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- Volume 43, Issue 3, 2015
Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies - Volume 43, Issue 3, 2015
Volumes & issues
Volume 43, Issue 3, 2015
Source: Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies 43, pp IV –V (2015)More Less
This is a special bumper edition of Missionalia! We are excited to close this year on such a high note and also opening up possibilities for the future. It is indeed the season of Advent, a season of pregnant waiting for the celebration of the nativity of Jesus of Nazareth. Advent is a reminder of events that happened at a key juncture in history and focus our attention on analogies with our own time.
Author Gerrie SnymanSource: Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies 43, pp 266 –291 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7832/43-3-77More Less
The question this essay asks is how does one respond in a credible way (from a position of whiteness) to the decolonial turn when that turn radically interrogates (to the point of shaming) one's being by questioning the morality of the cultural and social structures of whiteness and the zone of being in which one finds oneself. The essay proposes a hermeneutic of vulnerability as a response which is based on a mindfulness for the vulnerability of those who still bear the brunt of the aftermath of apartheid and a mindfulness for the vulnerability of the self as perpetrating agent. The essay proceeds as follows: (a) an introduction to the notion of the decolonial turn; (b) a decolonial critique of racialised discourse in a decolonial reality; and (c) a discussion of a hermeneutics of vulnerability with which exploitation of the other creates a vulnerability in the perpetrating self in order to discontinue the effects of coloniality.
Author Maarman S. TshehlaSource: Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies 43, pp 292 –305 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7832/43-3-119More Less
"Africa has a long association with the Bible... At the time of Jesus, the Bible was being read in Africa... Since then, the Bible has continued to be read in Africa" (Mbiti 1994:27). Jesus Christ is the key character with which many who come to the Bible are concerned, academics as well as countless 'ordinary' readers. Beyond the methodological considerations wherein this leading African chronicler of African Biblical Hermeneutics has made an immense contribution, what specific insights might we glean from Justin Ukpong's work about the Jesus of the canonical evangelists vis-à-vis our work as organic intellectuals? What does Ukpong's Jesus offer present-day South Africa, if one with a missiological interest may extrapolate?
Source: Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies 43, pp 306 –322 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7832/43-3-118More Less
This article examines the theological methodology of José Míguez Bonino, the Argentinean Methodist theologian. It proposes that his theology can be understood as a mission theology summed up in the phrase, 'Faith Seeking Effectiveness.' Míguez Bonino's methodology begins with missionary praxis and aims at a more effective missionary praxis. Obedient involvement in mission is a prerequisite for knowledge. This leads him to propose the necessity of a sociological analysis of both the context of mission and the place of the church in that context in order to establish the themes which mission theology needs to reflect upon. The issues raised by this analysis are taken up into biblical and theological reflection. This reflection is done in order to reveal God's present word to the church within the text. This leads to a new and living rereading of the gospel in the light of the new context. Finally, the biblical and theological reflection suggests new and more effective pathways for missionary obedience. In this, the journey from praxis to praxis is complete. The article ends with a reflection upon four insights Míguez Bonino gives us for contemporary mission theology: it should be praxis driven, contextually orientated, ecumenically realised and biblically rooted.
Author John KlaasenSource: Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies 43, pp 323 –335 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7832/43-3-87More Less
This article is part of several contributions that was presented at the 2015 Southern African Missiological Society (SAMS). The conference theme was undergirded by the theme of the World Council of Churches (WCC) assembly in Busan, South Korea and the recent Encyclical of Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church; "Together towards life". The specific contribution of this article lies with the role of personhood in development. The question that I seek to address is to what extent the influential models of development proposed by Korten and more importantly, the ecumenical movement, can do justice to the category of personhood. A secondary question is the complex process through which people come to accept responsibility for addressing their situations.
Author Nelus NiemandtSource: Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies 43, pp 336 –348 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7832/43-3-88More Less
In this research, the 2013 mission affirmation of the World Council of Churches' (WCC), Together towards life - Mission and evangelism in changing landscapes (TTL), is evaluated through a rather unique hermeneutical lens by interpreting and assessing the ecumenical discourse in the light of the book by Kester Brewin, Mutiny, Why we love pirates and how they can save us (2012), and by integrating these insights.
The research acknowledges the emphasis on life-affirming mission in TTL, and the approach that a theological bridge is established between the Christian faith, secular worldviews, indigenous religions, and wisdom traditions, because the gospel is good news for all of creation. The following questions are investigated in the light of this: How can the idea of life be reconciled with the mission of God? What is the content and scope of "life" and what is "life" all about? The focus is on the economic-political-social consequences of adapting "life" as a theological point of departure. The research integrates a re-evaluation of piracy, as unpacked by Brewin, with the missional endeavour of discernment and the discovery of what "fullness of life" can mean in our day and times. It discusses piracy and mission as: resistance against the idolatry in the free-market economy; the restoration of the commons and koinonia in places where relationships flourish; living in the margins; and economic and ecological liberation in the Kingdom as a place of freedom.
Bringing the crucified down from the cross - preferential option for the poor in the South African context of povertyAuthor Olehile BuffelSource: Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies 43, pp 349 –364 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7832/43-3-123More Less
This article makes an argument for the need and relevance of liberation theology and particularly its preferential option for the poor in the context of poverty. Post colonial and post-apartheid Southern African (and most if not all African) countries are still impoverished, with millions of the their citizens still living in dehumanising poverty despite the political liberation in the hands of the African rulers who replaced colonial and apartheid masters. Despite liberation and the dawn of democratic governments in Southern Africa millions of people are still suffering as a result of poverty. While the former colonies have been bequeathed some negative legacies that refuse to disappear, the main concern is that African leaders have failed to use the political powers at their disposal to bring about economic liberation and to transform the socio-economic and political structures that are responsible for the continuation of poverty. In the midst of these conditions that ensure the perpetuation of poverty and associated suffering theologians and pastors are disturbingly quiet and also failing to facilitate theological reflections in the context of poverty, to the extent that one is forced to ask some hard questions: On whose side are the pastors and theologians? On whose side is God? If as liberation theologians correctly argue that God is on the side of the poor, can theologians afford to be on a different side? Can they afford to be on a different side as they do theology, particularly as they do theology of missions? They are challenged to appropriate Jon Sobrino's theology of the "crucified peoples" and therefore make efforts to contribute to "bringing the crucified down from the cross" as they minister and as they reflect theologically.
Source: Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies 43, pp 365 –383 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7832/43-3-109More Less
This paper explores the Dutch Reformed Mission Policy formulated by the Federal Coucil of Churches in 1935. The political climate of the time and the social, economic, cultural and political interest of the white Afrikaner church played a pivotal part in shaping the policy. The paper further probes the after 50 years (1986), missionary motives that ensued from such a political agenda and whether the mission policy had changed The Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) failed to see the dangers of self-interest and the tenants of God's mission. The paper attempts to lay a sound foundation for mission in a racially divided South Africa.
Source: Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies 43, pp 384 –409 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7832/43-3-98More Less
The issues of generosity, funding, raising funds and managing funds in God's mission are investigated. First of all, we conduct a literature survey of the themes of poverty, wealth, generosity, giving and stewardship. This provides theological and missiological perspectives that contribute to the development of the themes. Secondly, outcomes from a case study of five missiological consultations, facilitated by the Wycliffe Global Alliance on the topic of funding God's mission, resulted in information that contributed to the topic. The common experiences that emerged from the consultations provided the foundation for the Wycliffe Global Alliance's Principles for Funding. These principles defined the groundwork for generosity such that the funding of God's mission becomes a reality of the global church. Finally, the Principles for Funding are compared with the Lausanne Standards, observations from the World Council of Churches' Together Towards Life and material from the Edinburgh 2010 Conference.
Author Jeremy WyngaardSource: Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies 43, pp 410 –424 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7832/43-3-120More Less
It is said that young people are the future of a country. It is also widely believed that young people flourish as human beings when they are entrusted with responsibility and leadership roles. This article advocates a distinctive approach in the effort of local churches to rethink how it could maximize the potential of young people and build healthy relationships across different generations in the church's participation in the Missio Dei. An examination of an asset-based and relational approach to the Missio Dei provides the local church with a potential dual movement that can have positive, far-reaching and more sustainable implications in the broader community.
Author Nico KoopmanSource: Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies 43, pp 425 –437 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7832/43-3-128More Less
This essay reflects upon the notion of citizenship in the context of post-apartheid South Africa. Citizenship discourse in South Africa takes place in the context of the movement away from apartheid, and in the context of the processes of Africanisation and globalisation. An attempt is made to make a contribution to citizenship discourse in South Africa by drawing from theological insights, specifically from the classic formulation of the four marks of the church, namely catholicity, unity, holiness and apostolicity. Based on these ecclesiological marks the following four sets of features of citizenship are identified: apostolic and inclusive citizenship; united and justice-seeking citizenship; holy and virtuous citizenship, and apostolic and responsible citizenship.
Author Rudolf Von SinnerSource: Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies 43, pp 438 –459 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7832/43-3-127More Less
Citizenship has become the key concept for democracy in Brazil after transition. Often referred to, it denotes rather a conceptual field than a clear-cut definition. Following the central insights of Liberation Theology, seeking to adapt to the current democratic situation and the need for a focus on citizenship, this article argues for such focus within the framework of a public theology. First, it offers a theoretical, conceptual reflection, followed by a presentation of the contributions to citizenship by three major and representative Brazilian churches, the Roman Catholic Church, the Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil and the Assemblies of God. Finally, it presents, briefly, five elements of a theology of citizenship based on central assets of Lutheran theology that are able to respond to current challenges of Brazilian democracy and society.
The rebirth of kairos theology and its implications for public theology and citizenship in South AfricaAuthor Clint Le BruynsSource: Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies 43, pp 460 –477 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7832/43-3-131More Less
This article explores the relationship between kairos theology and public theology, placing a particular emphasis on kairos aspects such as contextuality, criticality and change. The article draws from and reflects on the dialogue between South African and Palestinian kairos theologies, the more recent Kairos South Africa movement and the shackdwellers' movement Abahlali baseMjondolo in order to describe a public theology marked by responsibility and contextuality.
Author Cobus Van WyngaardSource: Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies 43, pp 478 –492 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7832/43-3-132More Less
This article explores how whiteness continues to remain a problem when working towards a public discourse which seeks the common good. Recognising that a public sphere where all can participate as equals is a space available only to a certain class of people, it asks what the implication of this recognition would be for those who do indeed live in a position where they can participate in forming public opinion and policy. Exploring the discussions resulting from Samantha Vice's article titled "How do I live in this strange place?", a listening which leads to a deeper recognition of my own complicity in injustice is described as an important part of public theology for white South Africans. The particular responsibility of working against the injustice from which I benefit is furthermore pointed out as a specific task which white public theologians need to take upon themselves.
Deliberative public sphere - the rereading of Habermas's theory in Brazil and its significance for a public theologyAuthor Eneida JacobsenSource: Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies 43, pp 493 –512 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7832/43-3-129More Less
After considering the social and theoretical context of reception and rereading of Jürgen Habermas' concept of public sphere in sociological studies in Brazil, we engage the question about a public theology that can be developed in dialogue with his theory. Relying on the criticism of South African theologians James Cochrane and Tinyiko Maluleke against public theologies that based on Habermas reject the democratic potential of liberation theologies, we affirm that criticism and resistance are constitutive elements of democratic dialogue. This affirmation is not inconsistent with the political theory of Habermas; rather, his theory allows to identify the relevance of a public theology precisely in its connection with spheres of life in which the suffering caused by the social problems to be denounced and discussed in the public sphere are more directly perceived.
Author Anita CloeteSource: Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies 43, pp 513 –525 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7832/43-3-133More Less
This article pays attention to youth unemployment as one of the most serious socioeconomic challenges in South Africa. The nature of unemployment in South Africa is followed by a discussion on the interconnectedness between unemployment and poverty. The psychological and theological meaning of work is discussed in short, followed by the psychological effect of unemployment. In order to indicate how unemployment undermines human dignity, certain theological themes on human dignity are outlined. The final section explores ways in which the church could assist in affirming human dignity in the context of unemployment.
Author Roberto E. ZwetschSource: Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies 43, pp 526 –544 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7832/43-3-134More Less
This text is part of a research project that I have been developing for several years in the Faculdades EST Graduate Program. In mid-2011 it was approved under the title of "Interculturality in Latin America". The title is very broad to cover different research studies that are being performed within the sphere of the Graduate Program and by researchers from other institutions with which we are in partnership. It deals with the fields of theology, philosophy, history, anthropology and related areas.
Author Reggie NelSource: Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies 43, pp 545 –557 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7832/43-3-124More Less
The struggles of youth and student activist movements of have radically challenged theology. For some (as an act of repentance) Theology, and in particular Missiology, are to be discarded or renamed as Intercultural Theology, for others Public Theology. This article wants to engage these proposals, by firstly affirming the particular agency of young activists, in South Africa, as they remix social activism and theology, but it probes deeper into the contemporary challenge of youth activism against Empire, in order to provide a particular perspective on this renaming. The author argues for a postcolonial theological perspective, or Postcolonial Theology, which takes serious the insights from new social movement theory, in their challenge of Empire. It is from this perspective where interculturality and youth activism, in the face of empire, is remixed towards transformation.
Author Miranda N. PillaySource: Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies 43, pp 558 –567 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7832/43-3-130More Less
Many women and children suffer in silence in cultures where patriarchy is condoned and defended as the natural order of things. The inferior status ascribed women and children where patriarchy is imbued as hypernormative, render them vulnerable to contracting the HI-virus - as the case study cited here reveals. While government and civil society, including the church, sometimes react when violence against women and/or children end in the victim of violence being killed, the argument made here is that a pro-active response may go a long way - such as addressing the patriarchy of our (Christian) faith.
Author Elisa Fenner SchroderSource: Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies 43, pp 568 –582 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7832/43-3-126More Less
In the early '60s, it began to emerge, in Latin America and Brazil, political movements that sought to raise awareness about their situation of oppression and the need for ruptures with the dominant society. The Bible had been given to the people and was read from the experience and reality of men and women in situations of oppression. The situations of oppression and exclusion experienced in Latin America broaden the understanding about the poor and the excluded and challenges new readings of the Bible from each context. Prejudice and stigma affects the lives of people with HIV, causing them suffering. The situation of social vulnerability affecting a major portion of this population complicates the lives of these people even further. We seek to read the Bible through the context of lives of women with HIV by using popular bible reading methodology. This article bring some introductions reflection on the method and on the experience of a women group in Brazil.