Scielo RSS <![CDATA[HTS Theological Studies]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0259-942220160004&lang=es vol. 72 num. 4 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Where is God when dementia sneaks into our house? Practical theology and the partners of dementia patients</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400001&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es How can hope, love and faith stay alive when dementia enters a home? In this article I shall look especially at the spouse or partner who shares an abode with a person with dementia. Most of the authors in this field, also John Swinton who is perhaps the best known author whose books are written from a (practical) theological perspective, focus on care in institutions, that means care by professionals. A partner living with a dementia patient has two main roles: as partner and caregiver. Night and day a partner is witness to the ongoing deterioration of her or his beloved partner, without being a professional. This article is founded not only on literature about dementia patients, but also on the experiences of several partners, as well as my own experiences as a partner. The question we all ask is: 'From where does our strength come?' I argue that what is said in the literature on the subject of (the pastoral care for) dementia patients does not help the partners, because it lays a heavy burden on them, who are already suffering from feelings of grief and guilt. I do not agree with John Swinton's idea that God created dementia. Looking for different ways of thinking about God and faith to survive with hope and love, I turn to the exegesis of the creation stories by Ellen van Wolde. These give the opportunity to take the evil of the situation of the deterioration of the personality of a patient with dementia seriously, and at the same time grant the possibility to turn the grief and guilt feelings into strength to fight evil, together with a God whose empathy and love stays with a partner in her or his loneliness and grief. <![CDATA[<b>Why did people choose for the Jesus-Movement?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400002&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The must have been critical factors that made the growth of Christianity possible. What factors made it possible for Christianity to grow from 0 to 10 per cent of the population of the Roman Empire in the year 300, and even to 50 per cent in the year 350? By the end of the first century hardly any of the 60 million people of the Roman Empire were Christians. How did they manage to reach the major milestone of 10 per cent in the year 300? Five factors are very important in this regard, namely, (1) The apostle Paul was an excellent advocate to promote the christian message. (2) His voyages, his frequent visits to several christian communities, his epistles and his rules of life enabled him to create a 'world wide web' of christian communities that were recognisable as such for every traveller. (3) At the time monotheism was more attractive than the polytheism of the ancient Greek times. 4. The universalism preached by Paul (Gl. 3:28) was attractive as well. (5) The emperor Julian (the Apostate) recognised that christians surpassed everyone else with respect to philanthropy. According to him, only if the priests of other religions followed suit would it be possible for their 'gentile' religions to survive. <![CDATA[<b>A cultural turn in New Testament studies?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400003&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article considers intersections between cultural studies and New Testament studies. It ponders and focuses on possible approaches to the bearing of the 'cultural turn' on biblical studies. Following a brief consideration of cultural studies and its potential value for New Testament studies, four promising developments in cultural studies approaches to the New Testament are noted. <![CDATA[<b>The theological significance of the Isaiah citation in Mark 4:12</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400004&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The well-known passage Mark 4:1-34 is no stranger to New Testament scientific scrutiny, not to even mention the hotly debated phrases in Mark 4:10-12. To avoid repetition, the aim with this article is to determine the extent of the impact the Isaiah 6:9-10 citation in Mark 4:12 might have had on the interpretation and understanding of Mark 4:1-34 and the Gospel as a whole. The theory is that the citation in Mark 4:12, especially within Mark 4:1-34, is foundational for understanding the Markan gospel as a 'parable'. Moreover, the redactional inclusion of the concept of 'the Twelve' will prove to be a vital contribution in understanding the Markan gospel as a 'parable'. Arguing this theory will include evaluating the parable theory in Mark 4:10-12, followed by determining the interpretative effect the explicit citation in Mark 4:12 had on Mark 4:10-12 and its larger literary context (Mk. 4:1-34). This will be followed by concluding remarks and suggestions. <![CDATA[<b>What light does Matthew's use of Mark in Matthew 1-4 throw on Matthew's theological location?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400005&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article approaches the issue of Matthew's theological context by examining Matthew's use of Mark, including through redaction and supplementation, in Matthew 1-4. This is undertaken in two parts: Matthew 1-2, which is largely additional material, and Matthew 3-4, followed by a concluding assessment. Issues addressed or alluded to in these chapters frequently find resonance in the remainder of Matthew's gospel and so give important clues about Matthew's concerns and their relevance for understanding its context. Such issues include the importance of messiahship; continuity with Israel, but also with John the Baptist and the Church; defence against slander; heightened christological claims; soteriology; Gentile mission; the status of Torah; and Jesus as judge to come. The article suggests a location within a Jewish religious context with a Jewish self-understanding, separate from the synagogue, but claiming to belong where its opponents would claim it did not; and a Christian tradition where the approach of 'Q' to Torah is upheld in contrast to Mark's, while embracing and expanding Mark's Christology and restoring the common understanding of Gentile mission as a post-Easter phenomenon. <![CDATA[<b>The material variance of the Dead Sea Scrolls: On texts and artefacts</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400006&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es What does a sacred text look like? Are religious books materially different from other books? Does materiality matter? This article deals with three different aspects of material variance attested amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls, Ancient Jewish religious text fragments, of which were found in the Judean Desert. I suggest that the substitution of the ancient Hebrew script by the everyday Aramaic script, also for Torah and other religious texts, was intentional and programmatic: it enabled the broader diffusion of scriptures in Hellenistic and Roman Judea. The preponderant use of parchment for religious texts rather than papyrus may be a marker of identity. The many small scrolls which contained only small parts of specific religious books (Genesis, Psalms) may have been produced as religious artefacts which express identity in the period when Judaism developed into a religion of the book. <![CDATA[<b>The contribution of Qumran to historical Hebrew linguistics: Evidence from the syntax of participial negation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400007&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In this article we examine how Qumran Hebrew can contribute to our knowledge of historical Hebrew linguistics. The premise of this paper is that Qumran Hebrew reflects a distinct stage in the development of Hebrew which sets it apart from Biblical Hebrew. It is further assumed that these unique features are able to assist us to understand the nature of the development of Biblical Hebrew in a more precise way. Evidence from the syntax of participial negation at Qumran as opposed to Biblical Hebrew provides evidence for this claim. <![CDATA[<b>The memorable invention of the death of Jesus</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400008&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The death story of Jesus of Nazareth has traditionally been understood as a matter of historical fact. The various versions of the story would seem to confirm a documented death scene. Nevertheless, critical appraisals of this material have raised numerous questions regarding the passion story. This article considers how the very structure of the story is a vital clue to the way in which the death of Jesus was invented. The Jewish tale of the suffering and vindication of the innocent one provides the memory locus for discovering meaning in the fate of Jesus. We find that the basic fact of the death tale of Jesus is that it was a fiction, authorising further elaborations for those who understood the craft of memory. <![CDATA[<b>Theological imagination as hermeneutical device: Exploring the hermeneutical contribution of an imaginai engagement with the text</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400009&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In the past, biblical scholarship has neglected the hermeneutical contribution that an imaginai engagement with the text may make. The author's aim in this article was to develop theological imagination as a hermeneutical device. This was done by briefly considering the concurrence in the hermeneutic contributions of three interpreters of biblical texts, with specific regard to their understanding of biblical imagination. These were Walter Brueggemann, Paul Ricoeur and Ignatius of Loyola. Their hermeneutical contributions concur in their understanding of a biblically informed imagination, and it is specifically this aspect of the concurrence of their thought that was explored. An illustration from Proverbs 14:27, which draws on the metaphor and biblical motif of the fountain or source of life, was put forward to demonstrate how the concurrence in the contributions of these biblical interpreters may influence an imaginal engagement with the text. <![CDATA[<b>Myth as metaphor</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400010&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Modern Christianity has failed to update its myths and has even eliminated them, thus, excluding the metaphysical experience indispensable to religion (Jung). Myths should be interpreted, not eliminated. Answering the question about how to interpret myths without eliminating them or their intended effect is the object of this paper. The study investigates the possibility of interpreting myths as metaphors, thus, in a non-literal way. Various definitions of metaphor and myth, and theories for their interpretation are discussed, with focus on their relationship to symbolic universes. Finally, a non-mythical symbolic universe structured by root-metaphors is suggested as a framework for the existential interpretation of mythical concepts in the New Testament. <![CDATA[<b>Ricoeur on myth and demythologising</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400011&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Since Jean Paul Gustav Ricoeur's passing away in 2005, there has been a significant international resurgence of interest in his work. Coming to grips with the sheer extent of Ricoeur's publications on a variety of subjects can leave one thoroughly perplexed. This is also true when investigating his views on myth and demythologisation. Numerous of his publications expound from various perspectives his insights on myth and its interpretation. This investigation proposes to bring together Ricoeur's extensive contributions on myth, its interpretation and demythologisation in order to present them in condensed form. This will pave the way for a future follow-up study to compare Ricoeur's perspectives to Bultmann's demythologisation program and consider combining their contributions for theological hermeneutics. <![CDATA[<b>A therapeutic community as a relevant and efficient ecclesial model in African Christianity</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400012&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article sets forth the argument that Christian ministry in Africa must become socially and culturally informed and constructed or else it will not touch the African soul and thus remain superficial. Black African people aspire above everything else to experience fullness of life and wellbeing here and now, as demonstrated by their greetings that are actually an enquiry into each other's health and an expression of the wish for the other's good health and wellbeing. The mainline churches that operate in Africa should embrace the scripturally sound Christian healing ministry in obedience to Christ's commission to preach the gospel and heal the sick, if they are to prosper. Hence, this article discusses the following eight points, namely, (1) good health and healing as Africans' important aspiration, (2) healing as the work of God and thus of the church, (3) the imperative of serious consideration of and respect for the African worldview, (4) membership decline and mainline churches' loss of influence, (5) rethinking church in African Christianity, (6) the need for the black African church to adopt a therapeutic or healing community ecclesial model in order to position itself strategically to cater for the holistic needs of African (South African) church members and surrounding communities, (7) the rationale of the healing ministry in today's Reformed Church in Africa and (8) the recommended healing ministry. The article closes with a few concluding statements and advice. <![CDATA[<b>Spirituality and healthcare: Towards holistic people-centred healthcare in South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400013&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Healthcare in South Africa is in a crisis. Problems with infrastructure, management, human resources and the supply of essential medicines are at a critical level. This is compounded by a high burden of disease and disparity in levels of service delivery, particularly between public and private healthcare. The government has put ambitious plans in place, which are part of the National Development Plan to ward 2030. In the midst of this we find the individual person and their family and community staggering under the suffering caused by disease, poverty, crime and violence. There is a more than 70% chance that this person and their family and community are trying to make sense of this within a spiritual framework and that they belong to a faith-based community. This article explores the valuable contribution of spirituality, spiritual and pastoral work, the faith-based community (FBC) and faith-based organisations (FBOs) to holistic people-centred healthcare in South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Calling, is there anything special about it?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400014&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Within the Reformed tradition, 'calling' is a core concept. Often, this biblical verse is cited when a pastor is installed or a new candidate is ordained, 'The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it' (1 Th 5:24 NIV). It is also confessed within this tradition that all Christians are called to be faithful ministers of the graces of God in whatever profession they may serve. In some Presbyterian congregations, it is a practice to say at the baptism of a child, 'This is your ordination to ministry'. This article focuses on what is meant by calling when we use it in so many ways and with so many meanings. The first part explores the use of the concept in church history by different scholars and leaders - like in the Reformation. The second part briefly explores the implications and impact of the calling of someone into full-time congregational ministry. <![CDATA[<b>The reception of rhetorical elements in the Letter to Philemon by Patristic exegetes</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400015&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The aim of this study is to offer an overview of the way in which Patristic exegetes interpreted the rhetorical aspects of Paul's Letter to Philemon. Although a rhetorical analysis of the letter was not the matter which interested them as such, one can still obtain a fairly good idea of the way in which they perceived such aspects by reading their explanations of this letter. Accordingly, the contributions of all the Patristic exegetes in this regard are studied systematically in this study. The interpretations of the letters by Ambrosiaster, Jerome, John Chrysostom, Pelagius, Theodore of Mopsuestia and Theodoret of Cyrus are investigated from this angle. In each case, the most important comments on Paul's rhetorical strategy are identified and discussed. <![CDATA[<b>The healing power of just forgiveness, without excusing injustice</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400016&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Justice is closely related to forgiveness and the extent of the injustice gap experienced depends on how much or how little personal justice a wounded person desires. The experience of forgiveness includes two diverse forms of forgiveness: decisional and emotional forgiveness. Decisional forgiveness is controlling humans' behavioural intentions, while emotional forgiveness replaces negative, unforgiving emotions with positive, other-orientated emotions. A victim may make a decision to forgive, but never feels emotional peace about the decision to forgive. Both decisional and emotional forgiveness are experienced internally within a wounded person and depends on the social context of the transgression and the response to it. Justice can narrow the injustice gap, but rarely closes it, while forgiveness can heal the pain within the injustice gap. The sense of desired justice is to some degree justifiable, but by granting decisional forgiveness and experiencing emotional forgiveness a wounded person can slow down if not stop ruminating vengeful thoughts. Christians can forgive transgression and wrongdoing because they are responding in gratitude to God's mercy, loving-kindness and forgiveness through Jesus' death on the cross. God guides Christian believers through the example of Jesus's humility to forgive wrongdoing and ultimately grow spiritually when Jesus requires decisional forgiveness and desires emotional forgiveness between victim and offender. Forgiveness is based on God's forgiveness, while humans tend to both forgive and also pursue justice without excusing injustice. Humans are in their own power incapable of justly forgiving transgression, but God can guide people through the Holy Spirit to just forgiveness. <![CDATA[<b>Der Heilige Geist und die Realisierung des Glaubens in der Geschichte. Überlegungen zur systematischen Funktion der Pneumatologie</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400017&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Die systematische Funktion der Lehre vom Heiligen Geist für die theologische Dogmatik ist umstritten. Der Beitrag arbeitet in einer problemgeschichtlichen Perspektive die These aus, dass der Pneumatologie eine notwendige und eigene Funktion für die Explikation der Religion zukommt. Deren Thema ist, wie zu zeigen sein wird, das Wissen des religiösen Aktes um seine Einbindung in eine inhaltliche Überlieferung sowie deren Wandelbarkeit. <![CDATA[<b>De betekenis van Johan Buitendags stellingname in theologie der natuur</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400018&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article presents the importance of Buitendag's stance in the so-called 'theology of nature'. His theological statements endeavour to understand reality in conversation with other academic disciplines to see things in a wider and holistic perspective. Following a suggestion of Moltmann, theology must not restrict itself to internal ecclesiastical and personal faith topics but search for 'the truth of the whole'. It is argued that Buitendag's concept of holism is different from Moltmann's 'the truth of the whole'. Moltmann's holism is eschatologically directed after history, but is meaningless in a contemporary debate. His concept of history seems to be problematic too. Buitendag's holism is more Quinean as a comprehensive relative approach, bottom-up from contemporary insights within different academic disciplines. His theological approach looks like an ellipsis, involving both an ontological and epistemological focus. He defends (Trinitarian) communion as the primary concept, ontologically, which biologists may recognise in their observations of animal communities too. His theology shows a panentheistic perspective for the discourse on divine immanent agency by using as analogy the mind-body relationship in a sophisticated way. Buitendag shows the importance of this perspective for theological hermeneutics. This article presents some logical and theological problems in a panentheistic view which some prominent supporters defend as 'reality depicting'. Buitendag avoids this because of a relational ontology. <![CDATA[<b>Ritual failure in Romans 6</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400019&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Ritual studies are slow to make a large impact on New Testament studies, despite a number of notable exceptions. This notwithstanding, rituals occur frequently in the New Testament, in particular when there is a problem with a ritual. In this article, recent anthropological work on 'ritual failure' is used to address Paul's discussion of Roman practices concerning baptism in relation to a person's walk of life and to argue that this can be understood well as a case of 'ritual failure,' in which a ritual fails, from Paul's perspective, to achieve what it should. This leads both to challenging the attitude of the Romans concerning baptism and to a reconsideration of its significance. <![CDATA[<b>Preaching the 'green gospel' in our environment: A re-reading of Genesis 1:27-28 in the Nigerian context</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400020&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The article focuses on the text of Genesis 1:27-28 within its broader context where the author, the Jahwist, describes humankind as charged with the responsibility to fill and to subdue the earth, which has generally been misunderstood by wealth prospectors. Our methodology is a simplified historical and exegetical study of the two verses of the creation narrative in order to join other contemporary theologians to argue the right of humans to treat the nonhuman as private property as source of material wealth is immoral. As we re-read the text, our findings resonate with the contemporary clarion call for respect and protection of the environment such as COP 2015 in Paris. This provides the justification of our title 'Preaching the green gospel', especially in the Nigerian oil-rich states and in Africa in general. Whilst the paper presents a disquisition of the global efforts of the church through sensitisation of their members to appreciate the magnitude of the environmental pollution and the apocalypse it holds for the world, it draws attention to the possibility of the envisaged doomsday that may descend on Nigeria and other parts of Africa if the crass environmental degradation and the rate of pollution of flora and fauna are not checked. The paper takes cognisance of the positive views expressed by the evangelists of the 'New Theology' in Africa. Whilst the paper raises Biblically friendly ecological awareness in modern Africa, using Nigeria as a contact point, it concludes, inter alia, that the text demands humankind to partake in God's will for order and peace in the universe as it struggles to maintain the ecological sustainability of mother earth. <![CDATA[<b>Pastoral lessons from Augustine's theological correspondence with women</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400021&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Augustine of Hippo (354-430) was a fourth- and fifth-century monk-bishop who left a great imprint on the spiritual leaders of his day by overseeing the monastery at Hippo Regius and also authoring a significant corpus of letters that were pastoral in nature. What is often overlooked in the study of his pastoral ministry and, thus, the focus of this article, is Augustine's theological correspondence with 15 different women. Through surveying the themes and issues in these letters, I have endeavoured to show that, though a monk, Augustine did care for women in his pastoral ministry and his letters show that he discussed with women many of the issues of his day (pastoral issues, church matters, monastic ideas, theology, and practical theology) that he also discussed with his male correspondents. In short, Augustine believed that these women were much like his mother Monica - capable of grasping biblical and theological issues - and he valued them as an important part of the church. I conclude the article by summarising Augustine's approaches to and values for ministering to women. <![CDATA[<b>Psalm 101: A supplication for the restoration of society in the late post-exilic age</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400022&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article investigates the form and purpose of Psalm 101 from two perspectives: As a unique composition from the late Persian or early Hellenistic period, and in terms of its function within the context of Book IV of the Psalter. It is suggested that it was designed by exponents of wisdom and Torah piety to serve as a 'royal psalm' at exactly this location in the Psalter. It was meant to offer support to faithful Yahwists by criticising the apostate Judean aristocracy of its time of origin and serve as a prayer with which Yahweh could be beseeched to establish his righteous rule by judging evildoers and thus vindicating the faithful. <![CDATA[<b>Jewish fish (</b><b>ΙΧΘΥΣ</b><b>) in post-supersessionist water: Messianic Judaism within a post-supersessionistic paradigm</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400023&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article defines, explains and argues for the necessity of a post-supersessionistic hermeneutical posture towards the New Testament. The post-supersessionistic reading of the New Testament takes the Jewish nature of the apostolic documents seriously, and has as its goal the correction of the sin of supersessionism. While supersessionism theologically is repudiated in most corners of the contemporary church through official church documents, the practise of reading the New Testament continues to exhibit supersessionistic tendencies and outcomes. The consequence of this predominant reading of the New Testament is the continued exclusion of Jewish ethnic identity in the church. In light of the growing recognition of multiculturalism and contextualisation on the one hand, and the recent presence of a movement within the body of Messiah of Jewish believers in Jesus on the other, the church's established approach to reading Scripture that leads to the elimination of ethnic identity must be repudiated alongside its post-supersessionist doctrinal statements. This article defines terms, explains consequences and argues for a renewed perspective on the New Testament as an ethnic document; such a perspective will promote the church's cultivation of real embodied ethnic particularity rather than either a pseudo-interculturalism or the eraser full ethnicity. <![CDATA[<b>Believing in God the Father: Interpreting a phrase from the Apostle's Creed</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400024&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In our days, the creedal phrase 'I believe in God the Father almighty' is interpreted primarily along Trinitarian lines: It is applied to God as the Father of Jesus Christ. Here I argue that it has a dual background: in Jesus' prayer practice, in which He consistently addressed God as 'Father', and in the Hellenistic habit of referring to the Creator as 'Father'. I discuss Jesus' use of the term 'Father' against its Old Testament background, and argue that it primarily points to the intimacy of Jesus' relationship with His father. Against the Hellenistic background, however, the metaphor 'Father' means 'he who brings forth effortlessly'. Finally, I discuss some gender issues connected with the use of the term 'Father' for God. <![CDATA[<b>Workplace spirituality: A tool or a trend?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400025&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Workplace spirituality is a construct widely discussed over the past few decades and it is a much-disputed inquiry field which is gaining the interest of practitioners and scholars. Some clarifications regarding concepts and definitions are necessary in order to structure and direct the current debate. The aim of this conceptual article is to gain a better understanding regarding the direction in which this field of study is progressing and to put the question on the table namely, whether workplace spirituality is only a new tool to be used in leadership development or is it a trend to be taken seriously? The results showed that this field has potential to further development. This article can be used as foundation for future studies within the knowledge area of practical theology. <![CDATA[<b>Thomas Wolsey on stage and screen</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400026&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, lord chancellor of England from 1515 to 1529, has played no small part in the many literary, historical and dramatic retellings of the reign of King Henry VIII. This article presents the first extended analysis of the way in which Wolsey has been represented by playwrights and, later, film and television writers during the years from his death in 1530 through the present. The article demonstrates that by the middle of the 16th century, two competing narratives about Wolsey had become entrenched historiographically, and nearly all subsequent accounts borrow substantially from the narratives of either Edward Hall (1550) or George Cavendish (1554-1558). How successive playwrights and screenwriters balanced the cardinal's two archetypal personae has often depended, in no small part, on the concerns of their own day. In the 21st century, readings of the cardinal as crafty rather than callous, unlucky rather than unprincipled, have become more common, and with them have come more sympathetic portrayals of a traditional Tudor villain. <![CDATA[<b>The wisdom of Ben Sira in MENA cultural context: A cultural topical index</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400027&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The biblical Books of Proverbs and Ben Sira (Sirach; Ecclesiasticus) yield no narrative continuity or logical outline. They are simply collections. The best way to interpret these books is with the aid of a topical index. Most topical indexes are based on English (or another language) translation. This article proposes a tentative topical index reflecting Middle East North African culture and its values. It will serve as the outline for a full length commentary already in process. <![CDATA[<b>Shades of irony in the anti-language of Amos</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400028&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The rhetoric of Amos includes a wonderful mixture of humour and threat, sarcasm and irony, hyperbole and prediction. Holding the fabric of this conversation together is Amos's place within the prophetic minority - the Yahweh-only party (his anti-society). Making use of sociolinguistics, and particularly the idea of anti-language, I take a closer look at Amos, including his use of overlexicalisation, insider-humour and all the shades of irony one might expect. Typically of a member of an anti-society, Amos exaggerates the differences between insider and outsider, in this case, speaking of 'ivory houses', 'the cattle of Bashan' while appealing to his successful attempts to save the rich from the wrath of God. The offenses of the outsiders are sometimes crystal clear and at other times shrouded in metaphor, and so too is the fate of these people. In reading Amos, we are constantly in danger of falling victim to the persuasive power of his rhetoric. We are drawn into the world of Amos, quickly accepting his boundaries and the ideology of his anti-society, his depiction of reality and his stark caricature of the rich. The rhetoric is persuasive and the irony is divisive forcing a choice of black and white, believer and unbeliever, rich and poor, oppressors and oppressed. We struggle to swim against the current and instead long to respond to Amos's invitation to live (Am 5:5) - perhaps even to discover that elusive hope at which the book hints: Most of history has been the forging of structures of security and appropriate loyalty symbols, to announce and defend one's personal identity, one's group, and one's gender issues and identity. (Rohr 2011:4) <![CDATA[<b>De opstanding van Lazarus (Johannes 10:40-12:11): Bijbelse echo's in <i>Lazarus is dead </i>(2011) van Richard Beard</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400029&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article discusses the relationship between the modern novel of Beard and John's stories about Lazarus and Jesus, and wants to give answers to three questions: (1) how is the Lazarus story in John interpreted by Beard?; (2) what meaning does John's story have within its own literary and cultural setting?; (3) what similarities and differences are there between Beard's interpretation and the original meaning of the Johannine story? Questions 1 and 2 require an intratextual analysis, which focuses on the structure and meaning lines in each of the two texts. Then follows an intertextual analysis which in this article is particularly aimed at comparing the contents of the concepts/ death/ and/ live/ in the Fourth Gospel with the ways in which these concepts are semantically coloured in Beard's book. Studying echoes from the Bible in modern literary contexts can explain how the rich potential of meaning of biblical texts is being unlocked in new texts, time and time again, but can also help us to read the Bible with new eyes through the lens of modern culture. <![CDATA[<b><i>Kairos </i></b><b>moments and prophetic witness: Towards a prophetic ecclesiology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400030&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The thirtieth anniversary of the publication of the Kairos Document was celebrated in August 2015. This was the most radical of several theological declarations issued by Christians during the struggle against apartheid. Arguing that theology itself had become a site of that struggle, it rejected 'state theology', which gave legitimacy to apartheid, and 'church theology' which promoted reconciliation without justice as its pre-requisite. Against these, it presented a 'prophetic theology' as a challenge to the churches in response to what was perceived as a kairos moment. Since then the Kairos Document has inspired a global movement in which its social analysis and understanding of prophetic theology has been adopted in a variety of contexts, most notably in the Kairos-Palestine Document (2009). In reflecting on the significance of this global kairos movement, I firstly examine the meaning of 'prophecy' and 'prophetic theology', arguing that 'prophetic theology' is in continuity with the message of the Hebrew prophets and the ministry and mission of Jesus. Secondly, I examine the use of the term kairos to describe historical turning points which demand such a prophetic theological response. Thirdly, I address the need for an ecumenical prophetic ecclesiology that foregrounds the responsibility of the church to discern and understand those God-given kairos moments in history that demand a prophetic response. <![CDATA[<b>Afrikaners in post-apartheid South Africa: Inward migration and enclave nationalism</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400031&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es South Africa's transition to democracy coincided and interlinked with massive global shifts, including the fall of communism and the rise of western capitalist triumphalism. Late capitalism operates through paradoxical global-local dynamics, both universalising identities and expanding local particularities. The erstwhile hegemonic identity of apartheid, 'the Afrikaner', was a product of Afrikaner nationalism. Like other identities, it was spatially organised, with Afrikaner nationalism projecting its imagined community ('the volk') onto a national territory ('white South Africa'). The study traces the neo-nationalist spatial permutations of 'the Afrikaner', following Massey's (2005) understanding of space as (1) political, (2) produced through interrelations ranging from the global to micro intimacies, (3) potentially a sphere for heterogeneous co-existence, and (4) continuously created. Research is presented that shows a neo-nationalist revival of ethnic privileges in a defensive version of Hall's 'return to the local' (1997a). Although Afrikaner nationalism's territorial claims to a nation state were defeated, neo-nationalist remnants reclaim a purchase on white Afrikaans identities, albeit in shrunken territories. This phenomenon is, here, called Afrikaner enclave nationalism. Drawing on a global revamping of race as a category of social subjugation, a strategy is deployed that is here called 'inward migration'. These dynamics produce a privatised micro-apartheid in sites ranging from homes, to commercial and religious enterprises, to suburbs. Virtual white spaces in the form of Afrikaans media products serve as extensions of these whitened locales. The lynchpin holding it all together is the heteronormative, middle-class family, with consumption the primary mode of the generation of its white comfort zones. <![CDATA[<b>Human dignity and education - A Protestant view</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400032&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Taking current discussions on the relationship between human dignity as a human right and education as his starting point the author pursues the possibility of interpreting this relationship from a Protestant perspective based on the biblical understanding of the likeness of God. Since this understanding has not been at the centre of the majority view in Protestant educational thinking the author tries to uncover a minority tradition that has made the likeness of God the basis of education (Melanchthon, Comenius, and others). In another step, the author describes four foundational perspectives for making the likeness of God and human dignity the basis for education today, addressing education beyond utilitarianism, justice in education and education for justice, interreligious education and special commitment to children's rights. In all four respects Protestantism can make important contributions but there is also a need for the renewal of Protestantism's understanding of education in light of future challenges. <![CDATA[<b>The Way of the Mystic: The Sanjuanist stages of the spiritual path</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400033&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es A major conceptual dynamic in all major religious traditions is the need for purification and transformation of the individual in order to effect integration and maturation of the personality in the divine. Although the means by which this purification takes place differs according to the cultural and religious configurations of any given tradition, nevertheless a recurring image is that of an inner and outer odyssey. A major example is the threefold path of John of the Cross, which presents a psycho-spiritual journey by which 'divine osmosis' can be realised, passing through the 'dark night of the soul', and culminating in 'spiritual marriage'. Although not accepted by many theoreticians and practitioners of mysticism, nevertheless the value of the Sanjuanist schemata still holds sway in contemporary society. <![CDATA[<b>Theology and development as capability expansion</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400034&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es For the last 25 years, human development has become part of official development discourses. It takes the normative position that the success of policies depends on whether they have expanded human flourishing, or expanded the 'freedoms' or 'capabilities' people have 'reason to value', as Amartya Sen would put it. It emphasises the importance of institutions to facilitate such expansion, and the agency of people to create such institutions. The ability of institutions to be conducive to human flourishing depends on the nature of human interaction. When human interaction no longer has the flourishing of other persons as its aim, it can create structures which then constrain human agency. The article argues that the human development perspective could be enriched by theological insights such as structural sin and the contribution of religious narratives to public reasoning. It concentrates on the idea of justice of one biblical parable, and illustrates its argument with examples from the Argentine labour context. <![CDATA[<b>Why cannot the term development just be dropped altogether? Some reflections on the concept of maturation as alternative to development discourse</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400035&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This contribution is aimed at some provocation by questioning the basic assumptions of current development discourse (also in the context of religion and theology). It asks for conceptual clarification and differentiation on the meaning of various process terms. It needs to be recognised that the word development remains a metaphor than can indeed be extended but can also become over-extended and ossified. The concept of development is then contrasted with the process of maturation. It is argued that the concept of maturation is, (1) better able to indicate the final goal of the process than most other process terms, (2) recognises inherent limitations and (3) follows natural cycles better than exponential growth, sustained development or endless progress. <![CDATA[<b>Did Ms Wisdom of Proverbs 8 become a mystery in 4QInstruction?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400036&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The Hebrew Bible is quoted and alluded to in 4QInstruction. There is an obvious similarity between the way the raz nihyeh of 4QInstruction and Lady Wisdom in Proverbs 8 function. This intertextual study investigates this phenomenon by comparing 4Q416 2 III 8-21 and 4Q417 1 I with Proverbs 8:12-21 and 8:22-31. It is concluded that apocalyptic influence changed the character of Lady Wisdom but not her essential function. <![CDATA[<b>The text-critical and exegetical value of the Dead Sea Scrolls</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400037&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article will analyse a number of Dead Sea manuscripts and/or fragments in order to determine their linguistic and exegetical value. The article will, firstly, address textual material that is largely in agreement with the Massoretic Text - 1QIsaª is a case in point. Secondly, fragments that are seemingly less relevant will be discussed. The less helpful fragments from the Biblical books Proverbs and Job are taken as examples. Finally, highly significant textual differences, such as a fragment from Genesis 1 and one from the complicated books of Jeremiah, will be evaluated. <![CDATA[<b>Orphans in the Dead Sea Scrolls</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400038&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This study investigates the literary references to orphans in writings amongst the Qumran texts that were written in Hebrew and can be associated with the sectarian Qumran movement. The study focuses on passages where forms of the word -•-• are used. These include the Damascus Document (CD 6:16-17), Hodayot (1QHª 13:22) and Barkhi Nafshiª (4Q434 1 i 2). The investigation concludes that the references to orphans in these passages do not have the same rhetorical functions. In CD 6, the wordings of authoritative scriptures are adapted to portray orphans and widows as the victims of wrongdoing. In 1QHª and 4Q434, however, orphans are mentioned in hymns that praise the Lord's positive treatment of needy people. <![CDATA[<b>Review of James Alfred Loader 'Proverbs 1-9' (Historical Commentary on the Old Testament), Peeters Leuven, 2014</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400039&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Loader's commentary on Proverbs 1-9 belongs to the category of technical commentaries. It is evaluated in terms of similar commentaries written by scholars who focus on interpreting the original Hebrew text. The design of the commentary, the four essays included in the commentary, and the approach to the text is discussed. A final section deals with Loader's exposition of Proverbs 8. This section focuses on the problematic Hebrew terms qnhin 8:22 and 'amon in 8:30 and compares his interpretation with the opinions raised by other scholars in this regard. <![CDATA[<b>Aesthetics, mysticism and the art of living</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400040&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article analyses aesthetics and mysticism in the writings of Albert Geyser, the prominent South African theologian who is mostly known for his brave, uncompromising struggle against the apartheid system. In the first part of the article, brief introductory comments are made about Geyser's theological and political role in South Africa in the light of his Protestant context and his opposition to apartheid. It is then investigated how his reputation as a Biblical scholar and his protracted, much publicised stance against apartheid obfuscate his remarkable interest in aesthetics and mysticism and explains why his other theological interests and especially his interest in mysticism have not yet been researched. In the second part of the paper Geyser's mystical interests are investigated by analysing his comments on church architecture, worship, music, liturgy and his pioneering translation of Thomas á Kempis' Imitatio Christi. <![CDATA[<b>'Something is recognised': A liberal Protestant reflection on Erik Borgman's cultural theology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400041&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The Dutch Roman Catholic theologian Erik Borgman (1957), who developed a cultural theology, was appointed as a visiting professor at the liberal Protestant theological Mennonite Seminary in Amsterdam. In this article, his progressive Roman Catholic theology is compared to a liberal Protestant approach. The historical backgrounds of these different types of theology are expounded, all the way back to Aquinas and Scotus, in order to clarify their specific character for the sake of a better mutual understanding. Next, the convergence of these two types of theology in the twentieth century is explained with reference to the philosophy of Heidegger. Finally, the difficulties posed by postmodern philosophies to both a progressive Roman Catholic theology and a liberal Protestant theology are shown. It is asserted that both types of theology claim that the insights of their particular tradition can be relevant beyond this tradition to modern and postmodern humans. <![CDATA[<b>Partners in history: The Dutch Reformed Church and theological training at the University of Pretoria: 1938-2000</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400042&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria celebrates its centenary in 2017. Theological training at the university started in 1917 when the Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika decided to train its own ministers. In 1937 the Dutch Reformed Church decided to establish a faculty of its own at the university. This led to a faculty with two sections: Section A for the Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk and Section B for the Dutch Reformed Church. This was the situation until 2000 when the two faculties merged to become one. Although theological training by the Dutch Reformed Church only started in 1938, their faculty, Section B was an important partner through the 100 years of theological training. This article gives a chronology of the history of the Faculty of Theology Section B as partner in the history of theological training at the University of Pretoria. <![CDATA[<b>The theory-practice distinction and the complexity of practical knowledge</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400043&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Over the past few decades, theologians have recognised the value of practice but have been optimistic about the ease with which practice is incorporated into theology. People use all sorts of adjectives to characterise the complex relationship - 'integrally related', a 'deeper reciprocity', 'bound up in thickly intertwined ways' - but connecting the two is not as easy as these words suggest. This article returns to the age-old question about the relationship between theory and practice. But it studies this question from the angle of practice. Although many scholars have analysed the distinction between theory and practice as it functions conceptually, few have examined challenges in relating the two as they emerge in practice. The article argues that there is an inevitable distinction between theory and practice that receives considerably less attention and needs more understanding and even respect. It also argues that the discipline of practical theology adds a distinctive angle on this discussion because it considers how the concepts function practically. <![CDATA[<b>Ecological ethics and creation faith</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400044&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Over past decades a concept of ecological ethics has taken root, which is often equated with environmental ethics. Church and theology have also responded to the environmental crisis. In the last third of the past century an intense discourse about the concerns and extent of a so-called creation ethics was conducted. In connection with the question of a creation ethics, and the global responsibility of humans for the biosphere of our planet, the topic of creation has also gained new attention in dogmatics. In this way, ecology has also become a topic of systematic theology. The article focuses on the debate in the German speaking context. Occasionally, a quasi-religious elevation of ecology to the status of a doctrine of salvation is observable. Because theology always also has a function of critique of religion, it must also critically engage the sometimes open and sometimes hidden religious contents and claims of eco-ethical concepts. For this purpose, the first step of the present contribution is to more precisely determine the concepts of creation and nature. Thereafter, the problem of anthropocentrism is analysed. In a further step, the concept of sustainability is analysed. In conclusion, the main features of a responsibility-ethics model of ecological ethics are outlined. <![CDATA[<b>Interreligious education in the context of Social Psychology research on attitudes and prejudice</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400045&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Since the mid-1990s, interreligious education has become an integral component of the religious education debate. Regardless of the affective level that interreligious education seeks to provide, the desired changes in attitude and prejudice require one to take into account a diversity of research on attitude and prejudice. Accordingly, the goal of the present article is to encourage the adoption of psychological theories of prejudice with a view to the prospects they offer to interreligious education. However, because the field of psychological prejudice research is complex, we will only be discussing those theories that, firstly, reflect the present state of prejudice psychology and, secondly, are of particular relevance to interreligious education; these are cognitive theories (accentuation theory, illusory correlation theory, attribution theory), the social identity theory, and social learning theory. Emanating from this review, the article will go on to reflect different strategies of attitude change for interreligious learning. <![CDATA[<b>Poverty in the first-century Galilee</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400046&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In the Ancient world poverty was a visible and common phenomenon. According to estimations 9 out of 10 persons lived close to the subsistence level or below it. There was no middle class. The state did not show much concern for the poor. Inequality and disability to improve one's social status were based on honour and shame, culture and religion. In order to understand the activity of Jesus and the early Jesus movement in Galilee, it is essential to know the social and economic context where he and his followers came. The principal literary source in first-century Galilee is Josephus, who provides a very incomplete glimpse of the political and economic character of the Galilee and his account is both tendentious and self-serving. There is no consensus among the scholars on the conditions of ordinary people in Galilee at the time of Jesus and the early Jesus movement. The evidence can be interpreted either so that first-century Galilee was peaceful and people had somewhat better times economically because of the large building projects, or just the opposite - the building projects demanded a lot more taxes and forced labour and made life even more difficult. In this article it is argued that the latter conditions explain better the birth and rapid increase of the early Jesus movement in Galilee. <![CDATA[<b>The Matthean community within a Jewish religious society</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400047&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es It is argued that the Matthean Gospel partially reflects the unstable political and religious situation in which this document originated. Broad outlines are postulated of this probable religious situation. This article presents an investigation of the developments within the broader Jewish society during the time of the New Testament. This implies the investigation of developments within Judaism, which entails some fragmentation of Judaism and a development towards Formative Judaism. The 'Jesus movement' (church) and eventually the Matthean community evolved among these developments. <![CDATA[<b>The betrayal of Edom: Remarks on a claimed tradition</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400048&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Biblical and post-Biblical texts refer to the tradition of the betrayal of Edom. During the conquest the brother-nation of Edom would have betrayed Judah by choosing sides with the Babylonians. Historical and archaeological evidence for this 'fact' is absent or not convincing. It is argued that the occupation of Southern Judah by the Edomites in late Babylonian and/or Persian times would have been the source of this claimed tradition. <![CDATA[<b>Why (suffering) women matter for the heart of transformative missional theology perspectives on empowered women and mission in the New Testament and early Christianity</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400049&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In this article, it is argued that from the beginning of the Christ-following movement, the gospel message represented a challenge to a male-dominated social system. Early Christian literature shows that women, whose voices were often silenced in antiquity, are empowered. This is seen most clearly in the Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicity. There we see how the protagonists is presented as acting counter culturally, challenging the world of men and turning patriarchal values and expectations upside down. It could be argued that the gospel message portrays women in the centre of missionary witness and empowers them in this manner. Furthermore, early Christian Martyrdom texts also show how the concept of suffering, honour and shame is redefined and how power and strength in weakness and oppression is reformulated. <![CDATA[<b>Children's experience of holiness in health care. Are we rendering effective spiritual care?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400050&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Children themselves place a high value on their own spiritual care when in hospital. However, the spiritual care of children in hospital is often overlooked. Hospitalisation and medical procedures can be traumatic and overwhelming for children, they often see hospitalisation as punishment for something they did wrong and they can even experience spiritual distress during illness and suffering. The spiritual care of hospitalised children should thus be a priority to help these children making sense of pain and suffering, and assisting them to connect with a loving and forgiving God. Spirituality namely influences a diverse range of human concerns such as beliefs about illness and health, fears, relationships with family and friends and the experience of pain and suffering. Unfortunately, children often harbour misconceptions precisely in these areas. This article will draw directly on the given that children are concrete thinkers, yet able to have an understanding of holiness and God as the Holy One, if they receive the right guidance. The study will explore children's spirituality and the way in which they experience holiness in the healthcare environment from a nursing science perspective. <![CDATA[<b>Holiness and humour</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400051&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Although Christian spirituality includes a long tradition of suspicion of humour, humour can express and further holiness in several ways. Humour serves holiness in religious satire; it can also communicate the self-transcendent perspective of holy women and men. Humour and holiness can also illuminate each other because both are inherently relational. Christian holiness consists primarily in right relationship to the Holy One and, thus, to others. Humour's complex relational nature is examined with the help of Ted Cohen's analysis of joke-telling and evolutionary and cognitive research. Humour and its primary expression, laughter, are inherently ambiguous, capable of expressing and creating a range of attitudes and relationships; consequently, they can both conduce to and hinder holiness. Finally, humour can contribute to the religious imagination, and thus to holiness, by challenging established images of the holy, inviting fresh theological reflection, and inspiring ethical action. Both holiness and humour require openness to that which is beyond us and agility in responding to the other. <![CDATA[<b>Holiness as friendship with Christ: Teresa of Avila</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400052&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Teresa of Avila, writing in the 16th century when ideas of holiness often excluded women and lay people, developed a radically inclusive understanding of holiness as friendship with Christ. Her idea also allowed for degrees of holiness, from those who completed only the necessary church requirements of confession and absolution all the way up to those who had a friendship that was modelled upon the relationship in the Song of Songs. It was a definition of holiness applicable to men and women, clergy, members of religious orders, and lay people. In addition, her understanding of holiness did not distinguish the holiness of ordinary lay people from that of the great saints of previous generations, for friendship with Christ was open to all. <![CDATA[<b>The elephant in the room: The need to re-discover the intersection between poverty, powerlessness and power in 'Theology and Development' praxis</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400053&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es South Africa remains a divided community on many levels: socially, racially and socioeconomically. This is no more evident than in the recent protests - most notably waged on university campuses and on the streets in the past year. This, the article argues, is closely related to the need to reclaim the notion of power by those who feel they remain relegated to the social and economic peripheries after over 20 years of democracy. While 'theology and development' praxis has been most closely associated in a post-apartheid era with welfare and charity approaches or pragmatic interaction with state and civil society (both of which have been critiqued), what has not been sufficiently addressed is the notion of power which once dominated ecclesiastical discourses. This is the proverbial 'elephant in the room', which the article argues must once again be revisited and re-engaged - both within scholarly reflection and within church practice - in order to address these divides. <![CDATA[<b>'Welc(h)omo Naledi'! What does our newest relative have to say to us?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400054&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The new hominin fossil called Homo naledi that was discovered 2 years ago in the Dinaledi Chamber (South Africa) was welcomed into the species of human relatives on 10 September 2015. Welcomed? Representing at least 15 individuals with most skeletal elements repeated multiple times, this is the largest assemblage of a single species of hominins yet discovered in Africa. Do, however, these bones represent a new Homo species? It is this question that I have tried to capture in my playful grammatically incorrect title 'Welc(ho)mo Naledi'! However, it is not this question that I will endeavour to answer, but a very different theological implication. My aim in this article is definitely not to argue an opinion on the diverse question regarding the discovery of the fossil skeletons from the Dinaledi Chamber. My aim is related but different, much more modest, restricted and focused. It is to ask 'on the other historic side' (that is, beyond the fossil record!) of Naledi about human distinctiveness and symbolic behaviour, specifically on soteriology. Within the broader contemporary philosophical-theological discourses on anthropology and specifically the fundamental question, 'Are we special?', I would like ultimately to take on the intriguing theological implications for soteriology from the Naledi (and earlier) findings. <![CDATA[<b>How to expect God's reign to come: From Jesus' through the ecclesial to the cosmic body</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400055&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This study seeks to articulate the universality of the eschatological expectation, in its specifically Christian form, by interpreting it from the perspective of a radical embodiment. This can be understood in a twofold manner. Firstly, the mysterious reality of the eschatological reign of God is rooted in - and thus can be more adequately grasped through the lens of - Jesus' own body seen as distinct yet not separate from his risen body and, mutatis mutandis, from his extended body, both ecclesial and cosmic. Secondly, for the eschatological expectation to be lived out in an incarnational way, it must be 'enfleshed' in actions aimed at social and ecological liberation. The article consists of four sections. Firstly, we explain in what sense body - and more specifically Jesus' body - is used in our analysis as a hermeneutic key to notions such as 'risen body', 'spiritual body', 'extended body', 'social body', 'ecclesial body', 'cosmic body', basar/kol basar ('flesh'/'all flesh'), and 'life'. Then, the universality of the eschatological expectation is being articulated on two levels, namely, (1) with regard to the social, and in particular the ecclesial, body, and (2) with regard to the cosmic body, with ecological implications inherent in such perspective. Finally, we close the loop by briefly revisiting the notion of Jesus' body. <![CDATA[<b>Re-visiting the notion of Deep Incarnation in light of 1 Corinthians 15:28 and emergence theory</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400056&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Niels Hendrik Gregersen's 'Deep Incarnation' is opening up possibilities for engagement between science and theology. Recent discoveries, like that of Homo naledi, raise questions about how inclusive a Christian doctrine of Incarnation is. Is Jesus only God incarnate for Homo sapien sapiens, or is the incarnation inclusive of preceding hominid species as well? Does the incarnation stretch beyond the hominid line? This chapter engages Gregersen's understanding of Deep Incarnation in light of 1 Corinthians 15:28 and emergence theory. It proposes that there is a direct correlation between worldview and how we believe in the inclusive nature of divine incarnation. <![CDATA[<b>Theology in the flesh - embodied sensing, consciousness and the mapping of the body</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400057&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Flowing from his model for a contemporary theological anthropology as embodied sensing, the author focuses on the corporeal-linguistic turn in the 21st century and explores how his use of bodymapping, as an applied aspect of theological anthropology within the context of narrative therapy, intersects with the work of the neuro-scientist, Antonio Damasio on consciousness, and specifically his research on how the brain constantly maps the body in the brain. The author also explores the notion of sensing in the latest book of the Irish philosopher Richard Kearney and based on this, expands his model for theological anthropology to the embodied sensing of meaning. <![CDATA[<b>Re-enchanted by beauty. On aesthetics and mysticism</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400058&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The article investigates the potential of mysticism to revitalise theology. It firstly traces how aesthetics was understood in theology and provides reasons for this view. It then investigates how the predominant epistemological approach in theology privileged conceptual knowledge and relativised aesthetics as being subjective and therefore unreliable. It gives special attention to this epistemology by spelling out how the intellectualisation of contemporary theology intensified the process of obfuscating and sidelining aesthetics. In a third part, the article spells out the consequences of this position by analysing how theology is becoming a disenchanted enterprise. The article then investigates how aesthetics often is taking over the role of theology and its formative role in social discourse. It focuses on the epistemological nature of this turn towards aesthetics, arguing that aesthetics with its profound notion of beauty (with goodness and joy as its corollaries), is increasingly reappraised as a legitimate, but different kind and source of knowledge. The article then argues how aesthetics can reinvigorate theology as a source of knowledge together with conceptual knowledge. It ends by investigating how theology can be re-enchanted by learning from the prominent role and invigorating forms of aesthetics in mysticism. <![CDATA[<b>How scientific is theology really? A matter of credibility</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400059&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The criteria for what is considered as science have been debated for a very long time. This article assumes the scientific nature of Theology as a given. This article discusses in three concentric circles the scientific nature of Theology and the type of contribution Theology can make. The first circle addresses the nature of science. This broader look at what is considered to be science sets the context for the ensuing discussion. Secondly, Theology as science is investigated. The criteria which make Theology an indispensable part of the scientific project is identified as the ability to collaborate with other sciences based on a shared interest in reality and creation. Further, Theology as science has the ability to contextualise the products of scientific efforts to be relevant not only to the faith community but to society at large. Theology as science requires a critical self-reflection which does not only include a self-understanding but also a self-renewal. The third concentric circle focusses on the scientific nature of Theology as practised at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria. The Faculty of Theology endeavours to produce life-giving Theology. To prove itself to be scientific Theology needs to act credible by contributing to the wellness of society. <![CDATA[<b>Theology and higher education: The place of a Faculty of Theology at a South African university</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400060&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In 2017, the Faculty of Theology celebrates its centenary at the University of Pretoria. Celebrating a centennial is as much as looking back as looking forward. In a changing world with changing paradigms how does one remain relevant? Different challenges and expectations presented to tertiary institutions of education in a new dispensation puts all concerned with higher education in South Africa under pressure. The question addressed in this article is how will a Faculty of Theology (in this case at the University of Pretoria) remain relevant to such an extent that it is continued to be viewed as desirable to have such a faculty present at a university, participating in the academic process and simultaneously continues to contribute to the well-being of the South African society. The author suggests the following guidelines for consideration. In order to remain relevant for the next couple of hundred years the Faculty of Theology should engage contextually with society, practise interdisciplinary Theology, engage in interreligious dialogue while still remaining connected to faith communities. A paradigm of post-foundationalism enables Theology to exercise Theology in a relevant and meaningful manner. <![CDATA[<b>Gateway to the future … <i>oopmaak van die hekke …</i> Transformation in the Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400061&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The only constant in theological education is change, despite brave attempts to hold the tide back in some quarters. Yet, Western-based theological education remains the norm globally. The Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria exemplifies this norm despite its commitment to Africanisation. This article will consider transformation through the lens of the leadership of Prof. Johan Buitendag, who has led the transformation initiative from his own shared leadership perspective as dean since 2010. Change in the faculty will be analysed through analysis of the faculty plans, with particular reference to teaching, learning and research. Consideration will be given to a more radical proposal for future transformation under the initiative of Africanisation. <![CDATA[<b>Being transdisciplinary theologians in and beyond apocalyptic environments</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400062&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article offers a description of transdisciplinary facilitation that is suitable for theologians and ministers. The reflective aspect of transdisciplinary facilitation is illustrated through an engagement with transdisciplinary research on environmentalism and ecotheology. This article also suggests that Ernst Conradie could be appreciated, drawn on and critiqued as a transdisciplinary theologian and not a contextual theologian. <![CDATA[<b>The spatial dynamics of Jesus as King of Israel in the Gospel according to John</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400063&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The presence of the kingdom of God is usually associated with the theology of the Synoptic Gospels, but this article describes how the concept of kingdom also plays an important role in the Gospel of John, as Busse also argues. It is argued that the Johannine group identify themselves as children of the King and regard themselves as members of the kingdom, of which Jesus, the Messiah, is the major representative on Earth. What is expected of a king in ancient Hellenistic times is true of Jesus. He has power, gives and interprets commandments, judges, saves and protects. Although these events are historically set in a politically tense situation between the Jews and Romans, Jesus' kingship is from above, revealing God's narrative of salvation and eternal life in the world below. In this way God's transcendental narrative of love, life, truth and light serves as a heuristic tool to understand and interpret events in the world below. <![CDATA[<b>Authentic subjectivity and social transformation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400064&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Holiness in the Christian tradition has often been understood in a way that devalues embodiment and practical engagement with the world of one's time. The latter understanding, for example, led to Marx's critique and repudiation of Christianity. Both interpretations of holiness can be understood as mistaken efforts to express the dynamism for authenticity in contextualised human subjectivity. Vatican 2 opposed both views by addressing itself to all people of good will, declaring that everyone was called to holiness, and that authentic Christian identity involved solidarity with the world of one's time, especially those who are poor. Vatican 2, therefore, provided an authoritative faith foundation for holiness expressed through social commitment and for viewing social commitment on the part of people of good will in whatever state of life as a form of holiness. This vision was also the conviction of leading spirituality writers of the period, like Thomas Merton, and inspired liberation theologians and the Latin American Catholic bishops at their conference in Medellín a few years after the Council. The argument of this article is that the emergence and development of a non-dualist Christian spirituality is grounded methodologically in the correct appropriation of the common innate dynamism for authenticity in concrete human persons and lived spiritual experiences consistent with and capable of enhancing this dynamism. <![CDATA[<b>Mystical holiness in Mark's Gospel</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400065&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The article discusses holiness as a theme in the Gospel of Mark from the perspective of biblical spirituality. It first establishes the framework within which holiness is understood by discussing holiness in spirituality, in the early Christian context of Mark and in terms of Mark's focus on the identity of Jesus. The article then focuses on holiness in terms of the human pole in the divine-human relationship by investigating how holiness is about awe and fear before Jesus as the mystery of God's kingdom (Mk. 4:11). It then analyses holiness in terms of the divine pole in the divine-human relationship by investigating Jesus as the Holy One of God. It concludes with an analysis of Jesus' reaffirmation, interiorisation, radicalisation and embodiment of holiness and of Mark's mystagogical approach to holiness within the lived experience of his community. <![CDATA[<b>Hoist by our own petard: Backing slowly out of religion and development advocacy</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400066&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es There has been a massive advocacy movement over the last 15 years that has sought to advance the case of religion into view of decision-makers in the international development sector. This advocacy effort has been dispersed and not centrally organised, and is made up of the efforts of multiple development actors, religious institutions, researchers and others. This article shows how this advocacy approach has been highly successful in increasing acceptance of the fact that religion is relevant to development, and religious communities and institutions make contributions to the development effort - and this acceptance can now be seen at the highest levels. However, the article highlights several challenges that have come with this advocacy approach. It therefore supports urgent reflection on the direction of this advocacy going forward and suggests that major and uncomfortable adaptations might now be required. <![CDATA[<b>Transformational development in a changing context: A Latin American perspective</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400067&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article analyses the challenges for the strategies and practices of transformational development in a changing context. This reflection is based on contributions received during the process of dialogues and regional consultations, realised from August 2012 until March 2014, of the ACT Alliance, an international coalition of churches and faith-based organisations (FBOs) working in the areas of humanitarian response, development and advocacy. The main processes that affect the changing development context are addressed, such as the ongoing globalisation as well as the consequences, mainly regarding the shrinking space for civil society. It discusses the concepts of human development and of transformational development, based on a people-centred development vision, a human rights-based approach and advocacy, which addresses the root causes and effects of poverty, inequality and injustice. Transformational development practices, from Latin America, are presented and analysed. The article concludes that the changing development context also offers opportunities, especially regarding regional and global alliances of FBOs, civil society organisations and of social movements. <![CDATA[<b>Engaging the religiocultural quest in development: An African indigenous perspective</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400068&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The intertwining nature of African life and livelihood is a considerable challenge to the discourse of development. In as much as the view on unlocking both the spiritual and physical dimensions of life in developmental endeavours is frowned upon, contemporary exploration into indigenous knowledge systems as an alternative discourse of development does not simply transform the dialogue but posits it as a discourse of power. This article examines the interplay between indigenous beliefs and knowledge systems and the discourse of development, with a focus on the Nankani in the Upper East Region of Ghana. <![CDATA[<b>John Haught on original sin: A conversation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400069&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article engages with John Haught's views on original sin. It offers a brief orientation to discourse on sin in the context of theological debates on human evolution. This is followed by a thick description of Haught's so-called note on original sin. A series of five observations and questions regarding Haught's position is offered. It is observed that Haught's way of telling the story of sin and salvation follows a classic Roman Catholic plot, namely one based on grace elevating nature. This is contrasted with the more typically reformed plot of restoration. <![CDATA[<b>'Raising righteous billionaires': The prosperity gospel reconsidered</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400070&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es How should we think of development within an ideological format in which individual subjects are abstracted from the constraints and necessities of social policy and the political structure? Using this question as a spark, this article critically deconstructs the Pentecostal prosperity gospel in Africa. Two overlapping arguments are advanced. One is that, in atomising the individual, Pentecostal prosperity gospel discounts power relations and the political, effectively dislocating the individual believer from the social matrix within which his or her agency is forged. Secondly, it is suggested that this attitude towards both the individual and the state puts Pentecostalism firmly within the orbit of neoliberalism. This article leverages this affinity for an understanding of how neoliberal ideas and conceptions of wealth, accumulation and self-actualisation are embedded and reproduced in Pentecostalism. It concludes that, because, on the one hand, it has no lever - historical or philosophical - on which it might be grounded, and on the other hand, since it has developed no cogent political economy to speak of, prosperity gospel, nay Pentecostal spirituality, offers no realistic path out of the African economic crisis. <![CDATA[<b>Faith-based organisations between service delivery and social change in contemporary China: The experience of Amity Foundation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400071&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es China has undergone a profound paradigm shift in its approach to economic development since its policy of 'opening and reform' was first implemented in 1978. It has shifted rapidly from a centrally planned economy to a market-oriented one, speeding up its economic development through foreign investment, a more open market, access to advanced technologies and management experience. It is notable that its economic growth, marked by annual double-digit rises in GDP over two decades, has lifted more than 400 million people out of extreme poverty. Today, the number of Chinese billionaires has ballooned, but so has the rich-poor gap. China's 'development' has to address this urgent issue. This article examines, based on the experience of Amity Foundation, one of China's largest faith-based organisations (FBOs), how religious organisations are being harnessed by the state to redress the wealth gap arising from 'development'. The process of social engagement has empowered FBOs, made their presence more accepted and appreciated in Chinese society and contributed to the creation of more social and political space for a nascent civil society. The author argues that FBOs must provide visible, viable and replicable alternatives in their social practices that are firmly rooted in their faith, if they are to make any sustainable impact on the development debate. <![CDATA[<b>Cultural stereotyping of the lady in 4Q184 and 4Q185</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400072&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Wisdom and wickedness as a 'Woman' have always attracted much discussion, especially in the ways images of the female are employed in wisdom literature. This article focuses on two Qumran texts that fall into the category of wisdom literature, namely 4Q184 and 4Q185, and the metaphorical appropriation of the woman as a figure of wisdom or a figure of wickedness. By combining a number of traditions in certain forms, sages tried to establish an education for their learners on how to obtain wisdom with the ultimate purpose of creating harmony. The ultimate purpose of the wisdom teachings of the sages was to confirm the harmony in the universe, and these teachings were also conveyed to their learners. In their instructions, they often employed binary opposites such as 'wise' and 'fool' according to which someone was characterised, or rather stereotyped. The result of such binary stereotyping was that the 'whore' and the 'holy one' represented opposite poles, and became fixed images in Judaism. According to feminist exegetes, these images typify the concept of cultural stereotyping. This article aims to illustrate that two Qumran texts, 4Q184 and 4Q185, regarded as wisdom texts, employ the female stereotypes that were known in the wisdom literature of Judaism. <![CDATA[<b>Doing</b><b> Justice' (</b>משפט בעושי<b>) to the Dead Sea Scrolls: Reading 1QS 8:1-4 in literary and sectarian context</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400073&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Within the Community Rule, 1QS 8:1-4 has at times been used as an intertext to support claims pertaining to the future expectations of both early Jesus movements and the historical Jesus himself. In particular, the passage has functioned as an intertext to support the notion that Jesus and some of his earliest movements foresaw the future restoration and liberation of greater Israel in toto, including outsiders. Without getting involved in this larger New Testament debate, the current article wishes to address the appropriateness of using 1QS 8:1-4 as an intertext without taking its literary and sectarian contexts into consideration. Focusing throughout on the interrelationship between judgement and boundary demarcation, this article will unfold in a centripetal manner. Firstly, it will treat the commonalities among all the sectarian Dead Sea Scrolls. Secondly, the discussion will direct its focus specifically to the Community Rule. Finally, we will look at 1QS 8:1-4 in particular. <![CDATA[<b>Panpsychism, pan-consciousness and the non-human turn: Rethinking being as conscious matter</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400074&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es It is not surprising that in a time of intensified ecological awareness a new appreciation of nature and the inanimate world arises. Two examples are panpsychism (the extension of consciousness to the cosmos) and deep incarnation (the idea that God was not only incarnated in human form but also in the non-human world). Consciousness studies flourish and are related to nature, the animal world and inorganic nature. A metaphysics of consciousness emerges, of which panpsychism is a good example. Panpsychism or panconsciousness or speculative realism endows all matter with a form of consciousness, energy and experience. The consciousness question is increasingly linked to the quantum world, which offers some option in bridging mind and reality, consciousness and matter. In this regard Kauffman's notion of 'triad' is referred to as well as the implied idea of cosmic mind. This is related to the notion of 'deep incarnation' as introduced by Gregersen. Some analogical links are made between panpsychism and deep incarnation. <![CDATA[<b>Deep incarnation: From deep history to post-axial religion</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400075&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article presents in broad outline the theological concept of deep incarnation and brings it into dialogue with correlative ideas of deep history and deep sociality. It will be argued that neither Christology, nor evolution, can be properly understood from a chronocentric perspective. Evolution is not only about development but also about the exploration of ecospace. Likewise, a contemporary Christology should explicate incarnation as a divine assumption of the full ecospace of the material world of creation. It will then be argued that an interactionist view of deep history is preferable to the evolutionary cognitive theory of religion (ECTR). Against this background, the paper will explore Jesus of Nazareth's role in the context of post-axial mentalities. <![CDATA[<b>Rethinking the theory of evolution: New perspectives on human evolution and why it matters for Theology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400076&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article addresses the issue of human imagination from the perspective of 'niche construction' in the wider discussion about 'what makes us human' and what it means to be a 'self', specifically for the Christian faith and for theology. In the article, a brief review of human origins and human evolution demonstrates the path and substantive impact of changes in behaviour, life histories and bodies in our human ancestors and us as humans ourselves. In the interactive process of niche construction, potentially changeable natural environments were, and are, acting continuously on variation in the gene pools of populations, and in this way gene pools were modified over generations. It is argued that a distinctively human imagination is part of the explanation for human evolutionary success and can be seen as one of the structurally significant aspects of the transition from earlier members of the genus Homo to ourselves as we are today. There is thus a naturalness to human imagination, even to religious imagination, that facilitates engagement with the world that is truly distinct. This provides fruitful addition to the toolkit of inquiry for both evolutionary scientists and interdisciplinary theologians interested in reconstructing the long, winding historical path to humanity. <![CDATA[<b>Mark the Evangelist: His African memory</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222016000400077&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Mark is the author of the oldest gospel in the Christian Bible. Not much is known about him or his family except for a few references in the Bible. The general assumption, originating in the West, is that Mark was born and bred in Palestine. One of the main proponents of the Western view is Walter Bauer, a German theologian of the first half of the 20th century. His views rely heavily on the argument from silence, as Africa had - and to a great extent still has - an oral culture. Contrary to the Western view, Thomas Oden, an American theologian, did research on the oral culture and investigated the African memory of Mark. This article presents a critical discussion and a review of the book written by Oden in 2011 titled The African memory of Mark. Oden seems to be very subjective in his remarks in favour of Africa, as is also clear from his book titled How Africa shaped the Christian mind, written in 2007, and the question is if he really has enough grounds for his postulations.