Scielo RSS <![CDATA[HTS Theological Studies]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0259-942220110002&lang=en vol. 67 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Communicating hope with one breath</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000200001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The central thesis of this article was that the phenomenon of hope involves states and stages of consciousness development, which can be enhanced through breath control, meditation, prayer and related practices that have formed the essence of various spiritual healing traditions for millennia. In particular, it was argued that breath control can provide a vital foundation for consciousness transformation and the development of hope. Whilst breath control alone may lead to a state of pure, transcendent and/or cosmic consciousness, the practical theological implications are that its effect of enhancing states and stages of consciousness may be anchored and amplified. This process can take place through further contemplative and intercessory meditation, prayer and related behaviour and will differ between people, groups, contexts, religious and/or spiritual traditions. A particular method of breath control called One Breath, which is associated with pure consciousness and the experience of hope was described. Such an experience typically leads to further spiritual practice, healing and transformation. It was concluded that such ongoing spiritual practice is crucial for improving consciousness development, healing and hope for individuals, societies, planet Earth and the cosmos. <![CDATA[<b>'n Waardering vir die positiewe! Waarderende betrokkenheid as 'n gemeentelike- en pastorale lens</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000200002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en An appreciation for the positive! Appreciative engagement as congregational process and congregational- and pastoral lens The traditional approach of only solving what is wrong is challenged by newer perspectives emphasising the meaning of an appreciation for the positive. The possible meaning of this alternative perspective for the development of a relevant positive practical theology was explored in investigating the possible meaning of the methodology of appreciative inquiry. The benefit of this model, for congregational studies and pastoral ministry amongst others, was investigated, described and illustrated with a case study. After a critical evaluation of the methodology of appreciative inquiry, suggestions for the development of a relevant positive practical theology, incorporating an appreciation for the positive in an appreciative engagement were mapped. <![CDATA[<b>Revisiting the role of woman pastors in the church in Tshwane</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000200003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The purpose of this article was to obtain feedback from women pastors in and around the Tshwane metropole in South Africa on their experiences of their role as pastors. The question at stake was: are woman pastors more often approached for counselling? Therefore, half structured interviews were conducted in order to explore their life stories. The four core tasks of practical theological interpretation, according to Richard Osmer, were used as the framework for this article. <![CDATA[<b>Philosophical counselling</b>: <b>Towards a 'new approach' in pastoral care and counselling?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000200004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The practice of pastoral counselling was dominated for several decades by the Rogerian techniques of empathetic listening. To a large extent, healing was predominately related to the realm of feelings (the affective dimension). Rational Emotive Therapy opened up other avenues. However, besides Logotherapy, the realm of meaning and its connectedness to world views and ideas (Plato: forms) remained uncharted in many theories for pastoral care and counselling. In this article it was argued that philosophical counselling opens up new avenues for pastoral care and counselling. Philosophical counselling probes into the realm of different schemata of interpretation. A model for the making of a spiritual existential analysis was proposed in order to detect the impact of the Christian spiritual schema of interpretation on the dynamics of existential networking. <![CDATA[<b>Die verband tussen gemeentebouprosesse en missionale gemeente-ontwikkeling</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000200005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article dealt with the process of building up the local congregation and the manner in which missional objectives are achieved. The article was undertaken against the background of the disturbing decline in membership numbers, particularly in the two traditional Reformational churches in South Africa, namely the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) and the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa. This decline is in line with similar tendencies in mainstream churches the world over. The key aspects of the theory of building up the local church was discussed and mission in the current South African context dealt with, particularly in view of the fact that an entirely new mission field has opened itself up with the influx into the country of so many people from neighbouring countries who have come to live in our midst. Missional objectives for the local church, as well as aspects that can be subjected to empirical testing are determined all along. The hypothesis wanted to verify whether local churches that have undergone a structured process of building up the local church are more successful missionally than those that have not undergone a structured process. <![CDATA[<b>The socio-practical dimensions of <i>isitshisa [burning of the heifer]</i> in the Corinthian Church of South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000200006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this article, I argued that the performances of the ritual sacrifice of burning the heifer [isitshisa] and worship, held annually at Mlazi in Durban by the members of the Corinthian Church of South Africa, has social implications. Not only does the ritual worship enhance religious bonds of affinity amongst the Corinthians, it also instils in them the values of sharing, cooperation and care for those in need in the community, for example the blind; thus, isitshisa acts as a resource that empowers the Corinthians for social commitment and action in their community. <![CDATA[<b>Practical theology as 'healing of memories'</b>: <b>Critical reflections on a specific methodology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000200007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en When developing new perspectives and paradigms for practical theology in South Africa, we obviously have to take our South African context seriously. We live in a post-conflict society in which gigantic sociocultural shifts have taken place since 1994. Many institutions and groups endeavour to address the conflict, injustices and pain of the past, including the Institute for the Healing of Memories (IHOM). The Institute makes use of a specific methodology in their workshops. Having participated in these workshops in congregational contexts as well as in the training of theological students, in this article I investigated the methodology of the Institute as a framework for new perspectives on practical theology in South Africa. Making use of Victor Turner's theoretical construct of 'social drama' as one way of looking at the methodology of the IHOM, I reflected critically on the challenges that it poses to practical theology by making use of a 'rhetorical frame' and trying to delineate some constructive proposals for further reflections on practical theological paradigms and perspectives. <![CDATA[<b>Cohabitation and premarital sex amongst Christian youth in South Africa today</b>: <b>A missional reflection</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000200008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article explored the rising trends of cohabitation and premarital sex amongst Christian and non-Christian youth in South Africa that is becoming more socially acceptable. Moving from a premise of engaging in these practices, which is not biblically justified, to what a missional Christian church can do, this article sought to bring the numbers of those who cohabit and engage in premarital sex down. The thesis of this article was that a missional church should view cohabitation and premarital sex as frontiers that need to be crossed to save the lives of our youth by minimising premarital pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (the Human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] and Acquired immune deficiency syndrome [AIDS] pandemic included). This will also go a long way in saving the sinking image of marriage. It is the presupposition of this article that cohabitation and premarital sex are great threats to the institution of marriage. <![CDATA[<b>Effective strategic leadership</b>: <b>Balancing roles during church transitions</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000200009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en As part of their responsibilities of leading the organisation, strategic leaders are responsible for leading change. This article investigated the application of the strategic leadership of change within the church context. A Straussian approach to the grounded theory method was used to generate a substantive grounded theory of organisational change and leadership, particularly focusing on the manifestation and management of organisation inertia in churches within South Africa that were transitioning from a programme based to a cell based church design. This article reported on one aspect of this study and focused on the patterns of leadership roles. It further distinguished between effective and ineffective leadership patterns that either enhanced or compromised the credibility of the leader and by implication, affected the success of the change intervention. The results of the study were discussed from the perspective of social capital theory, thereby contributing to understanding the role of strategic leaders in building social capital within the context of organisation change. <![CDATA[<b>Practical theology</b>: <b>Can it really help the local congregation?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000200010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article sought to demonstrate that a synthesis of various church growth methods used within the framework of Heitink's (1999:124ff.) three theory of action perspectives, namely the 'hermeneutical', 'empirical' and 'strategic', has successfully enabled the building up of one congregation both structurally and spiritually. The 'building up' concept was drawn from the practical theological subdiscipline of 'building up the local church'. This subdiscipline judges the success of God's work in a local congregation by how effective it is in mobilising its members, facilitating growth towards holistic maturity, making disciples and serving others in mission. Since 2006, St John's has moved towards this goal by mobilising its members into four new ministry teams (with 13 subsidiary teams), which appear to have achieved growth in these areas. <![CDATA[<b>Liturgy as space for anticipation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000200011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article proposes that the notion of liturgical space, understood in conjunction with the original Greek concept of space, is not only a quantitative, physical locality, but also a primary qualitative possibility for existence, a meaningful womb, a neighbourhood for imagination and a space for anticipation. Three consequences of this proposal are discussed, namely liturgy as waiting on the elusive presence (presence of absence) of God, celebration as (metaphorical) dance of hope, and the need for liturgical refiguring. <![CDATA[<b>Making a difference? Societal entrepreneurship and its significance for a practical theological ecclesiology in a local Western Cape context</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000200012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article is concerned with the question of whether and how a local church or congregation can, as indissoluble dimension of its vocation as a Christian faith agent, make a difference by influencing the dynamics of social and economic change that are transforming the face and structures of 'traditional' social and religious life in its community. Based upon the authors' own interest in the specific context of the Dutch Reformed congregation of Simondium in the Western Cape and the case study work that they have conducted in this context, an argument about the potential role of this congregation is developed through the conceptual lens of 'societal entrepreneurship'. After exploring some recent thoughts on this concept in the literature, the authors use the results of their recently conducted case study work to show how the dynamics of a new entrepreneurial drive amongst long-established residents and newcomers in the Simondium region shape the social reality of both the region and the congregation in a forceful way. This insight leads the authors to develop a sociologically and theologically motivated argument about the way in which this changing reality offers newfound opportunities to the Simondium congregation to fulfil its Christian calling. As such, the notion of becoming an 'entrepreneurial church' is introduced and a more detailed perspective is offered on those factors that a contextually orientated practical theological ecclesiology should take into account in building the entrepreneurial model in the congregation. <![CDATA[<b>Applying grounded theory to data collected through participatory research on African Independent Churches' liturgical rituals</b>: <b>A comparative study</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000200013&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article reported on two research projects, the first conducted in the early 1990s and the second, a project currently in progress. In essence, the article was an attempt to compare the theology of African Independent Churches in the two respective periods by making use of a grounded theory approach to their worship services. Significant similarities and differences were identified and reported on. <![CDATA[<b>A homiletic reflection on the theological aesthetics involved in picturing God in a fragmented South African society</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000200014&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article investigates the problematic field of authentic speech in a fragile South African society where the imminence of shattering fragmentation is often addressed either by aggravating hate- speech or pacifying speech that seems to lack the will to come to terms with the full implications of the issues at hand. We attempt to reflect on the possibility of authentic speech in this context by picturing God and his purposeful presence in our fragmented world; speech that reflects and acts out the implications of what is observed in the revealing light of God's living Word. In addressing the research problem the following aspects are researched: (1) we briefly reflect on the theological aesthetics involved in picturing God through the eyes and acts of faith, (2) explore the painful manifestation of fragmentation in the South African society (with poverty and HIV and AIDS as examples), and (3) attempt to homiletically speak the language of faith by picturing God in our fragmented world through the lens of the parable of the Good Samaritan. We come to the conclusion that authentic homiletic speech can only flow from a heart in which the hardened crust of perpetual attempts at self-righteousness and conservation of the own comfort-zone are shattered by the words and deeds of our Lord. It is through the words and deeds of our Lord that the preacher is enlightened to bear authentic witness to how God fuses a shattered reality and a shattered heart into a prismatic, multi-faceted witness to the glory of his all-conquering healing power. <![CDATA[<b>'n Multidissiplinêre benadering tot Praktiese Ekklesiologie</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000200015&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en A multi-disciplinary approach to Practical Ecclesiology In this contribution the author proposes a multi-disciplinary approach to ecclesiology. Ecclesiology receives some attention in all theological disciplines; however, the various methods and approaches of the different disciplines leads to divergent results. This diversity in ecclesiology could be very positive if a multi-disciplinary approach could be developed. Contributions by theologians of the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (NRCA) are used as an example of divergent approaches to ecclesiology. The conclusion is reached that Practical Ecclesiology could serve as a theological discipline where different ecclesiologies could be integrated to the benefit of theological training and the church in general. <![CDATA[<b>An Integrated Competency-Based Training Model for theological training</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000200016&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article examines the relationship between theological training and practical ministry with the purpose of addressing the fundamental problems that hinder theological training from becoming relevant. There exists a general concern about the way theological schools are preparing men and women for church ministry, with the church leadership feeling like graduates are not up to the task of ministering despite the theological training. The research has established that there is a relationship between theological training and practice of ministry and that practical ministry can only be improved through enhancing theological training. Ultimately the article establishes the need for a competent training programme modelled after the New Testament Discipleship Model approach. This model integrates knowledge, being and practical training. The article tries to outline a model of training (i.e. the Integrated Competency-Based Training Model) that will seek to address many of the inadequacies in the training of church ministers with the aim of making theological training translate into the practice of ministry. <![CDATA[<b>The use of metaphors in Narrative Research in exploring and describing experiences of adolescent male orphans affected by HIV and AIDS</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000200017&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article relates to the primary study which aimed at addressing uncertainties about the type and nature of the relationship between the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and adolescent male orphans affected by this disease and all its aspects, such as poverty, exposure to crime and stigmatisation, and the lack of parental figures - more specifically, the absence of the father figure. Subsequently, this study aimed at dissecting the orphan's life experiences in the midst of HIV and AIDS and explored ways in which these experiences influence his sexual and power relations with women and his role as future father and husband in the absence of a father figure (or male role model). Moreover, the researcher explored ways in which these past and future narratives influence or affect the male orphan's view of and relationship with God, or whether it is rather this view of and relationship with God that influence and affect his relationship with his past narrative and writing of his future narratives. Research methods from the qualitative and case study research design and, more specifically, from postfoundational practical theology and narrative therapy, were employed in exploring the above issues. With the use of the metaphor of Tree of Life and the David narrative, the researcher journeyed with the co-researchers in the construction of a preferred alternative narrative, which in turn functions as a guiding metaphor for aspiring to the future and living their lives in a preferred and satisfying manner. Therefore this article explains the use of these metaphors during the seven movements of Postfoundational Practical Theology and shows how these metaphors succeeded in assisting the co-researchers with externalising aspects of their problem-saturated narratives, identifying unique outcomes amidst these narratives, and developing alternative narratives that serve as a vehicle for change and creating hope amidst a context of seeming despair. <![CDATA[<b>Die kerklike hantering van eietydse transformasieprosesse deur die bedryf van 'n arbeidspsigologiese nywerheidsbedieningsmodel</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000200018&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The utilising of a Christain workpsychological industrial church mission to address the modern transformation processes The church reacted unsatisfactoraly to both political and industrial change. This situation neccessitated the development of a workpsychological industrial mission. This model combines the different industrial mission models, the structure and system of Industrial Mission in South Africa (IMSA) and the German workpsychological approach. The main aim is self-development and self-actualisation. The implication of the model is through Scripture ministry with a special focus on social ethics and a worktheology. The second leg is pastorale care which implements the employee assistant programs (EAP) of companies and adresses the work, personal and environmental problems of all gender, religion and cultural groups from a Christian perspective. The failure of the church to utilise the industrial mission to the full results in a loss for the church's ministry during transformation. <![CDATA[<b>The theology and praxis of practical theology in the context of the Faculty of Theology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000200019&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Notwithstanding the carefully defined parameters of the various departments within theology, the aspirant student sometimes finds it difficult to define the precise department within which a specific study would best be located. We have discovered that these various fields and departments have many areas of commonality and the borders between them are tested often, even in our own studies. However, we have learned that crossing between one field and another should not be seen as a problem but as strength, as it will enable the researcher to motivate and test his or her theological convictions. It is in this context that the subject of this article finds its motivation. Through it we have argued for a practical theology that will be responsible for engaging with its own theology, in order to find the necessary energy to sustain itself. Not only should practical theology be energised by its theology, it should also, as its name implies, be practical in its nature, offering help to all people in need of pastoral care. <![CDATA[<b>Practical theology</b>: <b>a current international perspective</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000200020&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Drawing on Thomas Kuhn's concept of paradigms, this article explored two levels at which paradigms influence contemporary practical theology. The first level is reflective practice, where pastors and academics carry out the descriptive-empirical, interpretive, normative and pragmatic tasks of practical theological reflection on particular contexts. The second level is metatheoretical, where practical theologians make decisions about how they view the theory-praxis relationship, interdisciplinary work, the relative weight of Scripture, tradition, reason, and experience and the theological rationale that justifies their approach. The article concluded by raising two challenges to the current paradigms of practical theology: the relationship between Christian particularity and the common good, and the wound of reason. <![CDATA[<b>Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000200021&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Drawing on Thomas Kuhn's concept of paradigms, this article explored two levels at which paradigms influence contemporary practical theology. The first level is reflective practice, where pastors and academics carry out the descriptive-empirical, interpretive, normative and pragmatic tasks of practical theological reflection on particular contexts. The second level is metatheoretical, where practical theologians make decisions about how they view the theory-praxis relationship, interdisciplinary work, the relative weight of Scripture, tradition, reason, and experience and the theological rationale that justifies their approach. The article concluded by raising two challenges to the current paradigms of practical theology: the relationship between Christian particularity and the common good, and the wound of reason.