Scielo RSS <![CDATA[HTS Theological Studies]]> vol. 72 num. 1 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Theological education, considered from South Africa: Current issues for cross-contextual comparison</b>]]> Taking into review the newly published series of substantial multi-authored volumes on ecumenical theological education internationally, this article identifies, from the author's own experience in ecumenical theological education and from his publications in this field, the central issue of specificity, locality and context in theological education. This takes place within two broadly developing new and relevant trends: post-secularism and inclusive liberalism, briefly described and then related to theological education. In the light of these trends, some questions are asked on theological education, and a plea for greater interdisciplinarity is made. The article thus contains a considerable part of self-reflective material, based on substantial professional experience in theological education, which enables engagement with the new publications and newly developing international contextual features that will shape theological education for the foreseeable future. <![CDATA[<b>Overcoming alienation in Africanising theological education</b>]]> Africanisation refers to a renewed focus on Africa, a reclaiming of what has been taken from Africa, and forms part of a post-colonialist and an anti-racist discourse. Africanising the curriculum involves developing scholarship and research established in African intellectual traditions. The idea is that this education will produce people who are not alienated from their communities and are sensitive to the challenges facing Africa. However, the idea of Africanisation is highly contested and may evoke a false or at least a superficial sense of 'belonging,' further marginalisation, or it may emphasise relevance. This article discusses the possibility of Africanisation and takes further the argument of Graham Duncan of how Africans can reclaim their voices in the space of theological education. It unpacks the idea of Africanisation within higher education in general, examining the rationale behind the calls for Africanisation, followed by a discussion on the implications of Africanisation for theological education. <![CDATA[<b>A pastoral evaluation on the issue of <i>'vat en sit' </i>with special reference to the Black Reformed Churches of South Africa</b>]]> This article investigates the practice of vat en sit to offer solutions to church councils of the mainly Black Reformed Churches in South Africa and also to the couples and families involved in such a relationship. Vat en sit is fast becoming a common phenomenon in South Africa. It should be noted that some of the couples in the vat-en-sit relationships may enter into it with no formal agreement. However, there are partners who may enter into this kind of relationship through a universal partnership agreement whereby the couple plan to live together without marrying one another or a domestic life-partnership agreement whereby the couple opt to regulate their rights and duties in a vat-en-sit relationship. It does not, however, affect only the black members of the Reformed Churches in South Africa but also the family structures of society. The article thus endeavours to determine the reasons why many couples go this route and also how church councils could be assisted in dealing with the issue of vat en sit. This concept will be disseminated under the following headings: (1) The causes of vat en sit relationships (2) Implications of vat en sit (3) The effect of a vat-en-sit relationship in the church (4) The solution to the issue of vat en sit is to assist church councils, couples and their immediate and extended families. <![CDATA[<b>Beyond denial and exclusion: The history of relations between Christians and Muslims in the Cape Colony during the 17th-18th centuries with lessons for a post-colonial theology of religions</b>]]> Learning from the past prepares one for being able to cope with the future. History is made up of strings of relationships. This article follows a historical line from colonialism, through apartheid to post-colonialism in order to illustrate inter-religious relations in South-Africa and how each context determines these relations. Social cohesion is enhanced by a post-colonial theology of religions based on the current context. By describing the relationship between Christians and Muslims during the 17th-18th centuries in the Cape Colony, lessons can be deduced to guide inter-religious relations in a post-colonial era in South Africa. One of the most prominent Muslim leaders during the 17th century in the Cape Colony was Sheik Yusuf al-Makassari. His influence determined the future face of Islam in the Cape Colony and here, during the 18th century, ethics started playing a crucial role in determining the relationship between Christians and Muslims. The ethical guidance of the Imams formed the Muslim communities whilst ethical decline was apparent amongst the Christian colonists during the same period. The place of ethics as determinative of future inter-religious dialogue is emphasised. Denial and exclusion characterised relationships between Christians and Muslims. According to a post-colonial understanding of inter-religious contact the equality and dignity of non-Christian religions are to be acknowledged. In the postcolonial and postapartheid struggle for equality, also of religions, prof Graham Duncan, to whom this article is dedicated, contributed to the process of acknowledging the plurality of the religious reality in South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>The religious lives of students at a South African university</b>]]> Whilst significant research has been conducted on religious affiliation and on general levels of religiosity in the South African context, few studies specifically investigated the religious lives of South African university students in a comprehensive way. This is unfortunate as such research could significantly inform and support the effectiveness of youth and student ministries. As such, this article explored the religious lives of students at a university in the Gauteng province of South Africa, focusing specifically on students' self-assessed religiosity, the maturity of their religious attitudes, their spiritual well-being, the religious practices in which they engage and the relationship between such practices and their spiritual well-being. Gender, racial and religious differences concerning these variables were also investigated. Data were collected from 356 undergraduate students by means of a structured survey consisting of the Spiritual Well-Being Questionnaire, the Religious Fundamentalism Scale and two other scales aimed at assessing religiosity and religious practices. Results indicated that 98.9% of participants were religious with the majority (86.9%) being Christian. Generally, students espoused highly fundamentalist religious attitudes but had high levels of spiritual well-being. Prayer and virtual or in-person attendance of religious gatherings such as church services were the most prevalent religious practices whereas fasting and meditation were practiced least. All practices were positively correlated with students' spiritual well-being. Based on these findings, the article concludes with several specific, practical recommendations relevant to student ministries and those working with university students in religious contexts. <![CDATA[<b>Revisiting the concept of inculturation in a modern Africa: A reflection on salient issues</b>]]> This article revisited the concept of 'Inculturation' in modern Africa. Through the use of a historical phenomenological method, the article averred that Inculturation of Christianity in modern Africa is a herculean task that demands absolute caution. Hence, the article discussed some salient issues such as the evolutionary nature of African culture; the unity of the Christendom; and the Christian ecological concern, which should be put into serious consideration in the entire process of inculturation in Africa to safeguard the essence of the gospel of Christ and to meet contemporary challenges. <![CDATA[<b>The conversion of the cardinal? Pride and penitence in some Tudor histories of Thomas Wolsey</b>]]> The life of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, lord chancellor of England from 1515 to 1529, has inspired no small number of literary, historical, and dramatic retellings. A comprehensive study of these texts remains to be written, but this article seeks to make a start by examining how Tudor writers portrayed the cardinal's response to his deposition and subsequent disgrace. For some authors, Wolsey's fall only made him more proud, and he began to act erratically and disloyally, confirming the wisdom of the king's decision to relieve him of office. For others, deposition moved Wolsey to become philosophical and penitent, and some such writers depict a cardinal who at the end of his life underwent nothing short of a conversion. This article traces both of these historiographical trajectories from their origins in writings of the late 1540s and 1550s through a range of late Tudor chronicle accounts. Elements of both narratives about the cardinal appear, prominently if not always congruously, in one of the best-known theatrical works about the events of the reign of Henry VIII, the play King Henry VIII (All Is True) by William Shakespeare and John Fletcher. Understanding the interrelationships between the Tudor texts presented here is essential to grasping later portrayals of Wolsey and his contemporaries. <![CDATA[<b>Luther and the Law in the Lutheran Church of Uganda</b>]]> This article investigates the role of the Law in the Lutheran Church of Uganda. It investigates how the Law is understood and lived among Lutherans in Uganda. Luther, the sixteenth-century Reformer, understood and interpreted the Law in terms of the social and cultural context of his time. Luther's background is very different and so much removed from the African context in which the Ugandan Lutherans find themselves today. Therefore, can the Lutheran Church of Uganda have the same understanding and interpretation of the Law as the Reformer? Is Luther's sixteenth-century European understanding of the Law applicable to the current Lutherans in Africa, specifically in the Lutheran Church of Uganda? This article examines the social and cultural context of Lutherans in Uganda and determines how it affects their understanding and interpretation of the Law. The article aims to demonstrate that the social and cultural context of the people plays an important role in the way the Christian life is conducted. This article appeals to Paul's situation in Galatians to prove this point. <![CDATA[<b>'Doing theology as though nothing had happened' - reading Karl Barth's confessional theology in Zimbabwe today?</b>]]> Although confessional theology is making its rounds across Reformed communities, this theology remains virtually unknown north of the Limpopo River. The Reformed Church of Zimbabwe (RCZ) is one of the immediate neighbours of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa, which produced the Belhar Confession during the apartheid era. The confessional theology of Karl Barth, which informed this confession, has proven to be versatile in diverse contexts. Confessions, it will be argued, do not exist independently from the socioeconomic and political situations from which they arise. This article will attempt to argue that this theology can contribute to the Reformed theology in present day Zimbabwe. It will therefore attempt to introduce the confessional theology of Karl Barth to Zimbabwe; however, it also argues that the RCZ will have to realise that a number of adjustments need to be made on its part to ensure that it appropriates this theology profitably for its situation. <![CDATA[<b>Agter elke man: Onderweg na inklusiewe taalgebruik in die Afrikaanse kerklied</b>]]> This article discusses the lack of inclusive language in the Liedboek van die kerk, which still remains the official hymnal of the Afrikaans Reformed churches in South Africa. Because there seems to be a general misconception about inclusive language, especially in this particular religious context, I will argue that the use of inclusive language will not only help to counteract the current identity crisis the church is experiencing (referring to matters such as the role of the woman, Belhar and sexuality), but will also reflect Christ's theology of inclusivity during his time on earth. A broader understanding of the God image, rooted in biblical hermeneutics, is imperative and should be incorporated in the text of the Afrikaans hymn. I will argue that this inclusive spirituality may also lead to greater spiritual well-being of all Christians in the Afrikaans Reformed churches. This paper is critical qualitative research and arguments from the feminist theology will be interpreted and applied to the Afrikaans context. <![CDATA[<b>Polycentrism in the <i>missio Dei</i></b>]]> Structures for mission have been under review as a result of many factors. In particular have been the widening influences of globalisation, and to a lesser degree, glocalisation. Various models of leadership praxis and structures have been proposed along the way. As Christianity moved farther away from the Christendom model of centralised control to other models of structure and leadership, other paradigms have been proposed along the way. However, one possibility, called the concept of polycentrism, has not been considered with any significant effort. In order to understand polycentrism, this research covered a literature review of seven spheres: (1) the urbanised-economic context; (2) political-ideological associations; (3) global-glocal socio-cultural situations; (4) organisational-leadership contexts; (5) missional movements; (6) the global church; and (7) the journey of the mission agency called the Wycliffe Global Alliance. The application of the concept of polycentrism to the specific context of the Wycliffe Global Alliance has enabled conclusions about the relevance of polycentrism in mission structures that are part of the missio Dei. The study concluded that polycentrism was a very helpful methodology that understood and resolved the inherent tensions and influences brought about by globalisation upon structures in God's mission. The implications shaped what leadership communities look like in terms of values and ideals because of the benefits of polycentrism. Through polycentrism, there has been a deliberate movement away from established centres of power, so that leadership occurred among and with others, while creatively learning together in community. <![CDATA[<b>Liturgical pharmacology: Time of the question, complexity and ethics</b>]]> Bernard Stiegler depicts technics as the human's tertiary memory retention generating a pharmakon with both curative and malignant potential. He additionally rues the posthuman epoch's depletion of a 'time of the question': revealed in the prevalent inaptitude for wisdom -scilicet long-term acuity. We offer Christian liturgy as an abeyant psychotechnique arcing the current pharmakon to cure through soliciting a 'time of the question'. Rejuvenating Christian liturgy as a psychotechnique can bolster a broader societal 'time of the question'. Firstly, we describe technic's du jour mise on scène. Secondly, we constrain Christian liturgies as complex systems incorporating malleability, temporality, and instability. Thirdly, we imagine Christian liturgy as empty tradition allowing amateur repetition of ancient art enticing a 'time of the question'. <![CDATA[<b>Discursive investigation into John's internalised spirit identity and its implication</b>]]> What does it mean to live in a society where everything good is located within one ethnicity, and geography? In reading the gospel of John, one gets the impression that faithful disciples, the Holy Spirit and morality are exclusively located within the Johannine community and can only permeate to the outside through the good work of the insiders - the disciples. Everything is asymmetric - morality, ideal disciples and good virtues - these originate from within John's community. Outside John's community, it is darkness that awaits the illuminating lights of John's disciples, without which they will remain in perpetual darkness. Despite recent theories that position John as a missionary and an open community, still it does not remove the asymmetric nature of the gospel. The study builds on views inspired by scholars such as Jonathan Draper (1992:13) to argue that John used the Holy Spirit to naturalise identities. From this perspective and if read from the South African context of racism, ethnicity and gender, John makes the reader think about the consequences and implications of exclusive social boundaries. <![CDATA[<b>White theology in dialogue with Black Theology: Exploring the contribution of Klippies Kritzinger</b>]]> This article explores the contribution of South African missiologist and theologian Klippies Kritzinger to a critical and anti-racist white theology. It analyses his academic work in response to Black Consciousness and Black Theology from publications during his doctoral studies, throughout the transition to democracy and into the present, where this theme remains a constant presence in his work. The article explores his use of liberation, conversation and re-evangelisation in constructing a white response to Black Theology and a suggested ministry to the white community. In analysing his contribution various models of contextual theology, in particular that of Steven Bevans, are used in order to position Kritzinger and illuminate Kritzinger's approach. Bevans' praxis, counter-cultural and translation models are used to emphasize different aspects of Kritzinger's theology for liberating whiteness.