Scielo RSS <![CDATA[HTS Theological Studies]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0259-942220120001&lang=es vol. 68 num. 1 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>What is the importance of executing rituals 'correctly' and why do people continue to engage in them?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100001&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Rituals, borne out of our embodied practical reason, are deeds that are counterintuitive in terms of cause and effect. From a cognitive point of view, two kinds of religious rituals can be identified: special agent rituals, where superhuman agents act on human patients (onceoff, highly emotional; e.g. initiations, weddings) and special instrument and patient rituals, where human agents act on superhuman patients (repeated, less emotional; e.g. sacrifices, Holy Communion). The idea of 'correctness' applies more stringently to the first kind than the second, for instance: Jacob's blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh in Genesis 48. Rituals stabilise, reconstitute and replicate our 'cosmos' or imaginative worlds as they realign our intersubjective relations. They are tenacious and persistent, because they evoke, usually in an emotional and motivational way, our sense of urgency, our deeply felt need to maintain sound social relations and our intuitive ability to form notions of a counterintuitive world. The aim of this article was therefore to highlight and illustrate the role our evolved mental tools play when conducting rituals, especially when conducting some rituals 'correctly' and others less stringently so. Furthermore, the psychological appeal that rituals have on the human mind was also explained. <![CDATA[<b>Analytic concepts in middle Foucault</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100002&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article investigates prominent analytic concepts in the philosophical historiographies of Michel Foucault (1926-1984), with specific regards to the work done in the middle phase of his career. These concepts accentuate the relation between history, power and contingency within the context of social inquiry. The author qualifies a particular order in the isolation of these concepts from the middle part of Foucault's oeuvre: the notion of present history is introduced as the central concept in Foucault's analyses from this period. It is argued that the notion of present history sustains Foucault's other unique historiographical and socio-diagnostic tools from the particular period, namely archaeology, genealogy, discourse and power analysis. The article contributes to Foucaultian scholarship by periodising these concepts within the larger oeuvre, without subordinating Foucault to the parameters of his own 'method'. <![CDATA[<b>The translation of </b><b><img width=32 height=32 src="../../../../../img/revistas/hts/v68n1/a03tit01.jpg"></b><b>[eksousia] in John 1:12</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100003&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es A survey of Bible translations in Afrikaans, Dutch, English, German and French indicates that the term <img width=32 height=32 src="../../../../../img/revistas/hts/v68n1/a03cara02.jpg">[eksousia] in John 1:12 is translated in different ways by translators. In Afrikaans the options available to translators are 'gesag' ('authority'), 'mag' ('might'), 'krag' ('power'), 'reg' ('right') and 'voorreg' ('privilege'). In this article, the translation into Afrikaans of the term in John 1:12 is considered. The article begins with an overview of choices made by previous translators in this regard, as well as an overview of how the term is interpreted in dictionaries and by commentators. This is followed by an investigation of the other occurrences of the term in the Fourth Gospel, and suggestions as to the way it should be interpreted in each case. The use of the term in John 1:12 is then considered. It is proposed that the best translation of the term in Afrikaans is 'mag' ('might'). <![CDATA[<b>Religion and power</b>: <b>Theoretical perspectives in connection with the New Testament</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100004&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This contribution is the slightly adapted introductory lecture given at the conference on Power and the New Testament held in Stellenbosch from 16-18 January 2011. It offers (1) a survey of some of the relevant scholarly contributions on the concept of power and the nexus of power and religion, and (2) a brief discussion of possible avenues for analyzing the theme of power in New Testament passages. <![CDATA[<b>Cosmic power in Pseudo-Aristotle, <i>De mundo</i>, and the New Testament</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100005&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In order to locate the cosmological views underlying the writings of Paul and other New Testament (NT) authors within their historical contexts it is necessary to compare them with other contemporary worldviews, such as those expressed in philosophical writings of the period. New Testament research has thus far concentrated on the most popular and influential philosophical traditions of NT times, that is, Stoicism and Middle Platonism. Other philosophical traditions may however also offer valuable insights. In this article I suggested that the De mundo attributed to Aristotle but probably dating from the 1st century BCE or CE provides early evidence for a splitting up of the demiurgic function of God in order to preserve God's transcendence. I furthermore argued that a similar division of divine functions is also evident in some NT texts, for example, John 1, Colossians 1, and Hebrews 1. This notion is explored using Colossians 1 as example. <![CDATA[<b>Characters and ambivalence in Luke</b>: <b>an emic reading of Luke's gospel, focusing on the Jewish peasantry</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100006&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The Jewish peasantry as a character group in the Gospel of Luke has, thus far, not really attracted much attention in Lukan scholarship. In cases where it has been studied, scholars have often treated <img border=0 width=32 height=32 src="../../../../../img/revistas/hts/v68n1/a06car01.jpg">[crowd] and <img border=0 width=32 height=32 src="../../../../../img/revistas/hts/v68n1/a06car02.jpg">[people] as synonymous characters. But the question of Jesus' identity, as depicted in the New Testament, was crucial to the early church and it is this exact question that animates the relationship between Jesus and the various 'systems' functioning as part of Luke's Gospel. From an etic viewpoint, the context of Luke's Gospel indicates that Jesus' leadership was characterised by conflict, opposition and rejection. Therefore, this article attempted, through an emic reading of Luke, to differentiate between (and describe) the role played by each of these character groups in Luke's narrative, focusing on the relationship between Jesus and the Jewish peasantry - with special reference to the ambivalent attitude of the latter. It was argued that each Lukan character group has to be read and understood in terms of their attitude, as well as in the broader context of Luke's intention with their inclusion and specific description. Therefore the various terminologies used when referring to the Jewish peasantry were also discussed; for any analysis of a biblical character group should begin with a reading of the Greek text, because working only with translations can lead to a misappropriation of the text. In order to attain the goals as set out above, this study used a character group which seemed ambivalent and hypocritical in their attitude to analyse Jesus' leadership approach. <![CDATA[<b>Interpreting the <i>visio Dei</i> in Matthew 5:8</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100007&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The academic study of the biblical text often depends on the naïve assumption that a researcher can obtain stable knowledge of the single meaning of a text. This article investigated how the visio Dei in Matthew 5:8 has led to a variety of concepts through the centuries. This proves how different readers come to different readings. Interpreters should be aware of how their contexts impact on their understanding of meaning, but should also realise how taking cognisance of the wide variety of readings could enrich their own interpretation. <![CDATA[<b>Beyond categories, proper names, types and norms toward a fragile openness (<i>Offen-barkeit</i>) of <i>différance</i>, but always from within the text</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100008&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article sought to respond to Wessel Stoker's interpretation of transcendence, specifically his last type: transcendence as alterity. It explored the possibilities of this last type as it moves beyond categories, proper names, types and norms toward a fragile openness of différance, always from within the text. This transcendence of alterity paves a way for discussion on what is beyond being or beyond language, either horizontally or vertically, so as to move away from dogmatic assertiveness toward a more poetic humility. This poetic humility, because of its openness (Offen-barkeit) and its 'undogmaticness', offers a fragile creativeness to our cultural-social-environmental encounters and praxis. Such poetics is found in Heidegger's work, as he interpreted humanity to dwell poetically in the house of being (language), if language speaks as the Geläut der Stille. Yet Heidegger did not move far enough beyond names and proper names, as he named and identified the kind of poetry that would be 'proper' to respond to the Geläut der Stille. Derrida deconstructed Heidegger's interpretation and exposed Heidegger's disastrous method of capitalising cultural-political names, moving beyond such capitalisation of 'proper' names toward différance and a messianic expectation without Messiah. In this artricle, both Heidegger and Derrida's conceptions were brought into dialogue with the types of transcendence proposed by Stoker. This showed that Derrida's thoughts deconstruct Heidegger's proper poems and, in doing so, move towards openness and a continual response to différance not with grand German-Greek poetry, but with fragile, temporary and maybe even prophetic poetry that is wounded by the continuous expectation of the messianic still to come. As an (in)conclusion, the article explored the possibilities that such a hermeneutics of différance can offer religion and culture in a particular local and highly divided national context of post-apartheid South Africa as a microcosm of a global world, whilst being fully aware of the dangerous return of too many proper names and Begriffe within such an (in)conclusion. <![CDATA[<b>King Saul's mysterious malady</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100009&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article investigates the 'illness' of King Saul (as narrated in the Old Testament). The 'anti-Saul narrative' states that 'God's spirit had left Saul' and 'an evil one had taken its place' (1 Sm 16:14; also cf. e.g. of his behaviour in 1 Sm 19:24; 1 Sm 18:28-29). The latter years of Saul's reign were marred by his pre-occupation with David's growing popularity. He eventually became mentally unstable and suspected everyone of plotting against him. Saul's battle against the Ammonites, as well as his last battle against the Philistines at Mount Gilboa, was fraught with difficulty. It is postulated that Saul experienced epileptic-like fits and assumedly suffered from some kind of 'depression' as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder (cf. 1 Sm 18:9; 1 Sm 18:28, 29; 1 Sm 19:24). This was possibly exacerbated by the enemy herem principle. Talmudic and other perspectives were also provided in the article where possible. <![CDATA[<b>Daniel 2 as satire</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100010&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Readers use intuitive and acquired knowledge about genres in interpreting what they read and hear, underlining the importance of establishing the genre of a specific piece of literature. The genre of the tales in the Book of Daniel (1-6) has been researched over a long period, without leading to a consensus. In this article it is suggested that the genre of the tales in Daniel may be described in terms of satire, used as a means of resistance to foreign political oppression. Especially humor and irony are utilised in the satire to describe Jewish perception of the oppression and oppressor, and to make suggestions for acting in the crisis situation of Antiochus' suppression of the Jewish religion. This is demonstrated in terms of the tale in Daniel 2, and specifically in the depiction of the indirect characters in the tale - the God of the Jews in Daniel 2, in contrast to the powerlessness of the gods of the mighty heathen king. In this way the true nature of Jewish oppression is pictured in a humorous way when the Babylonian gods are at the mercy of the Jewish God. <![CDATA[<b>Can matter and spirit be mediated through language? Some insights from Johann Georg Hamann</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100011&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The Enlightenment introduced to European philosophy and thought-patterns the strict dichotomy between res extensa and res cogitans; that is, matter and spirit. How to overcome the dichotomy and conceive of the interactions between these planes of reality has since become an overarching issue for philosophers. The theory of evolution, as founded by Charles Darwin, understands human beings, with their ability to think, to have arisen in the evolutionary process. Neuroscience utilises insights from the theory of complex systems to attempt to understand how perception, thought and self-awareness can arise as a consequence of the complex system that is the brain. However, already at the height of the Enlightenment, a contemporary and critic of Immanuel Kant, Johann Georg Hamann, suggested a metaphor for understanding the interrelationship of matter and thought. This metaphor is language. The appropriateness of this metaphor can be seen both in the importance that language abilities play in the evolutionary transition to the human species and in the characteristics of complex adaptive systems. <![CDATA[<b>Dealing with bioethical dilemmas</b>: <b>a survey and analysis of responses from ministers in the Reformed Churches in South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100012&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Recent technological advancements in Bioethics have been rapid and incremental, leaving little time for Christian ethicists to reflect or develop a coherent methodological approach. To assess the situation in the Reformed Churches in South Africa (RCSA), a bioethical questionnaire was developed and administered during the synod in 2009. Three practical questions served as point of departure, viz. which bioethical issues confronted ministers in their work environment, which value judgement trends are evident when counselling members of their congregations and what theoretical frameworks or resources do they call upon when reflecting on these difficult situations? The survey consisted of 19 questions with several sub-questions that sought demographic information to determine the population and information about bioethical issues confronting them, methodological strategies they apply and how they think they can contribute to the resolution of any such bioethical dilemmas. The results were tabulated and it was concluded that recent advancements in biotechnology cannot be ignored or dealt with in a piecemeal fashion any longer, either by the RCSA or its ministers. The need for clarity and analysis of the principles underlying those theories that guide or should guide their decision-making and pastoral care in dealing with bioethical dilemmas was emphasised. The findings highlighted the need for appropriate courses in Bioethics to be taught during initial theological training, as well as the need to keep the debate alive by offering workshops, seminars and short courses for practicing ministers to enhance awareness and allay fears and uncertainties in this very dynamic and morally challenging field of human and scientific endeavour. <![CDATA[<b>Deviance or acceptable difference</b>: <b>observance of the law in Romans 14-15 and <i>Dialogue with Trypho</i> 47</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100013&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Utilising the symbolic interactionist study of deviance, this article compares the treatment of Law-observant Christ-followers in Romans 14-15 and Justin Martyr's Dialogue with Trypho 47, in order to understand better the declining status of Law-observant Christ-followers in the early Christ-movement. The 'strong' in Romans 14:1-15:13 are likely Christ-followers who do not observe the Law, whilst the 'weak' are likely Christ-followers who do. Although Paul accepts Law-observant Christ-followers, his preference for non-observance decreases the status of those who observe the Law, thereby undermining Paul's vision of a unified, ethnically mixed Church. In Dialogue 47, Justin intensifies the marginalisation of Law-observant Christ-followers by placing them at the very limits of orthodoxy. Dialogue 47 suggests that the campaign for the legitimacy of Law-observant Christ-following was already failing by the middle of the 2nd century, largely because of Paul's own preference for non-observant Christ-following. <![CDATA[<b>Resistance against power</b>: <b>the pilgrim's journey in three <i>Sondergut</i> parables in Luke 15 and 16</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100014&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The aim of this essay is to explain the philosophical viewpoints of Michel Foucault concerning the power of knowledge and its consequences when individuals are subjectified into 'docile bodies'. According to this perspective, resistance against power commences when the little stories of individuals are told in opposition to the master narratives of ideologies of power. The essay refers to Steve Biko and Martin Luther King whose stories of resistance against racism as an ideology of power serve as examples. Their examples of resistance are hermeneutically and heuristically applied to the interpretation of the parables in Luke 15 and 16. These parables are peculiar to Luke's theology. The essay exposes the subjectifying of the identities of the 'lost son' and 'father', the 'master' and 'steward', and the 'rich man' and the 'poor man', as these heteronormative categories occur in parabolic stories in Luke 15 and 16. The essay concludes with a vision for Christians today on how to recognise power relationships and how to respond in a non-violent way to the dominant ideologies promoting power. <![CDATA[<b>Authority as service</b>: <b>The role of the disciples in the Gospel according to Matthew</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100015&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article juxtaposes authority and service in the Gospel of Matthew. Firstly the article refers to the transfer of authority from Jesus to the disciples. Several relevant texts are discussed, including Matthew's employment of proserchomai. Secondly the content of this authority is examined. The emphasis falls on the teaching authority of the disciples, especially to forgive sins. Thirdly the nature of authority is treated. It is not about lording it over people but to serve the believers in humility. In a last section all of the above is viewed against the backdrop of the first century Matthean community's struggle to find its place within formative Judaism. The thesis is put forward that Matthew propounds a voluntary marginality, according to which the reader should take upon him- or herself the position of the poor. <![CDATA[<b>Power, powerlessness and authorised power in 1 Timothy 2:8-15</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100016&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Thinking in terms of ecclesiastical power has often found a breeding ground in the Pastoral Epistles. To what extent is this justified? This article will examine a passage that always comes up when the position of women in the church is discussed: 1 Timothy 2:8-15. Consecutively, three aspects will be considered: power, powerlessness and authorised power. Power says something about the underlying problem that Timothy faced: the male or female relationships in the church of Ephesus threatened to degenerate into a power struggle. Powerlessness refers to the story of Adam and Eve referred to in verses 13-15. Its focus is the woman, Eve. The book of Genesis tells the story of human weakness, which becomes in the first letter to Timothy a sort of triptych about Eve and the Creation, Eve and the Fall and Eve and the Redemption. Authorised power is the way Paul tries to regulate the problematic situation in the congregation with apostolic rules. Not only because he wants something (βοvλομαι ) or because he does not allow something (οvκεπιτρεπω ) , but also in particular to create space for the faithful Word. <![CDATA[<b>The authority with which Jesus taught according to Matthew 7:29</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100017&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article focuses on Matthew's claim as conclusion to the Sermon to the Mount that Jesus preached with unparalleled authority. To grasp the meaning and intention of this claim in Matthew 7:29, this statement is read as part of the development of the theme of Jesus' authority within the Matthean gospel. The authority of Jesus is interpreted in relation with the authority of powerful imperial and Jewish figures of his time and the development of the concept of έξσυσία [authority] in the first gospel. It is argued that by this claim Matthew intends to confirm the conviction of his community that Jesus is the Messiah and authoritative interpreter of the Law. Matthew argues that God's kingdom has come despite opposition from the synagogue and its leaders, and of the physical dominance of imperial powers. As the church enjoys a privileged position in this kingdom, it has credibility and the authority to execute the commandments of Jesus. <![CDATA[<b>Compromising between two powers</b>: <b>Q and the Roman Empire</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100018&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The study underlying this article investigated the attitude of Sayings Source Q towards the Roman authorities and their representatives. It primarily aimed at contributing to scholarly discussions on the relationships between early Christianity and the Roman Empire, but it also attempted to put the research in a broader context of present-day discussions on the issue of 'church and state'. The first part of the study dealt with Q's views on the government. The second part studied Q's views on the emperor cult. The third and final part aimed at putting Q's views on the authorities and on the veneration of the emperor in the right context. It concluded that Q compromises between idealism and realism. Its attitude towards the government is quite hostile. It portrays worldly power as demonic (Q 4:5-6; 11:18, 20), it regards God as the only true Lord of heaven and earth (Q 10:21) and rejects the legitimacy of the imperial cult (Q 4:5-8). It fully focuses on the completion of the kingdom of God (Q 6:20; 7:28; 10:9; 11:2b). Yet, as a relatively small community (Q 10:2), the Q people seem to have realised that there was no point in standing up against the Roman authorities and their representatives. Q's propagated views on Roman power are not characterised by active resistance, but by passive dissidence (Q 6:22-23, 27-32; 12:4-5). Within the context of the Roman Empire, it was better to be a realist than a revolutionist. <![CDATA[<b>The might of death and the power of God</b>: <b>some Biblical perspectives</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100019&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article investigates how the might of death and the power of God are related in biblical writings. Factually, there are various biblical images concerning this relationship. Four of them are discussed in this contribution. Firstly, according to many texts, there is no afterlife and God's power is limited and he is not able to save people after they have died. Secondly, view is disputed in other texts in which it is emphasised that the life of people who are faithful to God and his Torah, will have an open ending. This hope is based on God's power and not on an indestructible personal core or some divine dimension deep within human beings. Thirdly, the most well known idea is the concept of resurrection which originated in Judaism and emerged when in the second century BCE martyrs died because of their religious convictions. Fourthly, this model has been applied to Jesus, who after having been rescued from death by God, was placed in a position that in many respects is similar to God's position. In this article recent discoveries about developments in biblical ideas about God's and Jesus' competence and functions are integrated. <![CDATA[<b>The church and power in Revelation 11</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100020&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The article discusses the notion of power in the episode of the two witnesses in Revelation 11:4-6 as a point of departure for a reflection on power in early Christian documents. It also aims to determine the meaning of power in terms of a close reading of a specific text so that discussions about its nature and about power in Biblical texts can be rooted in firm evidence. This evidence should then, at later stages be further developed with the aid of theoretical models and insights about power. In a first section power in Revelation 11:4-6 is described in terms of the identity and task of the witnesses and in terms of its divine origins, followed in a second part by reflection on the direct references to their power. Special attention is given to some seminal issues about power, namely, its relationship with truth and prophecy, its divine origins, the misuse of power, violence as a response to evil and, finally, its role in the Book of Revelation and Early Christianity. <![CDATA[<b>Paul and power</b>: <b>Framing claims</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100021&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Evidently an important theme in the Pauline letters, discussions of the nature, scope and function of power have given rise to a wide range of explanations and interpretative positions. Engaging the rich diversity regarding the content and nature of power in Paul, this contribution argues that the Roman imperial context is indicative and instrumental for understanding the construction and regulation of power in the Pauline letters. Coming to terms with the significance of imperial ideology in the understanding of power in Paul requires appropriate interpretive strategies such as a postcolonial interpretation. <![CDATA[<b>Gen(de)red power</b>: <b>The power of genre in the debate about women's roles in the Pastoral Letters and the Acts of Paul</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100022&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Two texts that contributed to the discussion on gender roles in formative Christianity, 1 Timothy and the Acts of Paul, are investigated. In both cases the emphasis is on the much-disputed role of women. Power plays a role on different levels. On the one hand power relations between the sexes are depicted or directly addressed by the text ('gendered' power), while on the other hand the power of persuasion is brought to bear on both male and female readers to legitimize the patriarchal, videlicet the encratitic model of gender. This is done by rhetorical means that are text-specific, but also make use of genre-specific persuasion strategies. This 'genred power' is still mostly unchartered territory in exegetical discussions and is therefore the focus of my investigation. Especially important in both genres are intertextual allusions to authoritative texts. Fictive self-references which enable the author ('Paul') to correct himself are one focus of interest. Narrative strategies (i.e. character and plot development) which also have an intertextual dimension are a second focal point. The take-over of the role of Peter who denies Jesus and repents by Paul in the Acts of Thecla turns out to be of major rhetorical significance. <![CDATA[<b>Die etiek van sending as anti-Kyriargale bemagtiging en liefdesdiens</b>: <b>'n Fokus op 1 Tessalonisense en mag of bemagtiging</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100023&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The Christian concept 'mission' is experienced by some as a negative term in the postmodern age of relativism and sensitivity with regard to the perspective and the rights of others. In this article it is postulated that the term 'mission' is only negative when mission is understood as an aggressive propagandistic persuasion of others from a position of power (moral high ground). This definition however, is a result of a male-dominated, Kyriarchal (male dominated) perspective, and by implication is ethnocentric and reductionistic in nature. Feminist and postcolonial perspectives open the way for an alternative definition of 'mission', which can open up fresh perspectives about mission and ethics in the early Church and these could be considered and in turn could have far-reaching implications for the manner in which the Christian mission is understood in a post-modern context. In this article it is investigated in which way the early Christian ethics of mission created the space within which traditional imperial dominance, gender, race and ethnicity was transformed with an alternative symbolic universe resulting from a reconceptualisation of power or empowerment and loving service from a Christological perspective. <![CDATA[<b>God's power according to Revelation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100024&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The article argues that the 'power of God' expressed by the title 'Pantokrator' in the Revelation of John should be interpreted against a concrete context and issues about God's deeds of righteousness. From a human perspective God seems to be passive and silent concerning the suffering of believers caused by the enemies of God. However, God's sovereignty transcends all secular and supernatural powers. The power of God manifests itself in the acts of Jesus the Messiah whose power is paradoxically proclaimed by his being described as both a lion and a lamb. <![CDATA[<b>Religion and spirituality in contemporary dreams</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100025&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article examines the spiritual value and role of dreams in the lives of South African Christians, based on the findings of a qualitative research project in which semistructured interviews were used to examine the dream-related beliefs and practices of contemporary Christians. The findings indicated that dreams are still considered to be of distinct religious value and importance by a significant number of the Christian participants who took part in the study. Specifically, the participants reported that their dreams often serve as source of spiritual inspiration, insight and guidance, as well as feedback on decisions and ways of living. It was also indicated that dreams sometimes constituted an important natural resource in coming to terms with bereavement. In response to this, the article closes with a call for a re-evaluation of the position and value of dreams in contemporary Christianity, and offers several practical suggestions for working with dreams in a spiritual context. <![CDATA[<b>Exploring the critical moments when the Baptist denomination divided</b>: <b>Does revisiting these moments give hope to reconciliation between the 'Union' and 'Convention'?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100026&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article evaluated interpretations between members of the Baptist Union of South Africa (BUSA) and the Baptist Convention of South Africa (BCSA), revisiting a particular moment, the merger talks of 1980s, at the time when the Baptist Church further entrenched these divisions. The Baptist Church has a crippling historical relationship to the present, particularly as members of the faith interpret their sides of the story as being the 'right' ones. This article grew out of the ethnographic work undertaken by the primary author, Luvuyo Ntombana (2007), and his involvement with the Baptist Church. It is felt that in order to create a sacred Church, congregations ought to move away from arguing about past events toward a more positive rethinking of what lessons can be learned from the past. Therefore, this article argued that by revisiting critical moments for the Church, such as the period of reconciliation between denominations within South Africa, conversations can be reinvigorated to help reconcile and unite current factions which currently harbour animosity and weigh down the faith through unnecessary infighting. <![CDATA[<b>The books of the Bibles in early Christianity</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100027&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es A resurgence in the interest in other early Christian literature has brought the issue of the Christian biblical canon(s) to the forefront. Questions in relation to what the literature was, which literature was authoritative, and when did it become authoritative, have all been reopened both on a popular and scholarly level. With this climate, a re-evaluation of primary source information in relation to the various lists was in order. The lists from Origen, Eusebius, the Muratorian Canon, Athanasius, and to a lesser extent Tertullian, were examined. The result was: a nuanced perspective that reflects a three level reading hierarchy that gave precedence to the unquestioned texts, allows for mediated expansion through the questioned texts, and calls for a complete correction of the rejected texts based on the first two levels. Further, although none of the lists are exactly alike, substantial agreement was established between these various lists spanning more than a 150 years. In contrast to Marcion, theological harmony did not appear to be the main consideration in these various lists. <![CDATA[<b>The struggle of the Dutch Reformed Mission Churches (1881-1994) with reference to the character and extend of discipline</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100028&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In this article the struggle concerning the nature and extent of the disciplinary power in the Dutch Reformed Mission Church (DRMC) (1881-1994) is discussed. Since the establishment of the DRMC in 1881 until 1982 the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) retained the right to censure and discipline the missionaries in the DRMC. The article argues that the struggle for disciplinary power under the Constitution of the DRMC, the Statute of the DRMC as well as under the memorandum of agreement between the DRMC and the DRC, was nothing less than an attempt by the DRMC to entrench the principles of Voetius in the disciplinary power of the church polity and church government of the DRMC. In 1982 the DRMC accepted a new church order in which these principles were entrenched. The acceptance of this church order provision concluded the DRMC's struggle for disciplinary power of all its officers, missionaries included, which already began in 1908. At the inaugural meeting of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa a Church Order was adopted in which provisions with regards to the disciplinary power based on above principles was hedged. <![CDATA[<b>An integral investigation into the phenomenology and neurophysiology of Christian Trinity meditation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100029&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This integral investigation explored phenomenological and neurophysiologic, individual and collective dimensions of Christian Trinitarian meditation experiences in a volunteer, convenience sample of 10 practicing Christians, 6 men and 4 women, with a mean age of 48 years and an age range from 21 to 85 years. Participants meditated for a minimum period of 15 minutes, during which neurophysiologic data in the form of electroencephalographic (EEG), electromyographic (EMG), blood volume pulse (BVP) and respiratory activity were recorded. A phenomenological analysis indicated that the meditation process generally involved a movement from body to mind to spirit as evident in reports of an increasingly relaxed, contented and focused state of consciousness characterised by Christian Trinitarian imagery, wonder, surrender, peace, bliss, openness and formlessness. The neuropsychological findings indicated significant increases, from baseline to meditation recordings, in the alpha and beta range, accompanied by increasing mean trends in the theta and gamma range, and decreasing mean trends in the delta range, EMG, BVP and respiration. Integrative findings indicated the practical theological value of small doses of Christian Trinity meditation to enhance spiritual life for those forms of waking, thinking, conscious behaviour needed in everyday world involvement and healing. Findings were discussed in relation to further integrative investigations and interventions with practical theological implications. <![CDATA[<b>The Holy Spirit and the early Church</b>: <b>the experience of the Spirit</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100030&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Firstly, the present article explored the occurrence of special gifts of the Holy Spirit (charismata) both in the New Testament and in a number of early Christian writers (e.g. Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian and Augustine). Secondly, it indicated how this experience of special charismata exerted its influence on the formulation of the most authoritative and ecumenical statement of belief, viz. the Creed of Nicaea-Constantinople (381). <![CDATA[<b>The blind man of John 9 as a paradigmatic figure of the disciple in the Fourth Gospel</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100031&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article seeks to compare Christian discipleship with Mosaic discipleship. The Pharisees, needing to survive, rejected the Christological revelation the Son of Man brought in order to make God known on earth. The study of discipleship in John 9 leads us to understand that 'discipleship in Moses' which seeks to please God by upholding the Law or Torah is no longer defensible. Discipleship in chapter 9 redefines the believer's covenant relationship with God and demonstrates how it takes place in the person of Jesus (the envoy motif) and in his work (functional Christology) in order that the disciple may follow him into the light. The portrayal of the blind man as a role model of the disciple implicitly explains how Christology played a major role in an environment of conflict and ideology and how it relates discipleship to the devotion of Jesus as the plenary manifestation of God. <![CDATA[<b>The plight of absent fathers caused by migrant work</b>: <b>its traumatic impact on adolescent male children in Zimbabwe</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100032&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article revealed the degree of trauma experienced by male adolescents when their fathers are absent. The cost of this absence could not be balanced with the material benefits the children have enjoyed, for the benefits have been outweighed by the trauma that children experience in the absence of their fathers. The emotions and tears expressed during the research journey have revealed that material support cannot compensate for the love and presence children expect from their fathers. The deep hurt instilled in their hearts by the periods of absence angered them and led to traumatic experiences. The protracted period of living with only one primary caregiver has imprisoned them into the feminised environment, thereby robbing them of a male identity. Therefore, this article was devoted to creating a shepherding model of caring for boys whose fathers are absent. <![CDATA[<b>The constellation language-logic in medieval philosophy (2)</b>: <b>Duns Scotus to De Rivo</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100033&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This second in a series of two articles continues the attempt to provide an in-depth overview of some of the most prominent - and some of the most underpublished - medieval thinkers' stances on the constellation of language and logic, thus as a combined and condensed problem in western philosophy between the 5th and 15th centuries. The two 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 end is now</b>: <b>Augustine on History and Eschatology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100034&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article dealt with the church father Augustine's view on history and eschatology. After analysing the relevant material (especially his City of God and the correspondence with a certain Hesyschius) it was concluded that, firstly, Augustine was no historian in the usual sense of the word; secondly, his concept of historia sacra was the heuristic foundation for his idea of history; thirdly, the present is not to be described in the terms of historia sacra, which implies that he took great care when pointing out any instances of 'God's hand in history'; fourthly, the end times have already started, with the advent of Jesus Christ; fifthly, because of the uniqueness of Christ's coming, it runs counter to any cyclical worldview; sixthly, identifying any exact moment of the end of times is humanly impossible and seventhly, there is no room for any 'chiliastic' expectation. <![CDATA[<b>Empire and New Testament texts</b>: <b>theorising the imperial, in subversion and attraction</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100035&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Considering the overt or sublime connections biblical scholars increasingly indicate between biblical texts and empires, this contribution engages the need for the theorisation of empire beyond material depiction. It is suggested that empire is primarily of conceptual nature and a negotiated notion, a constantly constructed entity by both the powerful and the subjugated, to which the concomitant responses of subversion and attraction to empire attest. The discussion is primarily related to the first-century CE context, arguing also that postcolonial analysis provides a useful approach to deal with (at least, some of) the complexities of such research. <![CDATA[<b>Spirituality and poetry</b>: <b>to meet and to seek</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100036&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article represents a commemoration lecture in honour of Professor Andries van Aarde. In the article, Lina Spies, emerita professor in the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch at the University of Stellenbosch, an eminent Afrikaans poet, recounts her spiritual journey as seeker. Spies views her emerging religiosity as the result of her encounters in real life and in poetry. The poem as encounter serves as a dynamic occurrence in which one both searches and finds. The poetry of secular poets like Pablo Neruda receives a religious dimension when they give expression to the 'vastness of the universe' as Neruda does in his poem La poesíe (translated as Poetry). For the literary-theoretical foundation of her argument, Spies employs the insights of Camille Paglia, professor of Humanities and Media Studies at The University of Arts in Philadelphia, as especially found in the introduction to her book, Break, blow, burn. Spies' article focuses on the author's spirituality as witnessed in her poems and in her translation of the diary of the Holocaust victim, Anne Frank. This spirituality is eschewed from Christian orthodoxy, on the one hand, and simultaneously influenced by the novels of the American-Jewish writer Chaim Potok, which evoked her interest in the American Jewish society and also made her conscious of the Jewishness of Jesus. The author's spiritual journey of meeting and seeking reaches a peak in her poem Ontdaan (translated as Unsettled), on her reading of Andries van Aarde's book Fatherless in Galilee: Jesus as child of God. <![CDATA[<b>Malachi 4:4-6 (Heb 3:22-24) as a point of convergence in the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible</b>: <b>a consideration of the intra and intertextual relationships</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100037&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Malachi 4:4-6 (Heb 3:22-24) occupies a special place in the canon of Scriptures. In Malachi 4:4-6 (Heb 3:22-24) not only the book of Malachi comes to a close but the whole of the Prophets (Nebi'im), and the second part of the Hebrew Bible. In the Christian Bible the book of Malachi is the last book in the Old Testament, which is concluded with this passage, before one turns to the New Testament. In this article it was argued the these three verses serve not only as the conclusion to the book of Malachi but also as a fitting close to the second part of the Hebrew Bible. It also serves as a link to both the Pentateuch as the first part, and the Psalms as the third part, of the Hebrew canon of Scriptures. In this sense Malachi 4:4-6 (Heb 3:22-24) can be viewed as a point of convergence in the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible. <![CDATA[<b>The essence and content of a deacon's service revisited</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100038&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In many congregations, there is great uncertainty about the precise duty of the deacon within the congregation. Nowhere in the Bible is the essence and content of a deacon's service clearly spelled out. The suitability of the Scriptural passages that are often referred to to determine the essence and content of a deacon's work is widely questioned. Through the ages and in various traditions, the deacon has been entrusted with a wide variety of duties. All of the above necessitates a revisitation of the essence and content of the deacon's service. This article aims to extract the applicable aspects of the latest research on the diakon word group and apply its meaning to the work of the deacon within the overall ministry of the congregation. In order to achieve this objective, the applicable findings within research, conducted over the last 20 years, on the diakon word group is provided. Then the traditional Biblical substantiation of the essence and content of the deacon's service is critically reviewed. In conclusion, recommendations are made concerning the meaning of the latest research on the diakon word group for the deacon's service within the overall ministry of the congregation. <![CDATA[<b>One text, many stories</b>: <b>the (ir)relevance of reader-response criticism for apocryphal literature in the Septuagint</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100039&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article investigated the value of reader-response theory for the reading of apocryphal texts in the Septuagint. The groundbreaking work on reader-response theory developed by Wolfgang Iser in his book The Act of Reading: A Theory of Aesthetic Response, written in 1978 served as the theoretical point of departure. Although the reader-response theory has been scrutinised and criticised heavily during the last three decades, Iser made a very valuable contribution to the reading of literature. My assumption is that religious texts have to be read in the same way as other literature and therefore literary theories such as Iser's can be conducive for responsible interpretation. The article consists of the following parts: introductory remarks on the value of reader-response theory for the interpretation of apocryphal texts; a short overview of reader-response criticism; a discussion and evaluation of three different aspects of Iser's theory, namely 'gaps' in texts, 'asymmetry' between readers and texts and the concept of 'the implied reader'. The findings of the investigation will be given in part five (Findings). <![CDATA[<b>Divide and be different</b>: <b>priestly identity in the Persian period</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100040&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The article focused on the Hebrew root -•” [divide] [bdl] in Priestly and post-Priestly material of the Pentateuch. In Genesis 1 God is the subject of the verb and often enough in the Holiness Code, but in many instances in Leviticus (e.g. 10:10 and 11:47) it is expected of priests to perform the same act. It was argued that in this regard priests were to imitate God. The article further argued that these texts helped us to describe Jewish identity in the Persian period as an identity of non-conformity, and they also helped us to describe the priests' own understanding of their role in maintaining this identity. <![CDATA[<b>Die 'duisternis' as mag in die Nuwe Testament</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100041&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The purpose of this contribution is to present a general survey of darkness as power in the New Testament. It is generally accepted that darkness functions on a symbolic-metaphorical level on the one hand and on a literal level on the other hand. The former receives attention in this study where darkness is almost exclusively connected with the domain of power of the evil. The issue of darkness is investigated from four dimensions (1) as an opposing power to light in a dualistic worldview, (2) as a ruling power with a grip on death and the grave, (3) as a power of the evil and the struggle for liberation and (4) as a symbol and instrument of judgement of God in an apocalyptic worldview, with darkness eventually becoming the condemned. It is concluded that there seems to be at least two New Testament perceptions regarding the position of darkness as power: The domain of evil's darkness is located in the 'underworld', but gradually this view changed to also include a space in the layers of heaven above the earth. Earthlings found themselves in the midst of the struggle between Belial and Christ - the latter who finally conquers the power of darkness and now rules above the dark forces of evil. <![CDATA[<b>Power through language in 1 John</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100042&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Power is often exercised through language. Here it is argued that the author of John utilises different language strategies in order to exert power over and to influence his intended readers. His authority lies in his association with the ethos of the group which he feels he represents. From this position he makes his assumptions and builds his arguments. He also makes use of stereotypes to strengthen the identity of his group and to vilify the opponents who are no longer part of the group. His use of terms like koinonia [fellowship] or filial language is also a powerful way to build the identity and social reality of his group. <![CDATA[<b>The Apocalypse of John</b>: <b>the power of God's patience</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100043&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es John B. Thompson relates power primarily to institutions, which embody the aims of a specific social structure. However, human actions will either endorse this social structure and empower its institutions or undermine them. The Apocalypse of John attempts to use its prophetic authority to undermine the power of the institutions of the Roman Empire and of its social structure by challenging the communities to withdraw their support from these and to continue this project in their own prophetic mission to all nations. The Apocalypse challenges the symbolic universe of the Roman Empire (an important element in their social structure) and the power of its institutions with an alternative symbolic universe rooted in the Old Testament traditions of God as the creator. In this symbolic universe the throne of God with God's judgement is the institution where true power is situated and which will bring the work of creation to its fulfilment. The Empire is revealed as embodying the aims of Satan, who alienates people from God and so destroys God's creation. The communities are called upon to act according to the aims inspired by the alternative symbolic universe as lived out by Jesus (hence the emphasis on the 'works' and the reminder to 'persevere in doing the works of Jesus'[2:26]). The power of God's judgement is not yet fully experienced because in God's patience it is delayed in order to give the opportunity to the communities and all nations to bring their 'works' in tune with the aims of creation and so to undermine and 'overcome' the power of the Empire and Satan. God's imminent judgement is meant as the vibrant guarantee of the success of creation, of the value of the 'works of Jesus' and of the uselessness of the 'works of Satan'. Although the faithful may appear as powerless victims they are in fact 'agents' of God's creation. <![CDATA[<b>Generating hope in pastoral care through relationships</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100044&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article concerned itself with the notion of Christian hope, in the midst of suffering, where this hope will find its energy from within a relationship with God and his people. Hope in God finds its substance from our past, our present and our future relationship with God. Because of this relationship, Christian hope urges caregivers and care seekers into action, enabling them to resist evil and bringing liberation in suffering. <![CDATA[<b>Redefining trauma in an African context</b>: <b>a challenge to pastoral care</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100045&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The article attempted to analyse critically the definition of trauma as it is used in the Western medical and psychiatry contexts in order to come up with an appropriate African definition. This was undertaken with the view to demonstrate that the Western worldview is different from the African worldview. Superimposing solutions or providing pre-packed answers to unique African problems will lead only to re-traumatisation, whereas cultural sensitivity and the right diagnosis will lead to the correct treatment. The driving force behind this article was therefore to aim to be relevant, effective and contextual in all African-based pastoral care. <![CDATA[<b>Human freedom and the Christian faith</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100046&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In this article, it is examined whether there is room for human freedom in a Christian perspective. Augustine's and Luther's views are illuminating in order to clarify this matter. The way they deal with the idea of predestination is an important issue. According to Augustine, man is, to a certain degree, able to grasp the way in which God governs man; this idea is not present in Luther's thoughts. Their notions of 'freedom' differ considerably as well; here, too, Augustine has more confidence in human reason than Luther does. However, it is difficult for both Luther and Augustine to defend a notion of human freedom and at the same time maintain God's foreknowledge. Still, even irrespective of that, human freedom is something which cannot easily be demonstrated. For both Christians and non-believers, the issue of human freedom remains an unresolved problem. <![CDATA[<b>The role of coping in the relationship between spiritual wellbeing and depression amongst ministers</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100047&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The aim of this study was to determine the role of coping in the relationship between spiritual well-being and depression among ministers. The research group consisted of 53 Dutch Reformed ministers, all serving in the Northern Cape. Coping was measured by means of the Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced Questionnaire (Carver, Scheier & Weintraub 1989), spiritual well-being by means of the Spiritual Well-being Questionnaire (Gomez & Fisher 2003:1977), and depression by means of the Beck Depression Inventory-II (Beck, Steer & Brown 1996:1-2). The results of this study indicated that problem-focused coping and emotion-focused coping showed no direct relationship with depression. Problem-focused coping also plays no significant role in the relationship between spiritual well-being and depression. Emotion-focused coping, however, plays a role in the relationship between environment-related spiritual well-being and depression. Significant negative relationships between spiritual well-being and depression were found. A significant positive relationship was found between dysfunctional coping and depression. Dysfunctional coping was identified as a mediator in the relationship between personal spiritual well-being and depression. The results of this study are supported by the literature. <![CDATA[<b>From Ockham to Cusa</b>: <b>the encyclopaedic case for 'post-scholasticism' in Medieval philosophy</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100048&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article argues for the encyclopaedic recognition of 'post-scholasticism', indicating the very last and complex period (circa 1349-1464) in late Medieval philosophy, where the via moderna and logica modernorum have clearly departed from the fundamental premises of high scholasticism, the via antiqua and the logica novus, as manifested in the work of William of Ockham (and, eventually, in the political theory of Marsilius of Padua). The article argues that post-scholasticism should be distinguished from late scholasticism (exiting Ockham) and early Renaissance philosophy (entering Nicholas of Cusa). The article indicates that there is a tendency in many introductions to and secondary texts in Medieval philosophy to proceed straight from Ockham to Cusa (the 'very last Medieval and very first Renaissance philosopher'), understating more than a century of pertinent Medieval scholarship. In the modern encyclopaedia of philosophy, this understatement manifests in either a predating of Renaissance philosophy to close the gap between Ockham and Cusa as far as possible, or in understating this period as philosophically sterile, or in, without argument, simply proceeding straight from Ockham to Cusa. The article covers some of the essential philosophical contributions presented during this fragile philosophical-historical period, indicating that post-scholasticism is indeed a difficult and complex, yet productive period in the history of late Medieval philosophy, which should not be bypassed as a trivial gateway to either Renaissance philosophy or early modernity as such, but valued for its own idiosincracies, intricacies and overall contribution to the history of ideas in philosophy and theology. <![CDATA[<b>'Those who have been born of God do not sin, because God's seed abides in them' - Soteriology in 1 John</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100049&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The author of 1 John states that 'those who have been born of God do not sin, because God's seed abides in them'. This is found explicitly four times (3:5; 3:6 bis; 3:9; 5:18), and implicitly once (2:29). The author links these assertions to the life of Jesus (1 Jn 3:5). Anyone reading these texts is likely to find them hard to bear, because the author appears to be discussing a doctrine of Christian perfection. However, in this research I shall attempt to show (using a socio-rhetorical approach) that, in fact, these assertions should not be interpreted literally by the reader. Instead, these texts are part of the author's rhetorical construction to designate just how radical he sees the salvation event. The author substantiates the understanding and meaning of these radical assertions in his depiction of Christian existence as existence in a family, the familia Dei. <![CDATA[<b>Gereformeerde mistiek en die neerslag daarvan in piëtistiese ego-tekste van manlike gelowiges in die Suid-Afrikaanse pionierslewe</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100050&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The manifestation of Reformed mysticism in the pioneering communities of the South African interior was not limited to women-believers only. Although less frequent, Reformed mysticism contained in the pietistic ego-texts of male-believers also surfaced in early pioneering communities of South Africa. This essay considers the mystical ego-text of Francois Retief (1773-1838), the brother of Piet Retief who was massacred with other Voortrekkers by the Zulu king Dingaan in February 1838. Francois Retief's ego-text reflects typical elements of Jesus-centred bridal mysticism. Although it does not contain the radical features of bridal mysticism prevalent among women-believers on the frontier, it reflects intense levels of spiritual consciousness associated with the energetic levels of faith among Reformed believers under dire circumstances on the frontier. <![CDATA[<b>Paul coping with external stressors</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100051&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Stress is one of the most prominent sicknesses of the third millennium. This article used the external categories of stress and the heuristic ethical indicators (identity, ethics and ethos) to determine why Paul lived with joy despite of his stressful circumstances. As for people sharing the same Christian identity of the first followers of Jesus, this should be of real significance to the situation of stress in the third millennium. <![CDATA[<b>The 'cloud of witnesses' as part of the public court of reputation in Hebrews</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100052&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es By drawing parallels with the function of ancestors in African traditional religions, this article looks at the possibility that the Israelite ancestors mentioned in Hebrews played a far more dynamic role for the author and community he wrote for than most commentators appreciate. In addition to being examples of loyalty, it is argued that they also constitute an active presence, and similar to God, form part of the public court of reputation distributing honour to the Jesus followers. This also grounded and affirmed their Israelite identity. <![CDATA[<b>Sensitivity towards the reaction of outsiders as ethical motivation in early Christian paraenesis</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100053&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Early Christian documents contain many indications of a sensitivity towards the presence of non-Christians in their environment, a sensitivity which increased as the expectation of an imminent end receded. This study concentrated on those paraenetic texts which maintain that Christians, in the shaping of their lifestyle, should reckon with the reaction of outsiders. Two trajectories, a negative as well as a positive one, were identified. Subsequently the double perlocutionary aim of these 'outsider sayings' was scrutinised. A final word summarised the hermeneutic implications of these sayings for today. Since in many societies the credibility of the gospel message is under pressure, exemplary living is a sine qua non. <![CDATA[<b>Missionary Ethics in Q 10:2-12</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100054&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Elements of the mission discourse of the Synoptic Gospels are found in Mark 6:6b-13; Matthew 9:35-10:15; Luke 9:1-6 and Luke 10:1-20. Similarities and differences in these accounts have led many New Testament scholars to posit the presence of a mission discourse in Q. This discourse, along with the parable that introduces it (Q 10:2), provides insight into how Q conceives of 'mission' as well as the ethical principles and precepts that are part of Jesus' missional charge in this document. Through an intertextual approach to Q, with particular emphasis on narrative structure and imagery, this paper considered the interplay of mission and ethics in this early Christian text. <![CDATA[<b>Ethics in Context</b>: <b>the Thessalonians and their neighbours</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100055&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es First Thessalonians was written within a few months, following the conversion of Paul's Greek readers, and reflects how his ethical teaching was part of his proclamation. Paul's preaching of the gospel, intimately connected with the kind of person he was, brought about a close personal relationship between him and his converts. Whilst he stood as a moral model for them, he nevertheless spoke for God, and thus, his ethical instruction was grounded theologically. His converts would have understood how moral dicta, with which they were familiar, were derived from philosophy, but not from religion, as Jews and Christians held. In the overtly paraenetic sections of the letter (ch. 4 and 5), Paul was at great pains to underline this connection, which was the main point he was making. <![CDATA[<b>Mission versus ethics in 1 Corinthians 9?</b> <b>'Implicit ethics' as an aid in analysing New Testament texts</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100056&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The central question concerning how mission and ethics are related arises within the context of the understanding of ethics itself and in this way often leads back to the familiar 'indicative and imperative' model. This oversimplified approach, however, is ultimately inadequate for the Pauline ethic in general and for the particular problem concerning mission and ethics. In this article, 1 Corinthians 9 was drawn upon as an example for the 'implicit ethics' model, a model which allows for a more nuanced presentation of the grounds and justification for behaviour and action. Through this approach it became clear that the proclamation of the Gospel does not have to be 'unethical'; rather, it could be located and understood within the realm of the Pauline reflection on conduct. This, in turn, justified speaking of an 'ethic of missions (activity)' in Paul. <![CDATA[<b>Mission and Ethics in 1 Corinthians</b>: <b>reconciliation, corporate solidarity and other-regard as missionary strategy in Paul</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100057&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In this article the dynamic relationship between mission and ethics in contexts of conflict and change in the Corinthian correspondence was investigated, and the role Paul played as reconciling leader, examined. The early Christian writers like Paul wanted to instruct and shape communities of faith. Paul was especially concerned with the maintenance and growth of his congregations and also with the social and ethical boundaries between the community of faith and the 'world'. In the article it was illustrated that within the Corinthian congregational context there existed several conflict situations, and that much of it was a result of diversity within the congregation. Diversity is a fact of life and reality of the church. In Paul's vision for unity and reconciliation, and in his attempt to address the factionalism in the Corinthian congregation, he would in all cases, ground his practical solution in a theological identity construction. Paul focuses on corporate solidarity and unity and urges the congregation to find their fellow brothers and sisters in times of conflict by means of ethical reciprocity and other-regard, a matter in which he is also an example, typical of other philosophers of his time - but with a significant difference. At the end it becomes clear that Paul's ethical advice has a missional dimension, in the sense that the conflict management should take place in such a way that God is honoured and that both Jews, Greeks and fellow believers will see that the way this community handles conflict, is different to the way the 'world' would do it, and that in the process, even more might be saved. <![CDATA[<b>Morality and boundaries in Paul</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100058&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In the Pauline communities, ethics, ethos and identity were closely intertwined. This essay analyses the way in which Paul emphasised the mental boundaries of the Christ communities to turn them into moral boundaries. In this process, the fencing off of these communities over against their past and their present was a fundamental feature of Paul's reasoning. The communities thus became fenced off from their past, because the Christ event was seen as causing a major change in history. This change affected both Gentile and Jewish believers. At the same time, Paul stressed the boundaries with the outside world: he characterised the inside world as the loyal remnant of Israel, consisting of Jews and Gentiles alike, and pointed out that this group is the group of the elect 'saints'. The perspective with which Paul looked at ethics and morality inside this group was strongly coloured by the assumed identity of this group as 'Israel'. Even though the Mosaic Law was no longer the focal point for the identity of this eschatological Israel, the ethical demands Paul mentioned over against the members of this new Israel were highly influenced by the morality of the law. For Paul, sanctification was a fundamental ideal, and this ideal reflected the spirituality of the Holiness Code of Leviticus. This particular ethical model was framed by the awareness that Paul (and Christ before him) was 'sent' by God, much in the same way the prophets of Israel themselves had been sent. <![CDATA[<b>Mission to the Gentiles</b>: <b>the construction of Christian identity and its relationship with ethics according to Paul</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100059&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Paul allowed pagans to become members of the newly founded communities of Christ-believers and thus members of God's covenant people, Israel, without becoming circumcised. However, even if many of the 'pagan Christians' who became members of the new messianic movement had a background as God-Fearers in the frame of diaspora synagogues, the radicalism of their 'step in faith' can hardly be overestimated. With their turn from different pagan cults and their gods to the mysterious God of Israel and his crucified and risen Son, Jesus Christ, a whole coordinate system of human relationships, expectations, hopes and norms must have changed. This paper explores the construction of Christian identity and its relationship with ethics according to Paul. It is illustrated how Paul himself describes the system of changed relationships: turning away from the idols towards the living God, being in Christ or - together with others - part of the 'body of Christ'. Moreover, these three dimensions of new relations -to God, to Christ and to the fellow believers in Christ - correspond to three reference points for ethical decisions in Pauline communities: the command to love one another, the idea of human conscience (as a voice coming from God) and the idea of the 'ethos of Christ'. <![CDATA[<b>Provision for the poor and the mission of the church</b>: <b>ancient appeals and contemporary viability</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100060&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Composed for the 2011 Prestige FOCUS Conference on Mission and Ethics at the University of Pretoria, this essay addressed the interrelationship between the New Testament conception of mission and one of the most significant moral topics in Scripture: the provision for the needy. In keeping with the investigative focus of the conference, the article began with an exegetical analysis of Matthew, Luke, the Pauline Epistles, James, and 1 John, demonstrating that generosity to the poor is an integral feature of these authors' understanding of mission. The second half of the article investigated the rhetorical and theological strategies utilised by the aforementioned New Testament authors in motivating their readership to charitable action. Without aiming to be exhaustive, the article identified ten different strategies utilised by the New Testament texts in question: the authority of Jesus, the imitation of Christ, the theology of the cross, the imitation of the saints, equality, eschatological punishment, eschatological reward, earthly blessings, observing the Law, and love. The author not only described the ways in which these appeals functioned, but evaluated to what degrees and in which 21st century global Christian contexts these various appeals might be effective in motivating contemporary expressions of provision for the needy. <![CDATA[<b>John Chrysostom and the mission to the Goths</b>: <b>rhetorical and ethical perspectives</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100061&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This study examines the role of John Chrysostom as bishop-missionary to the Goths in Constantinople. After Theodosius declared Nicene orthodoxy to be the only valid and legal faith, a potent programme to establish orthodoxy in Constantinople had begun, with bishops like Gregory Nazianzen and Nectarius promoting the cause. During and shortly after Chrysostom's arrival in Constantinople, most of the Arians were Goths, and Chrysostom became personally involved in their affairs. In the light of this, the study specifically looks at how Chrysostom constructs and negotiates barbarian identity, with special emphasis on the rhetorical and ethical dimensions of his involvement; with emphasis on the trajectories provided by Foucault and De Certeau for understanding rhetoric, ethics and identity. It is specially asked whether Chrysostom could escape the classical Graeco-Roman habitus of barbarism and the normativity of the free, male Roman body. <![CDATA[<b>The righteousness of God, begging for the poor and Paul's apostolic mission according to his Letter to the Romans</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100063&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In Romans 15:22-33 (the concluding section of Paul's last written letter) 'the apostle for the gentiles' motivates his financial contribution (diakonia) to the poor (ptōchous) in Jerusalem in terms of his mission to the nations (ta ethnē). The aim of this article is to argue that Paul's notion, 'the righteousness of God' (diakaiosunē tou theou), mentioned for example in Romans 1:18-3:20, not only accentuates God's saving act (a vertical dimension) but also God's intervention on behalf of the poor and other outcasts through the apostolic mission (the horizontal dimension). The article explains Paul's use of the concept righteousness as a 'virtue' by focusing on both the Hellenistic moral philosophy and the occurrence of the term zedaqah in the Old Testament. For Paul, the revelation of God is the revelation of the righteousness of God (Rm 1:17) in, among others, the Law (e.g. Ex 22:21-24), the Prophets (e.g., Zch 7:9-10) and the Writings (e.g. Job 24:9). Those affected, are the poor without patrons, women without patriarchs, children without parentage and foreigners without a paterfamilias. The pilgrimage to the nations includes all four groups of marginalized people. Blending the concepts 'the righteousness of God', 'begging for the poor' and Paul's apostolic mission helps us to understand why the end of Romans (15:22-33) and its beginning (1:18-2:20) come to full circle. The vertical dimension of God's saving act merges with the horizontal dimension of God's saving act. <![CDATA[<b>The indispensability of <i>habitat</i> in our definition of human personhood</b>: <b>In search of an eco-theological understanding of human life</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100064&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The endeavour of this article is to arrive at a theological responsible conception of life. Life cannot be described adequately only in terms of body and soul (and/or spirit), or even in terms of human personhood. The point is that it is constitutive for life to take the human being's environment sociologically as well as ecologically into account. This article does not plead for a nature religion as advocated by the Deep Green Movement and all its variations of naturalism and supernaturalism, but asks for a revaluation of a Christian anthropology which approaches the Bible with a green hermeneutics. Perhaps the expression, 'bio-cultural' paradigm requests to be substituted with an eco-sociological niche of the human person. An eco-sociological (eco-theological) understanding of homo religiosus is therefore to assume human life as ontologically 'distributed'. <![CDATA[<b>The problem of money in the hand of a fool</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100065&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article focused on a single proverb, viz. Proverbs 17:16. The syntax and stylistic features were analysed to demonstrate the extreme polyvalence that can characterise terse aphorisms. Fifteen readings were examined and evaluated, resulting in the distillation of four equally valid clusters of meaning. This informed the argument that the terseness of aphorisms is conducive to multiple legitimate interpretations which constitute the 'readings'. The implications were considered in terms of intentionality and text-immanence in detailed exegesis. It was concluded that a combination of sophisticated linguistics and stylistic sensitivity in proverb exegesis can, in the sense of Herderian and Gunkelian 'Einfiihlung' in minutiae, uncover a richness in ostensibly simple texts - which is to be distinguished from traditional methods claiming to probe 'under the surface'. <![CDATA[<b>Pro Pent</b>: <b>A project for the study of the Pentateuch in South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100066&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article focused on Pro Pent (or the Project for the Study of the Pentateuch) which was established in August 2000 after professor Eckart Otto from the Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) of Munich visited the University of Pretoria (UP). Pro Pent is a joint project of UP and the LMU and since 2001 annual seminars drive the initiative. These seminars are held in Pretoria and sometimes in Munich. Pro Pent is now an established international study group on the Pentateuch. In order to understand Pro Pent in the South African context, the article briefly discussed the work of previous South African Pentateuch scholars like John William Colenso, Johannes du Plessis and Ferdinand Deist. Their contributions were firstly assessed before Pro Pent's contribution to the study of the Pentateuch was discussed and its relevancy for the South African context assessed, and highlight Pro Pent's intention to be relevant. <![CDATA[<b>Lamentations at Qumran</b>: <b>A second edition?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100067&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The four Qumran manuscripts of Lamentations presented the Hebrew text of the book from a period of about one hundred years before the standardisation of the Hebrew consonantal text. These manuscripts were studied to answer the question whether they, or one or more of them, presented a different edition of the Hebrew text than the one preserved in the Masoretic Text. The current consensus is that the Masoretic Text was well preserved and that the ancient versions, the Septuagint, Targum, Peshitta and Vulgate, were translated from Hebrew texts close to the Masoretic tradition. The four manuscripts were firstly described in this article. They all dated from the last part of the first century BCE. They were then studied in detail with regard to the variants they contain, their agreement with the Masoretic Text and the ancient versions. Only a few parts of 3QLam and 5QLam b had been preserved. These sections agreed mostly with the Masoretic Text, but no definite conclusions could be made on account of their bad state of preservation. 4QLamª agreed frequently with the Masoretic Text where one or more of the versions disagreed from it. 4QLam did not agree often with the Masoretic Text when it differed from the ancient versions, but frequently went its own way. These manuscripts contained a number of variants pointing to a different edition of the book. The most important variants occurred in Lamentations 1:7, 13, 14 and 16. The different order of verses 16 and 17 against the Masoretic Text was also important in this regard. This manuscript pointed to a different textual tradition than the one occurring in the Masoretic Text. <![CDATA[<b>The theological paraphrasing of history</b>: <b>The Exodus tradition in the Wisdom of Solomon</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100068&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This study of the reinterpretation of the exodus tradition in the Wisdom of Solomon investigated the possibility that the reinterpretation entailed the alignment of history and wisdom. To come to grips with this alignment, attention had to be paid to its Greco-Roman context, whilst also taking into consideration the literary and theological structure of the Wisdom of Solomon, as well as its rhetoric and genre. In a theologically creative manner, Wisdom (as divine personification) and history (as memories of salvation during the Exodus) were combined in the Wisdom of Solomon to convince the Jews in the diaspora that justice would prevail - not only in this life but also thereafter. By means of poetic imagery, rhetorical skill, historical reinterpretation and imaginative wisdom theology, religious identity were not only bolstered to resist a dominant Greco-Roman culture but also to develop a positive view of creation according to the values of wisdom exemplified by the reinterpreted Exodus traditions. <![CDATA[<b>Six decades of Old Testament theology (1952-2012)</b>: <b>From hearing only One Voice to hearing many human voices.</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100069&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article took a look at what has transpired in the field of Old Testament theology during the past six decades. The year 1952 saw the publication of G. Ernest Wright's book God Who Acts: Biblical Theology as Recital which is regarded as reflecting a new approach to Old Testament theology. However, the years 1970 and 1989 were also deemed to be important years in the study of the Old Testament, reflecting major changes. The six decades were thus divided into three periods (1) 1952-1970, (2) 1970-1989, and (3) 1989-2012. It was argued that the theologies which were published during the respective periods share a few common trends. This article identified and reflected on these. At the beginning of the six decades revelation through history was an important conviction and impacted on the theologies of the first period. Literary and religious studies during the seventies and nineties of the previous century had little impact on the theologies of the second and third periods. However, during the third period an Old Testament theology which set a new trend, saw the light. This theology has the title Theologies in the Old Testament and reflected a shift from hearing only One Voice in the Old Testament to hearing many human voices. <![CDATA[<b>Interpreting 'Torah' in Psalm 1 in the light of Psalm 119</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100070&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article argued that Psalm 37 and Proverbs 1-4 served as sources for the composition of Psalm 1. The emphasis in both donor texts on the righteous people's inheriting the Promised Land seems to have imprinted also on Psalm 1, a factor that could change our understanding of it. All three contexts in turn played a role in the composition of Psalm 119, but whilst the author of this long psalm also understood the 'Torah' of Yahweh as the incarnation of true wisdom, it seems that 'Torah' also subsumed the Promised Land for him. The investigation showed that 'Torah' in Psalm 1 should be understood as an arch-lexeme for all the religious texts its author used to compose, similar to what was the understanding of the author of Psalm 119 a little later. <![CDATA[<b>The Bible in Afrikaans</b>: <b>A direct translation - A new type of church Bible</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100071&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Translating the Bible so that target audiences can easily understand the meaning of the text has dominated the theory and practice of Bible translation since the 1960s. Source oriented translations that are typically associated with word-for-word translations received little theoretical reflection. However, developments in Translation Studies have made it clear that the latter type of translations do not provide the type of equivalence more conservative churches really call for. The story of the Bible in Afrikaans relates to how the Bible Society of South Africa (BSSA) has taken seriously the needs of churches in South Africa for a source-oriented translation and teamed up with scholars to develop an academically justifiable model for a new type of church Bible. The functionalist model of Christiane Nord (1997) was used as point of departure and complimented by that of Ernst-August Gutt (2000). Pointing out the accomplishments and challenges of this pioneering project, this article paves the way for a scholarly discourse on source-oriented translations of the Bible. <![CDATA[<b>What makes men and women identify with Judith?</b>: <b>A Jungian mythological perspective on the feminist value of <i>Judith</i> today</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100072&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Inspired by her student's overwhelmingly positive interpretation of Judith as a model for women's liberation in diverse African contexts - despite the debate around the feminist value of Judith-Judith - the author deals with what could possibly allow men and women, particularly the latter, to interpret Judith positively today. Given her interest in Jungian individuation theory and Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) mythology, the author investigates the subject matter by exploring Judith's relation to male and female individuation patterns, the myths of the hero's quest and Demeter-Kore, and ANE warrior-goddess myths. <![CDATA[<b>Ruth 3</b>: <b>9 en 4:5: What does the levirate marriage have in common with the practice of land redemption?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100073&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article examines two passages in the book of Ruth - 3:9 and 4:5. Both pertain to two practices in ancient Israel, namely the levirate marriage and the redemption of property - here in the case of the book of Ruth. Ruth 3:9 hints only indirectly to these, therefore, I aim to indicate that Ruth does offer Boaz a marriage proposal and that some form of redemption of property is intended. In Ruth 4:5 these two practices are once again juxtaposed. Scholars propose various reasons why the levirate marriage and redemption are related to each other in the book of Ruth and nowhere else in the Hebrew Bible. It appears that their proposals can be related directly to their dating of the book, either pre- or post-exilic. In my article, I accept a post-exilic dating since the author of the book of Ruth seems to know most of the laws in the Pentateuch. I conclude with the views of Irmtraud Fischer, a feminist scholar who offers interesting perspectives from a feminist historical critical point of view. <![CDATA[<b>Isaiah 1</b>: <b>2-3 and Isaiah 6: Isaiah 'a prophet like Moses' (Dt 18:18)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100074&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The book of Isaiah is complex when one considers the reconstruction of the processes of its formation and transmission. If these complexities are examined more closely, it is apparent that there is a multiplicity of dimensions to the book. In order to discover the distinctive and unique characteristics of the book of Isaiah, we are forced to see the book within the wider context of other Hebrew literature. In this article, I examine one specific aspect of this book, namely some of the parallels that exist between the figure of Moses and its eponymous prophet. The deuteronomic depiction of Moses as the first prophet amidst the wilderness generation provided a major thematic force inspiring the redactors of the Book of Isaiah in their presentation of the prophet Isaiah. We get to know Isaiah as a prophet who, in his own historical context, continues the teachings of Moses, which enhances his authority. His words (Is 1:2-3) contain references to words spoken by Moses in Deuteronomy (Dt 32), and his call (Is 6) echoes that of Moses. The Torah of Moses is thus continued in the words and teaching of Isaiah. <![CDATA[<b>To give</b>: <b>A science of religion and missiological perspective.</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100075&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Human nature has been depicted as being utilitarian. This means that man considers all social action in terms of an optimalisation of privilege for the self. Marcel Mauss challenged this theory by investigating the possibility of human nature as being anti-utilitarian. Man does not give in order to receive. Human social action is not necessarily motivated by what man stands to gain. The diaconate of the church can be seen as the social action of giving. There is a close connection between the diaconate and the apostolate as actions of giving by the church. This article wants to determine whether these actions by the church are utilitarian in nature. Sundermeier's use of the concept of convivence is used to illustrate how the church acts in an anti-utilitarian fashion when engaging in the diaconate and the apostolate. The social theory of Mauss, the missionary perspective of Sundermeier and the theology on the diaconate by Moltmann are brought into conversation with one another in order to illustrate the anti-utilitarian activities of the church in society. <![CDATA[<b>The amazing growth of the early church</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100076&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The church grew rapidly during the first centuries. The question is: Why? Generations of scholars approached this question from different perspectives and with different methods. Historical research, analysis of early Christian texts and theological reflection were the most common methods used to shed light on the growth of the church. In this contribution five different models of growth were discussed, using the approach of A.M. Schor as a point of departure. These models of church growth were put under the headings of an apostolic mission model, values reproduction model, social reaction model, network model with an institutional model added. <![CDATA[<b><i>'Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?'</i></b><b> (Juvenal <i>Satires:§345)</i> (Who guards [nurtures] the guardians?)</b>: <b>Developing a constructivist approach to learning about ministerial and spiritual formation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100077&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The main purpose of this exercise was to develop an improved model of ministerial and spiritual formation in the training of ministers in the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa at the University of Pretoria. This is a perennial problem in many churches where there is a general dissatisfaction with the products, (i.e. ministers) not only in terms of personal spirituality but in their inability to minister effectively in the many diverse situations to which they are called or appointed. The exercise of power becomes an issue in a vocation which is premised on servant ministry and so Juvenal's quotation is apt as it is expressed as 'Who can be trusted with authority/power?'. <![CDATA[<b>Ritual, rage and revenge in 2 Maccabees 6 and 7</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100078&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The martyrs in 2 Maccabees 6 and 7 have been explored in various ways. In their commentaries on 2 Maccabees, Jan Willem van Henten and Daniel Schwartz proposed that the deaths of the martyrs should be seen as human sacrifices to please the deity. This idea has either been challenged or supported by scholars. This article supported the idea of human sacrifice, and applied the view of Richard DeMaris of the martyr's deaths as exit rite to the above-mentioned texts. In essence this amounts to ritual critique. The results were surprising, and proved the model of DeMaris as a useful tool to examine rituals. The conclusion was reached that 2 Maccabees 6 and 7 is indeed an exit rite. <![CDATA[<b>The use and origin of the (Old and) New Testament as Christianity's canon</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100079&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article explained the valuation of Christian believers with regard to the Christian Bible a 'Holy Scripture'. In the article the notion 'Scriptural authority' was connected with an understanding of both the origin and use of the Christian canon. The article described the origin of the Bible in light of the supposition that the Bible functions as (1) book of theology, as well as (2) book of believers and as (3) book of the church. The article consisted of references to the role of the Old Testament and the New Testament canonical collections and the role of ecclesial synodal decisions. It also obtained a graphical overview of the history and dates of the New Testament writings as a canonical list. The article concluded with a reflection on the relevance for the use and authority of the Bible, seen from the perspective of the use and origin of the Bible as Christianity's canon. <![CDATA[<b>A homily on discernment of faith in a chord of three</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100080&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article reflects on discernment as a key Christian faith practice of the believing community that wants to live according to its vision and mission as articulated in 1 Peter 2:21: To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. This homily is presented as a chord consisting of three notes that entices the readers to contribute their own harmonies - to witness to their own contexts of tension between true and false prophecy, to choose for God's presence in Jesus Christ and to perservere as followers of Jesus amid the coldness and cruelty of this world. These disciples choose Jesus in spite of the chaos in their own lives and in their world. A similar choice was made by one of the criminals on the cross alongside Jesus (Lk 23:42). The three notes that make up the chord are: discernment on the basis of the Bible with the guidance of the Holy Spirit in order to distinguish the will of God for the road ahead. <![CDATA[<b>Invitations and excuses that are not invitations and excuses</b>: <b>Gossip in Luke 14:18-20</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100081&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In modern Western culture, gossip is seen as a malicious activity that should be avoided. In ancient oral-cultures, gossip as a cultural form did not have this negative connotation. Gossip was a necessary social game that enabled the flow of information. This information was used in the gossip network of communities to clarify, maintain and enforce group values, facilitate group formation and boundary maintenance and assess the morality of individuals. Gossip was a natural and spontaneous recurring form of social organisation. This understanding of gossip is used to interpret the two invitations and three excuses in the parable of the Feast (Lk 14:16a-23). The conclusion reached is that gossip, when understood as a social game, can be a useful tool to curb anachronistic and ethnocentristic readings of texts produced by cultures different from that of modern interpreters analysing these texts. <![CDATA[<b>The sweet dreams of civil theology then became ecclesiastical nightmares</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100082&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es With the 69th General Assembly of 2010 the Netherdutch Reformed Church reached a fork in the road. The Church is still hesitating, unsure which road it should take at the fork. But she can not hesitate much longer. History will not wait infinitely for those who find it difficult to make choices on political and ecclesiastical matters. This article reflects on the recent history of the Church that brought her to this fork in the road, the different choices that are on the table for the Church at this stage and how she will shape her own future by the choices she will have to make in the near future. Rather than presenting a systematic argument on the matter at hand, the article reflects from different perspectives on the problems the Church is facing. Politics, ecclesiastical renewal, the role of tradition and heritage in ecclesiastic reflection, Church unity and the role of confessions of faith as a binding factor in the ecclesiastical community are used as points of reference to reflect on the current crisis in the Church. Church leaders are called upon to break with a tradition of civil obedience serving the interests of the politicians in power. The Church should rather bravely fulfil her calling to practise prophetic criticism in society so that she can help to promote justice for all in the most efficient way possible. <![CDATA[<b>Being church in the <i>saeculum</i> today, Part 1</b>: <b>Unity through plurality.</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100083&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es From a narrative theological perspective, the article tells the story of the church which has always been characterised by a tension between unity and plurality. The article illustrates that the root of the tension can be found in a binary mentality which traps the church in an endless labyrinth and keeps the it from being 'A Broad Place', a 'wide open space'. The article suggests that re-telling the church's grand narrative of the Trinity sustains the re-telling of the church's narrative in the changing environment of a secular society. <![CDATA[<b>Being church in the saeculum today, Part 2</b>: <b>A new narrative (also for the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100084&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es A previous article illlustrated that the root of the tension between unity and plurality in the church can be found in an epistemology charcaterised by binary opposisions. This article describes this epistemology and, from the perspective of narrative theological epistemology, discusses the struggles and pitfalls reflected in the narrative of the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa which identifies itself as an 'ethnic church' (volkskerk). The article argues that such a self-identification functions as a metanarrative that is in conflict with the church's grand narrative, that of the Triune God. The re-telling of the grand narrative of the Trinity as the metaphor for unity through plurality will sustain the re-telling of the church's narrative in the changing context of a secular society. <![CDATA[<b>Deficiencies in pastoral care with prisoners in Cameroon</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100085&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Cameroon celebrated fifty years of independence from colonial rule on 20 May 2010. Major problems facing the nation are economic, social and political crises and the appalling condition of its prisons. This article focuses on pastoral care with prisoners in Cameroon. Most churches in Cameroon have no pastoral care programme for prisoners. The churches in general are not yet committed to this kind of work. The article argues that changes and reform of the penitential system will be difficult if not impossible without collaboration with other institutions and resources, which include the different faith communities and faith based organisations. The focus should be on the care and well-being of those within its walls if successful rehabilitation is to take place. Spiritual care will contribute to the general well-being of prisoners. The article gives a broad overview of the situation of prisons and prisoners in Cameroon and presents a pastoral care approach that could contribute to the overall improvement of the lives of people in Cameroon prisons. <![CDATA[<b>Interpreting and responsding to the Johannine feeding narrative</b>: <b>An empirical study in the SIFT hermeneutical method amongst Anglican ministry training candidates</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100086&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Drawing on Jungian psychological type theory, the SIFT method of biblical hermeneutics and liturgical preaching maintains that different psychological type preferences are associated with distinctive readings of scripture. In the present study this theory was tested amongst two groups of ministry training candidates (a total of 26 participants) who were located within working groups according to their psychological type preferences, and invited to reflect on the Johannine feeding narrative (Jn 6:4-22), and to document their discussion. Analysis of these data provided empirical support for the theory underpinning the SIFT method. <![CDATA[<b>Was Karlstadt 'Insane' on Mosaic Law like Melanchthon said?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100087&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article reviewed claims made by modern scholars Ford Lewis Battles and G.H. Williams, as well as charges made by Melanchthon, against Andreas Karlstadt (1486-1541) in regard to the imposition of Mosaic Law upon the civil realm. Melanchthon called Karlstadt 'insane' based on this charge, whilst Battles claims Karlstadt proposed to replace European civil law completely with the 'entire Mosaic code'. This study examined some of Karlstadt's writings in regard to images, the pace of reforms in Wittenberg, and the preference for reform to be carried out by the princes and not the masses. It also consulted the secondary source analyses of Ulrich Bubenheimer and Calvin Augustus Pater - both of which present views opposite to that of Battles, and both would have been available to Battles in 1986. The results of the literary review conducted in this study demonstrate that the claims of Battles, Williams, and Melanchthon are not supported by the evidence. <![CDATA[<b>Evaluation of the environmental and social sustainability policy of a mass tourism resort</b>: <b>A narrative account</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100088&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The recordation of the life stories of individuals residing in the community of Ledig, who have been dependent on the Sun City Resort situated in the Pilanesberg area in the North West Province of South Africa for their quality of life for more than 20 years, provided the basis for the evaluation of the environmental and social sustainability of this micro-cosmos on a multidisciplinary level. This study focused on the hermeneutical arch of narrative theory within the framework of human geography and sustainability science. The natural environment was evaluated for the role it plays in the sustainability of the livelihoods of the Ledig community members as well as the institutional life of the Sun City Resort. The results of this study suggested that the environmental policy for the Sun City Resort, formalised in 2004, has been guiding the Sun City Resort to contribute positively to the sustainability of the area. The study also demonstrated that a focus on the next generation of potential employees and the environmental education of all the communities were crucial to ensure the resilience of the social and ecological capacity of the area. <![CDATA[<b>The end of the world</b>: <b>The challenge of modern science to traditional eschatology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100089&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In biblical times the 'Word of God' indicated God's creative and redemptive response to changing human predicaments and depravations. Redemptive events became traditions that were applied to new situations. Many biblical future expectations lost their relevance and plausibility already within canonical history. Modern science has rendered a literal interpretation of the most recent and radical biblical future expectations - resurrection and a 'new heaven and earth' - problematic. Apocalyptic deliberately employed enigmatic symbols and metaphors to indicate God's miraculous intervention to change an evil world into a new and authentic reality. This motif can be reconceptualised as God's vision for the comprehensive optimal well-being of humanity within the well-being of creation as a whole, which translates into God's concern for any deficiency in well-being in any dimension of life. The emergence of the notion of resurrection to face judgement was rooted in concern about God's justice (theodicy) rather than the longing for never-ending life. The resurrection of Jesus was deemed God's affirmation of his messianic authority to proclaim and enact God's redeeming love, thus its validity for all times and places - which opened up participation in the new life of Christ in fellowship with God for all people. <![CDATA[<b>God in economics?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100090&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es During the 20th century, in Christian churches and amongst Christian theologians a new interest was found in economics as an object of theological reflection. This article researches the nature of such theological reflection, amongst others from the critical question of how a connection can be made between a constructivist approach of theology and the analysis by today's economic sciences of the market as an important horizon of human culture and of human communities. <![CDATA[<b>Shaping the worship of the Reformed Church in Geneva</b>: <b>Calvin on prayer and praise</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100091&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The article aims to investigate the Calvin's Genevan Service Order. It focuses on the question how the Psalter Calvin shaped the worship of the Reformed Church in Geneva. The article follows the critical edition of the Genevan prayer in Calvini Opera Selecta and in the German Studienausgabe as the two main published editions of the Genevan order with its related texts. The article shows that Calvin adhered to the general line of the Swiss and Upper German Reformations. It explores the understanding of worship reflected in the Genevan Service Order and the specific significance of its musical aspect. The article illustrates why Calvin gave the psalms the place he did in Genevan Reformed worship. <![CDATA[<b>Reassessing Jacob Strauss and the Mosaic Code</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100092&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article reviewed claims made by modern scholars Ford Lewis Battles, G.H. Williams, and Theodore Tappert concerning the views of Jacob Strauss (1480-1530), court preacher at Eisenach, particularly in regard to the imposition of Mosaic Law upon the civil realm. Most pointedly, Battles claims Strauss proposed to replace European civil law completely with the 'entire Mosaic code'. This study examined Strauss's relevant writings to determine his position on Mosaic Law and civil law and demonstrated that the claims of Battles, Williams, and Tappert were not supported by the primary source evidence. Selections from Strauss' 51 theses on usury are translated into English for the first time. To a much lesser degree, this study addressed the issue in regard to the Weimar court preacher Wolfgang Stein, against whom the same claims were made. A paucity of evidence rendered those claims dubious in his case. In the end we were left only with unsubstantiated second-hand claims against these men. <![CDATA[<b>Review Article</b>: <b>Ancient Galilee and the realities of the Roman Empire</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100093&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This review article summarises and delivers comment on Religion, ethnicity and identity in Ancient Galilee: A region in transition, edited by Jürgen Zangenberg, Harold W. Attridge and Dale B. Martin and published by Mohr Siebeck in 2007. The majority of the articles in this volume testify of a 'Jewish' or rather Judean Galilee in the 1st century. It was a region that had cultural, economic, social, political and religious contact with surrounding areas and was thoroughly integrated into the realities of the Roman Empire. Whilst interregional contact and trade occurred freely, resistance and conflict occurred due to the proximity of 'the Other' that threatened the cultural and religio-political sensitivities of the Galileans. The Galileans also had strong attachments to aspects of their Judean identity, as evidenced by their enhanced musical culture, conservative epigraphic habit, participation in the revolt and the following of cultural practices also found in Judea. Based on this collection of articles, there are a few areas that need further investigation: how and when did the region fall under Hasmonean control and what was the exact nature of the local population at that time? At the time of Antipas, were Galilean peasants generally experiencing harsh economic conditions, or did his rule allow for economic participation to flourish? The exact context of Jesus' ministry, therefore, is still a matter to be decided and invites further investigation. <![CDATA[<b>Redaksioneel tot die P.M. Venter Huldigingsbundel</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100094&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This review article summarises and delivers comment on Religion, ethnicity and identity in Ancient Galilee: A region in transition, edited by Jürgen Zangenberg, Harold W. Attridge and Dale B. Martin and published by Mohr Siebeck in 2007. The majority of the articles in this volume testify of a 'Jewish' or rather Judean Galilee in the 1st century. It was a region that had cultural, economic, social, political and religious contact with surrounding areas and was thoroughly integrated into the realities of the Roman Empire. Whilst interregional contact and trade occurred freely, resistance and conflict occurred due to the proximity of 'the Other' that threatened the cultural and religio-political sensitivities of the Galileans. The Galileans also had strong attachments to aspects of their Judean identity, as evidenced by their enhanced musical culture, conservative epigraphic habit, participation in the revolt and the following of cultural practices also found in Judea. Based on this collection of articles, there are a few areas that need further investigation: how and when did the region fall under Hasmonean control and what was the exact nature of the local population at that time? At the time of Antipas, were Galilean peasants generally experiencing harsh economic conditions, or did his rule allow for economic participation to flourish? The exact context of Jesus' ministry, therefore, is still a matter to be decided and invites further investigation. <![CDATA[<b>Abraham (Abe) Johannes Malherbe (1930-2012) teoloog en mens / theologian and human</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100095&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This review article summarises and delivers comment on Religion, ethnicity and identity in Ancient Galilee: A region in transition, edited by Jürgen Zangenberg, Harold W. Attridge and Dale B. Martin and published by Mohr Siebeck in 2007. The majority of the articles in this volume testify of a 'Jewish' or rather Judean Galilee in the 1st century. It was a region that had cultural, economic, social, political and religious contact with surrounding areas and was thoroughly integrated into the realities of the Roman Empire. Whilst interregional contact and trade occurred freely, resistance and conflict occurred due to the proximity of 'the Other' that threatened the cultural and religio-political sensitivities of the Galileans. The Galileans also had strong attachments to aspects of their Judean identity, as evidenced by their enhanced musical culture, conservative epigraphic habit, participation in the revolt and the following of cultural practices also found in Judea. Based on this collection of articles, there are a few areas that need further investigation: how and when did the region fall under Hasmonean control and what was the exact nature of the local population at that time? At the time of Antipas, were Galilean peasants generally experiencing harsh economic conditions, or did his rule allow for economic participation to flourish? The exact context of Jesus' ministry, therefore, is still a matter to be decided and invites further investigation. http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222012000100096&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This review article summarises and delivers comment on Religion, ethnicity and identity in Ancient Galilee: A region in transition, edited by Jürgen Zangenberg, Harold W. Attridge and Dale B. Martin and published by Mohr Siebeck in 2007. The majority of the articles in this volume testify of a 'Jewish' or rather Judean Galilee in the 1st century. It was a region that had cultural, economic, social, political and religious contact with surrounding areas and was thoroughly integrated into the realities of the Roman Empire. Whilst interregional contact and trade occurred freely, resistance and conflict occurred due to the proximity of 'the Other' that threatened the cultural and religio-political sensitivities of the Galileans. The Galileans also had strong attachments to aspects of their Judean identity, as evidenced by their enhanced musical culture, conservative epigraphic habit, participation in the revolt and the following of cultural practices also found in Judea. Based on this collection of articles, there are a few areas that need further investigation: how and when did the region fall under Hasmonean control and what was the exact nature of the local population at that time? At the time of Antipas, were Galilean peasants generally experiencing harsh economic conditions, or did his rule allow for economic participation to flourish? The exact context of Jesus' ministry, therefore, is still a matter to be decided and invites further investigation.