Scielo RSS <![CDATA[HTS Theological Studies]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0259-942220100002&lang=en vol. 66 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Preaching as a pastoral invitation to participate</b>: <b>a cultural-linguistic view</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000200001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en As a practical theologian, the author of this article adopts a social-constructionist approach, namely Lindbeck's cultural-linguistic method, which focuses on narratives and grammar as vehicles of identity, and individuals' choice to be part of a group by accepting the group's traditions. This article discusses preaching as a pastoral action by examining the specific role that preaching has to fulfil in order to be pastoral within a cultural-linguistic model. The role of narratives, the Bible, the context of the group and individual, and the tradition of the group are also discussed. The article concludes by citing two specific homiletic proposals for narrative pastoral preaching. <![CDATA[<b>Images of God in the liturgy</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000200002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this article, the research hypothesis is that a one-sided liturgy leads to a watered-down image of God. When room for God is not created in the liturgy, God is not encountered in all God's glory. As a result, worshippers cannot fully bring homage to God's glory. From this perspective, the article explores the different faces of God in the liturgy. These diverse images of God lead to a rich diversity of views and experiences of God by worshippers. <![CDATA[<b>The selection of candidates for theological training</b>: <b>necessity and application</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000200003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The selection of candidates for theological training is a sensitive issue, as many see it as a verdict on the authenticity of the prospective student's claim of having been called to ministry by God. This article argues that, in addition to a sense of calling, the profile of a candidate should include abilities in terms of office (power), profession (capability) and person (adequacy). The process of selection should involve all these aspects. The guidelines of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa in this regard in its publication, A-ZHandleiding aangaande predikante van die Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk, are discussed. The selection process should not be seen as a test of the authenticity of candidates's sense of calling, but rather as a way in which candidates can be guided to discern their calling and place within the body of Christ. A positive outcome in the areas of office, capability and adequacy could confirm the claim of having been called by God. The article concludes that the selection of candidates for theological training is not a single event, but a process that starts when the prospective candidate reports to the church council, and is completed with the pastor's ordination by the church. <![CDATA[<b>Mysticism and mental health</b>: <b>a critical dialogue</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000200004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Contemporary research suggests that a path is now open for critical dialogue between mysticism and mental health. Data are accumulating regarding the frequency with which mystical experience occurs in the general population. Social science researchers are undertaking studies to determine whether people can knowledgably differentiate between the presence of a mystical experience and other types of experience that occur in their lives. Psychologists are developing clinical criteria by which the mystical and psychotic experience can be differentiated. Neuropsychiatric researchers are exploring the effect of the mystical experience by way of enhanced brain imagery. Theologians are opening up the received wisdom of the mystical tradition and applying it to the present historical context. This paper drew these diverse disciplines together to demonstrate an emerging consensus with respect to the efficacy of mysticism in the field of mental health. <![CDATA[<b>Poetic song of Hester. Secondary infertility</b>: <b>losing infants, inheriting a child</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000200005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The aim of the article was to explore the narrative of Hester, a black South African woman, who is living with secondary infertility. The perspective is that of postfoundational practical theology, feminist theology and social constructionist narrative methodology. Fertility, as one of the most intimate areas of human existence, lies at the heart of life itself. Within the African tradition, motherhood is seen as almost sacred. Despite Hester's multiple identities, one which is that of adoptive mother, the absence of biological children causes her to be regarded as a 'childless' woman. That identity not only disproportionately defines her, but also stigmatises her as shameful and an outsider. Within the traditional African worldview being healthy (including being fertile) is seen as being in harmony with the societal order and systemic, spiritual and religious environment. Hester's social construction of her 'self' is that of helplessness, reflected in her near illiteracy, low economic status, socio-cultural position and lack of skills. Her childlessness reinforced her helplessness. Her 'woundedness' was perpetuated by the fact that she could not share her painful story openly. In the article Hester's story is presented as a poem, titled: 'the thing that doesn't want to come out'. The article concludes with Hester's reconstruction of 'self' as a woman, although poor, also blessed. <![CDATA[<b>The assimilation of church members into the local faith community</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000200006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this article, the assimilation of members into the faith community is discussed. When a church has found its identity in being a 'missional faith community', the outcome is growth. Growth cannot take place if the church is unable to assimilate new members into church life. People are only assimilated into the faith community when they are interconnected through relationships, and experience a fundamental sense of belonging. This article discusses aspects of membership assimilation, namely intention, active participation, and culture. A model is proposed whereby leaders can evaluate the functional worth of people for the faith community at any level of assimilation. This model can also assist leaders in creating processes to assimilate members more effectively. <![CDATA[<b>Generation X, intergenerational justice and the renewal of the traditioning process</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000200007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The church has the task of transmitting its faith tradition from one generation to the next. In the transition to postmodernity, many established congregations have proven to be ineffective at this traditioning process in relation to Generation X (Gen X), the first postmodern generation. The reasons for the ineffectiveness are complex. This article focuses on two key factors that contribute to the problem: the reduction of the church's tradition to its particular expression within the culture of modernity and the marginalisation experienced by Gen Xers within many established churches. The latter has prevented them from becoming effective bearers of the church's tradition. If this trend is to be reversed, churches should succeed in renewing their traditions in a way that is meaningful in a postmodern context. The challenge will be to overcome the dynamics of reductionism and marginalisation. In developing the argument, the jubilee themes of 'return' and 'release' are applied to the intergenerational dynamics of established congregations. The article concludes that local congregations should embrace a renewed commitment to intergenerational justice, which will encourage equity between the generations. <![CDATA[<b>Pornography</b>: <b>human right or human rights violation?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000200008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The article investigates the availability of pornographic media to under-aged users, specifically the already marginalised under-aged sector of the South African population. It argues that the availability of pornography is just another illustration of the systemic discrimination against this section of the population. Theoretical, non-experimental and clinical evidence illustrating the negative impact that the exposure to pornography has on children is presented against the background of the social reality of South Africa. The article finds that exposure to pornography leaves children even more vulnerable than they already are. The investigation of relevant legislation indicates that those who broadcast and/or sell pornography contravene South African law. The article concludes that the effects of pornography on children are far-reaching and potentially harmful. Children should be more effectively protected against exposure to pornography. Lastly, the role of faith-based organisations (FBOs) and the possibilities of their effective involvement, is explored. <![CDATA[<b>A triad of pastoral leadership for congregational health and well-being</b>: <b>leader, manager and servant in a shared and equipping ministry</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000200009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en That ministry is to be given back to the laity is a laudable proposition. However, the level of development in many township and village communities is still such that a strong leadership and management facilitation role is demanded of the pastor. In such contexts, the pastor is also the only one who is always available for church tasks. The point of departure of this article was that the pastor is primarily a facilitator who assumes the tasks of a leader, a manager and a servant. The Trinitarian office of Christ is taken as model. Christian leadership, as discussed from a systems perspective, is seen as enabling rather than hegemonic. The pastor fulfils the seven leadership functions in order to equip the saints for their Christian service. Church management is redefined as a process which takes place in meaningful collaboration with others, over against the objectification found in conventional definitions which focus on 'getting things done through people'. This article discussed servant leadership and service provision as the central purpose of Christian leadership. <![CDATA[<b>Church leadership as mediator for an impossible reality</b>: <b>a practical theological study of the role of leadership in the transformation of congregations</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000200010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The Church finds herself in a complex society, which currently has a destructive impact on the realisation of the Church. To overcome the challenges of our time, leaders must help to shape new realities creatively and innovatively. Church leadership must find an alternative way of dealing with the issues at stake in order to guide congregations on a challenging journey. The challenge for congregational leaders is to let the realisation of the Church take place in a revealing and developing manner. The assumption is that the Church is realised organically rather than mechanically and institutionally. Leadership is a dynamic matter that should be realised in a congregational and ecumenical context. The question to be answered in this article is: What is the role of leaders in a world typified as complex? Because of the complexity of postmodern society, leadership theory and practice have developed beyond the point of planning, organisation and control (acceptable managerial scientific methodology). Leadership in the Church is a collective matter, and, as such, it should be approached and managed holistically with dynamic and relational methods. <![CDATA[<b>A postfoundationalist research paradigm of practical theology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000200011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Practical theology describes a context, interprets what has been discovered, brings in Christian norms, and constructs models of Christian practice. It is a process that involves epistemology and hermeneutics. For practical theology to be transformative, a postfoundational theological framework that allows interdisciplinary work and interpretation of experience in a given context is essential. Research in postfoundational practical theology can be conducted using narratives and social constructionism to obtain meaning from events or situations and to construct preferred realities. This article examines and argues for postfoundationalism - transversal reason, interdisciplinarity and interpreted experience - as a viable theological option against rigid foundationalism and relativistic nonfoundationalism. Also discussed are the process and the interdisciplinary nature of practical theology. It is suggested that narrative research and social constructionism should be part of the research paradigm of postfoundational practical theology. <![CDATA[<b>Transversality and interdisciplinary discussion in postfoundational practical theology - reflecting on Julian Müller's interdisciplinary guidelines</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000200012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article reflected on Julian Müller's paper on the practical guidelines for conducting interdisciplinary work, a process which is similar to that which the author used during his own PhD studies on mentorship. Beginning this article by discussing postfoundationalism and transversal rationality, the author continued by describing his own process of interdisciplinary conversation, where various scholars participated in the interdisciplinary conversation on mentorship. An interview with a mentor and mentee was used as a local, real narrative in the process. In the final section, the author reflected upon his own process in relation to that of Müller and suggested a process with three movements for interdisciplinary work. <![CDATA[<b>The paradox of being a wounded healer</b>: <b>Henri J.M. Nouwen's contribution to pastoral theology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000200013&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article is the first in a series of two dealing with Henri Nouwen's contribution to pastoral care. The present article focuses on the impact of cognitive dissonance and the role it plays in pastors becoming constrained in their ministry. The point of departure is that during the past two decades, pastors have been subjected to profound changes. While pastors view their involvement with people in the social and faith communities in which they live and work as guiding people towards a life of wholeness and integrity, they themselves, because of their own inner woundedness, struggle to live a life of wholeness. This article investigates how pastors can act congruently and with integrity in a world that has been profoundly changed by a shift from a modern to a postmodern paradigm. This reflection explores the ancient Greek mythological origins of the concept 'wounded healer'. It also shows that, in its utilisation by the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, the concept became a metaphor. This insight leads to a discussion of how Henri Nouwen applied the significance of the metaphor to pastoral ministry. The discussion takes on the form of certain relevant biographical side notes on Nouwen's contribution to pastoral theology. The article concludes with an exposition of Nouwens's use of the metaphor in his book, The wounded healer: Ministry in contemporary society. <![CDATA[<b>The unveiling of life</b>: <b>liturgy and the lure of kitsch</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000200014&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article probes the classic definition of religious aesthetics as related to the notions of beauty, goodness and truth. The phenomenon of kitsch, understood as simulation (or inversion) of beauty, goodness and truth, is taken cognisance of, especially in the light of contributions by Milan Kundera, Umberto Eco and Jean Baudrillard. The article briefly reflects on the liturgical consequences when kitsch manifests itself as simulated 'beauty', 'goodness' and 'truth' and concludes with some considerations regarding the characteristics of kitsch. <![CDATA[<b>Detecting God in practices</b>: <b>theology in an empirical-theological research project</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000200015&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en What is the nature of reality in theological research and how can this 'theological' reality be known? Can we empirically research God's performance in reality? This article tries to find some common ground on this contested issue by presenting a debate between three Dutch practical theologians: Van der Ven, Immink, and Ganzevoort. Their positions on the theological dimension of empirical reality are traced, followed by some thoughts on critical realism and on a 'cataphysic' approach to empirical theological research, inspired by the theologian Alister McGrath and the philosopher of science Roy Bhaskar. This results in three concluding remarks. Firstly, realisme and social constructionism are not excluding options. Social constructions presuppose the existence of reality. Secondly, a stratified model of reality, perceiving the nature of reality as emergent, layered, and complex, points in the direction of multidisciplinary discourses and helps to avoid forms of reductionism. Thirdly, prioritizing the ontology of a stratified reality that reflects revelation, creates a common ground for the debate on the nature of theological reality. <![CDATA[<b>The stimulation of the modern transformation processes by the church and the opportunity this presents to industrial mission</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000200016&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The church had reacted to both political and industrial change. Localised theology was the answer to a restricted political dispensation, and the final result was the application of liberation theology. The Kairos Document, the Evangelical Witness, the Belhar Confession and Church and Society express the different churches' viewpoints about the apartheid regime. This contextual focus on the same political dispensation unleashed church influence during the establishment of a national democratic dispensation. The different efforts to deal with industrial change by means of church renewal have finally paved the way for the development of a new industrial mission, vision and approach. This has resulted in the forming of an interchurch industrial organisation, and far-reaching possibilities within the industrial environment. <![CDATA[<b>The dilemma of traditional and 21st century pastoral ministry</b>: <b>ministering to families and communities faced with socio-economic pathologies</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000200017&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en A holistic pastoral methodology is sought in transforming the socio-economic and systemic pathologies of poor families and local communities. Missional pastoral ministry is proposed from a critical hermeneutical and contextual perspective for the empowerment and liberation of people living with complex and multiple forms of pathologies. A transversal rationality model is applied merging the complexity and divergence of cross-disciplinary and intradisciplinary approaches between missional theology, practical theology, contextual theology, religious pedagogy and ethics. Practical theology in South Africa should be applied from and within the contemporary socio-economic, systemic and ecclesiological pathologies. <![CDATA[<b>Living theologically - towards a theology of christian practice in terms of the theological triad of <i>orthodoxy, orthopraxy </i>and<i> orthopathy</i> as portrayed in Isaiah 6:1-8</b>: <b>a narrative approach</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000200018&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article explores the connection between life and theology. Today, many people do not understand the connection between theology and everyday life. In particular, many of today's theological students are leaving theological institutions and entering the ministry with a fragmented theology instead of an integrated theology. A brief historical and literature review indicates that there are three perspectives in contemporary theology, namely the theological triad of orthodoxy, orthopathy and orthopraxy. A brief analysis of the three perspectives indicates a close connection between theology and everyday life: theology and life are linked in praise (orthodoxy), action (orthopraxy) and passion (orthopathy). This article focuses on the paradigm of narrative theology and shows that, when used correctly, narrative theology provides the building blocks for systematic theology and biblical theology. Narrative theology also provides helpful insights when it takes into account legitimate literary concerns, such as the historical background of the Bible passage and the author's theology and purpose. The close connection between theology and everyday life is clearly portrayed in a narrative approach to Isaiah 6:1-8, especially when it illustrates how the story (narrative) shapes each of the three perspectives of the theological triad. <![CDATA[<b>A re-reading of John 8:1-11 from a pastoral liberative perspective on South African women</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000200019&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The inception of democracy in South Africa faced the oppression of women as one of the challenges. The duty to improve women's position in society is not the responsibility of a few people alone, but of everyone. According to the researcher, the church has not done enough pastorally in this regard. In denouncing the oppression of women, the Christian community should also support the victims of abuse. This article intends to unmask collusion with patriarchal societies including the Jewish society in Jesus' time by mapping out the forms of harassment and embarrassment inflicted upon women. The study shows how pastoral care can help victims of oppression. A re-reading of John 8:1-11 will inform the, how can the verses above be used in counselling the victims of gender oppression. This study will formulate pastoral guidelines from Jesus' response to the Pharisees, the Scribes and the woman. <![CDATA[<b>Die liminale ruimte vir inkongruensie tussen predikant en lidmaat</b>: <b>'n narratief gebaseerde prakties-teologiese ondersoek in gemeentes van die Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222010000200020&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Disagreements between pastors and church members in the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (NRCH) require a unique space in the church in terms of a postmodern society. Different perspectives can easily lead to conflict in the Church. Unresolved conflict may jeopardise the work of the clergy in a congregation. In this research, I follow a contextual approach to the pursuit of practical theology. A postfundamental practical theological framework is followed in the research. The social construction discourse and narrative epistemology offer new perspectives for developing a liminal space where more than one perspective can exist. Within a society characterised by secularism and privatisation, I examine the possibility of a space of unity amid diversity in the Church. I involved six fellow researchers who have experienced conflict in a specific context within the Church. We also examined the possibility of an alternative space where moments of communitas can once again occur in these stories. The research found space for this in the description of two metaphors, namely the liminal suspension bridge of grace and the dance of peace. The stories of the fellow researchers are retold within these two metaphors. My research highlights the important contribution of an interdisciplinary conversation in research. In the study, the journey theme plays an important role, and the reader is invited along with the fellow researchers into a (liminal) space to explore the conflict between the church minister and the church member.