Scielo RSS <![CDATA[HTS Theological Studies]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0259-942220180001&lang=es vol. 74 num. 1 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>'Whatever became of that earlier time of grace?' Luther, Bonhoeffer and the quincentennial</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222018000100001&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The quincentenary of the Protestant Reformations creates a challenge. With reference to Protestant churches in South Africa, the ambiguity inherent in this challenge is considered in the first part of the essay. In the second part, Martin Luther's famous discovery is investigated in light of his earlier theology leading up to 31 October 1517. It is argued that Luther's earlier theology is characterised by a hermeneutic rediscovery. In the third part, Dietrich Bonhoeffer's theology is brought into conversation with Luther. It is asked how Bonhoeffer received Luther's theology - more specifically, how he re-appropriated the hermeneutic inherent in Luther's earlier theology. In the final part, it is asked what the theological hermeneutic inherent in Luther's earlier theology - re-appropriated by Bonhoeffer - can mean for South African churches commemorating the Protestant Reformations. The true treasure of the church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God. (Luther 2012b:11). <![CDATA[<b>How can the Reformation's focus on faithfulness to Scripture inspire us for mission?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222018000100002&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Since the 16th century Protestant Reformation, the issue of divine inspiration and authority of the Bible has stood at the centre of Reformed faith. The question asked then, which is still with us, is whether the Bible is sufficient and complete as a revelation from God? Conflicts that arose during the Reformation still brew today, albeit with different players and contexts. Furthermore, how does the faithfulness to Scripture by reformers, such as William Tyndale and Martin Luther, and pre-Reformer, John Wycliffe, influence the church's involvement and influence in God's mission today? <![CDATA[<b>African theology and African Christology: Difficulty and complexity in contemporary definitions and methodological frameworks</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222018000100003&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es There is an ongoing challenge in defining African theology because of two important reasons: (1) the quest for a definitive African theology is a fairly recent pursuit and (2) the vastness and diversity of the African continent. Given this, this article presents the complexity of defining African theology and its methodological approaches through a background sketch of the development of African theology. Regardless of many definitions of African theology and its purposes, the article acknowledges African Christian theology as theology that should be derived from the interplay between Scripture, Christian tradition and African cosmology. In deriving theology from the aforementioned aspects, African theology should also seek to develop contextual African theologies with global relevance. In this way, African theology can claim its space in the universal church. Although we are conscious of the values and challenges associated with the task of doing African theology, we argue for its necessity. We further argue that if the centrality of Scripture is maintained in the African theological endeavour, it will cause African theologies to have some shared reference point with other Christian theologies and hence engaging globally, while contributing unique African perspectives to global theological discourse. <![CDATA[<b>The Dutch Reformed Church Mission in Swaziland - A dream come true</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222018000100004&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article covers the time from 1652 onwards when employees of the Dutch East India Company - most of whom were members of the Reformed Church in the Netherlands - arrived at the Cape of Good Hope in present South Africa. With time, a new church, the Dutch Reformed Church, was established in the Cape. In 1836, a number of pioneers moved from the Cape to the east of South Africa and some of them eventually made Swaziland their new home. Although most members of the white Dutch Reformed Church opposed any integration with Christians from other races, there was nevertheless a desire that they should join a Reformed Church. In 1922, the first Dutch Reformed congregation in Swaziland was established in Goedgegun in the southern region of the country, intended for the exclusive use of white, Afrikaans-speaking church members. In 1944, the first Reformed congregation for Swazi members was formed, which later became known as the Swaziland Reformed Church. This article documents the history of this church and concludes with a description of the Swaziland Reformed Church in 1985, with four missionaries from South Africa ministering in the four regions of Swaziland. <![CDATA[<b>Migration Crisis and Christian Response: From Daniel De Groody's Image of God Theological Prism in Migration Theology to a Migration Practical Theology Ministerial Approach and Operative Ecclesiology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222018000100005&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article identifies a need to develop an operational theology that responds to migrants in a real and constructive way. It discusses Daniel Groody's image of God prism in migration theology in order to develop an integrated understanding of the image of God. It argues that Groody's image of God prism in migration theology is assumed rather than explicit and does not proceed to inform migrant ministry design. To ensure an encompassing understanding of the notion of the image of God, an integrated understanding that integrates the various views is adopted. The adopted integrated understanding of the image of God extends beyond Groody's image of God prism in migration theology that is systematic theological and theoretical to a development of a migration diagnostic and ministry design framework that employs the various dimensions (views) of the image of God. In doing so, the integrated understanding of the image of God is employed in a practical theological conceptualisation and ministry design to promote and encourage dispositional ethics service, care, acceptance and justice. The first section problematises the challenge of theology and Christian response to migration crisis. The second section discusses Groody's image of God theological prism in migration theology. The third section discusses the various interpretations of the image of God. The fourth section proposes a diagnostic framework and ministry design that utilises the integrated image of God. <![CDATA[<b>Models of disability: A brief overview</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222018000100006&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Critical reflection on the importance of shaping disability-friendly - or disability-inclusive - congregations has enjoyed increasing attention in the field of practical theology in recent years. Moreover, the development of disability theology is a testament to the fact that practical theologians and the wider church community have taken serious notice of the realities and experiences of people with disabilities in our time. Nevertheless, even before the task of engaging in theological reflection from a disability perspective commences, it is necessary that theologians acquaint themselves with the various models of disability that shape people's perceptions and ideas about people with disabilities. Guided by the principles of the interpretive task of practical theological investigation and cognizant of the importance of models of disability in shaping perceptions regarding people with disabilities, this article seeks to provide a brief overview of nine of the most dominant models of disability that are prevalent in our time. We shall utilise the typological approach to theoretical analysis in order to outline the basic characteristics of the various models. <![CDATA[<b>An empirical and experiential investigation into the contemplation of joy</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222018000100007&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The research was generally motivated by a dearth of studies on joy, and particularly inspired by a book of joy celebrating the inter-spiritual dialogue between the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. Its aim was to investigate whether the direct contemplation of joy would be associated with improvements in psychophysiological coherence, spirituality and various positive emotions and feelings. Integrative quantitative and qualitative findings emerging from a small pilot study, including a convenience sample of six participants with a mean age of 42 years and age range of 25-69 years, supported the research hypothesis. Significant quantitative increases in psychophysiological coherence, spirituality and positive feelings were coherently and consistently supported by participants' individual and collective experiences. Integrative discussion amplified the paradoxical theme of joy through suffering in human emotional and spiritual life. <![CDATA[<b>Theology and practice of Christ Apostolic Church on Bible inspiration and its authority in the context of Evangelical theology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222018000100008&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The motivation for this study originated from a review of literature which led the current researcher to the realisation that not much critical study has been performed on the theology and practice of Bible inspiration and its authority in Christ Apostolic Church (CAC). This article set out to identify the tenet of faith of the church on inspiration and authority of the Scriptures, locate this tenet in the context of Evangelical theology and compare the initial understanding of the concept of Bible inspiration in CAC with the way it is perceived by the church members today. Primary sources of data for the work comprised the Bible, editions of CAC constitution and structured interviews. Secondary sources of data comprised Bible commentaries, books, journal articles and the Internet. Data collected were analysed using Conservative Evangelical theological framework. The study discovered that CAC held to word-for-word inerrancy of the Scriptures, even of its vernacular translations, and its binding authority on Christians in all areas of their lives. The study revealed that the belief of CAC on Bible inspiration and its authority located CAC at the centre of Evangelical theology which researchers have identified as inerrancy. Finally, the study discovered that the initial position of CAC on the inspiration and authority of the Bible remained the same as held by contemporary members of the church. The work provides theological relevance for the study of one of the doctrines of Pentecostalism in Nigeria. <![CDATA[<b>Changing perspectives on the Crusades</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222018000100009&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The notion and consequences of the Crusades are still influencing the modern Christian (and Muslim) pattern of thinking. These 'holy wars', fought by members of the Roman Catholic Church, mostly against infidels ('unbelievers'), including the Muslims of the time, lasted for several centuries and had varied levels of success. These wars were both lauded and criticised and currently these two opposite perceptions still persist. After the background to the historical setting of the Crusades, this article provides an overview of the changing viewpoints on this movement by describing the perspectives of the most prominent authors (exponents) who aired their views on the Crusades between the 16th century and the first part of the 21st century, finding that the negative perception runs like a thread through the last five centuries. <![CDATA[<b>Jesus and Mehr recognition according to oriental sources</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222018000100010&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Early oriental historians have used two series of sources about ancient history of Iran, including Iranian and non-Iranian sources. As these sources are independent of each other, two different chronologies about these ancient periods have arisen. Naturally, this duality has led to different and contradictory results about dating important events of this period. One of them is the contradictory reports about two separate religious personalities - Messiah Mehr and Jesus of Nazareth. Despite the fact that these historians have taken the identity and time of appearance of Messiah Mehr and Jesus from the abovementioned two sources, they unknowingly considered the two characters as one and the same person. Al-Mas'udi is one of the earlier oriental historians who made remarkable reports and points regarding the alterations of political and religious history of the Ashkanian dynasty by the earlier Sasanians. These alterations caused the reality of Messiah Mehr to be concealed. This article tries to explain briefly the reasons for this topic through the viewpoints of oriental historians with emphasis on Al-Mas'udi's reports. <![CDATA[<b>The role of the church in the #FeesMustFall movement in South Africa: Practical Theological reflection</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222018000100011&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In 2015 and 2016, South Africa experienced one of the unique student-led protests since the dawn of democracy that touched the world, the #FeesMustFall movement. Out of the many demands that the students made in the movement, one is outstanding, fee-free higher education. A large number of publications have been written on the movement from an economical and educational point of view. Most of these publications argue that a fee-free higher education for all students is not an affordable or sustainable option for South Africa at the moment. What is new in this article is a practical theological reflection on the movement in general and the demand for a fee-free higher education by students in particular. The article looks at the possibilities of fee-free higher education for the poor students in South Africa by exploring the roles of the church in the #FeesMustFall movement. <![CDATA[<b>Exchange of wife for social and food security: A famine refugee's strategy for survival (Gn 12:10-13:2)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222018000100012&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This essay studies Genesis 12:10-13:2 with a literary close reading approach that takes seriously the text's literary, historical and theological constituent elements. After a brief history of interpretation, it situates the narrative in its historical context, which is followed with a narrative critical reading of the text. The analysis of the text unveils the dissimulations of Abram, who manipulated his wife, Sarai, into thinking her beauty posed a threat to him, while his primary motive rested with the pursuit of economic gain in the face of the severe famine that had impoverished him in Canaan. Abram also succeeded in making Pharaoh believe that Sarai was his sister, on which account he exchanged her for material again. This analysis affords insight into the insecurity, anxiety, feelings of alterity of immigrant populations in their liminal conditions, the mistrust of immigrants by the state and host communities, and the ensuing power play (including sexual politics and/or commerce) with its concomitant perils. Through these, the passage speaks anew to contemporary communities of faith in view of the prevalent and ever-increasing migratory trends of the 21st century.