The publication of Jurgen Moltmann's Theology of hope (1964), can justifiably be descriptionbed as ""an event in the theology of the sixties."" Moltmann not only explored the christian hope intensively, as a striking theme in theology, but even ""restructured"" theology from the viewpoint of hope.
Theology has assimilated the term 'structures' in its sociological sense. According to one school of thought structures are stable relationships which fulfil a certain function in a given society. Polygamy is an example of such a structure. We can then speak of economic, political and social structures. The term 'structures' is, however, not restricted to its sociological use. Today we realise that social structures are correlated, but not identical with certain mental structures'. These are current beliefs, values, norms, attitudes, accepted patterns of behaviour, certain ways of argumentation etc.
In modern theology we must beware of Areopagitic novelty-ism (Acts 17:21 - theological faddism as Yoder calls it), especially because we are witnessing and experiencing the anguish of a tragic inter-Christian war in words and weapons with regard to the liberation of the non-free peoples of the world.
The modern state is characterised by its ability, through science, technology and monetary control, progressively to go beyond its traditional role, and to legislate increasingly in the economic, social, educational and cultural fields. The emergence of the omni-competent state is almost universally taken for granted as one of the necessary phenomena of the modern world.
This attempt at a projection into the future regarding economical and industrial structures will be made under the following theses: Homelands for the Africans in South Africa must be accepted as a reality for the future. Even the most staunch opponents of government policy today accept the reality of the homelands. The struggle of homeland leaders for economic progress is being watched with interest. From different, even opposing sides, attempts at positive contributions are being made.
When one has to write about the future it is as well to declare the method by which it is proposed to calculate the predictions which have to be made. The fact that almost all my fore-telling over the past fifteen years has fallen very wide of the mark, constrains me now to adhere to a very conservative pblicy, and I shall therefore proceed to consider only such social facts and trends which appear to be most securely established.