Scielo RSS <![CDATA[HTS Theological Studies]]> vol. 73 num. 3 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Challenges facing the ministerial formation in Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa: A critical reflection</b>]]> Following the union of the Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa (PCSA) and Reformed Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa (RPCSA) to form the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa (UPCSA) in 1999, it was necessary to consolidate theological education of a united church. This was a wise and bold decision by UPCSA, as a first attempt to integrate the training of both black and white students, but more importantly to give institutional expression to the advancement of unity. University of Pretoria (UP) became a major training centre of the UPCSA. Collaboration in ministerial formation between UPCSA and UP, its partner institution, has been plagued by manifold challenges. The challenges which will come under the spotlight are ecumenism, relationship between the university and the UPCSA, curriculum and spirituality. <![CDATA[<b>Mystifying moments in Bible interpretation: An exploration of some implied backgrounds to three kinds of unusual Bible readings</b>]]> This contribution is part of a series on Methodology and Biblical Spirituality. In this, the fourth contribution, the scope is widened; more practical-analytically oriented, three thoroughly different but nevertheless all unusual kinds of interpretations of the Bible are described, characterised and contextualised. Namely: • In order to explain what are perceived as textual anomalies, some Old Testament authors have been described by US-based medical practitioners as having suffered psychiatric dysfunctions. • The Garden of Eden from Genesis 2 and further has been located by a recently diseased Nigerian scholar as having been in her home country, with a Nigerian race having been the predecessors of biblical Adam and Eve. • Rastafarians, primarily Jamaica-based, regard marijuana as a holy herb and find direct support for their religious use of this plant in the Bible. However strange such 'mystifying' interpretations may seem within the theological mainstreams of Judeo-Christianity, there is more to these kinds of interpretations than simple whim. Certain cultural conditions along with personal, particularly spiritual, commitments enable these interpretations, which must be taken seriously in order to come to a fuller understanding of the text-interpreter dynamic. These then can cast at least some form of reflective light on the more usual current biblical-interpretative mainstreams within Judeo-Christianity, posing in a new light the question of what constitutes legitimate interpretations, also within mainstream interpretations, as religiously inclined people try to live their lives in the light of Scripture. <![CDATA[<b><i>Hilasterion</i></b><b> and imperial ideology: A new reading of Romans 3:25</b>]]> Paul uses the hapax legomenon ίλαστήριον in Romans 3:25. Pauline scholars have discussed the background for Paul's use of the word, whether from the LXX, Second Temple practice or pagan inscriptions. Two altars were found in the Asian city of Metropolis in the early 1990s with the dedication Καίσαρος ἱλαστηρίου. This article discusses their discovery, the history of Metropolis and the possible relationship of Paul to the city. It explores the date of the erection of the altars by establishing a viable sitz im leben early in the reign of Augustus. It then traces the semantic history of the ίλαστήριον and attempts to establish its possible meaning within Pauline theology. Finally, the question whether ίλαστήριον should be added to the vocabulary of imperial ideology in Paul's writings is addressed. <![CDATA[<b>Lewensbeskoulike aspekte in die openbare standpunte van twee presidente</b>]]> The last two presidents of the Zuid-Afrikaansche (South African) Republic (1852-1902) and the Republic of the Orange Free State (1852-1902), S.J.P. Kruger and M.T. Steyn, both stood in the tradition of the Christian Afrikaner. Kruger as the symbol of Afrikaner republicanism in the 19th century and Steyn as a younger and more modern Afrikaner, tried to base their policies openly and clearly on Biblical and Christian principles. Kruger as a member and recognised minister of the Reformed Churches in South Africa formulated his views in a typical Dutch neo-Calvinistic way, while Steyn used Reformed concepts combined with his academic background in jurisprudence and the law of nations to foster the same ideas. Kruger and Steyn trusted one another, agreed on core issues and worked together rather well. Each strived to maintain the independence of his republic. <![CDATA[<b>The role of spirituality as a coping mechanism for South African traffic officers</b>]]> Traffic officers are faced with many stressful situations, yet each traffic officer might cope differently with these stressors. Spirituality is regarded as an essential defence in stressful situations. Therefore, this article provides a basic framework guiding traffic officers and practitioners, on how spirituality can be used as a coping mechanism when faced with various work-related stressors. An interpretative, qualitative study was conducted utilising purposive sampling in which 10 traffic officers participated in in-depth interviews. In line with the interpretive paradigm, data were analysed using content analysis. The research findings indicate when utilising spirituality to various degrees in their workplace, traffic officers displayed adaptive coping capabilities. Traffic officers associated less spirituality or a lack thereof with weaker coping capability. Furthermore, spirituality in traffic officers is informed by their spiritual or religious foundation, their purpose in work and life, their connection to a spiritual source, and the fruits of spirituality. The coping ability of traffic officers is influenced by their upbringing and background, by stressors in their work environment and by their coping mechanisms. The role of spirituality in the coping of traffic officers culminated in their ability to interpret the meaning of spirituality, and then implementing spirituality as a coping mechanism. <![CDATA[<b>Conceptualising holiness in the Gospel of John: The mode and objectives of holiness (part 1)</b>]]> This article investigates the code of holiness as well as the objectives of holiness in the Gospel of John. The en route to holiness will be dealt with in a following article, 'Conceptualizing holiness in the Gospel of John: the en route to holiness and the character of holiness (Part 2)'. In the Gospel of John, the holiness of the trinity constitutes the theological environment for the code of holiness and forms the basis for the exhortation to holiness. The code of holiness is described in the light of the interaction of three levels of relationships: the unity between Father and the Son as the example of holiness, the unity between Jesus and the disciples as the basis for holiness and the unity among the disciples as the inducting objective for holiness. For the Fourth Evangelist, the objective of holiness is fourfold: The first objective is to constitute a unity among the followers of Jesus (17:20-23), although it is not explicitly defined in this context. The second objective refers to the preparation of Jesus' disciples to continue Jesus' mission. The third objective for holiness is that the world (ὁ κόσμος) may believe (πιστεύῃ) and may know (γινώσκῃ) that God has sent his Son (ὅτι σύ με ἀπέστειλας) (17:20-23). The fourth and the ultimate objective is the glorification of God (17:4). <![CDATA[<b>'</b><b>... Earth's proud empires pass away</b><b>…': The glorification and critique of power in songs and hymns of Imperial Britain</b>]]> Songs and hymns shape faith and play a part in shaping political landscapes. They can be used to build or maintain power as well as to critique and challenge it. This has been true for South Africa, and some brief examples will be given. But this article focuses on hymns and patriotic songs from the time of the British Empire and explores how they portray power, entrench superiority or build a common, global Christian identity. <![CDATA[<b>Is Psalm 104 an expression (also) of dark green religion?</b>]]> Bron Taylor defines dark green religion as follows: '… a deep sense of belonging to and connectedness in nature, while perceiving the earth and its living systems to be sacred and interconnected'. Can Psalm 104, with its conspicuous focus on nature, also be described as an expression of dark green religion? Utilising especially the dark green values of belonging, interconnectedness and sacredness, it was found that the psalm aptly confirms Earth as home, illustrates a deep-seated kinship with other living creatures and acknowledges nature as intrinsically worthy or sacred through its close association with God. Of the four kinds of dark green religion, Gaian Naturalism and Naturalistic Animism ('Darwinist', naturalist view), Gaian Spirituality and Spiritual Animism (supernaturalist view), the psalm belongs to the last-mentioned, acknowledging Yahweh as upholding and 'permeating' the harmonious whole of creation. The poet is, however, also well informed of 'natural' knowledge of his environment (for his time obviously). The psalm's joy, awe, astonishment, humility and fear (to a limited extent), being almost overwhelmed by awesome nature, are emotions that can also be shared by adherers to the naturalist view, those who doubt if there is some spiritual world running parallel to the natural world. The religious-like experience of naturalists provides common ground with the religious and enhances a much-needed change of view of respect towards nature.