal). While uninvolved, complacent, passive members sit in the church pews, there are also a number of members that have grown to maturity for whom the traditional model of being church is deficient and frustrating. The church is challenged to put the ministry back into the hands of the members, equip them to be God's faithful representatives in the world and as such, build up the congregation.
Geheiligte Räume : Theologie, Geschichte und Symbolik des Kirchengebäudes, Franz-Heinrich Beyer : book reviewSource: Practical Theology in South Africa = Praktiese Teologie in Suid-Afrika 24, pp 274 –277 (2009)More Less
Der vorliegende Band ist eine gute Einführung in Bedeutung und Geschichte von Kirchengebäuden in Zentraleuropa. Der Autor ist Professor für Praktische Theologie an der Evangelisch-theologischen Fakultät der Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Er bietet eine theologische, liturgische und baugeschichtliche Gesamtdarstellung der Entwicklung des Kirchenbaus von der Antike bis zum Ende des 19. Jh. Neben den historischen Entwicklungen in den Bautypen geht es z.B. auch um die konfessionellen Besonderheiten der jeweiligen Kirchgebäude.
Contextualization in the New Testament : Patterns for Theology and Mission, Dean Flemming : book reviewSource: Practical Theology in South Africa = Praktiese Teologie in Suid-Afrika 24, pp 277 –280 (2009)More Less
For the Christian message to be meaningful to people wherever they may be, it must come to them in language and category that make sense within their particular culture and life situation. Thus, the gospel must be contextualised. Flemming writes : "Contextualisation has to do with how the gospel revealed in Scripture authentically comes to life in each new cultural, social, religious and historical setting" (14). And in more detail, contextualisation refers to the dynamic and comprehensive process by which the gospel is incarnated within a concrete historical or cultural situation. This happens in such a way that the gospel both comes to authentic expression in the local context and at the same time prophetically transforms the context. Contextualisation seeks to enable the people of God to live out the gospel in obedience to Christ within their own cultures and circumstances (19).
Die deutschen Gesang- und Gebetbücher für Soldaten und ihre Lieder, Andreas F. Wittenberg : book reviewSource: Practical Theology in South Africa = Praktiese Teologie in Suid-Afrika 24, pp 280 –283 (2009)More Less
Die vorliegende Arbeit zeigt, dass sich die Hymnologie als Subdisziplin in der neueren praktischen Theologie zunehmend großen Interesses erfreut. Sie ist bereits der 23. Band in der hervorragenden Reihe Mainzer hymnologische Studien (vgl. http://www.narr.de/download/mhs_flyer.pdf). In ihr unternimmt der pensionierte Brigadegeneral und Kommandeur der Heeresschulen der Deutschen Bundeswehr, Andreas Wittenberg, eine breit angelegte Bestandsaufnahme und kritische Analyse der deutschen Gesang- und Gebetbücher für das Militär. Wittenberg war selbst Mitglied der Revisionskommission für die evangelischen Soldatengesangbücher 1977 und 1996 und war 1999 Mitherausgeber eines Soldatenliederbuches.