Scielo RSS <![CDATA[HTS Theological Studies]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0259-942220170004&lang=pt vol. 73 num. 4 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>The universal imperial power of the Christian Text and yet the vulnerability of its message</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400001&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Is there anything outside the Christian Text or is the Christian Text all there is? The article will argue that the Christian Text has formed and shaped Western thinking to such an extent that it is impossible to think in the global world, co-created by various Western texts, without Christianity. The fact that the West colonised the world, and that today the Western media dominates the language of the global village, makes it nearly impossible to think outside the Christian Text and thus the universal domination by the Text. This article will first argue that for the Western-influenced world, there is nothing beyond the Christian Texts, and then it will argue that although this Text has universal (global) dominance, there is an interpretation of its central message as a message of weakness and vulnerability, which challenges (deconstructs) its imperialism. This leads towards the question: what is a possible praxis of such a universal and 'imperial' Text with its message of vulnerable weakness, specifically from a post-colonial context like South Africa? <![CDATA[<b>Practical theology '[<i>re</i>]entering vernacular culture?' New frontiers and challenges to doing theology as life goes on</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400002&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article critically discusses the necessity for (practical) theology to transform. Taking as a point of departure church historian Andrew Walls' remark: 'Christian faith must go on being translated, must continuously enter into the vernacular culture and interact with it, or it withers and fades', examples from ministry are discussed, specifically from the Dutch Reformed Church. These examples reveal the inability or ability of faith communities to enter vernacular culture and to interact with it. Historical cycles of church growth and decline as outlined by Phyllis Tickle are used to explain the concepts of entering and interacting vernacular culture, and consequently, what it means to 'do theology as life goes on'. The latter refers to more than a rationally controlled process as it is also intimately connected with issues of identity, understanding of the missio Dei and a way of life and discernment that flows from being actively involved in life. <![CDATA[<i><b>Ekhaya</b></i><b>: Human displacement and the yearning for familial homecoming. From Throne (Cathedra) to Home (<i>Oikos</i>) in a grassroots ecclesiology of place and space: <i>Fides Quaerens Domum et Locum</i> [Faith Seeking Home and Space]</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400003&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The classical definition of theology is 'faith-seeking understanding' (fides quaerens intellectum). The focus is on the understanding/interpretation of the object of Christian faith: God. There is another root for the quest for understanding, namely the praxis situation of faith. People live in particular historical contexts that have their own distinctive problems and possibilities; thus, the focus on place and space in a theology of home. A praxis approach is to learn life and the gospel from below, thus the emphasis on a grassroots ecclesiology that is structured like an oikos, a familial dwelling place. This understanding of the dynamics of the fellowship of believers as oikodomein is captured by the Zulu notion for the yearning for home (home sickness): Ekhaya. It is argued that Ekhaya thinking is an alternative route for an operative ecclesiology that caters for the need of marginalised, oppressed, displaced and homeless people. Practical theology is thus described as fides quaerens domum et locum [faith-seeking home and place], namely to inhabit. An Ekhaya approach to practical theological ecclesiology is about critical reflection through the eyes of those who are weak and who don't count for much by the standards of successful people and institutions. <![CDATA[<b>Faith and reality: The role and contributions of the ecumenical church to the realities and development of South Africa since the advent of democracy in 1994</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400004&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Many Christians feel quite disillusioned and disappointed with the church in South Africa today because they assume that the church, in particular the South African Council of Churches (SACC), is not playing an adequate prophetic role in building the democratic South Africa since 1994. This article traces the role and contributions of the SACC and other ecumenical organisations to the building of a democratic South Africa. It establishes that whilst the SACC had lost its focus and vision and has an ecumenical body, largely because of its partnership with government, it does, nevertheless, continue to contribute to the building of the South African nation. <![CDATA[<b>Learning relationships: Church of England curates and training incumbents applying the SIFT approach to the Road to Emmaus</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400005&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This study invited curates and training incumbents attending a 3-day residential programme to function as a hermeneutical community engaging conversation between the Lucan post-resurrection narrative concerning the Road to Emmaus and the learning relationship in which they were engaged. Building on the SIFT approach to biblical hermeneutics the participants were invited to work in type-alike groups, structured first on the basis of the perceiving process (sensing and intuition) and second on the basis of the judging process (thinking and feeling). This approach facilitated rich and varied insights into the Emmaus Road narrative and into the theme of learning relationships. <![CDATA[<b>Holiness in Victorian and Edwardian England: Some ecclesial patterns and theological requisitions</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400006&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This essay begins by offering some observations about how holiness was comprehended and expressed in Victorian and Edwardian England. In addition to the 'sensibility' and 'sentiment' that characterised society, notions of holiness were shaped by, and developed in reaction to, dominant philosophical movements; notably, the Enlightenment and Romanticism. It then considers how these notions found varying religious expression in four Protestant traditions - the Oxford Movement, Calvinism, Wesleyanism, and the Early Keswick movement. In juxtaposition to what was most often considered to be a negative expression of holiness associated primarily with anthropocentric and anthroposocial behaviour as evidenced in these traditions, the essay concludes by examining one - namely, P.T. Forsyth - whose voice called from within the ecclesial community for a radical requisition of holiness language as a fundamentally positive reality describing the divine life and divine activity. The relevance of a study of the Church's understanding of holiness and how it sought to develop its doctrine while engaging with larger social and philosophical shifts endure with us still. <![CDATA[<b>Adolescent spirituality with the support of adults</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400007&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Adolescence can be a trying time for adolescents and those with whom they share their journey, directly or indirectly. In a fast-paced world where adolescents want to conform to their youth or popular culture, the adolescent may become inundated and confused with all that is continuously taking place in their social context. This article argues that with the support of adults, adolescents may be guided to explore, experience and live out their spiritual identities through their popular or youth culture in a healthy way. <![CDATA[<b>The labyrinth as a symbol of life: A journey with God and chronic pain</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400008&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article is written in the style and method of an autoethnography that focuses on the author's spiritual journey with God while living with chronic pain. The labyrinth is used as a metaphor and spiritual tool to describe this journey. The author's personal experience with religion and spirituality is described as well as the choice of moving from thinking about God being 'out there', far away and looking upon God's creation (supernatural theism) to discovering God within - God 'right here' (panentheism). The affects and effects of living with chronic pain are discussed in reference to the process of walking the circuits of a labyrinth. The role of different people who played a part in this journey is highlighted. This way of writing corresponds with a narrative way of living which concentrates on deconstruction of dominant discourses and looking for outcomes that may lead to hope and transformation. The difference between rainbow hope and reasonable hope is explained and the consequence of choosing reasonable hope is discussed. Transformation of the person through the journey becomes apparent in the article. <![CDATA[<b>The Filling Station as a Fresh Expression of church for consideration in the local congregational context: A practical-theological investigation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400009&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The findings of the Archbishop's Council in their 2004 report, to the effect that traditional forms of church in Britain are under threat because of changing cultural patterns, emphasise the need to re-think church for our contemporary contexts. The 'Fresh Expressions of church' movement is one such initiative identified and approved of by the Archbishop's Council. This article reports on research undertaken in a practical theological interpretation of The Filling Station, a Christian ministry that has grown significantly in its 10-year history and was formed as a missional endeavour in recognition of declining church attendance in traditional churches in Britain. This work explores whether The Filling Station is a Fresh Expression of church and whether it meets the values of authentic missional churches. In examining whether The Filling Station ought to be considered for import into appropriate local congregational contexts, it enquires whether it satisfactorily addresses prevailing social trends affecting churches, including consumerism and the need for identity. <![CDATA[<b>God as burden: A theological reflection on art, death and God in the work of Joost Zwagerman</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400010&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In one of his essays on art, Dutch author and essayist Joost Zwagerman (1963-2015) reflects on the work of (Dutch) South African artist Marlene Dumas (1953). Zwagerman addresses in particular Dumas' My Mother Before She Became My Mother (2010), painted 3 years after her mother died. In his reflections, Zwagerman proposes an interpretation of Dumas' work. He suggests that Dumas, in her art, does not accept the omnipotence of death. Maybe against better judgement, but Dumas keeps creating images that not only illustrate the desire for meaning but also embody this desire. The image and the desire for meaning merge in Dumas' paintings. The painting itself becomes an autonomous 'desire machine', according to Zwagerman. In this article, a (practical) theological reading of Zwagerman's own posthumously published volume of poetry, 'Wakend over God' (2016), is presented, with a specific interest in art, death and God. The sacramental hermeneutics of Richard Kearney and the theopoetics of John Caputo are brought into the conversation to elicit the dimensions of faith and religion in Zwagerman's own 'desire machine'. <![CDATA[<b>Beyond revenge?: Responsible Bible reading practices in a Traumatized Land</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400011&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In this article, I argue that revenge fantasies such as those found in the Oracles Against the Nations (OAN) in Jeremiah 45-51 underscore the necessity for responsible Bible reading practices. I argue that to protect us from our own worst selves, the very human tendency to resort to revenge that inevitably leads to violence, one needs to read these biblical texts in terms of contemporary hermeneutical approaches that may play some role to bring an end to violence. A first such approach that serves as an important tool to help us understand these revenge fantasies as found in the OAN is the relatively new field of inquiry of trauma hermeneutics that is particularly helpful in order to mitigate the violent aspects of these revenge fantasies. Moreover, I propose that recent approaches such as feminist and postcolonial biblical interpretation are also vital for nurturing ethical, just communities that actively pursue justice. <![CDATA[<b>Puzzling the Jesus of the Parables: A response to Ruben Zimmermann</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400012&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article responds to Ruben Zimmermann's latest book, Puzzling the Parables of Jesus (2015). In particular, one aspect of his proposed method is challenged, namely, his conscious attempt to do away with considerations of the pre-Easter context when interpreting the parables. The article finishes by proposing a variant methodology of parable interpretation, featuring the parable of the Good Samaritan as a working example. <![CDATA[<i><b>Theologia</b></i><b> and the <i>ideologia</i> of language, nation and gender - Gateway to the future from a deconstructed past</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400013&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The article is a contribution to the centennial celebration of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria. It forms part of the section in the programme titled 'Ethos - Critical perspectives on our past and a gateway to our future' and is dedicated to Yolanda Dreyer who was the first female professor appointed in the Faculty of Theology of the University of Pretoria. The article reflects on aspects of the present-day populist discourse in South Africa and globally, which is enhanced by neonationalistic separatism. The following issues are critically discussed: homophobia regarding sexual minorities, a lack of sensitivity for the negative effects of male domination and the objection to English as the lingua franca for teaching. These aspects are assessed against the background of the Derridean notion of 'deconstruction' and the contributions of the first professors employed in the Faculty of Theology since its inception in 2017. <![CDATA[<b>The riverbank, the seashore and the wilderness: Miriam, liberation and prophetic witness against empire</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400014&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article examines the manner and method of resistance against patriarchal power and privilege. Two types of power are contrasted. One is the violent, war-like and hierarchical power of an empire, and the other is the faithful resistance of Israel's prophets. A further distinction is made between violent male power and non-violent female power. It is argued that Miriam was a prophet of the people and her prophetic witness is an example of the power and outcome of non-violent resistance. Her theology explicitly and specifically praises God not as a warrior. Hers is not a muscular, masculine God whose power seeks to match the power of empire. Her God has a power that through radical love for a slave people and taking sides with the enslaved overcomes the power of the slaveholder. In her theology, Miriam recalls the God of the exodus, who begins the acts of liberation with the women, to whose faithfulness, courage and defiant obedience, the freedom of the people is entrusted. From a feminist perspective it is argued that this style of non-violent, faithful prophetic witness has a greater impact than violent resistance associated with an empire-like power. It is suggested that black liberation theology should adopt this paradigm in its witness of and resistance against oppression. <![CDATA[<b>Researching non-formal religious education: The example of the European study on confirmation work</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400015&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article discusses the need for researching non-formal religious education as a neglected field of empirical research in religious education. By describing the growing awareness of the theological and educational meaning and importance of non-formal education and by reviewing the literature on research in religious education which appears to be focused somewhat one-sidedly on the formal context of the school and of the school subject of Religious Education, the author creates a background for the presentation of current research on confirmation work in Europe. The author gives an overview on a more than 10-year-long project on confirmation work in nine European countries, with an emphasis on the research design, methods, and main results. The experiences from this project are then discussed from the perspective of research on non-formal religious education. Finally, the author considers implications of this research for religious education and practical theology in general. <![CDATA[<b>Insiders and outsiders and a hermeneutic of resonance</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400016&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In this article, the author once again reflected on her personal and existential experience of frequent visits to African countries as well as to Israel-Palestine. The article focuses on the issues of outsiders becoming effective allies to the cultures they are visiting, teaching and researching by listening to other understandings and interpretations of biblical texts, Jesus' parables specifically. It is an appropriate tribute to Yolanda Dreyer because of Prof. Dreyer's involvement and significant contributions in issues of social justice, both academically and experientially. <![CDATA[<b>Healing as transformation and restoration: A ritual-liturgical exploration</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400017&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Illness is a reality that affects all people, and healing is the main reason why people attend worship services in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the Ritual Studies scholar Ronald Grimes, illness is a social reality; it is socially imagined and constructed. Healing in the church is something that many believers experience, also in the context of worship and liturgy. In order to explore such healing as it occurs in liturgy a research project was undertaken making use of both empirical work and a literature study. The aim of this research was to take the light off of direct pastoral care and investigate how the liturgy affects individuals within the congregation with regard to healing. A praxis-theory cycle was followed in the research, and a preliminary liturgical theory for praxis was developed based on the insight from the empirical study and ritual theory that healing through worship entails either transformation or reconciliation. <![CDATA[<b>Tweeting dignity: A practical theological reflection on Twitter's normative function</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400018&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Social media makes an important contribution to a rapidly changing world in which various domains of meaning are described anew. The evolving nature and dynamic character of social media therefore provides for a rich praxis terrain with which to interact from a practical theological orientation. More specifically associated with the theme of this contribution, the social media sphere also provides an excellent space not only to rethink but also to reenact expressions of dignity in society. The research is facilitated from a practical theological orientation, with particular focus on a normative dimension as embodied in aspects of dignity. Through the use of an interdisciplinary approach and methodology, some contours of dignity specifically associated with South African politics as well as the so-called Charlie Hebdo attacks in 2015 in Paris expressed on the social media platform, Twitter, are described and discussed. From this empirical analysis, description and discussion, a practical theological reflection is offered in which aspects of dignity associated with a normativity function are described. Some practical theological perspectives contributing to future relevant tweeting on dignity are also formulated and provided in conclusion. <![CDATA[<b>Scientific-theoretical research approach to practical theology in South Africa: A contemporary overview</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400019&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In this article, I present a critical literature study of the theoretical approach of practical theologians in South Africa to our discipline, in honour of Yolanda Dreyer on her 60th birthday. Some of my colleagues' approaches at the universities of Stellenbosch, Free State, Pretoria, Unisa and NWU (Potchefstroom campus) are discussed. All of them work with practical theological hermeneutics. The basic hermeneutic approach of Daniël Louw is widened with an integrated approach by Richard R. Osmer in which practical theology as a hermeneutic discipline also includes the empirical aspect which the action theory approach has contributed to the discussion. After discussing Louw's basic hermeneutic approach, all the other colleagues who basically accepted Osmer's approach in their publications are discussed. Important and new ground is being broken by contemporary colleagues, including research in public practical theology, without neglecting the focus on Christian congregations, and new work is being done at the grass roots level of African issues in our country. <![CDATA[<b>Theologia and the Ideologica of Language: The calling of a theology and religion faculty in a time of populism</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400020&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article represents a response to Andries van Aarde's view on a 'gateway to the future from a deconstructed past', a paper presented as part of a conference, 'Gateway to the Future from a Deconstructed Past', commemorating the centennial anniversary of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria, 05-06 April 2017. The article argues that texts, and theology faculties as texts, are just as any structure or construction haunted by their sacred secret. Haunted by the ghosts in the texts from the past to be inspired for the calling of a theology and religion faculty in a time of populism and the 'renaissance of (neo)nationalism', according to Van Aarde. In being given the responsibility not only of responding to his contribution but also co-sharing the responsibility of the history of the faculty, the author says that he has a choice: he could respond to the letter of the text or I could be spooked by the ghosts of these texts, the haunting of the sacred secret, calling through Professor Van Aarde's deconstruction of these texts. The author decides to seek to allow the ghosts of his text to call him. A call, as most calls, to which one can only respond: Here I am! Here I am in this moment (here) of history at this particular Faculty of Theology and Religion. This is a call to share the responsibility, the responsibility of being here and the responsibility of the being of a theology and religion faculty in a time of populism and (neo)nationalism, both globally and locally. <![CDATA[<b>Religion, sex and politics: Scripting connections in Romans 1:18-32 and Wisdom 14:12-14</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400021&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Ancient people envisaged a strong link between what was deemed transgressive religious activities and objectionable sexual practices. Moreover, sexual behaviour considered aberrant was deemed to upset political boundaries which should protect civic and national stability, especially when this behaviour was suspected of effeminacy. Such thinking appears to inform both Romans 1:18-32 and Wisdom of Solomon 14:12-14. Focussing on two passages from these documents, the links between religion, sexual behaviour and politics in the context of the 1st-century Roman Empire are investigated, tracing underlying ideological intersections, connections and divergences. <![CDATA[<b>Beyond a sacrificial spirituality: Enhancing flourishing pastoral ministers</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400022&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This contribution explains the value of self-giving and critically questions the discourse on self-sacrifice in relation to ministerial spirituality. In practice, what others may describe as self-sacrifice may be experienced by a care-giver as an adequate form of self-giving inspired by the Christian vocation, without any praise for one's own deeds, without any overestimation of the heroic character of one's own giving. An inherent danger in the concept of self-sacrifice is a closedness to critically assessing the balance of power in one's own relationships. In this sense, theologians are asked to use the concept self-sacrifice with caution, as the theological language may inspire people, ideas and the general discourse further than intended. <![CDATA[<b>Inhabiting compassion: A pastoral theological paradigm</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400023&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Inspired by the vision of care in Vincent van Gogh's depiction of the parable of the Good Samaritan, this article offers a paradigm for inhabiting compassion. Compassion is understood in this article as a moral emotion that is also a pathocentric virtue. This definition creates a dynamic view of compassion as a desire to alleviate the suffering of others, the capacity to act on behalf of others and a commitment to sustain engagement with the suffering other. To weave this vision of compassion as a habitus rather than a theoretical construct, the article develops three phases of compassion: seeing, companioning and sighing. This framework deepens and augments a pastoral theological paradigm of compassion with the aim of inculcating an inhabited compassion in caregivers and the communities in which they participate. <![CDATA[<b>On becoming a practical theologian: Past, present and future tenses</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400024&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article takes an autobiographical approach to the development of practical theology as a discipline over the past 30 years, with particular attention to my own context of the United Kingdom (UK). The unfolding of my own intellectual story in relation to key issues within the wider academic discourse provides an opportunity to reflect on some of the predominant themes and trends: past, present and future. Changing nomenclature, from 'pastoral studies' to 'practical theology', indicates how the discipline has moved from regarding itself as the application of theory into practice, into a more performative and inductive epistemology. This emphasis continues to the present day and foregrounds the significance of the human context and the realities of lived experience, including narrative and autobiography. Whilst the methodological conundrums of relating experience to tradition and theory to practice continue, further challenges are beckoning, including religious pluralism, and so the article closes by surveying the prospects for a multicultural practical theology. <![CDATA[<b>Exodus of clergy: The role of leadership in responding to the call</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400025&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Leaders play an important role in clergy's response to their call. Toxic leadership, also known as the dark side of leadership, negatively influences their decision to remain in full-time pastoral ministry. There is a shortage of clergy in the Roman Catholic Church and a distribution or displacement challenge facing the Protestant church. This shortage adversely affects the future of the church as clergy play an integral part in the preparation of congregants for their works of service (Eph 4:11-12). The purpose of this study was to discover what factors were involved in clergy's response to the call to full-time pastoral ministry. A practical theological grounded theory approach was used to discover the properties of the category 'leadership'. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and data were coded using Glaser and Strauss's grounded theory methodology. The category of 'leadership' includes properties such as favouritism, leaders abdicating responsibilities, leaders taking no action/being inactive, leaders 'labeling' subordinates, leaders' 'unethical' behaviour, nepotism, poor conflict handling, poor handling of multi-racial issues, being placed on a pedestal, affirming subordinates and autocratic leadership style. Osmer's descriptive-empirical task was used as a practical theological lens through which to view the category 'leadership'. The results indicated three responses by clergy to the call to full-time pastoral ministry: not being called in the first place, a dual call (being bi-vocational or 'seasonal') and being called but leaving anyway because of, among other factors, toxic leadership. A steward leadership approach is recommended in response to the dark side of leadership. <![CDATA[<b>Conformity visa-vi transformational conversion in mission: Towards a self-transcendental mission agenda</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400026&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In this article, the author discusses the concept of conversion as opposed to conformity to a religious tradition without internal self-assertiveness. A transcendental mission understanding as opposed to an immanent agenda for liberation is proposed as an alternative solution. He analyses the role played and the contributions made by missionary enterprise and the liberation theologies in South Africa as they shaped the path for liberation. The white churches and state theologies sought to produce black conformists to the system; liberation theologies resisted the conformity mentality and fought for an egalitarian and free society. Both movements failed to embrace a transcendental methodology that would go beyond the secular boundaries and bring about transformational and empowering spirituality. This article suggests new spirituality for life and affirmation that would work against self-hate among the previously oppressed and self-guilt among the previously oppressing ruling class. It seeks ways to heal broken relationships through authentic empowerment and transformation. <![CDATA[<b>'Black Pain is a White Commodity': Moving beyond postcolonial theory in practical theology: #CaesarMustFall!</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400027&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Postcolonialism and decolonising campaigns are expressions of human pain on the level of identity confusion (inferiority), ideological abuse (cultural discrimination) and structural oppression (imperialistic exploitation). The slogan 'Black Pain is a White Commodity' in the #MustFall campaigns is critically analysed within the framework of postcolonial theory and imperialistic power categories. The basic hypothesis of the article is that in early Christianity, pantokrator images of God were influenced by iconography stemming mostly from the Roman Emperor cult and Egyptian mythology. The power (omnipotence) and dominiumship of God directly and indirectly played a role in Christian imperialistic thinking regarding the expansion of the Kingdom of God and missio Dei strategies during times of European and colonial expansionism. In order to address the quest for 'moving beyond' in postcolonial theory, the impact of pantokrator-images of God on ecclesial thinking is researched. In order to contribute to sustainability and stability within the complexity of cultural diversity and current civil unrest on campuses in South Africa, the paracletic notion of compassionate being-with is developed within the framework of practical theological thinking. Instead of a Caesar-depiction, the theological notion of passio Dei is proposed: the decolonialising (post-imperialising) God. <![CDATA[<b>The potential of multicultural congregations in supporting social reconciliation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400028&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Race, ethnicity and national identity are important discussions that are unfinished ecclesial business for churches in South Africa. Churches remain mono-cultural to a large extent; a significant challenge is the fact that churches still largely reflect the social divisions of a society. Although not common in South Africa, there are, at the same time, congregations that are successful at reaching across racial and cultural divides to attract new members and build social capital. This article discusses the reconciliation potential of multicultural churches in that they are able to accommodate multiple racial groups, in a society where religious life remains overwhelmingly segregated. Racial integration is a sensitive issue that has divisive potential and churches and religions in general tend to avoid the issue. Religious communities played a critical role in the transition to democracy; what is needed now is for churches to deepen this reconciliation potential. <![CDATA[<b>Created in the image of God and sexuality in early-Jewish writings</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400029&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article pays tribute to the contribution made by Yolanda Dreyer regarding critique on the prevalence of patriarchy in society, as well as her defence of homosexuality as a normal sexual orientation. Taking as point of departure her work on the woman as created in God's image, it is argued that understanding the metaphor 'created in God's image' as referring to rule over all, and not as created as man and woman, has important implications for the relationship between man and woman, as well as the normalisation of relationships between the same sex. <![CDATA[<b>Die gewonde God: 'n Teologies-etiese besinning, veral vanuit Khoisan-perspektief</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400030&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article presupposes the right of the faithful to pose critical questions about God. God-concepts cannot be distanced or freed from ideology. In the Hebrew Scriptures, the reflection on Jahwe and Elohim are mostly influenced by Israel's exodus experience. The liberating God becomes a theme that legitimises their faith, but is ultimately coloured by their patrarchal Sitz im Leben. For black theologians, the image of God as the Liberator stands foremost as the Crucified. This has clear connections with Western thinking such as that of Jürgen Moltmann. The ancient native people of southern Africa developed a consciousness regarding a Higher Being through many years, eventually integrating it into their holistic worldview. God's involvement in human suffering plays a significant role in all of these expressions of faith. The different views of God as the transcendant, yet involved God, should be revisited within the context of our current society characterised by human suffering, chronic poor communities, gaping inequality and increasing corruption. The theological-ethical question is whether the Khoisan people's view of a wounded God is more suitable to help faithful people to engage with the world in a meaningful way. <![CDATA[<b>Yolanda Dreyer: Haar proses van bewusmaking - 'n Waarderende refleksie op haar bydrae tot die akademiese diskoers ten opsigte van die temas gender, huwelik en seksualiteit</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400031&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The focus of this reflection on Yolanda Dreyer's contribution to the academy is her research on gender, sexuality and marriage. The contributions she has made were written from a pastoral perspective and focused on pastoral interaction with women. The issues surrounding the church's view on marriage does not only concern the roles given to women but also the place and status that the church and society assigned to marriage as an institution. Her contribution in the area of sexuality is very closely linked to the insights she provides in her research on homosexuality. How sexuality is seen has an impact on how homosexuality and heterosexuality are reflected on. <![CDATA[<b>Social entrepreneurship as a way of developing sustainable township economies</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400032&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article investigates using social entrepreneurship as a way of developing sustainable township economies, so that poverty can be eradicated from the townships of South Africa and township dwellers can begin to play a role in the economic development of the country. The author also thinks it is God's purpose for people to enjoy life, free from economic hardship. A reduction in poverty would also bring down the crime rate and other social ills. It starts by defining and clarifying the concepts of 'entrepreneur' and 'social entrepreneurship'. It continues by looking in more depth into township life and its challenges. This is done through reviewing the literature and observations obtained through participant observation research. Post-foundationalist practical theology believes in interdisciplinary dialogue as a means of allowing the concept of social entrepreneurship to bring about a sustainable township economy. From the author's observations, it became apparent that to see the attainment of a sustainable township economy, training and development should start with a strong emphasis on personal identity and interpersonal and business skills. The author, therefore, proposes a holistic approach to social entrepreneurship. <![CDATA[<b>Film as medium for meaning making: A practical theological reflection</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222017000400033&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The reflection on film will be situated within the framework of popular culture and lived religion as recognised themes within the discipline of practical theology. It is argued that the perspective of viewers is of importance within the process of meaning-making. By focusing on the experience and meaning-making through the act of film-watching the emphasis is not so much on the message that the producer wishes to convey but rather on the experience that is created within the viewer. Experience is not viewed as only emotional, but rather that, at least, both the cognitive and emotional are key in the act of watching a film. It is therefore argued that this experience that is seldom reflected on by viewers could serve as a fruitful platform for meaning-making by the viewer. In a context where there seems to be a decline in institutionalised forms of religion, it is important to investigate emerging forms of religion. Furthermore, the turn to the self also makes people's experiences and practices in everyday life valuable resources for theological reflection. This reflection could provide a theoretical framework for especially empirical research on how film as specific form of media serves as a religious resource and plays a role in the construction of meaning and religious identity.