Scielo RSS <![CDATA[HTS Theological Studies]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0259-942220110003&lang=en vol. 67 num. 3 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Voorwoord tot die T.F.J. Dreyer Huldigingsbundel</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b>Redaksioneel tot die T.F.J. Dreyer Huldigingsbundel</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b>The pendulum between subjectivity and objectivity in the theology of Theuns Dreyer</b>: <b>a dialogue</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article reflects a conversation between Andries G. van Aarde and Theuns F.J. Dreyer. Dreyer was professor of Practical Theology in the period 1983 to 1999, and director of the Reformed Theological College at the Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria from January 2000 until his retirement in January 2012. The article aims to demonstrate the shifts in Practical Theology and how these changes influenced Dreyer and, on the other hand, how Dreyer himself was the campaigner of the progress in teaching and training of ministers of the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa during the past three decades. <![CDATA[<b>Missional congegrations in the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa</b>: <b>theologically substantiated</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The Christian churches are experiencing a major paradigm shift as they attemp to navigate the 20th century. Around the mid-fourth century to the mid-twentieth century CE, often referred to as the 'age of Christendom', Christianity and the institutional church had a central place, which was culturally supported in the public life of most Western societies. Today it is impossible to talk about culture without using the plural. Society has changed into what is called a 'pluriverse' of cultures determined by aspects such as geography, race, ethinicity, class, and worldview. For Christian denominations, this paradigm shift has become exceedingly challenging. This article discerns and experiments with approaches to ministry that are vitally challenged by the many current understandings of what it means to be church today. By taking the concept missio Dei as point of departure the article describes the church as being called to be a missional church and the Christian leaders as being called to exercise missional leadership. The article addresses the notion of missio trinitatis as fundamental to the understanding of the missio Dei. God is one who lives by sharing, and the Trinity is the doctrine of a God whose very essence is sharing, thus the consequence is that those who believe in such a God must live a similar life. Matthew 28:19-20 serves as basis for a discussion on the 'embodiment' of the church's missional theology as well as a basis for the development of a missional praxis. The fundamental conviction argued in this article is that there can be no place for a future church that is not missional in essence. <![CDATA[<b>The NRCA en route to inclusivity I</b>: <b>the anatomy of a fragmented/eschatological ecclesiology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This is the first in a two-part series that aims to examine the growing pains the Netherdutch Reformed Church is experiencing in its journey towards Christian inclusivity. This first article examines the fragmentation in the Church's understanding of ecclesiology, which becomes apparent in the debates concerning the meaning and range of inclusivity in ecclesiology. The roots of this fragmentation are examined. It is concluded that the root of the fragmentation is an eschatological understanding of the essence of the church, which is, in turn, due to a fragmented view of humanity. In order for the Church to continue its journey towards inclusivity it should revisit its understanding of humanity and theological anthropology. The second article will focus on the content and implications of a revisited theological anthroplogy. <![CDATA[<b>The NRCA en route to inclusivity II</b>: <b>a holistic theological anthropology as condition for ecclesiology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This second article further examines the hypothesis that the fragmentation in the ecclesiology of the Netherdutch Reformed Church (NRCA) is based on a fragmented understanding of humanity. The concept of fragmentation is considered as the result of a positivistic epistemology with regard to understanding the ontology of humankind. In light of this, the NRCA's understanding of humanity is examined as it appeared in the Church's polity of 'no equalisation' with regard to the justification of separate ethnic-based churches and the Church's current understanding of homosexuality. The content of an inclusive theological anthropology is considered and suggested for the Church as a necessary step on its journey towards inclusivity. <![CDATA[<b>Women's spirituality and feminist theology</b>: <b>A hermeneutic of suspicion applied to 'patriarchal marriage'</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article focused on feminist theory, feminist theology, the origins of the patriarchal marriage, and hermeneutics of suspicion. It aimed to provide language for articulating past and present experiences of women from a theological and hermeneutical perspective. The article discussed women's spirituality and the failure of the patriarchal marriage to nurture self-perception (how I see myself), life orientation (where I am in the world) and identity (who am I in the world), with regard to women's spirituality. The article also gave details about the variety of feminisms that exist in theology both in the past and in the present. <![CDATA[<b>(Auto)biography as theology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article provides a reflection on the relationship between (auto)biography and theology. This reflection is done with reference to, and in honour of the story of Theuns Dreyer. The author positions himself on the theory that the theology develops on a narrative basis and therefore also by way of (auto)biography. The life of a person, in this case a theologian, is regarded as a 'piece of art' and becomes both a reflection of one's theology and a way of constructing a theology. The richness of walking the inbetween land (ecotone) and to combine two contexts (church and academia) in one story is also explored. <![CDATA[<b>A church with character and its social capital for projects amongst the poor</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this article I present a theoretical framework for my argument that specific congregations which are renewed to address the current culture and context, according to the vision presented by Professor T.F.J. Dreyer, are competent to generate projects directed to the poor and humble as social capital. The problem addressed in the article, also phrased as the research question, is: what is the nature and diversity of care in the form of projects as social capital amongst the poor in renewed congregations as it emerges from the sermons on Matthew 25:31-46? The goal of the grounded theory analysis of sermons on this text in a research cycle of selective coding, collected from renewed congregations, will be the identification of projects, types of projects, and their properties. I discuss the idea of local theologies as a motivation of contextual religious action by the congregation in projects amongst the poor, provide a description of poverty in South Africa; show the role of religious faith communities in addressing poverty, followed by conceptualisation of social capital in projects of congregations, and lastly I give a description of two examples of projects thus far discovered in analysed sermons. <![CDATA[<b><i>Ta splanchna</i></b>: <b>a theopaschitic approach to a hermeneutics of God's praxis. From zombie categories to passion categories in theory formation for a practical theology of the intestines</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en It is argued that both the traditional clerical paradigm of an ecclesial approach and the phenomenological paradigm of an empirical approach are not sufficient enough to describe and maintain a theological methodology in practical theology. This has led to the introduction of a theopaschitic paradigm in theory formation. It is argued that the normative task of practical theology implies a philosophical-hermeneutical dimension, that is, to interpret under girding paradigms as related to meaning and being. It also implies a theological dimension; to reflect theologically on the praxis of God as an influential factor within human actions (inhabitational theology.) With reference to 'the pneumatological praxis of God', a practical theology of the intestines is proposed. Bowel categories reveal a divine intentionality (teleology) and describe a modus of God's praxis, the how of God within the vulnerability and suffering of human beings. This divine ontological mode should operate as a practical theological paradigm determining being qualities (ontic status) within human actions and processes of communication. The under girding theological presupposition is that ta splanchna [strong feeling of mercy and compassion expressed by the intestines] denotes a compassionate praxis of co-suffering (the passio Dei). Passion in practical theology emanates in parrhesia and instills a vivid hope: fides quaerens spem [faith in search of hope]. <![CDATA[<b>Catechist and the forming of faith</b>: <b>practical-theological perspectives</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Scrutinising this topic is an attempt to equip catechists more extensively in serving and furthering the forming of faith in the process of formal catechesis given to children. An additional aim is to highlight an outcome indicated in certain practical-theological studies, that is, that the rational dimension in the forming of faith should not be accentuated one-sidedly in formal catechetical ministry within faith communities. On basis-theoretical level the following aspects are investigated: a closer definition of faith from Hebrews focusing on the forming of faith by means of catechesis; the action of learning in the forming of faith; the sequence in the action of teaching as indicated in Scripture; the gifts of the Holy Spirit in intermediating the process of forming faith; the way and attitude in which the catechist fulfils his or her ministry, and in last instance, the spirituality of the catechist. On metatheoretical level applicable aspects from the field of Emotional and Social Intelligence are investigated. Data from the field of Emotional Intelligence that should be part of the catechist's teaching equipment point to the necessity of being conscious of aspects such as self-awareness, self-control, self-motivation and social skills. Contributions from the field of Social Intelligence include attitudes and skills like empathy, the ability of presenting oneself effectively in formulating ideas, the authority with which the catechist communicates, and his or her caring for someone else's needs. In final instance, relevant practice-theoretical perspectives that can be applied in catechetical ministry, and specifically in the forming and passing on of faith, are outlined. <![CDATA[<b>Missional integrity and contextual relevance</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The research problem addressed in this article discussed whether so-called missional local churches too often escape local contextual involvement by sending money or even people to work on their behalf 'elsewhere'. Is it true that local churches take the easier 'money-way' out to save a missional public face? The hypothesis is that missional integrity is in essence to be 'firstly' contextual relevant 'before' being nationally and even globally involved in mission. A basic assumption is that every local church is a gift of God to a specifically and even geographically defined context. <![CDATA[<b>Public theology and the translation imperative</b>: <b>a Ricoeurian perspective</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300013&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The aim of this article is to contribute to the academic discussion on the inter-linguistic translation of the Christian message in the public sphere. There seems to be consensus amongst academic public theologians and social philosophers such as Habermas about the importance of translating religious language in the public sphere. Views differ, however, on the manner of translation. Five key aspects of Ricoeur's paradigm of translation are discussed and offered as a framework for the academic discussion in public theology on the translation of the Christian message in the public sphere. It is argued that notions such as the tension between faithfulness and betrayal, the illusion of the perfect translation, striving for equivalence of meaning, the importance of the desire to translate, the work of translation and linguistic hospitality offer insight in the complexity of the translation task as well as its ethical nature. <![CDATA[<b>Homosexuality</b>: <b>the viewpoints of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) and the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (NRCA) in 2007</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300014&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en These two churches, through their broadest assembly namely the General Synod and the General Church Assembly respectively, show remarkable similarities in their approach to Scripture on the matter of homosexuality, the position of gay people in church life and the time frame in which they took decisions on these matters. The point of departure for both is marriage as something only for one husband and one wife. This is explicitly complemented by the NRCA with a limitation of sexual intercourse to marriage, which rules out the possibility of homosexuality. In the DRC the same principle is tradition, thus basicly coming to the same conclusion as the NCRA. The reason for these similarities is not that the two assemblies openly copied each other, but the fact that they both are reformed churches in Southern Africa serving, mainly, Afrikaners. Perhaps these similarities supply another reason for the present increase in cooperation between the two churches. <![CDATA[<b>What is Reformational theology?</b>: <b>thoughts on a petition of protest</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300015&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (NRCA) has been associated with apartheid for decades. In 2010 the NHKA decided to withdraw its theological legitimisation of apartheid. This decision caused conflict and strife within the church. This article deals with the theological arguments of the opponents of Decision 54 of the General Church Assembly of 2010. It argues that the defenders of apartheid deviate from the Reformational theology on central issues. Special attention is given to the doctrines of justification and the imago Dei. Christian freedom and ethical responsibility also receive attention. <![CDATA[<b>Mentor as <i>maestro</i> - from minor to major</b>: <b>the role of transfer between mentor and mentee</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300016&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article takes a glance at the role played by a mentor. The emphasis is on the authentic mentoring process. The metaphor of music is used to illustrate the different keys in which people experience life at large. The hypothesis poses that the transgression takes place during the interaction between the mentor and mentee. As in music, lives can be modulated into another, major key, which may lead to a life of abundance. <![CDATA[<b>Pentecostalism and schisms in the Reformed Church in Zambia (1996-2001)</b>: <b>listening to the people</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300017&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article is descriptive in nature and a practical theological assessment of the schisms that took place in the Reformed Church in Zambia (RCZ) between 1996 and 2001. It analyses empirical evidence to find an answer to the question why it happened. Pentecostal or charismatic tendencies have challenged the long inherited tradition of mainline churches. Subsequently, Pentecostal or charismatic movements have caused intense conflict in the church between the pro-conservatives and pro-Pentecostals. In the RCZ this led to the formation of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) in 1999 and the Bible Gospel Church in Africa (BIGOCA) in 2001. <![CDATA[<b>Historical-comparative ecclesiology</b>: <b>towards a comprehensive Practical Ecclesiology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300018&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Practical Ecclesiology is a theological discipline, which opens up the possibility of a multi-disciplinary approach to ecclesiology. One aspect of such a multi-disciplinary Practical Ecclesiology is a historical-comparative approach. In this contribution an historical-comparative ecclesiology is developed under the headings of institutional, transformational and non-institutional ecclesiology. Practical Ecclesiology is normally practised from an empirical, strategic and hermeneutical perspective. This article argues that a historical perspective is essential to Practical Ecclesiology as it deepens our understanding of how the church evolved, transformed and adapted over centuries. This opens up important points of discussion in context of the 21st century. <![CDATA[<b>What do the heavens declare?</b>: <b>on the Old Testament motif of God's beauty in creation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300019&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The paradox in the famous declaration of Psalm 19 that the heavens 'narrate' the glory of God and that this message of nature is 'inaudible' prompts the question as to the sense of speaking about a striking divine appearance without words (pun intended). In the light of the equally paradoxical presence of the motif of not-seeing in Old Testament theophanies where God himself appears, it seems that wordless speaking and unseen beauty need to be examined in association with each other, especially because the theophanies of Exodus and 1 Kings associate the motifs of not-seeing and silence with both the appearance and the speaking of God. This article investigates the cluster of ideas in Psalm 19 in the light of the theophanies and other texts. It then proposes a way in which this may be understood, notably that God's own beauty is visible in that which he has created beautifully, that is, nature. It is argued that, if this proclaims God's ””••, the latter must be a divine quality observable in nature. <![CDATA[<b>The Holy Spirit and the Early Church</b>: <b>Doctrine & Confession</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300020&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article firstly investigates in what way various main theological figures in the first centuries of the Christian era spoke about the Trinity and thus, also, about the Holy Spirit. Secondly, it investigates how the formulas of Early Christian confessions of faith developed into their mature and final forms. Such (baptismal) confessions often reveal trinitarian expressions and explicit wordings about the Holy Spirit. <![CDATA[<b>Faith embodied</b>: <b>aspects of the authentic communication of the faith</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300021&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this article a theological theory for the communication of the faith is addressed from the basic metaphor of the Church as the body of Christ, within the fields of church publications, visual communication, the worship service and church music. It is argued that words (spoken, published or sung), music, art, gestures, visual images, silences and open spaces, are all communicative actions performing on a symbolic or metaphorical level to express and communicate the faith. Through these communicative actions the corporate identity of the community of faith is shaped and the body of Christ is built up. It is argued that in the church the act of communicating should adhere to certain theological principles to be true to its essence and aim: to communicate the faith faithfully and trustworthy. <![CDATA[<b>A Practical Theological research on the involvement of congregations in the community where they exist</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300022&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The study deals with the question about the involvement of congregations of the two traditional Reformational churches in South Africa, namely the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) and the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (NRCA) in their communities. The question posed is whether the love of God is kept for the benefit of the congregation or whether it is also for the well-being of the community. The study comprises two parts, an introduction that deals with the theory of mission and service to the community. The second part is an empirical study where 12 projects were given as examples and congregations were asked about their involvement. <![CDATA[<b>Utilisation of forgiveness within a pastoral Gestalt therapeutic intervention</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300023&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article is based on a pastoral base theory within the Gestalt therapeutic perspective to guide abused persons in their utilisation of forgiveness as a source of a recovery experience. The formation of the paradigm is based on a multidisciplinary approach, which takes place on the interface between pastoral counselling and Gestalt therapy without the unique content and character of pastoral care or the Gestalt therapy being lost. It appears that forgiveness, as a source of repair experience, can guide abused persons to psychological and physical health, positive emotions and healthy social interaction. Forgiveness can be defined as the unconditional acceptance of God's grace through faith, and release (surrender) of an offender to the mercy of God. It does not deny the pain or change the past, but it breaks the cycle of bitterness that abused people associate with the pain of the past. Through the use of forgiveness as a coping mechanism abused people can be guided to handle unfinished business. <![CDATA[<b>The Narrative therapy and the Gestalt therapy</b>: <b>a comparison between a phemenological existensial approach and a social construction approach to therapy</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300024&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this article the author takes a bird's-eye view of the background and fundamentals of the narrative therapy as well as the Gestalt therapy to show similarities between these approaches in an attempt to establish a combined or complimentary approach to therapy. <![CDATA[<b>In the kingdom everybody has enough - A social-scientific and realistic reading of the parable of the lost sheep (Lk 15:4-6)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300025&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article presents a social-scientific and realistic interpretation of the parable of the lost sheep (Lk 15:4-6). Attention is given to the history of the interpretation of the parable, its integrity and authenticity, and verisimilitude. It is argued that the Lukan-version (Q 15:4-6) of the parable represents the earliest layer of the historical Jesus-tradition. Specific attention is given to the social and economic registers presupposed in the parable, as well as certain cultural norms and values of the first-century Mediterranean world in which Jesus told the parable. The conclusion reached is that the parable exemplifies several aspects of the kingdom of God, aspects that are also present in several other parables that Jesus told about the kingdom. <![CDATA[<b>The function of the Ammonite Achior in the book of Judith</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300026&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en An intertextual analysis of the character of Achior in the book of Judith shows that the author of the book proposes a changed Judaean identity. The way in which he depicts the character of Judith and her alter ego, Achior, illustrates the author's ideology that people like proselytes and marginalised widows are not only to be included in the society, but can even be the leaders of the community. A nationalistic and exclusivist approach is entwined in the narrative with an inclusivist viewpoint propagating a new identity for the people of that time. <![CDATA[<b>Rudolf Bultmann</b>: <b>his most influential contribution in the 20th century: 'Urchristentum', 'Jesus', 'Commentary on John's gospel'?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300027&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article pays tribute to Rudolf Bultmann as a scholar of faith who fulfilled the most influential role in the interpretation of Jesus and the New Testament during the twentieth century. In the article Bultmann's leading publications are discussed against the background of the question of which one has been the most significant. Three important publications are identified, namely his book on the socio-cultural environment of the earliest followers of Jesus in first-century Semitic-Hellenistic world, his book on the historical Jesus, and his commentary on the Gospel of John. Various criteria are applied to value the significance of these three publications. They are Bultmann's understanding of what the scientific nature of the theological discourse principally would entail; how modern-day believers could adhere to an ancient mythological discourse; the way in which today a historical discourse could existentially been engaged with and why Jesus of Nazareth would be regarded as theologically significant. Both the depth of Bultmann's understanding of the substance of the theological discourse found in John's gospel and the quality of Bultmann's historical-critical analysis of John's gospel lead to the finding that this commentary should be considered to be not only the most significant for the twentieth century but beyond that time even into the current phase of biblical and theological interpretation. <![CDATA[<b>Religion, civil society and conflict</b>: <b>what is it that religion does for and to society?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300028&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Human consciousness instinctively tries to make sense of reality. Different human interpretations of reality lead to a world consisting of multiple realities. Conflict occurs when differing realities (worldviews) encounter one another. Worldviews are socially created and determine human behaviour and, as such, most often find expression in religion. The discussion of conflict and the role of religion in civil society take place within the discourse of the sociology of religion. Religion is socially determined. Peter Berger's insight into the sociology of religion therefore plays an important role in establishing the relationship between religion and civil society as one that takes on different forms. Thus, a clear definition of both civil society and religion was needed to understand the nature of these relationships. The role of religion in civil society with regard to the presence of conflict in society was further investigated in this article. The conditions under which conflict in society occurs were discussed, as were the conditions for tolerance in society, for religion ultimately becomes the provider of moral discernment when conflict occurs in civil society. <![CDATA[<b>The constellation language-logic in medieval philosophy (1)</b>: <b>St Augustine to St Aquinas</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300029&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This series of two articles provides an in-depth overview of some of the most prominent (and some of the most underpublished) medieval thinkers' stance on the constellation of language and logic, thus as a combined and condensed problem in Western philosophy between the 5th and 15th centuries. The articles form part of a rehabilitating series of modern-critical articles on understated and marginalised themes, texts and figures in medieval philosophy. The positions of the well-known philosophers that are covered in the two articles, St Augustine, Peter Abelard, St Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus and William of Ockham, are juxtaposed with some less familiar philosophical positions, amongst others those of Boethius, Peter of Spain, John Wyclif and Peter de Rivo. <![CDATA[<b>The current debate on Biblical interpretation</b>: <b>a short review and application</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300030&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The article offers a review of important aspects of Biblical interpretation discussed in four recent books published in Afrikaans by prominent theologians Dirkie Smit, Gerrie Snyman, Gert Malan and Klaus Nürnberger. In the light of challenges to the traditional dogmas of the church and new ethical questions posed by a changing world, factors giving rise to conflict over Biblical interpretation are discussed. A number of untenable approaches to modern day Biblical interpretation are outlined, followed by a discussion of aspects of Biblical interpretation that have become more and more important. These insights are then applied to the current debate on Biblical interpretation within the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa. The article is concluded with a plea for continued concerted efforts to search for valid Biblical interpretation. <![CDATA[<b>'For the tyrant shall be no more'</b>: <b>reflections on and lessons from 'The Arab Spring' in North Africa, the Middle East and the Civil Rights and anti-apartheid struggles</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300031&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The revolutionary events sweeping North Africa and the Middle East, called the 'Arab Spring', are of great historic significance. They challenge not only political and social realities in those countries; they confront us, the spectators to these momentous events with serious questions about our own political, cultural and theological perceptions, concepts and prejudices. This article probes, from a Black Liberation theology point of view, these events at several levels: (1) what are the connections between the 'Arab Spring' and the two other historic movements for social change, the Civil Rights struggle in the United States of America, and the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa; (2) what lessons are to be learnt from these events?; (3) the article revisits the question of M.M. Thomas, in terms of whether God is at work in events of social upheaval and revolutionary change, and if so, 'how?'; and (4) what is the meaning and consequences of international, and more importantly, inter-religious solidarity with the people of those regions? The article discusses the meaning, complexity and efficacy of nonviolence and choices for violence or nonviolence in such situations of conflict and the questions these raise for theological reflection, prophetic action and Christian integrity. <![CDATA[<b>Do not question my honour</b>: <b>a social-scientific reading of the parable of the minas (Lk 19:12b-24, 27)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300032&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article attempted to read the parable of the minas in a 30 CE context, employing a social scientific reading. The integrity of the parable was delimited to Luke 19:12b-24 and 27. It was argued that this version of the parable (that stems from Q) goes back to the earliest layer of the historical Jesus tradition and is a realistic version of the historical background, political background and socioeconomic background of 30 CE Palestine. In this reading of the parable, attention was given to an aspect much neglected in previous scholarship regarding the interpretation of the parable, namely that the third slave in the parable is not condemned. It was argued that this neglected aspect is important for the strategy of the parable. The reading concluded that the parable has two foci; it shows how, in the time of Jesus, the elite exploited the nonelite and how to protest in a situation where the peasantry (the exploited) had no legitimate way of protesting against the exploitative practices of the elite. <![CDATA[<b>I'm okay, you're not okay</b>: <b>constancy of character and Paul's understanding of change in his own and Peter's behaviour</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300033&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Paul argues in Galatians 2:11-14 that Peter was guilty of hypocrisy because he had withdrawn from eating with Gentiles in Antioch. Paul's argument is best understood through the social and rhetorical conventions related to the encomium. The problem for Paul is that his own behaviour is inconsistent, and the Galatians know of his changed behaviour (Gl 1:13). Paul, then, is at pains to explain how his own changed behaviour, as a result of a commissioning from God, is different from Peter's changed behaviour, as a result of fear of those from the circumcision. Paul's concern for explaining his own change in behaviour as positive and Peter's as negative is related to his overall concern to prevent future changes in the Galatians' behaviour given that they are, as Paul himself is, commissioned by God for a new freedom. <![CDATA[<b>Regeneration and resurrection in Matthew - Peasants <i>in campo</i> hearing time signals from scribes</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300034&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The article aimed to describe the distinctive element in the use of the motif of the resurrection in the Gospel of Matthew in comparison with Mark, Luke and the Sayings Gospel Q. It argued that the distinctive element occurs where parallel texts in Luke 22:24-30, Matthew 19:27-29 and Mark 10:28-31 converge. The distinctive element pertains particularly to the meaning of the Greek expression 'en tē palingenesia' in Matthew 19:28. By elaborating on time as a social construct, the article showed how Matthew deals with the conception of time differently than both Mark and Luke. It illustrated that the Gospel of Matthew represents a storyline consisting of a circular movement between 'genesis' (Mt 1:1) and 'palingenesia' (Mt 19:28), where the word 'palingenesia' denotes the meaning 'regeneration' rather than 'resurrection'. Matthew does not narrate an abrupt transition from linear time to clock time. Both co-existed in a world where illiterate peasants and literate scribes scheduled their lives in terms of motifs pertaining to a linear and a punctual conception of time. <![CDATA[<b>Abhishiktananda</b>: <b>a Christian advaitin</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300035&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In our pluralistic society, the diverse religious traditions offer an opportunity for inter-religious dialogue which has as its aim an appreciation of, and respect for, the integrity of individual traditions. Swami Abhishiktananda is a clear example of one who offered an alternative to Christian exclusiveness in his willingness to engage in an inter-spiritual lifestyle in which Eastern and Western mystical traditions are seen to be mutually enriching. By opting to make his own life a crucible to test his beliefs and convictions Abhishiktananda endured lifelong trials and tribulations. His life can broadly be divided into four phases, namely the 'fulfilment' phase, with its typical Western triumphalist missionary mentality, followed by the crisis phase thanks to his encounter with Hindu spirituality. This led him to the third phase in which he dared to relativise all conceptualisations as concretisations of the inexpressible Mystery. During the final two years of his life he entered the fourth and the last phase of liberation or 'explosion' of all previous concepts. Abhishiktananda spoke of an experience, which he called ati-Advaita, or Advaitatita which is an experience of Unity and Trinity. He claimed that the sages of India were correct to say neither one nor many, but just to say, not-two, advaita, and not-one, an-eka. <![CDATA[<b>Reformed spirituality in action</b>: <b>the diary of A.D. Luckhoff as praxis</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300036&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article discusses the praxis of Reformed Spirituality by investigating the diary of Reverend A.D. Luckhoff which he wrote during the Anglo-Boer War as chaplain in the infamous Bethulie concentration camp. The article locates Luckhoff and his diary in the context of Reformed Spirituality and in the study of Spirituality with special attention to their transformative actions on behalf of others and how this, in turn, affected his Spirituality. It points out the diary's significance before it analyses the nature of Luckhoff's Reformed Spirituality as it is evident in his pastoral activities and work ethic, his struggle for justice and dignity, and, finally, his political approach in a difficult situation. In conclusion some remarks are made about the nature of Luckhoff's Reformed Spirituality. <![CDATA[<b>The hidden life of love</b>: <b>the function of the Bible in Kierkegaard's 'Works of love'</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300037&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article discussed the use of the Bible in 'Love's hidden life and its recognizability by its fruits', which is the first reflection of Søren Kierkegaard's book, Works of love. The article noted that in the first part of the reflection, Kierkegaard points out how easily love is ignored because of its hidden character and because it belongs to the realm of the heart. Consequently, it seems sagacious to trust only those things that we can observe with our senses. But this attitude speaks of self-deception and fear that will bring eternal loss, because it locks us out of love which connects us with the essence of God himself. The article then explained Kierkegaard's argument that love produces fruit which has to be distinguished from other kinds of fruit. This distinction raises the question of discernment between forms that claim to be love and Christian love, which is rooted in eternity. The second part of this reflection focuses on love as the main feature of Kierkegaard's anthropology that springs from the heart, has its origin in God and therefore cannot be penetrated by the tools of logic. This does not imply that we cannot live this love. On the contrary, we need to live it in order to become familiar with it and to understand it from within. However, this familiarity will, in the first place, confront us with love's unfathomableness and its unfathomable connectedness with all existence. The more we become acquainted with the love of our heart, the more this love will lead us into the mystery of God's eternity. A second feature of Kierkegaard's anthropology, which is immediately linked to the first, is the acknowledgement that this love manifests itself as a need with roots in the hunger of the heart. For the purposes of this article, Kierkegaard's use of the Bible in all these parts was analysed and a general perspective on his reception of the Bible was offered. <![CDATA[<b>Love founded in God</b>: <b>the fruits of love in Kierkegaard's 'Works of love'</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300038&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article discussed the use of the Bible in 'Love's hidden life and its recognizability by its fruits', which is the first reflection of Søren Kierkegaard's book, Works of love. Firstly, this article discussed Kierkegaard's lack of clarity about the fruits of love, even though he stresses their divine origin. Secondly, it reflected on his argument that, even though deeds are more important than words, words remain necessary because of the need to express love to others. In a following section he points out that neither specific words nor particular works of love can demonstrate that love exists. One needs to distinguish between works of love and the attitude with which works are done. Thirdly, it pointed out how Kierkegaard argues that the inability to demonstrate love unconditionally does not negate that love is to be known by its fruits. It is rather a personal incitement to love for the sake of love itself. Noting that there is no direct relationship between the fruits of love and the actual effects our love has on others, he points to the fact that the result of love is in the hands of God. He then argues that though fruits of love may be invisible, they become apparent in the strength of our love. The only responsibility we have is to follow love as the divine movement of our heart. In the final part of his reflection, Kierkegaard notes that there is no other way to enter into the reality of love than to believe in it. This implies that one should be careful of making demands on someone in a loving relationship. What is needed is to become rooted in love as the divine source of the heart so that one will understand that this unseen reality is the foundation of existence in which one is known by the Other, whose essence is love. <![CDATA[<b>The mystifying mosaic of Moses</b>: <b>on Pentateuch theory and Biblical spirituality</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300039&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this article, developed for and from a 2010 invited guest e-lecture presented at St. Edward's University, Austin, Texas, unexpected historical and theological parallels between Pentateuch Theory and Biblical Spirituality are indicated. Both have inherent confessional impulses, and have always had those. This is indicated by first describing Pentateuch Theory in these terms, by then providing a graphic model of Biblical Spirituality, and in conclusion by summarising the parallels and the inherent existential dynamics involved in both academic fields. <![CDATA[<b>ΣΦραγÎς (<i>sfragís</i>) and its metaphorical testimonial presence in 2 Timothy 2:19</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300040&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article presented a metaphorical testimonial approach in the interpretation of 2 Timothy 2:19 and the use of sealing. As starting point, attention was given to the concept of 'seal' through the Old Testament and Ancient Near East. These periods attest the fact that sealing was also utilised in a figurative way as a sign of ownership, property and authenticity. Óöñáãß in 2 Timothy 2:19 describes the intimate relationship between Christ and his followers through the terms ãéõùóêù [personal and vital relationship that transcends in practice] and áõáãéõùóêù [mainly an exterior knowledge]. These two vocables are in opposition to áäéêßá [to apostate from]. The message expressed in 2:19 exemplifies the principles that Christ lived by and he empowered his followers to stand by. Óöñáãßò in 2 Timothy 2:19 is an imitatio Christi response against the áäéêßá of moral standards and entertainment in the ancient Roman world. It includes a rapid contemporary reflection on practical faithfulness for today's life. <![CDATA[<b>Descriptive currents in philosophy of religion for Hebrew Bible studies</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300041&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article argued that the utilisation of philosophy of religion in the study of the Hebrew Bible is possible if we look beyond the stereotype of erroneously equating the auxiliary field with natural theology, apologetics or atheological criticism. Fruitful possibilities for interdisciplinary research are available in the form of descriptive varieties of philosophy of religion primarily concerned with understanding and the clarification of meaning rather than with the stereotypical tasks of propositional justification or critical evaluation. Three examples are discussed in the article: analytic traditions (Wittgensteinianism and ordinary-language philosophy), phenomenological perspectives involving reduction (bracketing) and comparative philosophy of religion that works in tandem with the history of religion and comparative religion. <![CDATA[<b>HIV and/or AIDS, migrant labour and the experience of God</b>: <b>A practical theological postfoundationalist approach</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300042&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Migrant workers in the Deciduous Fruit Industry are part of the marginalised communities in South Africa who have been severely affected by HIV and/or AIDS. A postfoundationalist approach and the Seven Movements proposed by Müller were traced to present the research undertaken amongst migrant workers with HIV or AIDS. The practical theological investigation was developed from the praxis of HIV and AIDS and the question that it aimed to answer was: 'What is the experience of God in the lives of persons affected by or infected with HIV/AIDS?' Whilst it is understood that Christian belief has its own, exclusive integrity, if it is to be valid, it should be able to incorporate the different dimensions of our modern practice to give it the maximum level of meaning and significance. <![CDATA[<b>A sociological approach to the concept of God amongst Iranian youth</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300043&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en One of the most fundamental concepts in Sociology of Religion, the concept of God, was emphasised in this article. Although the God concept is not the same as the transcendental existence of God, it is this concept that is the most fundamental social construct in the entire history of world religions. The aim of this article was the conceptual reconstruction of God amongst the youth of Iran, who may be free from a theological approach. This article aimed to examine the God concept in the 'epistemological', 'emotional' and 'social action' domains. The Iranian society is in transition, faced with delusion about the traditional and modern belief systems, and multiplicity of interpretations and new presentation of One God Allah. A spectrum of these plural presentations of God embodies micro and macro social levels. Some of the most important of these concepts are: individual and personal concept of God, the God in family, in educational system, in religious rituals, and the dominant concept in the society. <![CDATA[<b>Theological poverty of churches in the developing world</b>: <b>Its causes and effects</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300044&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en By and large, the non Protestant churches from the developing world rarely have a creative theology that is unique to their own cultures and religiosity. It was my hypothesis that the theological barrenness of churches from the developing world is partly as a result of the anti-intellectualist legacy of the past missions from the developed world. This legacy was fostered by the strong paternalism of these past missions on the one hand and on the other, by their revivalist conversionism. The anti-intellectual legacy has brought two notable results to the missionised churches from the developing world: their profound dependency on theologies from the developed world and their resulting theological poverty, both interdependent elements. <![CDATA[<b>Leviticus as background to Mark 5</b>: <b>25-34 interpreted in terms of honour and shame</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300045&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article investigated whether Mark 5:25-34 proposes a radical discontinuity with the Jewish purity codes and subsequently, holds drastic liberating implications for women as far as access to the temple is concerned and more existentially speaking, access to Yahweh. It determined whether Leviticus speaks about women in such an androcentric and exclusive manner and whether Jewish culture is indeed so discriminating. This article argued that Mark 5:25-34 does indeed radically turn the Jewish purity codes upside down and that the Jesus movement proclaims a drastic liberation for women from social marginalisation. However, the original meaning of the text in Leviticus should not be viewed so negatively. The dreadful consequences of the exile and the destruction of the temple lead to the idea amongst the orthodox rabbi's that the purity codes should be maintained in a very strict way. These codes were thought to ensure that the holiness of Yahweh would manifest in the social sphere, the people of Yahweh would be blessed and a catastrophe of these immense proportions would be avoided in future. Unfortunately, this lead to the degeneration of the cult, that became exclusive as many people were deprived from the presence of Yahweh. The author of the Gospel according to Mark is reacting to this and clearly voices his criticism against this marginalisation. <![CDATA[<b>The influence of cultural practices on the HIV and AIDS pandemic in Zambia</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300046&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Culture plays a significant role in people's lives in Zambia and in Africa as a whole. Consequently, there is a need to take Zambian or African culture seriously in order to look at the salient elements of cultural practices in rites of passage that influence the spread of HIV and AIDS. This article analyses four rites of passage associated with birth, puberty, marriage and death. There are numerous rites of passage in Zambian culture. Some of these rites help to curb the spread of HIV and AIDS, whilst others exacerbate the spread of the virus. Using the Reformed Church in Zambia Bible Study Method of Subgroups, discussions were held that allowed victims of cultural practices to tell their stories using the narrative model. This article sought to shed light on cultural practices that exacerbate HIV and AIDS and more importantly, provide culturally sensitive alternatives to these harmful practices. <![CDATA[<b>Possible objections to a philosophical approach to ancient Israelite religion</b>: <b>A critical refutation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300047&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en There exists a certain consensus amongst biblical scholars that involving philosophy in the attempt to understand ancient Israelite religion is hermeneutically fallacious. A philosophical approach to ancient Yahwism is considered out of place, given the non-philosophical nature of the Hebrew Bible, the normative concerns of philosophy and the historical agenda of biblical scholarship. In this article, however, the author attempted to show why none of the traditional objections should be considered as devastating as they were once thought to be. <![CDATA[<b>Understanding the anatomy of religion as basis for religion in education</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300048&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article sprung from previous structural analyses of religion as onticity, but went somewhat further by placing more emphasis on encounters with the numinous as the core of religion, as well as on the dynamic character of religion. In doing so, this analysis methodologically transcended the limitations of a structuralist view of religion. The post-structuralist approach that was followed, assigns greater prominence to the interpretive and constructivist activities of the actors involved in religious experience. Application of this expanded view of religion to the South African Policy on Religion and Education (2003) demonstrated that the Policy caused a break between the various facets of religion education and resultantly disrupted the wholeness of religion education. <![CDATA[<b>Human dignity and biomedical ethics from a Christian theological perspective</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300049&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The argument of human dignity plays an important role in current debates on human rights and their relevance in modern biomedicine. When discussing the contribution of Christian theology to current debates on human dignity and human rights the thesis is not that the modern idea of human dignity depends on a theological grounding. Also, it is not the task of theology to legitimate rights as Christian a posteriori. We do not need to deduce modern human rights from theological doctrines. The theological challenge is to find an access for Christians from their belief to the modern idea of human rights and human dignity and to discuss the contribution which theology and the churches can make to further development of human rights. The Christian image of man, which serves as the foundation for the church position on bioethical topics in the German-speaking context, is a mix of biblical motives, a Kantian interpretation of the concept of human dignity and an interpretation of the German constitutional law inspired by the Catholic tradition of natural law. The following presented theological understanding of human dignity, in contrast, was inspired by the insights of the Pauline doctrine of justification and its Protestant reinterpretation. <![CDATA[<b>Self-transcendence and Eros</b>: <b>The human condition between desire and the infinite</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300050&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article treats self-transcendence - like all transcendence - as a fact of human life. Inter alia this means that the human mind perforce operates in terms of binary concepts such as finitude-infinity, inner world-outside world, self-other, desire-fulfilment, separation-union and the like. We find these concepts in most myths of origin. The concept of desire (Eros), combining unfulfilment and the infinite, particularly epitomises self-transcendence. Ralph Waldo Emerson is cited as a precursor of the mid-19th century transcendentalists, whose ideas are resurfacing in present-day secular spirituality. In this article, we examined desire in the Christian conception of the Fall as envisioned by the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber and by Hegel, who integrates mind and nature in his philosophy of Spirit. The works of Emmanuel Levinas and Paul Ricoeur are used as points of reference to help us understand self and other in a framework of self-transcendence. The impact of these ideas on a postmetaphysical epistemology was also explored. Affectivity is a neglected area in Western thought and displays the same infinitude as rationality. The article concluded with present-day strategies of self-construction in a techno-scientific consumer culture. <![CDATA[<b>Religion and modernity in a secular city</b>: <b>a public theology of <i>différance</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300051&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Seeking the good often authorises and legitimises certain forms of violence: violence that defines the state (Benjamin's law-founding violence) by the exclusion of others and the violence that coerces or binds (religare) the public into a common understanding of the good at the exclusion of other interpretations of that good (Benjamin's law-maintaining violence). The secular modern state has never been without religion functioning as religare. The modern state, often seen as a peacemaker, is founded on these two forms of 'legitimate' violence against what is other or different, just as the peace, prosperity and good of the state is sought through the elimination of the different and a unification of the state under the banner of a 'common' good. This 'legitimate' violence will always produce the counter-violence of difference (i.e. excluded others) seeking a legitimate place within the common space of the republic (Benjamin's divine violence). With the rise of religious fundamentalism, institutionalised religion has been allowed to return to the public debate. Is the call for this return one that further sanctions legitimate violence by eating and sharing the fruit of knowledge of good and evil? Is the call the church is hearing one that seeks to clarify and clearly define the good that will bind us (religare) into a stronger and more prosperous and peaceful city - onward Christian soldiers marching as to war? Or is there another calling, one that requires us to be Disciples of Christ - with the Cross of Jesus going on before - entering the space of violence beyond the knowledge of good and evil as peacemakers? In this article, I sought to understand this 'peacemaking' space by bringing into dialogue Zizek's interpretation of Christianity with Derrida's interpretation of hospitality. <![CDATA[<b>Christianity and globalisation</b>: <b>An alternative ethical response</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300052&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article critically evaluated the role of Christian Ethics in response to globalisation. It showed that ethical critiques of globalisation inevitably fall short when Christianity's historical contributions to processes of globalisation are neglected or de-emphasised. A Christian Ethics that attempts completely to wash its hands of and disavow globalisation is therefore indicated to be perched on a false premise. In this regard, the author specifically discussed the divergent stances of Max Stackhouse and Rebecca Todd Peters and opted for the former as the more helpful when considered from an interdisciplinary approach. In the final analysis, the author argued that the problem of globalisation might fruitfully be addressed with an ethics that is not averse to bring the various insights of missiology, church history and practical theology to the table, focusing particularly on rituals of reconciliation and forgiveness. <![CDATA[<b>A case of tribal defilement in a Kenyan rural village</b>: <b>a narratological and socio-rhetorical function of the motifs of 'hearing and understanding' and 'contrast' in Matthew 15:10-11 <i>vis-á-vis</i> Leviticus 11:1-4</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300053&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article employed a case study to explore the theme of defilement as experienced in a Kenyan village. To provide a basis for the theological reflection on this case study, the article investigated two motifs in Matthew 15:10-11. 'Hearing and understanding' and 'contrast' [ούάλλα, 'not...but'] was examined in respect of Leviticus 11:1-8 to determine the extent to which Matthew 15:10-11 depicts Jesus as 'relativising' the Mosaic law (Lv 11:1-8). This approach provided a basis to argue that defilement in Matthew 15:10-11 is not only a matter of external or ritual perspective, but of moral disposition. A methodology that combines both socio-rhetorical (Socio-rhetorical criticism is a methodology that derives value and meaning as an outcome of an active reading process that occurs within specific cultural contexts. In this case, the examiner produced the meaning of given texts by participating in a complex of socially constructed practices' [Growler n.d., http://userwww.Service.emory.edu/~dgowler/chapter.htm]) and narratological (Narratological criticism is the study of narratives that involves a kind of 'structure and practice that illuminates temporality and human beings as temporal beings'. Using classifications such as plot, narrator and narratee, narratology becomes a useful instrument for the description, classification and interpretation of literary narratives [see http://www.hum.aau.dk/~yding/storytelling/narratology%20re-revisited.pdf]) approaches were engaged as the most appropriate to address the concerns of this article. These two methodologies greatly helped this article to explain the meaning and significance of defilement in Leviticus 11 with respect to the theological understanding of the Leviticus code of purity. This code presents a temporal view of defilement intended to reflect on the holiness and sovereignty of Yahweh, over and against idols of the surrounding nations. In addition, this kind of methodology facilitated an interpretation of the motif of 'contrast' [oMlla, 'not but'] in Matthew 15:11 as the evangelist's intentional attempt to depict Jesus intensifying the Leviticus code of ritual purity within an ethical frame work. The village case study was surveyed, exegesis done on Matthew 15:10-11 with respect to Leviticus 11:1-8, the perception of defilement for 1st century Jews assessed and a brief comparative study of the findings from Matthew 15:10-11 engaged with a Kenyan village-case study for ethical reflections. This case study pointed out that cultural difference prompted a major tribe (Wataita) to consider a minor tribe (Wasanye) to be defiled, albeit the minor tribe did not describe the major tribe in the same derogatory term. <![CDATA[<b>Ideology and intertextuality</b>: <b>Intertextual allusions in Judith 16</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300054&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article utilised the theory of intertextuality to investigate the way in which religious texts, specifically Judith 16, generate meaning in the act of the production of texts. The groundbreaking work on intertextuality done by Julia Kristeva served as the theoretical point of departure. Kristeva utilised Mikhail Bakhtin's literary theory to develop her own views on intertextuality. According to the theory of intertextuality, all texts are intersections of different texts and are therefore polyvalent. The article argued that the ideology (or ideologies) of author(s) of texts underpin the ways in which other texts are used and alluded to. The purpose of the investigation was to illustrate how intertextual allusions in Judith 16 are used to describe 'God/the Lord' as a God of war and, thereby, to maintain an already existing ideology of war: <![CDATA[<b>The iconic significance of the Psalms as a literary genre for speaking about God</b>: <b>A phenomenological perspective</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300055&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en To explore the impossible impossibility of speaking about God and to address, on the one hand, the unacceptable modernistic rational robe of totalisation and the return of the subject in postmodern contexts, on the other, this article pursued the phenomenological approach of Jean-Luc Marion's hermeneutic of the icon. His approach is connected in a creative manner to the literary 'eyes' of the Psalter, focusing on the distinction of idol-icon by Marion in his understanding of the gaze of the worshipper and the subsequent conceptualisation of the infinite God in finite human terms. It was finally argued that the literary genre of the Psalter, viewed from a hermeneutic of the icon, presents not only an exciting perspective on the threshold of the '[im-]possible' for speaking about God, but also on the return of the subject in the broadened horizon of the 'unsayable' and 'unrepresentable'. <![CDATA[<b>Fictive-friendship and the Fourth Gospel</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300056&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The phenomena of friendship and giftship in antiquity have been the focus of much anthropological interest, yet those terms are still used much too broadly, wherein any one can be friends and anything exchanged is a gift. This article argued that proper friendship requires equality of exchange and status. When inequality of exchange is present, we will almost always also have inequality of status. These two things together naturally and necessarily result in the absence of frank speech. At this point, proper friendship (defined by frank speech) and the exchange of gifts (defined by equality of value) are impossible, and we have fictive-friendship, a term I have introduced in this article. Fictive-friendship refers to the practice, often but not exclusively amongst elites, of using friendship language to mask relationships of dependence (patronage and clientage). I closed my argument by looking at two examples of fictive-friendship in the Gospel of John. <![CDATA[<b>Missionary history of the Dutch Reformed Church</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300057&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The phenomena of friendship and giftship in antiquity have been the focus of much anthropological interest, yet those terms are still used much too broadly, wherein any one can be friends and anything exchanged is a gift. This article argued that proper friendship requires equality of exchange and status. When inequality of exchange is present, we will almost always also have inequality of status. These two things together naturally and necessarily result in the absence of frank speech. At this point, proper friendship (defined by frank speech) and the exchange of gifts (defined by equality of value) are impossible, and we have fictive-friendship, a term I have introduced in this article. Fictive-friendship refers to the practice, often but not exclusively amongst elites, of using friendship language to mask relationships of dependence (patronage and clientage). I closed my argument by looking at two examples of fictive-friendship in the Gospel of John. <![CDATA[<b>Experiencing Wüstenberg's <i>Habilitationsgeschrift</i> (2003)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300058&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The phenomena of friendship and giftship in antiquity have been the focus of much anthropological interest, yet those terms are still used much too broadly, wherein any one can be friends and anything exchanged is a gift. This article argued that proper friendship requires equality of exchange and status. When inequality of exchange is present, we will almost always also have inequality of status. These two things together naturally and necessarily result in the absence of frank speech. At this point, proper friendship (defined by frank speech) and the exchange of gifts (defined by equality of value) are impossible, and we have fictive-friendship, a term I have introduced in this article. Fictive-friendship refers to the practice, often but not exclusively amongst elites, of using friendship language to mask relationships of dependence (patronage and clientage). I closed my argument by looking at two examples of fictive-friendship in the Gospel of John. <![CDATA[<b>Jews enemies of Christianity?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300059&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The phenomena of friendship and giftship in antiquity have been the focus of much anthropological interest, yet those terms are still used much too broadly, wherein any one can be friends and anything exchanged is a gift. This article argued that proper friendship requires equality of exchange and status. When inequality of exchange is present, we will almost always also have inequality of status. These two things together naturally and necessarily result in the absence of frank speech. At this point, proper friendship (defined by frank speech) and the exchange of gifts (defined by equality of value) are impossible, and we have fictive-friendship, a term I have introduced in this article. Fictive-friendship refers to the practice, often but not exclusively amongst elites, of using friendship language to mask relationships of dependence (patronage and clientage). I closed my argument by looking at two examples of fictive-friendship in the Gospel of John. <![CDATA[<b>Christian faith for ordinary Christians</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300060&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The phenomena of friendship and giftship in antiquity have been the focus of much anthropological interest, yet those terms are still used much too broadly, wherein any one can be friends and anything exchanged is a gift. This article argued that proper friendship requires equality of exchange and status. When inequality of exchange is present, we will almost always also have inequality of status. These two things together naturally and necessarily result in the absence of frank speech. At this point, proper friendship (defined by frank speech) and the exchange of gifts (defined by equality of value) are impossible, and we have fictive-friendship, a term I have introduced in this article. Fictive-friendship refers to the practice, often but not exclusively amongst elites, of using friendship language to mask relationships of dependence (patronage and clientage). I closed my argument by looking at two examples of fictive-friendship in the Gospel of John. <![CDATA[<b>The <i>theological intent</i> of the Lukan Jesus-story</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300061&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The phenomena of friendship and giftship in antiquity have been the focus of much anthropological interest, yet those terms are still used much too broadly, wherein any one can be friends and anything exchanged is a gift. This article argued that proper friendship requires equality of exchange and status. When inequality of exchange is present, we will almost always also have inequality of status. These two things together naturally and necessarily result in the absence of frank speech. At this point, proper friendship (defined by frank speech) and the exchange of gifts (defined by equality of value) are impossible, and we have fictive-friendship, a term I have introduced in this article. Fictive-friendship refers to the practice, often but not exclusively amongst elites, of using friendship language to mask relationships of dependence (patronage and clientage). I closed my argument by looking at two examples of fictive-friendship in the Gospel of John. <![CDATA[<b>Ecology and economics</b>: <b>Partners in theological conversation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300062&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The phenomena of friendship and giftship in antiquity have been the focus of much anthropological interest, yet those terms are still used much too broadly, wherein any one can be friends and anything exchanged is a gift. This article argued that proper friendship requires equality of exchange and status. When inequality of exchange is present, we will almost always also have inequality of status. These two things together naturally and necessarily result in the absence of frank speech. At this point, proper friendship (defined by frank speech) and the exchange of gifts (defined by equality of value) are impossible, and we have fictive-friendship, a term I have introduced in this article. Fictive-friendship refers to the practice, often but not exclusively amongst elites, of using friendship language to mask relationships of dependence (patronage and clientage). I closed my argument by looking at two examples of fictive-friendship in the Gospel of John. <![CDATA[<b>Making Jesus' parables accessible to postmodern people</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300063&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The phenomena of friendship and giftship in antiquity have been the focus of much anthropological interest, yet those terms are still used much too broadly, wherein any one can be friends and anything exchanged is a gift. This article argued that proper friendship requires equality of exchange and status. When inequality of exchange is present, we will almost always also have inequality of status. These two things together naturally and necessarily result in the absence of frank speech. At this point, proper friendship (defined by frank speech) and the exchange of gifts (defined by equality of value) are impossible, and we have fictive-friendship, a term I have introduced in this article. Fictive-friendship refers to the practice, often but not exclusively amongst elites, of using friendship language to mask relationships of dependence (patronage and clientage). I closed my argument by looking at two examples of fictive-friendship in the Gospel of John. <![CDATA[<b>De onthulling van seksueel geweld</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300064&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The phenomena of friendship and giftship in antiquity have been the focus of much anthropological interest, yet those terms are still used much too broadly, wherein any one can be friends and anything exchanged is a gift. This article argued that proper friendship requires equality of exchange and status. When inequality of exchange is present, we will almost always also have inequality of status. These two things together naturally and necessarily result in the absence of frank speech. At this point, proper friendship (defined by frank speech) and the exchange of gifts (defined by equality of value) are impossible, and we have fictive-friendship, a term I have introduced in this article. Fictive-friendship refers to the practice, often but not exclusively amongst elites, of using friendship language to mask relationships of dependence (patronage and clientage). I closed my argument by looking at two examples of fictive-friendship in the Gospel of John. <![CDATA[<b>Preaching with integrity, imagination and hope</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300065&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The phenomena of friendship and giftship in antiquity have been the focus of much anthropological interest, yet those terms are still used much too broadly, wherein any one can be friends and anything exchanged is a gift. This article argued that proper friendship requires equality of exchange and status. When inequality of exchange is present, we will almost always also have inequality of status. These two things together naturally and necessarily result in the absence of frank speech. At this point, proper friendship (defined by frank speech) and the exchange of gifts (defined by equality of value) are impossible, and we have fictive-friendship, a term I have introduced in this article. Fictive-friendship refers to the practice, often but not exclusively amongst elites, of using friendship language to mask relationships of dependence (patronage and clientage). I closed my argument by looking at two examples of fictive-friendship in the Gospel of John. <![CDATA[<b>A historical novel with a difference</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300066&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The phenomena of friendship and giftship in antiquity have been the focus of much anthropological interest, yet those terms are still used much too broadly, wherein any one can be friends and anything exchanged is a gift. This article argued that proper friendship requires equality of exchange and status. When inequality of exchange is present, we will almost always also have inequality of status. These two things together naturally and necessarily result in the absence of frank speech. At this point, proper friendship (defined by frank speech) and the exchange of gifts (defined by equality of value) are impossible, and we have fictive-friendship, a term I have introduced in this article. Fictive-friendship refers to the practice, often but not exclusively amongst elites, of using friendship language to mask relationships of dependence (patronage and clientage). I closed my argument by looking at two examples of fictive-friendship in the Gospel of John. <![CDATA[<b>Using 'messiah' as a title</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300067&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The phenomena of friendship and giftship in antiquity have been the focus of much anthropological interest, yet those terms are still used much too broadly, wherein any one can be friends and anything exchanged is a gift. This article argued that proper friendship requires equality of exchange and status. When inequality of exchange is present, we will almost always also have inequality of status. These two things together naturally and necessarily result in the absence of frank speech. At this point, proper friendship (defined by frank speech) and the exchange of gifts (defined by equality of value) are impossible, and we have fictive-friendship, a term I have introduced in this article. Fictive-friendship refers to the practice, often but not exclusively amongst elites, of using friendship language to mask relationships of dependence (patronage and clientage). I closed my argument by looking at two examples of fictive-friendship in the Gospel of John. <![CDATA[<b>The implications of Jesus' radical love</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300068&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The phenomena of friendship and giftship in antiquity have been the focus of much anthropological interest, yet those terms are still used much too broadly, wherein any one can be friends and anything exchanged is a gift. This article argued that proper friendship requires equality of exchange and status. When inequality of exchange is present, we will almost always also have inequality of status. These two things together naturally and necessarily result in the absence of frank speech. At this point, proper friendship (defined by frank speech) and the exchange of gifts (defined by equality of value) are impossible, and we have fictive-friendship, a term I have introduced in this article. Fictive-friendship refers to the practice, often but not exclusively amongst elites, of using friendship language to mask relationships of dependence (patronage and clientage). I closed my argument by looking at two examples of fictive-friendship in the Gospel of John. <![CDATA[<b>Grappling with rabbinic literature</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300069&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The phenomena of friendship and giftship in antiquity have been the focus of much anthropological interest, yet those terms are still used much too broadly, wherein any one can be friends and anything exchanged is a gift. This article argued that proper friendship requires equality of exchange and status. When inequality of exchange is present, we will almost always also have inequality of status. These two things together naturally and necessarily result in the absence of frank speech. At this point, proper friendship (defined by frank speech) and the exchange of gifts (defined by equality of value) are impossible, and we have fictive-friendship, a term I have introduced in this article. Fictive-friendship refers to the practice, often but not exclusively amongst elites, of using friendship language to mask relationships of dependence (patronage and clientage). I closed my argument by looking at two examples of fictive-friendship in the Gospel of John. <![CDATA[<b>Study Bible on the Old Testament</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300070&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The phenomena of friendship and giftship in antiquity have been the focus of much anthropological interest, yet those terms are still used much too broadly, wherein any one can be friends and anything exchanged is a gift. This article argued that proper friendship requires equality of exchange and status. When inequality of exchange is present, we will almost always also have inequality of status. These two things together naturally and necessarily result in the absence of frank speech. At this point, proper friendship (defined by frank speech) and the exchange of gifts (defined by equality of value) are impossible, and we have fictive-friendship, a term I have introduced in this article. Fictive-friendship refers to the practice, often but not exclusively amongst elites, of using friendship language to mask relationships of dependence (patronage and clientage). I closed my argument by looking at two examples of fictive-friendship in the Gospel of John. <![CDATA[<b>Psychospiritual analysis and appreciation of Vincent van Gogh</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300071&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The phenomena of friendship and giftship in antiquity have been the focus of much anthropological interest, yet those terms are still used much too broadly, wherein any one can be friends and anything exchanged is a gift. This article argued that proper friendship requires equality of exchange and status. When inequality of exchange is present, we will almost always also have inequality of status. These two things together naturally and necessarily result in the absence of frank speech. At this point, proper friendship (defined by frank speech) and the exchange of gifts (defined by equality of value) are impossible, and we have fictive-friendship, a term I have introduced in this article. Fictive-friendship refers to the practice, often but not exclusively amongst elites, of using friendship language to mask relationships of dependence (patronage and clientage). I closed my argument by looking at two examples of fictive-friendship in the Gospel of John. <![CDATA[<b>Interactions between <i>hermeneutics</i> and <i>doctrine</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300072&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The phenomena of friendship and giftship in antiquity have been the focus of much anthropological interest, yet those terms are still used much too broadly, wherein any one can be friends and anything exchanged is a gift. This article argued that proper friendship requires equality of exchange and status. When inequality of exchange is present, we will almost always also have inequality of status. These two things together naturally and necessarily result in the absence of frank speech. At this point, proper friendship (defined by frank speech) and the exchange of gifts (defined by equality of value) are impossible, and we have fictive-friendship, a term I have introduced in this article. Fictive-friendship refers to the practice, often but not exclusively amongst elites, of using friendship language to mask relationships of dependence (patronage and clientage). I closed my argument by looking at two examples of fictive-friendship in the Gospel of John. <![CDATA[<b>HTS Teologiese studies/Theological studies</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222011000300073&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The phenomena of friendship and giftship in antiquity have been the focus of much anthropological interest, yet those terms are still used much too broadly, wherein any one can be friends and anything exchanged is a gift. This article argued that proper friendship requires equality of exchange and status. When inequality of exchange is present, we will almost always also have inequality of status. These two things together naturally and necessarily result in the absence of frank speech. At this point, proper friendship (defined by frank speech) and the exchange of gifts (defined by equality of value) are impossible, and we have fictive-friendship, a term I have introduced in this article. Fictive-friendship refers to the practice, often but not exclusively amongst elites, of using friendship language to mask relationships of dependence (patronage and clientage). I closed my argument by looking at two examples of fictive-friendship in the Gospel of John.