HTS : Theological Studies - Volume 72, Issue 2, 2016
Volume 72, Issue 2, 2016
Author Stephan Van der WattSource: HTS : Theological Studies 72, pp 1 –9 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i2.3105More Less
The social construction of reality is influenced extensively by the mass media. Commercialised images of masculinity, including discourses to interpret it, are continuously reflected and/or created by sources of mass media, in a myriad of ways. These images are subjectively loaded, but still effectively communicate to us, and even entice and persuade us. It furthermore wields extensive power over men - especially over their self-images, passions, and egos. In this article, dominating images and discourses concerning manhood and male identity - particularly those displayed in men's health magazines (MHM) - were critically examined. This was done through a thematic analysis of 123 issues (spanning more than 10 years) of MHM cover pages. The investigation showed that MHM is infused with traditional masculine ideology. Moreover, MHM fails to confront discourses that endorse hegemonic masculinity, for the sake of holistic health. It was suggested that a sober, precautionary, health strategy should challenge men to critically engage with MHM's reigning creed: 'big, hard and up'. This creed incites a utilitarian view of sexuality within a culture of performance-driven masculinity, which subsequently fuels anxieties that can lead to unhealthy issues, such as body image dissatisfaction. From a pastoral care perspective, it was asserted that (specifically) Christian men need to search for alternative ways to instigate their capacity to experience and facilitate authentic intimacy, in order to work toward the social construction of more balanced and healthy discourses on male identity.
Is poverty a matter of perspective? Significance of Amartya Sen for the church's response to poverty : a public practical theological reflection : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 72, pp 1 –10 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i2.3143More Less
Poverty continues to present an enormous challenge to the well-being of humanity. Different frameworks on poverty tend to identify different persons as poor, impacting on efforts to fight poverty. The church as a role player in the public domain needs a framework that can assist it in its task of working for salvation and liberation in the face of overwhelming poverty. A combined framework, from Amartya Sen's entitlement approach and capability approach, is amalgamated and suggested as an integrated framework that could act as a lens or a viewpoint from which the church could venture to conceptualise, quantify and respond to instances of poverty.
The simple living of Leo Tolstoy and the slippery slope of consumerism in a context of poverty : a pastoral guide : original researchSource: HTS : Theological Studies 72, pp 1 –10 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i2.3408More Less
The nature of consumerism, which manifests in the belief that excessive accumulation of material goods represents a fuller and more meaningful life, is a growing global phenomenon, and has an effect on both the 'haves' and the 'have-nots'. In addition, poverty levels globally and in Kenya in particular, remain unacceptably high. The situation of poverty in Kenya is partly worsened by the trapping effects of consumerism. The life of a wealthy and prosperous writer, Leo Tolstoy, who succumbed to depression in spite of his fame and material wealth, is examined with a view to establish how he overcame his depression and found meaning in life. The lessons he learnt from turning to a study of the peasantry are extrapolated and proposed for the churches' response to the challenge of consumerism in contexts of poverty.
The refugee dilemma and migrant crisis : 'Charity begins at Home' or 'Being Home to the Homeless'? The paradoxical stance in pastoral caregiving and the infiltration and perichoresis of compassion : original researchAuthor Daniel LouwSource: HTS : Theological Studies 72, pp 1 –11 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i2.3267More Less
The current refugee and migrant crisis is revealing on a deeper 'spiritual level' a crisis of meaning and habitus (attitudinal crisis). Because of prejudice, xenophobia reveals a crisis of compassion and diaconic outreach. How should local communities and communities of faith display hospitality (xenophilia) to the other (stranger, foreigner, outsider) in cases where one's own life is threatened by those you are supposed to care for? Is it true that charity begins at home, or is charity, as determined by the Christian notions of hesed and oiktirmos, an inclusive concept that should or could start with the homeless, the outcast and the outsider as well? This question points to the danger of selective compassion. It is argued that pastoral caregiving, within the refugee and migrant dilemma, should apply a hermeneutics of complexity and paradox. In this regard the theological paradox of the passion (pathē) of Christ should be implied in order to make room (perichoresis) for displaced and homeless people. The theological argument is based on the following presupposition: the passio dei defines 'practice' in pastoral theology as compassionate hospitality, as a mode of being-with, that eventually should infiltrate and penetrate the systemic paranoia of prejudice, as well as the networking dynamics of human relationships, irrespective of race, class and gender distinctions.