Social reality will always challenge and, to some degree, shape the way we produce scholarship. In turn, we would hope that our scholarship will, in a humble way, also contribute to the transformation of societies. For Missiology, there is also another dimension, i.e. the correction, critique or correlation of Scripture, i.e., the normative dimension. It remains important to keep this dimension in mind, and to keep on reflecting how we understand this relationship, as we engage with our social realities. It is the hope that this edition will continue this on-going work.
Prophetic mission praxis is increasingly becoming difficult in the democratic South Africa. This article unearths and analyses the prophetic role played by faith communities in South Africa during the apartheid regime. It focuses on different approaches adopted by each of the major faith communities in response to apartheid. The author categorises the role of faith communities into three viz; those that supported apartheid, those that rejected it and those that adopted what he refers to as 'quiet diplomacy' with regards to apartheid. Apart from Christian faith communities, the author also analyses the role played by other faith communities such as Islam and African Traditional Religions. Having this in mind, the author looks at the current situation with regards to the prophetic role of faith communities in the democratic South Africa and thereafter proposes a way forward for a relevant prophetic mission praxis.
The paper argues that Luke 19:41-44 has, since the publication of the Kairos Document in South Africa in 1985, been understood in eschatological terms by biblical scholars and missiologists. However, when read as an episode in a long narrative of Luke-Acts which is about the fortune (tyche) of Israel and against the backdrop of the mission of Kairos in Greek mythology, the picture suddenly changes. The episode becomes a watershed point between the rejected ministry of Jesus and the future mission of the church (the Way) which provides countless opportunities to individuals and groups who fail to recognise and snatch the first opportunity presented to them. The conclusion of the paper is that unlike Kairos, son of Zeus who offered a lifetime opportunity to individuals, Jesus, the representative of God offers countless opportunities to all who turn to the Way that leads to him. A foundation for the latter is laid in the gospel while it continues in the Acts of the Apostles.
Land ownership in South Africa is a thorny issue. The magnitude of this challenge is so huge that we are like a country sitting on a time bomb which is already ticking and ready to explode. Whilst it remains a dream of every South African to own a piece of land, the government has been slow to deliver to its promise. This article seeks to explore the issue of land and dispossession from the perspectives of those in the margins, the homeless in the City of Tshwane. This is done by allowing them space to read and reflect on 1 Kings 21:1-16 and apply it in their context of landlessness. Emerging voices of ordinary readers of the text, as represented by the homeless in the City of Tshwane, suggest that land ownership is more than just a commercial issue; it involves such issues as culture, politics and religion, amongst others. Power dynamics are at play, especially with regard to the right to the City. There is also an issue of attachment, especially when issues of ancestry and birthrights are raised.
The aim of this article is to contribute towards a solution for addressing poverty and marginalisation associated with homelessness in the City of Tshwane. Twenty-six (i.e. 11 men and 15 women) homeless people were engaged through Contextual Bible Study to gain insights from the margins about appropriate actions to be considered for a transformative missiology in this context. Based on their encounterological reflection of Luke 16:19-31 and for the vision of total freedom and collective wellbeing still to be realised in this city, this local homeless community suggested three key actions i.e. (1) partnership and collaboration to end poverty and marginalisation, (2) empowerment for social change and justice and (3) fostering mutual respect to be implemented 'here and now.'
Given the growing contemporary interest among Christians of all traditions in monastic spirituality, the latter is discussed with reference to the most famous 20th-century monastic, former Protestant turned Trappist monk, Thomas Merton. Despite centuries of Reformed suspicion and disapproval of monasticism, it is asked whether, despite dogmatic differences, there are not elements of this "Roman Catholic" spirituality - e.g. monastic spiritual practices and virtues - worth reconsidering and incorporating into Reformed spirituality, especially given the challenges Christians face in the 21st century, or whether elements of this spirituality did, in fact, not survive outside its monastic context within the Reformed tradition.