Scielo RSS <![CDATA[HTS Theological Studies]]> vol. 69 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>The value and extent of religious participation of members of the South African Police Service (SAPS)</b>]]> The objective of this research was to determine the extent to which the employees of the South African Police Service participate in religion, and their opinion regarding the value it added to their lives. The range of religions and the various Christian denominations represented was determined. No sampling strategy was used, as all available employees were included in the study (N = 37 816). The survey instrument was administered by Employee Assistance Services professionals. The results of the study indicated that religion played an important role at individual, group, organisational and community level. The majority of the participants in the study (79.4%) were Christian, 15.9% followed by African spirituality, 0.9% were Hindu, and 0.4% were Muslim. An analysis was conducted of the distribution of the religions represented within the nine provinces of South Africa (and Head Office as a collective), and across the four race groups. The Christian denominations best represented in the study were the Dutch Reformed (12.7%), Methodist (6.0%), Roman Catholic (5.8%) and Anglican (5.0%). <![CDATA[<b>Irrevocably singular</b>: <b>Baptism as a symbol of unity in the church</b>]]> In this article I conduct a phenomenological analysis of the concept 'one baptism' in Ephesians 4:4-6. Such an analysis seeks to reveal the essence of a particular concept by bracketing out the theological and ideological presuppositions usually associated with it. The essential concept is then expanded by linking it to the terms most closely surrounding it in the text. A critical theological reflection on the expanded concept shows that 'one baptism' refers to an event by which believers are inducted, once and for all, into the church as the one body of the one Lord, Jesus Christ. The church exists through the presence of the one Spirit who binds believers in an unbreakable bond of love to God and to each other. Because baptism can never be undone or repeated, any liturgical act depicted as a 're-baptism' is, by definition, impossible. This means that churches that baptise the children of believing parents are able to accommodate requests from people who, having been baptised as an infant, in later life wish to celebrate and testify to some significant milestone in their spiritual journey by means of an official church ritual. Such ritualised testimonies, however, refer to the existential lifeworld of believers (their repentance, confession of faith etc.) and are distinct from baptism that refers to the singular eschatological work of Christ and thus cannot be repeated. The church should, however, take pastoral care to ensure that people do not substitute their own spiritual experiences for the reality of salvation that is founded on the singular act of God, for us once and for all in Christ, to which baptism irrevocably refers. <![CDATA[<b>The relation between creation and salvation in the Trinitarian theology of Robert Jenson</b>]]> This article explored the relation between creation and salvation as acts of God in the theology of Robert Jenson, an American Lutheran theologian. This is important due to Jenson's growing importance as theologian and because of the current importance of ecotheology (and related themes that were implicated by the relation between creation and salvation). Jenson's theology is an effort to tell God's particular story and it can be described as a Trinitarian, narrative and eschatological theology. His starting point is that God's eternity must not be understood as timeless (this is unbiblical and incompatible with the story of creation and redemption) and that creation (space and time) takes place somehow within the being of God. Jenson qualified this 'withinness', but also emphasised that creation is an intelligible whole, a history with an intended end. It is important for him that God's story - a story of dramatic coherence - is not separated from our own and creation's story. Within this understanding of God's story (as dramatic coherence), creation found its own dramatic teleology because salvation also includes creation. Creation is therefore not subjected to pointlessness any longer, but will find its final place within God. The implication of this is that we must value creation much more and act with more responsibility towards it. According to Jenson we must enjoy creation in an aesthetic fashion and delight in creation as a whole because of its dramatic teleology. <![CDATA[<b>The making and prevention of rain amongst the Pedi tribe of South Africa</b>: <b>A pastoral response</b>]]> This article attempted to respond pastorally to the rainmaking and rain prevention rituals which are practised among the Pedi tribes - also called the Northern-Sotho speaking nation of South Africa. The rituals of rainmaking and rain prevention have been practised among the Pedi for a long time - these rituals are in fact still being practised in some of the villages in and around the Limpopo Province. The rituals are practised in time of drought and also during activities such as weddings or traditional gatherings, this is normally called molato. When the village is experiencing drought, community members, upon instruction from the chief of the village, stage a rain ritual and the moroka [rain making traditional doctor] would take the lead in performing such rituals. Families would also perform rain prevention rituals when a gathering or a wedding is being organised to ensure that the rain does not disturb the gathering and everything goes as planned. Thus the purpose of rainfall rituals is to influence the weather conditions in order to cause rain or drought either for good or for destruction. The mentioned rituals and selected scriptural passages were discussed. This article presented the biblical view of rain and conclusion principles were formulated to understand the Bible's perspective on the mentioned rituals. These conclusions were used for the formulation of practical guidelines. <![CDATA[<b>Knowing, believing, living in Africa</b>: <b>A practical theology perspective of the past, present and future</b>]]> The new democratic era in South Africa brought Western cultural influences forcefully into public and private living domains. This dichotomy deformed African cultures in many ways (Bujo & Muya). Local communities were previously 'public people' living and worshipping in transformative hermeneutical communities. This scenario has changed and local communities are steadily being driven into private spaces. The task of practical theology is to question what the undergirding epistemology and beliefs for this shift are and to reinterpret it in the light of the gospel. The impact of Western culture on African traditional villages is telling in so far as traditional African values and practices are being lost at the expense of Western ideology, technology, media, et cetera (Bujo & Muya). We argue that the former dominant monodisciplinary approach of practical theology contributed to a growing private individualist worldview. Practical theology has since developed into an interdisciplinary approach. This newfound reciprocity in the social sciences led to constructive change in church and society (Dingemans). Practical theology in Africa has to deal with an individualised, pluralistic world and tendencies of discontinuity, uncertainty, violence and destruction. In South Africa, practical theology is called upon to redress the dichotomies and defaults of Western and African cultures, respectively. <![CDATA[<b>A meaningful workplace</b>: <b>Framework, space and context</b>]]> An attempt was made to describe and to eventually implement work space that can be defined as psychologically meaningful and which has increased during the past 5-10 years. Indications are that various researchers on different continents have embarked on a journey to describe the meaningful workplace. Such a workplace is more than a geographical location, it is psychological space; space where the individual employee performs tasks that construe his or her work role, in collaboration with other individuals, within a framework of predetermined time frames, according to certain procedures, based on identified needs and within a formal workflow structure that is normally referred to as the organisation. Within this framework employees become alienated as a result of which the organisation as well as the individual suffer. The organisation experiences a loss of productivity, quality, innovation, et cetera, and the employee a loss of meaning in life and work. Yet, the workplace remains the space where meaning can be gained. It is both the framework and context for meaningfulness at work. Within this framework certain factors and constitutive elements play a facilitating role in experiencing meaningfulness. Various factors including values, and imbedded therein, the Protestant Ethic (PE), (and various other factors, such as for instance spirituality, culture, leadership and management style, etc.), play an important role as facilitating factors towards the experience of meaningfulness at work. Developing a framework and context, on a conceptual level for the positioning of these factors as contributories towards the meaningful workplace, is a first priority. This is what this article is about: to conceptualise the workplace as psychological space, framework and context for understanding the contributory role of PE (and other factors) towards the experience of meaningfulness at work. The positioning of values and the PE as Max Weber understood the concept will be presented in a follow-on article. <![CDATA[<b>Blended learning</b>: <b>Innovation in the teaching of Practical Theology to undergraduate students</b>]]> Blended learning is becoming increasingly prevalent in the academic environment. This approach to learning was developed for various reasons, including the problem of information overloading and the need for integration of theory and praxis. Recent research indicates that changes in the brain necessary for success in the learning process are related to numerous factors like practical exercises, emotions and background factors while learning. The purpose of this research was to evaluate through empirical research the innovative use of blended learning by first-year students in practical theology. The results of two empirical surveys indicate a positive experience of a variety of forms of learning by the students. The results are interpreted with the aid of theoretical insights from the fields of pedagogy and practical theology. Four pedagogical strategies are discussed, all of which individually contribute to the learning process. This includes pedagogies of contextualisation, interpretation, formation and performance. In conclusion, a number of recommendations are made about the use of blended learning in practical-theological teaching. It is done by making use of a case study within a theodramatic approach to practical theology. The use of the film Son of Man is examined as example in the light of the envisaged outcomes for practical-theological teaching. <![CDATA[<b>Negotiating creation in imperial times (Rm 8:18-30)</b>]]> Appreciation for the literary qualities and structural function of Romans 8:18-30 abounds. Recently, some attention has also been given to ostensible anti-imperial sentiments in the letter that Paul directed to a Jesus-follower community in the heart of the Roman Empire. Tensions and ambiguities inherent in this passage become more pointed when it is read with attention to the interplay between creation, conflict and empire. The focus of this contribution is on how creation is portrayed and negotiated in Romans 8:18-30, given its underlying Jewish setting which ought to be filled out by the imperial-infused environment. Acknowledging an anti-imperial thrust in Romans 8:18-30 but reading from a postcolonial perspective offers the advantage of accounting specifically for ambivalence typical of conflict situations characterised by unequal power relations, all of which are appropriate and vital for the interpretation of this passage. <![CDATA[<b>Thematic irony in the story of Susanna</b>]]> It is commonly held that irony features significantly in Susanna. This seemingly plausible hypothesis, however, has not yet been supported by compelling evidence resulting from a systematic analysis of Susanna. This study attempts to fill this gap by investigating the main ironic expressions, words and incidents featuring in Susanna. The approach followed consists of uncovering expressions of irony embedded in the story by paying attention to ironic use of metaphor, ironic use of wordplay, ironic use of rhetorical questions, ironic understatements (e.g. litotes), ironic exaggeration (e.g. hyperbole), ironic use of social conventions and traditions and ironic attribution. It is the contention of this study that Susanna is a thematically ironic story. The use of reversed social conventions is the most powerful and the most abundant expression of irony in the story. This dominant derisive technique is possibly aimed at addressing the irrelevance as well as the abuse of Jewish social conventions in the Second Temple period. <![CDATA[<b>Why Old Testament prophecy is <i>philosophically</i> interesting</b>]]> Comparative philosophical perspectives on Old Testament predictive prophecy are rare. Yet whilst the Old Testament is not explicit in its views on the relation between God and time, its narratives do contain implicit metaphysical assumptions regarding the nature of divine foreknowledge. In this article the author listed a standard variety of possible perspectives on how one might construe the way in which YHWH as depicted in Genesis 15:12-16 was thought of with regard to his knowledge of the future, if any. Not opting for any particular view on the matter, especially given that most are anachronistic, the implications and problems of each are noted to show why Old Testament prophecy can also be philosophically interesting. <![CDATA[<b>An African hermeneutic reading of Luke 9</b>: <b>18-22 in relation to conflict and leadership in pastoral ministry: The Cameroonian context</b>]]> The practice of ministry is an intricate issue which involves the combination of individual efforts from diverse backgrounds. This diversity has been a breeding ground for conflict between the clergy and all the stakeholders involved in parish administration. This article attempted to highlight some of these conflicts, using the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon as a case study. The approach employed is an African hermeneutic reading of Luke 9:18-22 in which the clergy's leadership has been likened to that of Jesus. The presence of many distracting agents did not perturb Jesus' ministry instead, he remained focused. Conclusively, it is observed that the clergy often face conflict within the ministry because they ignore the fact that (1) they are expected to know their mission better than anyone else; (2) the diverse backgrounds of their followers are potential causes of conflict; and (3) there are several distracting agents within the ministry. In short, Jesus' model of conflict management is recommended to the clergy for an effective pastoral ministry. <![CDATA[<b>The motivation and limits of compassion</b>]]> What motivates people to serve others? Why do we help those in need, the poor, the sick, the lonely, orphans and widows? Is compassion for humans a natural instinct or is it a learnt response? In the biblical tradition, it is a clear imperative to show one's faith in God in one's behaviour by reaching out to others. Luke 10:25-37 seems to be a key passage in the Bible that teaches and exhorts Christians to be compassionate. Psychology teaches us that compassion is a natural instinct in humans although choice is involved too, and it turns out that religion plays a role in reinforcing compassion. This article is an attempt to understand the motivation and limits of compassion as reinforced by the Christian religion by (1) interpreting Luke 10:25-37 in the New Testament and by (2) using modern psychological insights. It often happens that people reach out to others for self-interested reasons, as serving others psychologically gives them a sense of meaning and fulfilment as well as a positive public image. Compassion, however, is also motivated by a love for God and a love and concern for people in general. As caring for others also affects one emotionally and might cause burnout, it is important to set some limits and boundaries on compassion. As God's love for us leads us to reach out to others, we need to be sure about how and when we should fulfil people's needs, help them to cope with their own needs, help them to understand the reason for their needs, guide them to fulfilling their own needs or help them to find a place where help is available. <![CDATA[<b>Can symbols be 'promoted' or 'demoted'? Symbols as religious phenomena</b>]]> Religious symbols are part of our world, relating to another world. In order to understand the process by which symbols grow and develop, the particular context of a symbol is important. In this article a particular theory as to what symbols are, is presented. Religion presupposes the existence of two worlds: this-worldly (profane) and the other-worldly (sacred). The means of communication and reference between these two worlds are symbols. Two examples are investigated so as to indicate how symbols can over time either be demoted or promoted. In the case of the Asherah and asherah as related in the Old Testament a demotion of a symbol is illustrated. The growth of ancient Egyptian religion is an example of a possible promotion of symbols. The conditions under which these processes can occur are investigated. <![CDATA[<b>'To refer, not to characterise'</b>: <b>A synchronic look at the Son-of-Man logia in the Sayings Gospel Q</b>]]> The article intends to address the Son-of-Man problem by applying Delbert Burkett's 'question of reference' to those Son-of-Man logia that appear in the Sayings Gospel Q. A position is taken that recent philological approaches to the Son-of-Man problem have not been overly convincing, successful or helpful. Similarly, attempting to determine the authenticity of individual Son-of-Man sayings has not led to any form of scholarly consensus. In place of these approaches, a synchronic approach is defended and applied to the Son-of-Man sayings in Q, with interesting results. <![CDATA[<b>The origin, development and a brief appraisal of the doctrine of the baptism in the Holy Spirit in Christ Apostolic Church, Nigeria</b>]]> This article traces the development of the Christ Apostolic Church's (CAC) doctrine of the baptism in the Holy Spirit, its current official stance and the church ministers' interpretations of the doctrine. To gather data for this work, focus-group discussions were held with groups of CAC ministers in 1992 and 2012. Data gathered were analysed. Selected leaders of CAC were interviewed, and the data from the two sources were compared, interpreted and discussed in terms of related literature. A theological appraisal concluded the work. The findings are that, whilst CAC tenets appear to conform to the Classical Pentecostal model, the opinions of the church's ministers are divided along Pentecostal and Evangelical lines. The official view of the CAC is that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is distinct from the initial work of salvation and that the visible signs of receiving this baptism are multiple, but there are significant disagreements amongst the church ministers to this. The appraisal reveals that the tenet of the church needs to be reworked to conform to the teaching of the Scripture. <![CDATA[<b>Righteousness and identity formation in the Sermon on the Mount</b>]]> Righteousness is an important term in the first gospel and has a significant concentration in the Sermon on the Mount. The argument in this article is that the first gospel has a community building function. Matthew intentionally uses the word 'righteousness' in the Sermon on the Mount as an instrument to define the identity of his community. Though righteousness can be used in a soteriological sense, it is argued that Matthew mainly uses it in an ethical sense. By righteousness Matthew refers to the proper behavioural norms and attitudes for his community. Commitment to Jesus forms the central focus of the community's identity. Their discipleship is demonstrated by doing the will of God as defined and interpreted by Jesus. Doing the will of God in such a manner is what Matthew regards as the distinguishing mark of this community. Thus they would surpass the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. <![CDATA[<b>The realities people live by</b>: <b>A critical reflection on the value of Wolfgang Iser's concept of repertoire for reading the story of Susanna in the Septuagint</b>]]> The article investigates the value of Wolfgang Iser's concept of repertoire for reading the apocryphal story of Susanna. The viewpoint is that fictional literature such as the Susanna narrative and reality are not opposites of each other, but that fictional texts tell us something about reality. The investigation will also include Peter L. Berger's theory on how religion contributes to construct social reality. The study will show that religious texts construct the reality(ies) in which people interact and try to make sense of everyday existence. Two stories contemporary to the writer of the article are employed to show that in a certain sense male perceptions about women have not changed much over two millennia. The critical engagement with the narrative will also ask how Susanna's story can be interpreted in a responsible and ethical way that is conducive for the constructive development and transformation of individuals and communities. <![CDATA[<b>A hymn must be sung to be heard ...: Aspects that could influence the reception of hymns and psalms</b>]]> The most recent official hymnal in Afrikaans, Liedboek van die Kerk, was taken into use in 2001. Some hymns and psalms were immediately sung with enthusiasm whereas others remained unused, which is true especially for many of the metrical psalms. The most prominent reason for not singing some hymns or psalms is that they are unknown - text as well as tune. It is, however, often assumed that the reason why hymns and psalms are unknown is primarily because their tunes would be too difficult to sing. The role of the text and other aspects are not taken into account sufficiently. In this article, these one-sided views regarding the tunes are challenged, and it is argued that there could be many other reasons why hymns and psalms are not used. <![CDATA[<b>The Reformed tradition as public theology</b>]]> This article is a South African perspective of a Black African reflection on the publicity of Reformed faith. Whilst the notion of public theology is fairly new, the article argues, it is important to define the 'public' of the type of public theology to which Reformed faith and tradition could be linked. As a confessional tradition, Reformed faith is intrinsically public, the article demonstrates. The publicity of this tradition is however ambivalent and tainted. I attempt to show this by discussing two important tenets of the Reformed Tradition: sola scriptura and sola fide, within the festering wounds of Black African colonialism, apartheid and the hegemony of the neoliberal paradigm in the 21st century. <![CDATA[<b>Irenaeus's knowledge of the Gospel of Judas</b>: <b>Real or false? An analysis of the evidence in context</b>]]> This study discusses Irenaeus of Lyon's testimony of the famous Gospel of Judas, offering both a historical and, in particular, linguistic analysis and retranslation of Against Heresies 1.31.1. On the basis of a detailed philological commentary and textual analysis it is - contrary to most current opinions - concluded that Irenaeus, in all feasibility, had first-hand knowledge of the Gospel and its contents. In other words, Irenaeus appears to have read the text as we now have it ('a composed work') and he summarises it in his treatise. According to Irenaeus's testimony, the Gospel was produced by a group of 2nd century Gnostics who positively venerated Judas as a fellow Gnostic in the same way that they positively venerated Cain. It was because of his particular knowledge of the redeeming act of Sophia as well as the negative characteristics of the creator God in contrast to the superior God that Judas accomplished the 'mystery of his (= Jesus') betrayal', so that 'through him (= Judas) all things, both earthly and heavenly, have been dissolved.' <![CDATA[<b>A scientific defence of religion and the religious accommodation of science?</b> <b>Contextual challenges and paradoxes</b>]]> Few human phenomena in our time are as controversial or confusing as religion. People seem to live in two worlds: a mythical and a scientific one. They talk about either of these worlds in isolation but cannot reconcile the underlying presuppositions. Believers are less naïve than the 'new atheists' suppose, and atheists do not come without their quota of superstition and belief. Midway between the two opposites is a burgeoning, secular new spirituality that has assumed many forms in recent years. The groups are often marked by some form of naturalism, which try to accommodate science. The premise in this article is that religion, being a product of normal evolutionary processes, is 'natural'. This implies that cultural evolution is ongoing and supports the thesis that religion (in this case Western Christianity) is making a major transition. As for science, I briefly utline the role of metaphysics. That is because science often has to invoke metaphysical constructs to make sense of the bigger picture. Following Aristotle, the metaphysical dimension of science is a blank page which every era fills with its own interpretation. In that sense, it is 'more than' just empiricism, verifiability, and it is accompanied by some metaphysical baggage. At this metaphysical level, the traditional dominance of causality makes way for emergence. <![CDATA[<b>When patrons are patrons</b>: <b>A social-scientific and realistic reading of the parable of the Feast (Lk 14:16b-23)</b>]]> This article presents a social-scientific and realistic interpretation of the parable of the Feast. The characteristics of a pre-industrial city are used to determine the realism of the parable. The social-scientific interpretation of the parable considers meals as ceremonies. The cultural values embedded in meals, namely honour and shame, patronage, reciprocity and purity, receive attention. The social dynamics of invitations in the 1st-century Mediterranean world is used as a lens to understand the invitations as an honour challenge, and the social game of gossip is used to obtain an understanding of the excuses in the parable. The conclusion reached is that the parable turns the world in which it is told upside down. As such, the parable has something to say about the injustices that are a part of the society we live in. <![CDATA[<b>'No small counsel about self-control'</b>: <b><i>Enkrateia</i></b><b> and the virtuous body as missional performance in 2 Clement</b>]]> The question this article addresses is how the encratic, virtuous body in 2 Clement 'speaks itself' as a missional performance. It is in essence concerned with the discourses of corporeal virtuosity in 2 Clement. Firstly, the agon motif (2 Clem 7:1-6; 20:1-4) is discussed since it forms the basis metaphor for the understanding of ancient virtue-formation. Secondly, 2 Clement's encratic technologies of soul and flesh as an extension and overamplification, respectively, of the body are examined (2 Clem 9:1-11). In the third instance, the proliferation of visible technologies of the body in 2 Clement are brought into perspective with special emphasis on these technologies as strategies of andromorphism, a crucial element in the understanding of virtue in antiquity (2 Clem 12:1-6). Fourthly, 2 Clement also links concepts of holiness and the pneumatic dimension of spirituality in its argumentation (2 Clem 14:1-5). This needs to be understood in the light of corporeal virtuosity. Finally, the concepts of suffering (2 Clem 19:3-4), martyrdom (2 Clem 5:1-7) and the apocalyptic anti-spectacle (2 Clem 17:1-7) are central in 2 Clement's formulations of the missional performance and are therefore clarified. The intersection of these discourses is where the virtuous body in 2 Clement speaks itself as a missional performance. The study concludes by looking at the implications of the findings for understanding early Christian missionality. <![CDATA[<b>Walking wisely</b>: <b>Sapiential influence in Psalm 26</b>]]> Psalm 26 is interpreted by the majority of scholars as a cultic psalm. This has limited research on Psalm 26. There are clear traces of sapiential influence in Psalm 26 concerning its intricately well-thought concentric structure as well as various wisdom connections. This study will however focus on the structure as well as on the core wisdom theme of walking the way of Yahweh. This opens up interpretation possibilities for Psalm 26 and it also indicates that Psalm 26 is a literary creation belonging to the Persian Period. <![CDATA[<b>A Protestant perspective on Vatican II & 50 years</b>: <b>An engagement with dissent</b>]]> The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) is regarded by many in Protestant circles as one of the most significant processes in ecumenical church history during the 20th century. At the time hopes were high that closer cooperation was a reality to be embraced and achieved. Concurrently, a younger generation of Roman Catholic theologians began to make their mark on the ecumenical theological scene. Their work has provided a bridge between the two ecclesiastical traditions, notwithstanding the subsequent negative response of the Roman church hierarchy. Despite important advances, recent pontificates have destroyed much of the enthusiasm and commitment to unity. This article examines the disjuncture in views regarding the outcomes of the Council and points of contact with Protestant thinking. <![CDATA[<b>Jots and tittles have meaning: the critical exegetical and theological contribution of Andries Breytenbach as Bible translator</b>]]> The article is a reworked version of a paper presented at a commemoration ceremony in honour of the retired Reformed exegetes of the Department of Old Testament Studies of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria who have contributed immensely to translation projects of the South African Bible Society. In this article, the author focuses on the theological and exegetical relevance of Professor A.P.B. Breytenbach. The article shows Breytenbach's critical presuppositions in hermeneutics, especially his contribution towards the understanding of diversity in the message of the Old Testament and the 'second naiveté' which constitutes a critical lens through which the Old Testament should be interpreted by the Christian faith community. <![CDATA[<b>Beacons, thresholds and webs</b>: <b>Theology as creative endeavour</b>]]> This article argues from the premise that theology is a creative undertaking. Nothing can be thought about God other than by thinking about people's experience and understanding of God. Theology therefore speaks objectively about God from the subjective experience of God and from testimonies about that experience. Such reflections and testimonies are expressed in language. However, the inherent constraints of vocabulary and formulation render any linguistic expression of such spiritual encounters incomplete. Theology is always seeking for new possibilities of expression in order to overcome the constraints. It stands to reason that the figurative mode of expression will be preferred to the concrete or factual register of language because figurative language is more suited to articulate the elusive spiritual experience of meeting God through faith. Signposts, thresholds and webs are employed here as metaphors to emphasise the creative aspect of theology within the context of a changing world. They represent the three phases in the so-called rites of passage described by anthropologist Arnold van Gennep and refined by Victor Turner into an abstract model employed in the understanding of all similar experiences of ritual transference. Here the model is applied to the church and its theology. <![CDATA[<b>Augustine's baptism</b>: <b>Its significance once and today</b>]]> The article describes in broad outline Augustine's baptism in Milan (386) and stresses its significance for Augustine's transition from Manichaean Christianity to Nicene Catholic Christianity. <![CDATA[<b>'Not to depart from Christ'</b>: <b>Augustine between 'Manichaean' and 'Catholic' Christianity</b>]]> The North African Manichaean community provided the setting in which Augustine reaffirmed a commitment to Christ and to 'Christianity' that he had largely abandoned in the years of his secular education, and it cultivated in him a positive relationship to 'religion' in addition to his personal fondness for 'philosophy'. In both ways, his time with the Manichaeans formed an essential background to his later commitment to the 'Catholic' Christian community, and he continued to wrestle with that debt through his endeavours to convince Manichaeans that the Catholic Church could successfully address their earnest 'Christian' spiritual aspirations in a way Manichaean doctrine and practice never could. <![CDATA[<b>Augustine's view of Manichaean almsgiving and almsgiving by the Manichaean community at Kellis</b>]]> Taking its point of departure from Augustine's criticism of Manichaean practices with food and drink that appear to disregard the New Testament injunction to give to the poor, or to those who are hungry and thirsty, this article investigates the probability that this was indeed Manichaean practice, by interrogating Manichaean texts and clues about Manichaean practice contained in the personal letters from 4th century CE Roman Kellis in Egypt. A further consideration of types of exclusive communities and their behaviour, or exclusive behaviour at various times from groups that are generally characterised as inclusive, leads to the proposal that Manichaean exclusivity was based firmly on an underlying theology and narrative myth of cosmic salvation that fixed an unalterable Manichaean community practice, carried out in a wide range of geographical locations and historical times. <![CDATA[<b>Night and days in Cassiciacum</b>: <b>The anti-Manichaean theodicy of Augustine's <i>De ordine</i></b>]]> In his early dialogue 'On order' (De ordine) Augustine dramatises a discussion of theodicy in which the Manichaean solution is clearly rejected, even though the debate ends in aporia. It is argued in this paper that the dialogue's dramatic setting at the villa in Cassiciacum is strongly reminiscent of Manichaean imagery and the stock motifs of the Manichaean mythological system. It is proposed in the dialogue itself, that the scenic elements (Augustine's ill health, night and darkness, the dawning day, dirt and ugliness, fighting cocks) have the character of signs which illustrate the significance of the not-beautiful and the negative in the divine order. The dialogue setting thus presents an ontological scale that leads from the levels of reduced being up to the highest being, linking night or darkness to light or day, dirt to purity, sickness to health, defeat to victory, the ugly to the beautiful. The dialogue setting becomes a semiotic system in which even the ontologically deficient forms of phenomenon always also refer to something at the highest level, namely the omnipotent divine creator. The scenic design of De ordine can thus be read as an extension of the Manichaean system of codes, and hence as a message also addressed to a Manichaean readership. <![CDATA[<b>Mani, Augustine and the vision of God</b>]]> The recovery of the text of the Manichaean daily prayers provides an opportunity to consider how their recitation and practice may have influenced the young Augustine. It is argued that the prayers focused the mental and indeed physical gaze of the believer on the manifestation of God in this present reality, and through that upon the transcendent eternal world of future hope. If one accepts that Augustine as a Manichaean catechumen would have partaken in this most basic of the community's religious duties then one must consider what effect this could have had on the development of his own striking and influential teachings about the vision of God. The article discusses evident allusions to this Manichaean practice in Augustine's writings, and suggests that its influence continued through his later life despite his disavowal of his former faith. In particular, attention is drawn to similarities between the Manichaean 'new aeon' and the 'heaven of heaven' in Augustine's writings, where the pure of heart can look forward to unmediated contemplation of God. <![CDATA[<b>The few and the many</b>: <b>A motif of Augustine's controversy with the Manichaeans</b>]]> It is one fundamental conviction of ancient philosophy that, in contrast to the vast majority, only few are able to gain knowledge of truth. This axiom, which also underlies Cicero's Hortensias, is adapted by the young Augustine. When looking for a concept of truth that combines the ideal of a philosophical existence with Christianity, he decides to join the Manichaeans. As opposed to the 'mainline church' of the catholica in which 'the many' are gathered, the Manichaeans appear to him as a small, elitist Christian community meeting higher intellectual as well as ethical demands. This claim seems to be particularly and impressively confirmed by the 'pauci electi. Their approach has apparently strengthened Augustine's belief that true, higher Christianity is to be found amongst the Manichaeans. When he later devotes himself to the catholica and leads the fight against the Manichaeans, Augustine adheres to the conviction of the 'few wise'. Also within the catholica only few attain maximum insight and lead an appropriate life. At the same time, however, Augustine increasingly considers 'the many' as positive. These two aspects are combined in his epistemological concept of ' auctoritas': by means of their auctoritas, the few 'wise' within the Catholic Church are supposed to guide the many towards truth on their journey of faith and cause them to improve their moral conduct. Its big success is a major argument for the catholica, whilst the 'paucitas' of the Manichaeans (and all heretics) can be considered evidence of the groundlessness and absurdity of their doctrine. <![CDATA[<b><i>Cui narro haec?</i></b> <b>Augustine and his Manichaean audience</b>: <b>A re-reading of the first three books of the <i>Confessions</i></b>]]> The issue of intended audience in the first three books of Augustine's Confessions is investigated in light of the presence of terms and phrases that may have had special connotations for potential Manichaean readers. This is done against the background of definitions of protreptic and paraenetic, which typically revolve around audience location and communicative purpose. Although it has become commonplace to refer to the Confessions as a protreptic the work displays a number of characteristics more in line with current mainstream definitions of paraenetic, amongst other things, by assuming the stance of addressing insiders in agreement with the author's world view. It is argued that the type of reader most receptive to the insider stance and allusion to the Old Testament on the one hand and to the Manichaean material on the other, would be a Manichaean apostate recently converted to Catholic Christianity. <![CDATA[<b>Manichaean exonyms and autonyms (including Augustine's writings)</b>]]> Did the Western Manichaeans call themselves 'Manichaean' and 'Christian'? A survey of the evidence, primarily Latin and Coptic, seems to show that the noun and adjective uses of 'Manichaean' were very rarely used and only in communication with non-Manichaeans. The use of 'Christian' is central in the Latin texts, which, however, is not written for internal use, but with a view to outsiders. The Coptic texts, on the other hand, are written for an internal audience; the word 'Christian' is only found twice and in fragmentary contexts, but it is suggested that some texts advocate a Christian self-understanding (Mani's Epistles, the Psalm-Book) whilst others (the Kephalaia) are striving to establish an independent identity. Hence, the Christian self-understanding may reflect both the earliest Manichaeism and its later Western form whilst the attempt to be independent may be a secondary development. <![CDATA[<b>Biblical quotations in Faustus's <i>Capitula</i></b>]]> Scholars are still of the opinion that Augustine first started to read and discuss the Bible only once he became a Catholic Christian, or even only after his appointment as a Catholic priest. The possibility of Manichaean influences on Augustine's reproduction of biblical texts is therefore, in many cases, not taken into account. However, the study of (Latin) Manichaean sources gives us reason to rethink that position. This article is an investigation of the use of Scripture in the most extensive, still existing Manichaean work, originally written in Latin, namely the Capitula. Its author was the Manichaean bishop Faustus (flor. app. 380 CE Roman Africa). The most important subject in the Capitula concerns those parts of Scripture that bear relevance to the real Christian. Therefore, the work provides important insight into the Manichaeans' use and appreciation of Scripture. Faustus was well-known to the young Augustine and as a consequence the Capitula could well give us important insights into Augustine's knowledge of and opinions on Scripture as a Manichaean hearer. One problem with this theory is the fact that Augustine only received the work some 13 years after his conversion to Catholic Christianity. However, the examination of the quotations from Scripture, that have as its focus those from the Old Testament, illustrates, amongst others, that Faustus mainly used Biblical texts already quoted in the works of Addas/Adimantus (flor. 270 CE). The Capitula turns out to be an eloquent recycling of earlier Manichaean biblical arguments - a fact that makes it very likely that the content of the Capitula was known to Augustine in his Manichaean years. As a consequence, one should reckon with Manichaean influence on Augustine's reproduction of biblical texts. <![CDATA[<b>The State of Research on the Manichaean Bishop Faustus</b>]]> According to Augustine's own Confessiones, the Manichaean bishop Faustus of Milevis played a significant role in his apostasy from Manichaeism. Somehow Augustine became disappointed with the intellectual explanations Faustus provided for some of Manichaeism's fabulous doctrines and thereby with Manichaeism as a religion. That same Faustus published a work, the Capitula in which he discussed some exegetical controversies. This work has been preserved, because Augustine cited it in its entirety in his Contra Faustum Manichaeum. In the last hundred years Faustus and his work have received some significant scholarly attention. During that period our view of Manichaeism and subsequently on the Manichaean bishop, has changed. At the beginning Faustus's exegesis was considered merely a form of Manichaean propaganda. Its Christian elements were accepted as a tactic tool in order to covert Catholic Christians to Manichaeism, which was not considered a Christian religion at all. In the course of the 20th century primary Manichaean sources have been discovered. They have enhanced our understanding of the ancient religion immensely. Comparing these texts with Faustus's Capitula reveals that the Manichaean bishop not only defended well-known Manichaean dogmas through his exegesis of scripture, he seems to have contributed to Manichaean exegesis and even Manichaean prophetology. Furthermore, Faustus's Christian, Pauline language can no longer be accepted as a mere tactic adaption to Catholic preferences, but seems to have been his own, genuine language. This article provides an overview of both the research and the debates on bishop Faustus and his works. <![CDATA[<b>God, memory and beauty</b>: <b>A Manichaean analysis of Augustine's <i>Confessions,</i> Book X</b>]]> The article first sketches some main trends in the recent study of Augustine's Confessions as a work aimed at Manichaean readers. It then detects and analyses the Manichaean-inspired parts in Book X of the Confessions. Augustine's famous theory of memory seems to be directly inspired by Manichaean concepts such as found in the Coptic Manichaean Kephalaia. The article end with a number of conclusions. <![CDATA[<b>Augustine's ecclesiology and its development between 354 and 387 AD</b>]]> The aim of this article is twofold. The first is to describe Augustine's ecclesiology and its development between his birth (354) and baptism (387). Secondly, it will show that the defining features of Augustine's later ecclesiology were in place by the year 387 AD. <![CDATA[<b>Early Christian spirituality according to the First Epistle of John</b>: <b>The identification of different 'lived experiences'</b>]]> The interest in this article is early Christian spirituality. The word 'spirituality' is used here denoting 'a lived experience'. Therefore, the article focuses on religious experience in an early Christian community as explicated in the first chapter of the First Epistle of John. Three different lived experiences are denoted here, culminating in the last one: 'having fellowship with the divine'. The first two experiences (experience through physical senses, experience through spiritual senses) pave the way to establish fellowship with the divine. For the author of 1 John, the purpose (ίνα) of these lived experiences is to have (ίνα) complete joy, another form of experience. These three lived experiences express three different configurations of spirituality. <![CDATA[<b>The hidden potential of pre-theoretical transversal events or advents of a Rainbow Nation</b>]]> This article proposes that South Africa, as multi-lingual country, has unique potential and that this potential is not to be found in some or other essence of what it means to be African, but in the daily struggles, frustrations and possibilities of life in a fragmented and divided multilingual society. In this fragmented and 'impossible' society there are moments (maybe rare moments) of true understanding, communication, reconciliation and forgiveness and these moments I call 'Advents of a Rainbow Nation'. Although these Advents can be understood (made reasonable) via the transversal reasoning of Welsch and Schrag, this article would like to propose an alternative: to wonder-off in a different non-direction namely into the u-topic and u-chronic clearing of non-philosophy. Reason cannot receive the Advent as gift (given without givenness) and thus transforms the Advent into a philosophical event of thought. In the process of seeking to understand these Advents as events, the Advents are transformed by a Decision or cut of transversal reasoning, and so the Advents themselves are lost. Therefore, what is sought in this article is not an understanding (reason) of this Advent, but rather a wandering in and a wondering at the grace and faith of this Advent. This grace and faith is the greatest epistemological asset South Africa, as multi-lingual country, can offer a plural global world as it opens a space for non-philosophical thinking: thus thinking science, religion, art, literature together in a vision-in-One with theology safe-guarding this vision-in-One unifacially facing the future. The question is, can South Africans embrace the multiplicity of the Advent of the Rainbow Nation? Can the Church with her Christ narrative sojourn with South Africa towards a rainbow nation and thereby facilitate a noological space for multiple connective intellection, or is she an obstacle towards developing this potential? <![CDATA[<b>Protestant ethic</b>: <b>Contributing towards a meaningful workplace</b>]]> Little did Max Weber know that his essay 'Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism', written in 1905 (which was republished in 1920), would survive the times and still be a source for discussion and interpretation during the 21st century. Today as in previous times, work and the workplace poses its challenges. The common thread through history seems to be attempts to enhance the workplace, to better it, to convert it into a place where people could work with a free spirit. Yet, in spite of all the attempts, one failure after the other has been recorded. In a research program that endeavoured to construe the meaningful workplace, Protestant ethic was identified as one possible contributory towards such an ideal. This article explores the contribution of Protestant ethic as a contributory and sets it within the framework of universal individual values pertaining to work and work-specific values. The article also indicates that the Protestant ethic can indeed contribute towards a meaningful experience whilst performing work-related tasks in workspace. The Protestant work ethic is more than a cultural norm that places a positive moral value on doing a good job. Based on a belief that work has intrinsic value for its own sake, it represents a value system that contributes to the experience of meaningfulness whilst performing work. <![CDATA[<b>The contrasting structure of Acts 12:5-17: A spatial reading</b>]]> The episode of Peter's rescue from prison in Acts 12:5-17 occupies an intriguing position in the narrative of Acts as a whole. Scholars hold differing views on the episode's function. These views range from seeing the episode as a hermeneutical key to the work as a whole to making no discernable difference to the narrative whatsoever. The present article seeks to contribute to the debate by reading Acts 12:5-17 spatially. In paying attention to the various spatial references in the text, the movement of characters, their locales and their own and the reader's experience of them being present or not present, a contrasting structure may be perceived in the text. Furthermore, spatiality helps to point out the contrast between different character groups in the narrative. Some implications for reading the episode in this contrasting fashion I will be indicated, and the enigmatic statement about Peter's 'going to another place' (Ac 12:17) will be read against the text's spatial background. <![CDATA[<b>The relationship between prophetic preaching and performing the gift of prophecy in South Africa</b>]]> The goal of this article is to investigate the relationship between the liturgy of the worship service, where prophetic preaching is delivered, and the liturgy of life, where the gift of prophecy must be put into practice. In what way could the 'prophets' be equipped to become practitioners of the gift of prophecy? A short description is given of what is understood by prophetic preaching and the gift of prophecy in an effort to determine the relationship between these concepts. In a brief summary, burning questions in church life and in the South African society are addressed: in church life, the questions of extreme conservatism and extreme liberalism are scrutinised and in the South African society, corruption and inequality are investigated. In conclusion, a few guidelines are given for putting the gift of prophecy into practice in the liturgy of life. <![CDATA[<b>Constructing ancient slavery as socio-historic context of the New Testament</b>]]> Considering the vast scope of material on slavery in antiquity, this article aimed to design a search filter that delimits the scope of socio-historical aspects specifically relevant to the New Testament passages dealing with slavery. The term 'search filter' was borrowed from Information Technology, denoting defined search terms aimed at more efficient and effective searches of vast amounts of data. The search filter designed in this article made use of the following search terms: the period under investigation; the geographical region under investigation; various definitions of slavery; ancient terminology for slavery; and aspects arising from the New Testament passages themselves. Each of these criteria were considered in turn, and the results were used to define the search filter. Finally, the search filter was represented schematically. <![CDATA[<b>Teaching the Bible at public universities in South Africa</b>: <b>A proposal for multidisciplinary approach</b>]]> How should the academy teach the Bible? I noted two challenges to this endeavour. Firstly, the Bible has been used as superstructure to justify and to solidify colonialism and apartheid in South Africa which resulted in people to mistrust the way the Western missionaries interpreted the Bible. It also gave birth to the inception of African Independent Churches (AIC) and an urgent need to reinterpret the Bible from the experiences of Africans. However, the initial question remains how the academy should teach the Bible. The complexity of this question is that despite the Bible's association with a colonial legacy, the ordinary people did not stop reading the Bible and to make meaning of their lives from it. This study justifies the place of the Bible in public universities in South Africa and proposes ways the academy should teach the Bible. This study suggests a two-pronged approach to Biblical Studies at public universities. Firstly, the academy should critically engage the ideological presupposition underlying the theories used in the academy. Secondly, the academy must be open to the fact that the Bible is part of popular culture; hence, the academy should critically reflect how the Bible is used in public space. Therefore my hypothesis is that the academy should further focus on critiquing ideological inclinations that underline established truths in addition to focusing on the historical meaning of the Bible and establishing contextual similarities. Teaching the Bible should focus on analysing cultural, political and economic ideological truths that find support from the Bible. I propose that this line of thought is possible through cultural studies and/or interdisciplinary methods. <![CDATA[<b>Karl Barth's understanding of Christian Baptism as a basis for a conversation on the praxis of Sacraments in the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa</b>]]> This article is an initial attempt to bring the subject of baptism and to a lesser extent infant baptism in particular, as demonstrated in Karl Barth's Church Dogmatics, into a conversation with the practice of this phenomenon in African Reformed churches in South Africa, specifically the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA). Whilst the Roman Catholic and Reformed traditions regarding the sacraments differ significantly in the understanding of this subject, this article will examine Barth's understanding of baptism. This is done by critically examining key themes in his Church Dogmatics. The praxis of the sacraments and especially that of baptism continue to be a praxis that is highly venerated in African Reformed theological circles. This is so because it is believed that symbolism continues to occupy centre stage in African Reformed churches. In a sense therefore it seems that the African Reformed Christian leans more towards a Roman Catholic understanding of this sacrament. Is that perhaps true? Essentially this conversation will explore the relationship of faith to baptism and how this impacts on infant baptism for instance. <![CDATA[<b>Vision 2025 and the Bible translation movement</b>]]> Complex questions have arisen about how Christian mission agencies function within a globalised context. The changing context has impacted on how the missio Dei has been worked out within these agencies and this has had implications of a theological and missiological nature in particular as to how the agencies have interacted with the church worldwide. This has lead to new paradigms of how mission is conceptualised. The growth of the church worldwide in newer soil has forced mission agencies such as the Wycliffe Global Alliance (WGA) to re-evaluate their place in the world. It has been assumed that as resources have decreased from parts of the world where the WGA has had its traditional roots, there are missiological factors in determining how this impacts on the WGA. There are many missiological implications for the WGA that come from influences in church history on the importance of the translatability of the gospel especially in the context of Bible translation. These have impacted the WGA's understanding of itself and in particular of how it has interpreted and reinterpreted its Vision 2025. When the missio Dei converges with outcomes of globalisation there are numerous implications for an agency such as the WGA. Consequently, the article concludes that none of these matters can be ignored. Instead they must be explored and lessons learnt from them that can be passed along to others in similar situations. <![CDATA[<b>Church tradition and culture as contributory factors in service to the Kingdom</b>]]> This study describes how reverend Kálmán Papp (1924-) was able to leave his land of origin behind under difficult, unasked-for and compelling circumstances and embrace a new future in a far-off and unknown country. This follows from his spontaneous responding and acting positively to the effects of cultural interaction and the common denominational factor of the Reformed Church ever present. The study argues in its methodology that it is an oversimplification and a mistake to seek truth by avoiding, underestimating or eliminating the necessary outcome of cultural interaction and church tradition in the choices we make (even theologically) and experiences we have of life. This is the true life story of a church minister who finds his destiny and becomes himself a minister in the service of God's Kingdom, through faith's challenges and encounters with the theologies and cultures of his embracing worlds. <![CDATA[<b>The parable of the shrewd manager (Lk 16:1-8)</b>: <b>A biography of Jesus and a lesson on mercy</b>]]> Many scholars have regarded the parable of the shrewd manager (Lk 16:1-8) as the most puzzling of all parables as Jesus seems to use the unrighteous actions of a dishonest (worldly) manager as a model for emulation by others. The unease associated with this understanding was managed in part by focusing almost exclusively on the 'shrewdness' of the dishonest manager. In this interpretation, it is not his unjust behaviour that is to be imitated but his wise and intelligent actions. This interpretation has led to a divergence of applications regarding the 'property' that was entrusted to him. The author, however, argues that, in the context of the historical Jesus, the entrusted property in the parable references first and foremost the Torah entrusted to God's people and that the manager mirrors the life of Jesus, who was 'accused' by the religious leaders of being unjust. Despite being threatened, he continued unabatedly to scatter God's mercy, epitomised by the reduction of debt and symbolising the dawning of God's Kingdom. The manager is therefore not a negative figure but a positive (diaphorical) example of what it means to be a faithful manager of God in the light of adversary and opposition. <![CDATA[<b>The 'enemy within' the post-Vatican II Roman Catholic Church</b>]]> The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) is regarded as one of the most significant processes in the ecumenical church history of the 20th century. At that time, a younger generation of Roman Catholic theologians began to make their mark in the church and within the ecumenical theological scene. Their work provided an ecumenical bridge between the Reforming and the Roman Catholic ecclesiastical traditions, notwithstanding the subsequent negative response of the Roman church hierarchy. Despite important advances, recent pontificates significantly altered the theological landscape and undermined much of the enthusiasm and commitment to unity. Roman Catholic theological dissent provided common ground for theological reflection. Those regarded as the 'enemy within' have become respected colleagues in the search for truth in global ecclesiastical perspective. This article will use the distinction between the history and the narratives of Vatican II. <![CDATA[<b>Adolescent male orphans affected by HIV and AIDS, poverty and fatherlessness</b>: <b>A story of marginalisation?</b>]]> This article explores the experiences of fatherless adolescent males affected by HIV, AIDS and poverty, in order to investigate how these experiences influence the creation of their alternative, future narratives and if these experiences result in narratives that speak of marginalisation or instead, will speak of survival. Research methods from the qualitative case study research design are employed. The theoretical point of departure is a postfoundational practical theology and narrative therapy. The specific focus is on issues of marginalisation and to listen to the narratives within their contexts. The article explores and deconstructs the dominant discourses engrained within the larger socio-economic and cultural context and questions whether these narratives should be viewed as a story of marginalisation. The article concludes that it is not a story of marginalisation, but rather a story of survival, a story of hope. <![CDATA[<b>Gaan na die mier, kyk na sy weë en word wys</b>: <b>Metafoor of paradigma?</b>]]> This article takes as its point of departure two citations. The one is from Marshall and Zohar's contention that the wave-particle dualism is more than a metaphor and the other is from Clayton claiming that indeterminacy was not merely a temporary epistemic problem, but reflected an inherent indeterminacy of the physical world itself. What does it mean if it is not a mere way of speaking? The author of this article departs from the premise that the task of systematic theology is the endeavour to understand reality and that this is a collective enterprise together with other sciences as well. A constructive empiricism could indeed lead to an understanding of reality where reality is more than merely idealistically conceived. Truth is therefore to be replaced with a pragmatic, but value-laden concept of understanding or comprehension. This has the effect that both epistemology and ontology have to be revisited and subsequently panentheism too. The argument finds its niche in Old Testament wisdom literature and Proverbs 6:6 forms the lens of reference. The late South African ethologist Eugène Marais's epic work, The Soul of the Ant, is applied to illustrate such a proposed epistemic community. <![CDATA[<b>In friendship with Darwin in designing an anthropology from a Christian perspective?</b>]]> Best science and best theological reflection - the two belongs together for the sake of both. This is argued for in the exposition of the justification of friendship with Darwin (best science as evolutionary science) which is argumentatively connected from a Christian perspective to the praiseworthiness of God as creator (best theological reflection). Concretely, this implies making theologically sense of the important contemporary contribution of evolutionary biology on the origin of life and the descriptions of life. This endeavour necessitates a critical re-reading not only of Darwinian abuse and misperceptions but also of the larger historical context of the aforegoing scientific revolutions and their aftermath. Therefore, both discourses of abuse on the extreme spectrum of reflection on creation and life are critically addressed, namely creationism or Intelligent Design and bio-fundamentalism. As hermeneutical tool of discernment, the argument of evolutionary re-conceptualisation is unfolded as a distinction between an official story and alternative story to highlight not only the exciting implications of the latter but also especially as act of the de-domestication of our understanding of God as the praiseworthy God of creation. <![CDATA[<b>The creativity in the world and the reality of God. The theology of Gordon Kaufman in relation to Wilhelm Herrmann and Rudolf Bultmann</b>]]> The article aims to defend the compatibility of Kaufman's concept of a world grounded on immanent creativity and Bultmann's concept of God who addresses us in the proclamation of the cross. Since Darwin's natural selection it is hard to conceive of a universe that is designed and allows for the assumption of a creator. Theologians have grappled with the meaning of nature and history from the time their purposiveness was contested. Wilhelm Herrmann argued that we undergo a transforming goodness in our experiences of Jesus' inner life which makes us confess that the goodness of a hidden God determines the world and makes us contribute to its development. We cannot prove the influence of God's goodness, but we can experience it personally. Rudolf Bultmann radically changed this perspective. He argued that we are not placed in a meaningful world on behalf of Jesus' inner life; instead, the proclamation of the cross liberates us from any worldview in order to live authentically. Gordon Kaufman proposes an understanding of God as the creativity in the world and its evolution without any dualism or supernaturalism. He denies a blueprint for creation but accepts a serendipitous creativity that can function as the basis for the articulation of our worldview and our orientation in the world. According to Kaufman, Bultmann still retains the dualistic presupposition of the traditional understanding of God. This article argues that the differences between Kaufman and Bultmann are limited, for whereas Bultmannn underlines the reality of God who addresses us in the proclamation of the cross and thereby recreates us, Kaufman wants to construct a worldview grounded on creativity. The creativity in the world and God's (re)creative acts are not incompatible. <![CDATA[<b>The calling of the church</b>]]> The question as to the calling of the church is not a practical but a theological issue. The church can easily keep itself busy with activities that seem important. However, are these activities really the motivation behind God's call to the church? This article investigates the calling of the church as perceived from various relationships: church and world, church and culture and church and church. Church and world addresses the age-old argument that the church is in the world but not of the world. The church does have an obligation in the world towards politics and ecology. Another factor addressed in the article is the way in which the church copes with the secularised society. Regarding culture, the premise is that the church has no obligation towards culture. Culture merely becomes a means to an end for the church. The church wants to exist in a 'free culture', as Barth suggests. When discussing the calling of the church, an ecclesiology of some sorts is in fact presented. This is reflected in the paragraph on church and church. The church is always seen in relationship with God's intention with the community He assembles. This might be the true calling of the church: to be a community that calls others to communit <![CDATA[<b>The Reformed Church and apartheid</b>]]> This contribution examines the changing attitude of the Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika (NHKA) towards apartheid, specifically since the Second World War. The NHKA's views started with a theological justification of apartheid and the complete identification of the church with Afrikaner nationalism, moving to a position of critical solidarity and eventually the rejection of apartheid and its own theological justification of apartheid in 2010. <![CDATA[<b>Some aspects of Adolf von Harnack's criticism on Orthodox tradition</b>]]> The aim of this article is to present the critique that Adolf von Harnack (1851-1930) formulated on the Orthodox tradition in his famous book Das Wesen des Christentums, as well as to comment on its affirmations in the context of his time and way of thinking and to try and find explanations for his criticism. The article concludes that although Harnack's critique on the Orthodox tradition may have presented negative perception of Orthodoxy, particularly amongst Protestants and many Orthodox theologians who were furious after reading his paper, yet, his critical affirmations also have constructive aspects. However, some of the conclusions of Harnack's criticism are genuinely rejected by the Orthodox theologians and are no longer sustainable. As a theologian, Harnack cannot be considered an opponent of the modern ecumenical movement, but rather as one of its pioneers. Harnack could be included in the category of frank ecumenists who prefer to express in a critical, but constructive way that which he believes about his own Christian tradition, as well as other Christian traditions. <![CDATA[<b>Creation and covenant in a via media position: The example of J.J.P. Valeton Jr</b>]]> The year 2012 marked the centenary of the death of the Utrecht Old Testament scholar J.J.P. Valeton Jr (1848-1912). He was a representative of the 'via media' approach of Dutch theology, which aimed at joining critical scholarship and piety, by avoiding the pitfalls of modernism as well as orthodoxy. Valeton accepted the critical analysis of Graf, Kuenen, and Wellhausen, but meanwhile remained a pious person. This article will discuss Valeton's contributions to critical scholarship of Genesis 1-3 as well as his profound ideas on 'covenant' as an expression of 'friendship'. Loader's distinction between 'knowledge open to faith' and 'knowledge open for scientific approach' is very helpful in understanding the works and ideas of Valeton. <![CDATA[<b>Getting bad publicity and staying in power</b>: <b>Leviticus 10 and possible priestly power struggles</b>]]> The story of the death of Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus 10 has always been a difficult text to understand. Recently it has been used in debates about possible power struggles between Aaronides and Zadokites in post-exilic Yehud. The article critically explores the work of three European scholars, namely Achenbach, Nihan and Otto on this issue. Initially most of the traditional questions asked by scholars are addressed such as what the 'strange fire' was, and what exactly Nadab and Abihu did wrong. The focus of the article then moves to whether Leviticus 10 reflects badly on certain priestly groups. <![CDATA[<b>Does modern anthropology pose a problem to the Christian faith?</b>]]> Contemporary scientific anthropology proposes a naturalistic conception of human personhood because of humankind's place somewhere in the larger evolutionary process of life. Some authors use the theory of biological evolution to explain phenomena in other areas as well, and due to its success suggest it has universal application in cultural and religious studies too, as if it were a theory of everything. Darwin's idea of a common origin of all life undermined a supposed superiority of humankind. It signalled the end of an Aristotelian metaphysical notion of classification and constituted a real blow for classical individualistic anthropology. Dawkins explains religion in terms of empirical immanent biological processes in the human brain. He views religious ideas as 'memes' that act like an infectious virus in mental processes. His hypothesis seems to be a relapse into the old Aristotelian pattern. Michael Persinger interprets religion as an internal physiological state of an individual brain and reduces the language of mental concepts to physiological states of a material brain. Persinger's, and also Dennett's, materialistic view presupposes a God's Eye Point of View as an Archimedian perspective outside the world. If a God exists, the neurologists Newberg and d'Aquili argue that he needs a point of contact within our brain: the God spot. Sociobiologists Edward Wilson and David Wilson consider religion a form of group adaptation, because cooperating individuals show the primary benefits of cooperation and altruistic behaviour, just as social insects. Religion is an evolutionary support of altruistic instincts and creates a social infrastructure to benefit a cooperative society. However, social insects merely act on their instincts whereas human beings can act intentionally even against their primary instincts, because of motives for altruist practices inspired, for example, by the narratives and concepts of a Christian tradition. The communion of saints does not take place merely because of a social instinct, but because of the shared motive of the community as a whole, that is, the body of Christ, which acts altruistically irrespective of persons, including outsiders! <![CDATA[<b>A comparison between James and Philodemus on moral exhortation, communal confession and <i>correctio fraterna</i></b>]]> In this article, James 5:13-20 is investigated. This section deals with the confession of sins in the community of faith and the subsequent healing that will result. James will be compared to Philodemus, a philosopher who comes from Galilee, just like James. It is not argued that James was influenced by Philodemus but that a comparison between the two might open up fresh perspectives for the interpretation of James 5:13-20. This will especially become clear when the themes of moral exhortation, community health, communal confession and the role of the psychagogue are discussed. <![CDATA[<b>To know communally first and then to listen</b>: <b>Edward Schillebeeckx's notion <i>Deus Humanissimus</i> as the conscience of the church</b>]]> In this article the notion of the conscience of the church is investigated. By deconstructing the apostle Paul's notion of conscience and then exploring the connection he makes between knowledge and conscience, the role of critical voices of theologians within the church is examined, with special reference to the life and theology of Edward Schillebeeckx. His notion of Deus Humanissimus - the human face of God that becomes visible in Jesus Christ - is explored as the conscience of the church, with special reference to the inclusivity of the church. The Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (NRCA) is then described as an example of a church where knowledge and conscience presently do not correlate, resulting in the persistence of the NRCA's self-description as an ethnic 'people's' church, as it struggles on its journey to inclusivity. It is suggested that Schillebeeckx's notion of Deus Humanissimus as the conscience of the NRCA can help this church to write a new narrative. <![CDATA[<b>'I am like a green olive tree'</b>: <b>The Wisdom context of Psalm 52</b>]]> The article revisits the thesis of Walter Beyerlin from 1980 that Psalm 52 is a paraenetic-didactic Wisdom poem from the late Persian period. Beyerlin reached his conclusion from a comparison of Psalm 52 with post-exilic Wisdom psalms such as Psalms 37, 49, and 73. The direct literary influence that Psalm 52 received from the book of Proverbs and the motifs it shares with Jeremiah 9 are investigated here, since the author contends that the Wisdom influence on the Psalm was even greater than Beyerlin had envisaged. The article comes to the conclusion that the author(s) of the Psalm attempted to compose a psalm by establishing a network of allusions to a corpus of authoritative texts, inter alia, the Wisdom psalms. The end product is a brilliant composition which interprets the teaching of Proverbs for the needs of a group of Jewish believers who probably lived at the end of the Persian period. <![CDATA[<b>The profile of the rich antagonist and the pious protagonist in Psalm 52</b>]]> In this article, a stichometric and poetic analysis of Psalm 52 is offered which forms the basis for a description of the character of the rich but crooked antagonist and the pious protagonist in the psalm. The profile of the pious in the psalm emerges largely as the inverse of the inclination and actions of the arrogant, rich antagonist who is addressed in the greater part of the psalm. The psalm is also read and interpreted against the background of the book of Psalms as a whole to argue that Psalm 52 is actually describing the opposition between the righteous and the wicked as it is typically found in Wisdom psalms. <![CDATA[<b>Lense op spiritualiteit en kerkwees</b>: <b>Die pad vorentoe vir die Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika (NHKA)</b>]]> At this point of time the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (NRCA) is facing the seemingly unsolvable dilemma of not being able to handle diversity in a positive manner. By applying three lenses to the current impasse with regards to the church's struggle with diversity, this article aims at providing an answer to the question of how to proceed. The first lens addresses the challenge to maintain spiritual health and harmony in the midst of differences and tension in the church. The theory behind systems sensitive leadership as lens serves as the guideline to achieve the necessary spiritual health that the church needs in such challenging times. The second lens explores the inner Christian spiritual path in a both developmental and comprehensive way. Drawing on the work of Paul Smith this lens sets forth the developmental framework by which Christians grow inwardly in their understanding of Jesus and his teachings. The third lens is a view on a practice whereby the validity of intellectual positions, statements, or ideologies could be appraised as an innate quality in any subject. This lens opens a unique perspective which provides not only a new understanding of humanity's journey in the universe, but also serves as a guide to were we and the whole cosmos are on our personal journeys to become who we could be. The vision that is provided by these three lenses has the capacity not only to serve as guidelines, but also to provide the tools to handle the challenges the church has to face on the road a head. Ook bid ek dat julle liefde al hoe meer sal toeneem in begrip en fyn aanvoeling, sodat julle die dinge sal kan onderskei waarop die werklik aankom. Dan sal julle op die dag wanneer Christus kom, onberispelik en sonder blaam wees, en deur Jesus Christus sal julle geheel en al in die regte verhouding met God wees, tot sy lof en eer. (Fil:9) <![CDATA[<b><i>Sola Scriptura</i></b>: <b>Hindrance or catalyst for church unity?</b>]]> In the Reformed tradition sola Scriptura remains a central tenet in the search for truth. Scripture bears witness to the variety of ways in which God has acted in history. It attests to God's presence in the world and how God transcends the boundaries of human creations. The article focuses on how the Bible is interpreted differently by Christians from various traditions and even amongst Christians of the same tradition. Different hermeneutical approaches, confessional traditions and cultural contexts lead to different conclusions. Especially with regard to controversial ethical issues, different approaches to biblical reasoning lead to greatly differing results. The article reflects on whether sola Scriptura could provide a key to addressing both diversity and ethics more adequately. <![CDATA[<b>Social ethics in South Africa</b>: <b>Initiating a dialogue between its relevance and current status</b>]]> South African biblical scholars - particularly those who focus on the Old Testament - are known for their engagement with themes that can be termed social ethical. This impulse is used as starting point to investigate the relevance of social ethics in South Africa and its current status. It is argued that social ethical reflection is of particular relevance for South Africa. This thesis is investigated in two ways. Firstly, the applicability of social ethics as academic field is examined and it is shown that post-apartheid South African political institutions, systems and processes themselves are subjected to major changes and developments - a traditional area of focus of social ethics. Secondly, the current status of social ethical reflection in theological journals based in South Africa is investigated. The article concludes by showing that the current status of social ethical reflection in South African academic theology does not reflect the perceived need for social ethical reflection. <![CDATA[<b>A postliberal perspective on an ecclesiological modality as an <i>ecclesiola in ecclesia</i> -reorientation in the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa</b>]]> This article investigates the legitimacy of a middle position between Reformed orthodoxy and critical theology. Is such a middle position the solution to the current conflict in the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa? The tension between 'liberal' and 'orthodox' is investigated by comparing these to the alleged tension between psychology and critical exegesis in Schleiermacher's thinking. The article finds that these poles constituted a dialectic rather than a tension in Schleiermacher's thinking. An organised middle group will lead to a greater schism in the Netherdutch Reformed Church. The argument unfolds by means of a reflection on 10 theological nuances, the most important of which are not the poles of conservative confessionalism and critical liberalism, but ethical-dialectical and critical-realistic theology. The conclusion is that reconciling diversity remains a Biblical-theological imperative rather than the organisation of an ecclesiological modality. <![CDATA[<b>YHWH, the God of new beginnings</b>: <b>Micah's testimony</b>]]> The book of Micah is known for its judgement oracles against the leadership structures in the Southern Kingdom, Judah. Besides the judgement oracles, however, the book also contains oracles of salvation. Scholars have noted and commented on this interruption of predominant judgement oracles by oracles of salvation. The composition of the book has been scrutinised, with many scholars suggesting that the salvation oracles were inserted later to soften the harsh, condemning nature of the book. For the purposes of this article I would like to propose a theological reading of the juxtaposition of Micah 3:12 and 4:1, two passages containing judgement and salvation oracles respectively. The solutions offered to explain the drastic contrast between these two passages have to a great extent reached an impasse. However, from a theological perspective, I argue that these two radically contradictory messages are a reflection of the very nature of YHWH's interaction with his people. Micah 3:12 reflects a point in history where YHWH has had enough of morally corrupt leaders and people, and announces that he is bringing matters to a painful end. However, YHWH is also the God of new beginnings. He states in Micah 4:1ff. that there will come a day when things will change for the better for the people of Judah and that a time of restoration will come for his people. His desire remains to be their God and to restore them to be his people. The article seeks to show that this example, which reflects YHWH as the God of new beginnings, is not an isolated example in the prophetic literature, but consistent with YHWH's nature. <![CDATA[<b>Missional ecclesiology as basis for a new church order</b>: <b>A case study</b>]]> In this contribution the author looks at the ecclesiology and church polity of the Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika (NHKA) as a case study. Different approaches to ecclesiology and church polity by different NHKA theologians are examined. The conclusion is reached that a paradigm shift is required, to assist the church in the process of transformation. Part of the transformation process, is the creation of a church order with a stronger missional orientation. It is argued that, in the context of the 21st century, the missio Dei paradigm and missional ecclesiology could be a suitable point of departure in the creation of a new church order for the NHKA. <![CDATA[<b>Dynamically remembered present: Virtual memory as a basis for the stories we live</b>]]> In this article memory was viewed as a crucial key to the discovery of reality. It is the basis of historical research at all levels, hence it is not confined to a function of human consciousness (brain operations): its physical vestiges are discernible in the universe, in fossils, in the DNA of species. Memory inscribes information in various ways. On a human level it is not recalled computer-wise: imagination, emotion and tacit motives play a role in how we remember. The article investigated the way in which memory underlies the operation of every cell in any living organism. Against this background the role of memory in humans and its decisive influence on every level of human life are examined. Gerald Edelman's work in this regard was considered. Marcel Proust's focus on memory is an underlying thread running through his novels, unrivalled in literary history. Some prominent examples were analysed in this article. In light of the foregoing the role of memory in religious experience was then discussed. The virtuality of memory is encapsulated in the statement that we remember the present whilst reliving the past. Memory characterised by virtuality is basic to our autobiographic narratives. The nature of memory determines our life stories, hence our perception of the human self as dynamically variable and open to the future. <![CDATA[<b>Mission, identity and ethics in Mark: Jesus, the patron for outsiders</b>]]> In this contribution the relationship between mission, identity and ethics in Mark was investigated by means of a postcolonial and social-scientific reading, with a focus on patronage as a practice that constituted the main bond of human society in the 1st-century Mediterranean world. Mark's narrative world is a world of three kingdoms (the kingdoms of Rome, the Temple elite and God). Each of these kingdoms has its own gospel, claims the favour of God or the gods, has its own patron, and all three have a mission with a concomitant ethics. Two of these gospels create a world of outsiders (that of Rome and the Temple), and one a world of insiders (the kingdom of God proclaimed and enacted by the Markan Jesus). According to Mark, the kingdom of God is the only kingdom where peace and justice are abundantly available to all, because its patron, Jesus, is the true Son of God, and not Caesar. Being part of this kingdom entails standing up for justice and showing compassion towards outsiders created by the 'gospels' of Rome and the Temple elite. <![CDATA[<b>Spousal rape</b>: <b>A challenge for pastoral counsellors</b>]]> This article reflects on the criticism regarding the pastoral counsellor's dealings with spousal rape victims. It argues that counsellors should be sensitive not to be biased, either personally or theologically, and should have an understanding of the biopsychosocial (biological, psychological and social) impact of spousal rape, such as rape-related post-traumatic stress and other related illnesses such as depression, victimisation and stigmatisation. The pastoral counsellors should be aware of the legal and medical ramifications of spousal rape and have knowledge of the correct referral resources and procedures (trusted professionals, shelters and support structures). They should be self-aware and understand the effect that gender or previous traumatic personal experiences may have on their reactions. The article consists of the following sections: the phenomenon 'rape'; acquaintance rape; spousal rape; post-traumatic stress; post-traumatic stress disorder; rape trauma syndrome; cognitive behavioural therapy; spirituality; doctrinal matters; social system of patriarchy; a pastoral counselling model; self-care. <![CDATA[<b>An investigation into the ancient Egyptian cultural influences on the Yorubas of Nigeria</b>]]> There are many cultural practices that connect ancient Egyptians to the Yorubas and the new interpretation of the Oduduwa legend suggests that the Yorubas have originated or are influenced mainly by the Egyptians. The attestation of Egypt as the main influencer of the Yoruba culture made Egypt significant in the study of the history of the Yoruba people. Some writers are beginning to think that the ancient Egyptians were responsible for introducing and spreading many cultures amongst the Yorubas. As more Yorubas are tracing their origins and the origins of their culture to ancient Egypt, this research investigates whether the Egyptians were the originators and the main spreaders of the afterlife culture in Yorubaland. <![CDATA[<b>Contrasting differences in identity and agency between narrative and autopoietic systems</b>]]> The article aims at contrasting the autopoietic understanding of an individual and her or his actions as described by Niklas Luhmann with Paul Ricoeur's notion of narrative identity, focusing on people as legal subjects. The article assumes that when legal subjects necessitate ethical engagement and evaluation, the law could cease to deal with problems in a mere legalistic fashion but is allowed the freedom to appeal to norms of justice external to itself as in other natural law theories. Through narrative identity the deeds of role players are to be understood in greater complexity than what a self-referential legal system is comfortable in dealing with. <![CDATA[<b>Abuse in the church? A social constructionist challenge to pastoral ministry</b>]]> The article focuses on abusive practices in the faith community. It indicates that abusive behaviour is more often than not unintentional and is ostensibly driven by a zeal for God and the church. The article explores this anomaly by examining the phenomenon of abuse in the faith community from a social constructionist, psychological, sociological and theological perspective. Pastoral ministry is challenged to foster self-reflexivity and awareness, as well as to revisit current (outdated) beliefs and practices, to test their suitability for the postmodern context in which the church is to tell and live her story. <![CDATA[<b>Exodus of clergy</b>: <b>A practical theological grounded theory exploration of Hatfield Training Centre trained pastors</b>]]> There is a shortage of clergy, at least in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestant churches in general are experiencing more of a distribution or placement challenge than a shortage. The two greatest hindrances to addressing the Protestant clergy distribution challenge are a lack of adequate compensation for clergy and the undesirable geographical location of a number of churches, as perceived by clergy. Influences such as secularisation, duality of vocation, time management, change in type of ministry, family issues, congregational and denominational conflict, burnout, sexual misconduct, divorce or marital problems, and suicide, affect clergy. Studies on the shortage of clergy have been conducted mostly in the USA and Europe and not in South Africa. This article focuses on the research gap by means of a practical theological grounded theory exploration of the exodus of clergy. Grounded theory methodology is used to identify the reasons why clergy trained at a Bible college of a Protestant charismatic mega church leave full-time pastoral ministry. Findings correspond to previous studies with two reasons appearing more frequently than others: responding to a call and leadership related issues. Firstly, respondents differed in their replies with respect to reconciling their exit from full-time pastoral ministry with their call. The replies included not being called, a dual call, or called but left anyway. Secondly, respondents indicated that leadership influence was mostly negative with regard to affirming their call. <![CDATA[<b>A critical analysis on African Traditional Religion and the Trinity</b>]]> To what extent do the resources of African Traditional Religion (ATR) contribute towards Christian theological discourse and benefit the African church? ATR is accommodated in the African Initiated Churches (AICs). The members of these churches aim to be Christian without losing their African identity. ATR is a religion that was practised throughout Africa before the arrival of the Western missionaries. The core premise of ATR is the maintenance of African culture and its main feature is loyalty to the ancestors and the accompanying rituals that express this loyalty. This study addresses the appropriateness of ATR's resources in terms of their contribution to the doctrine of the Trinity. When the early church worshipped God the Father and God the Son (Jesus) in the presence of the Holy Spirit, a tension developed. The questions of monotheism versus polytheism and the nature and position of Jesus within the Trinity were put forward and addressed. The doctrine of the Trinity is uniquely Christian and includes the belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who alone mediates between God and men. There is, on the other hand, an understanding that Africans worship one Supreme Being and venerate ancestors as intermediaries to the one Supreme Being, without clear roles being ascribed to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. This article enquires whether the process of Africanisation and contextualisation consciously or unconsciously downgraded Jesus Christ as Mediator who came to reveal who God is and to reconcile humankind to him. <![CDATA[<b>Deconstructing masculinity</b>: <b>Dominant discourses on gender, sexuality and HIV and AIDS from the experience of the adolescent male orphan</b>]]> As a postfoundational practical theological study, this article is interested in the description of the co-researchers' experiences, as these are continually informed by various traditions of interpretations. It listens to and describes the current narratives of three co-researchers and deconstructs these narratives by looking at various concepts of masculinity and sexuality. It looks specifically at how these concepts are created and maintained through various socio-cultural dominant narratives related to gender, sexuality, and HIV and AIDS, and how these dominant narratives influence the creation of self- and alternative narratives of the co-researchers. This article employs research methods from the qualitative and case study research design and works from the theoretical viewpoints of a postfoundational practical theology and narrative therapy. <![CDATA[<b>Marriage and marital roles in the Afrikaans cultural and religious context</b>]]> The article investigates women's socialization in terms of their position in society and the church, and their roles in the marriage relationship. A brief historical overview is given of how the understanding of marriage has developed, with specific emphasis on marriage and marital roles in Afrikaans cultural and religious contexts. The authors examine the ecclesiastical magazines Die Hervormer and Die Jaarboek van die Nederduitsch Hervormde Sustersvereniging (Yearbook of the Netherdutch Reformed Women's Association). The article shows that the message communicated to women who are members of the Netherdutch Reformed Church with regard to marital roles is that they must be submissive. Centuries of conditioning has created submissiveness and inferiority in these women and this has affected them negatively not to be equal to men in society and marriage relationships. <![CDATA[<b>Religious interfaith work in Canada and South Africa with particular focus on the drafting of a South African Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms</b>]]> Constitutional protections for religious freedom (and related freedoms of conscience, belief and association and equality), once interpreted by courts and tribunals, apply in a precedential manner to future cases. They have an influence well beyond the particular community to which they first applied. For this reason, religious communities have increasingly banded together and sought to intervene or even, on occasion, to initiate legal actions asserting or defending their rights. This article reviews some of the principles around the freedom of religion as understood in South Africa and Canada to show how courts have understood the freedom of religion in its social context. In addition, interfaith cooperation is discussed with particular reference to the recent process which led to the formation of a Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms pursuant to Section 234 of the South African Constitution (which is attached to the article). This section, a unique provision in any constitution, allows for the creation of additional Charters to give greater specificity to the general language of the Constitution itself. As such, it is an encouragement to civil society to determine what it thinks are the important provisions that should be spelled out to give guidance to politicians and the judiciary. Awide variety of religious groups participated in the creation of the Charter. The Charter does not claim to be, nor could it be, exhaustive of such concerns but demonstrates that religions can cooperate across a host of issues in education, health care, employment and other issues. The next stage - passage into law, is still in the future but the first important hurdle has been crossed with the signing of the Charter in October of 2010. The Charter might be a template for other countries though changes would be necessary to deal with local issues. <![CDATA[<b>Reading and proclaiming the Birth Narratives from Luke and Matthew: A study in empirical theology amongst curates and their training incumbents employing the SIFT method</b>]]> Drawing on Jungian psychological type theory, the SIFT method of biblical hermeneutics and liturgical preaching suggests that the reading and proclaiming of scripture reflects the psychological type preferences of the reader and preacher. This thesis is examined amongst two samples of curates and training incumbents (N = 23, 27), serving in one Diocese of the Church of England, who completed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Firstly, the narrative of the shepherds from Luke was discussed by groups organised according to scores on the perceiving process. In accordance with the theory, sensing types focused on details in the passage, but could reach no consensus on the larger picture, and intuitive types quickly identified an imaginative, integrative theme, but showed little interest in the details. Secondly, the narrative of the massacre of the infants from Matthew was discussed by groups organised according to scores on the judging process. In accordance with theory, the thinking types identified and analysed the big themes raised by the passage (political power, theodicy, obedience), whilst the feeling types placed much more emphasis on the impact that the passage may have on members of the congregation mourning the death of their child or grandchild. <![CDATA[<b>From the religious <i>a priori</i> to intending the absolute</b>: <b>Reflections on the methodological principles in Otto and Tillich against the backdrop of their historical problematic</b>]]> This contribution examines Rudolf Otto's and Paul Tillich's theories of religion against the background of the debates around 1900. Beginning with Wilhelm Windelband's motifs and Ernst Troeltsch's philosophies of religion, it is shown that Otto and Tillich alike elaborate on a performance-bound conception of religion from transcendental-philosophical and phenomenological motifs. Tillich, following Edmund Husserl, ultimately resolves the idea of a religious a priori as a concept of religion elaborated in terms of the theory of intentionality. <![CDATA[<b>From 'catechetical theology' to 'religious educational theology'</b>]]> The article aims at a reflection on the concept 'religious educational theology'. Three aspects are addressed, namely, (1) the relationship between 'catechetical theology' and 'religious educational theology'; (2) the potential significance of 'religious educational theology'; and (3) the relationship between 'religious educational theology' and 'systematic theology'. <![CDATA[<b>'The pen is mightier than the sword'</b>: <b>Literacy and scribes in Israel during the Second Temple period</b>]]> This article is divided in two parts. Part one examines scribal education and scribes in the ancient Near East and Israel. Although no real evidence exists for scribal schools and education in Israel, it is argued that some form of institutionalised training must have taken place in order to produce literary texts of such a high quality as are found in the Hebrew Bible. Comparative material from Mesopotamia serves to trace the education of scribes in general. Part two focuses on the Second Temple period in ancient Israel. Ezra the scribe emerges as a typical scribe from that era. Post-exilic Israel was grappling with its identity, and sought guidance from כַּכָּת֖וּב בַּתּוֹרָה [as was written in the Torah]. However, it appears that there were different interpretations of the written Law during this period. Scribes of the Ezra circle advocated a radical policy of exclusivity on the basis of what was written in the Law; others who wrote the texts of Trito-Isaiah and Ruth pleaded for a more inclusive attitude towards foreigners. The conclusion is that the battle was fought not with the sword, but with the pen, therefore: 'The pen is mightier than the sword.' <![CDATA[<b>Reading Habakkuk 3 in the light of ancient unit delimiters</b>]]> Habakkuk 3 is one of the most controversial texts in the Hebrew Bible. Diverging opinions have been expressed on literally every facet of the text. Quite surprising though, interpreters are virtually unanimous in their opinion about the structure of the pericope. Apart from a superscript (3:1) and subscript (3:19b) four units are normally demarcated: a prayer (3:2), a theophany (3:3-7), a hymn (3:8-15) and a confession of trust (3:16-19a). Unit delimiters in ancient Hebrew manuscripts demarcate two (3:1-13 and 3:14-19) or three (3:1-7; 3:8-13; 3:14-19) units. This study evaluates this evidence and reads Habakkuk 3 in the light of the units demarcated in ancient manuscripts. It raises awareness of interesting structural patterns in the poem, calls for a rethinking of traditional form critical categories, and opens avenues for an alternative understanding of the pericope. <![CDATA[<b>Job and Ecclesiastes as (postmodern?) wisdom in revolt</b>]]> This article will be concerned with the question whether the books of Job and Ecclesiastes can be viewed as (postmodern) wisdom in revolt or not. Three questions underlie this title: firstly, are the books of Job and Ecclesiastes wisdom books? Secondly, if so, is their wisdom revolutionary in nature? And thirdly, are there any similarities between the thoughts of Job and Ecclesiastes on the one hand and that of postmodern thinkers on the other hand? It will be argued that there are various similarities to be cited between the ideas of the ancient wisdom writers of Job and Ecclesiastes and more recent postmodern thinkers. This does not, however, necessarily justify a postmodern tag for the books of Job and Ecclesiastes, but points to a similarity in thought development between the ancient societies of Job and Ecclesiastes and the present-day societies. Such similarities are viewed as a clear indication of the meaningful role which Old Testament wisdom, or wisdom in revolt for that matter, can play in current intellectual and theological debates. <![CDATA[<b>Sensed fittingness between act and consequence</b>: <b>The last acts of Esther in the book of Esther and Grace in the film <i>Dogville</i></b>]]> The book of Esther employs a wisdom theme to develop the plot and its denouement. The particular illustration of wisdom is that of role reversal. Haman, the second in command, gets kicked out and the leaders of those he sought to lock out filled his position. However, the role reversal becomes more than a mere change in status. As Grace needed to step into her gangster father's shoes in the film Dogville in order to achieve justice, so Esther had to step into Persian shoes to achieve justice. The execution of justice is an untidy and messy affair. The question this article puts on the table is whether Esther acts with justice in her quest for retribution. In answering this question, the article firstly inquires into the narrative rationality of the story and the denouement of the plot. Related to the book of Esther's narrative rationality, the article examines the question of wisdom from a narrator's and character's perspective. Lastly, it will then put the issue of justice on the table with the help of the film Dogville in order to see whether there is a link between wisdom and justice. <![CDATA[<b>On the origin of death</b>: <b>Paul and Augustine meet Charles Darwin</b>]]> Ever since the 4th century, Christian theologians have linked Romans 5:12-21 with Genesis 2-3. Augustine (354-430), one of the Latin fathers of the Church, propagated the idea of 'original sin' according to his reading of these chapters. This idea eventually became a fixed doctrine in Western Christianity and a large number of Christians still believe and proclaim that humans would have lived for ever but for the misconduct of Adam and Eve. They also proclaim that Jesus, through his obedience, death and resurrection, re-established God's original creation plan. Death was conquered and eternal life can be inherited by all who believe in Jesus as saviour and second Adam. However, since both the introduction of the theory of evolution into biology and the paradigm shift in biblical studies (at the end of the 19th century), the view that death was to be linked to 'original sin' came under severe criticism. This article argues that Romans 5:12-21 and Genesis 2-3 do not support the idea of 'original sin' and that death is a normal part of life on earth, as argued by evolutionary biologists and proclaimed by many Old Testament texts. <![CDATA[<b>Confessional Lutheran commitment in the International Lutheran Council - A conservative contribution of Lutheranism to the Ecumenical Age</b>]]> The contribution of confessional Lutheran churches, especially those affiliated to the International Lutheran Council of the ecumenical movement was regarded more or less as marginal, compared to the mainstream Protestant churches. Rooted in the 16th century Reformation, relating to the confessional writings of the Lutheran Church as comprised in the Book of Concord (1580), these churches in the 19th century rediscovered what might be labelled 'confessional identity'. Looking at the European scene as a paradigm of secularisation (in spite of necessary differentiations), it is observed how traditional faith, trying not to sever its biblical and confessional roots, approached and reacted to 'modern' developments in society and the church. A historical survey, combined with a systematic reflection on Lutheran identity in a post-Christian context, served to diagnose the problems of Christian responsibility in a globalising world. Through the changes and challenges that confront Christianity at the beginning of the 21st century, the confessional Lutheran churches - affiliated to the International Lutheran Council - came to face their ecumenical responsibility. The mission of the Church ought to be reconsidered in terms of its biblical foundation, its historical identity, its confessional self-understanding, and its ecumenical obligation. <![CDATA[<b>C.H. Dodd's framework for understanding the Gospel according to John: An evaluation</b>]]> During the previous century Dodd was one of the most significant and influential interpreters of the Gospel of John. His views on the symbolic nature of the Gospel formed the basis of his hermeneutical program for understanding the Gospel. He understood the Johannine symbols in the light of what he regarded as the relevant background material. Theologically he interprets the symbols within a Platonic-like structure, arguing that the symbols in John function as hermeneutical bridges between the background material and the theological formation of the Gospel of John. In subsequent literary studies this approach was and still is questioned. <![CDATA[<b>The search for oneself</b>: <b>Introductory notes on ethics and anthropology</b>]]> Human beings make choices, and get caught up by their choices. One cannot escape the choices one has made. Your choices draw the picture of who you really are. Sometimes you are haunted by the dire consequences of the choices you have made. Where does the necessity of taking responsibility for yourself, and the choices you have made, take you? Ethics and moral conduct make sense only in conjunction with the moral agent - humankind. This article is an introductory reflection on ethics and anthropology. The argument develops mainly from the view of a human being as a relational being. People are inescapably relational beings - always being in relation with other human beings, and never able to sever the lifesaving ties to God as the human being's Maker. Human beings become themselves in relation to other human beings, and ultimately in relation to the One Other, God their Creator and Re-creator. <![CDATA[<b>Faith, the postfoundational foundation of knowledge</b>]]> The article will focus on the role of faith in postfoundational epistemology and the extent to which our knowledge constructions are only possible in a context of faith. One inherits a language, a house of being, and this inherited language creates the world in which the various beings-of-one's-world find their place and have meaning. It is in this inherited world-of-meaning that knowledge is constructed. Epistemology is therefore based on faith, believing in the linguistically socially created world, in the sense of believing in the world created by the silent speaking of language that creates the world-of-meaning in which one finds oneself. One unconsciously accepts this world created by language without taking into consideration the role of faith as one believes this created world to be the 'real' world. One takes for granted the world (worldview) into which one is born as the way things are. Life and knowledge are made possible by believing this world-of-meaning: language. In a global world where differing worlds-of-meaning come into contact with each other, faith can be disappointed and can lead to anger and violence. If one acknowledges the role of faith in one's epistemology, doors can be opened to multidisciplinary and multicultural dialogue as a multi-faith conversation. <![CDATA[<b>Faith in the resurrection of Jesus</b>: <b>Barth and Bultmann</b>]]> This article aims to contribute to the understanding of the views of Barth and Bultmann on the interpretation of Jesus' resurrection. It deliberately steers away from the abundance of secondary material available on the subject and focuses on the relevant primary sources with the result that the differences between the two authors come sharp into focus. The fundamental difference between Barth and Bultmann is not that Barth believes that Jesus has truly risen from the grave, but that Bultmann does not believe it. The hermeneutical question about the presence of Jesus Christ, the risen Lord and his work of salvation is the central issue of Christology for both theologians, but this is also the point on which they differ radically from each other. The Auseinandersetzung between Barth and Bultmann indicates how ongoing and intensive theological discourse can benefit the proclamation of the gospel and the church. <![CDATA[<b>The Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa</b>: <b>Searching for a road between ecclesiological petrifaction and innovation without tradition</b>]]> This article is a critical contribution to the discourse in the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa on ecclesiology. In preparation for the next synod meeting in September 2013, the church is confronted by many discussion papers. This article is a plea to return to the basic ecclesiological perspectives of the Early Church and the Reformation. Where this is not done, unbiblical ideas creep into the church. Concentration falls on eschatological character, catholicity, the offices and the calling of the church. Continued attention is given to the notion 'people's church'. <![CDATA[<b>An exploration of the symbolic world of Proverbs 10</b>: <b>1-15:33 with specific reference to 'the fear of the Lord'</b>]]> Alternative approaches to text interpretation have introduced an opportunity to understand the biblical text afresh. One such an alternative approach is a Ricoeurian hermeneutic. Ricoeur's understanding of the referential intention of poetic texts will be drawn on to explore its interpretive contribution to a reading of Proverbs 10:1-15:33 with specific reference to the phrase 'the fear of the Lord'. It is suggested that the proposed reading strategy is a most productive effort. <![CDATA[<b>Jericho</b>: <b>From archaeology challenging the canon to searching for the meaning(s) of myth(s)</b>]]> Joshua 6 functions as a test case for the idea of Biblical Archaeology par excellence. In this article it will be probed (by referring amongst others to the work of Garstang and Kenyon) to what extent the archaeological excavations at Jericho have been influenced by a literal reading of Joshua 6 (e.g. Garstang) and to what extend the excavations (by Kenyon) had compelled exegetes to read the text of Joshua 6 historical critically. In the consideration of a wide range of possible approaches to Joshua 6, some recent conservative opinions in which there is a continued search to harmonise the archaeological and textual information in order to secure a 'historical' reading of the text, will also be noted. Arguing not for the abolition, but rather for a broader interpretation of the concept 'canon', some hermeneutical remarks will be made regarding Joshua 6 as a 'cultic myth', in view of its positive communication. <![CDATA[<b>'Forming identity through Song'</b>: <b>How our songs in worship shape our theological identity: A study of Lutheran hymns and how they shaped German descendent Lutheran congregations</b>]]> How do songs and Christian hymns shape the identity and theology of Christian communities? How does the identity and theology of a Christian community shape the hymns that are written, sung and collected in song books and hymnals? This article explores these questions from the point of view of the author's community, the German-descendent Lutheran communities in South Africa, and studies their main hymn book, the Lutheran hymnal from Germany (Evangelisches Kirchengesangbuch [EKG]) which was used from the 1950s until the early 1990s in the congregations. It shows up the strengths and the gaps of these hymns which come from a theology with a strong focus on faith and trust, but a rather narrow personal morality, with the social ethics restricted to doing one's Christian duty and praying for the government. Comparing this hymnal to the later hymnal published in 1990, the article shows, that some of the blind spots of one generation can be filled in by the next generation of songwriters. <![CDATA[<b>Fasting, justification, and self-righteousness in Luke 18</b>: <b>9-14: A social-scientific interpretation as response to Friedrichson</b>]]> This article provides a social-scientific interpretation of the role of fasting in Jesus' parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14. Specifically, the article considers such social realia as honour and shame, collectivism, and purity in the interpretation of the text. The textual and social contexts of the text are considered. It is contended that in the parable Jesus presents a caricature of both the Pharisee and the tax collector to make a larger point, in which fasting is not a major consideration. The article also evaluates Friedrichson's interpretation of this text, which depicts the Pharisee as fasting vicariously, resulting in the justification of the tax collector. Finally, the significance of this text in a holistic theology of fasting in the New Testament is considered. <![CDATA[<b>An epigrammatic analysis on open theism and its impact on classical Christianity</b>]]> Open theism is a theological position taken by a number of scholars and deals with human free will and its relationship to God, including the nature of the future. This brief article explores this relationship and challenges the tenets of open theism by arguing that it is a flawed system. The major thrust of the article asks two questions: Firstly, are the views of open theism consistent with God's divine attributes, namely all-knowing and all-powerful. Secondly, how should Christians relate their beliefs to a particular Zeitgeist? <![CDATA[<b>Transformation, participation and plurality: The Cappadocian heritage for Systematic Theology in the third millennium</b>]]> The aim of this article is to demonstrate how Systematic Theology in the third millennium utilises facets from the legacy of the Cappadocian fathers. The focal point is the influence on present-day Trinitarian theology. Aspects which are discussed include matters of metaphysics, philosophy, morality and spirituality. The influence of the legacy of the Cappadocian fathers concerns the challenge which diversity and plurality create in systematic theology. This legacy is explored by means of the 'lived experiences' of the life stories of the Cappadocians. These narratives illustrate a shift from the 'impersonal' to the 'personal', from 'disengaged abstraction' to 'relational participation'. The latter is referred to as 'a pastoral doctrine of the Trinity' by Paul S. Fiddes. The emphasis on 'economical ontology' confirms the Cappadocians' relevance for a present-day ethical discourse and the 'aesthetics of a feeling for the Other'. <![CDATA[<b>Where sexuality and spirituality meet</b>: <b>An assessment of Christian teaching on sexuality and marriage in relation to the reality of 21st century moral norms</b>]]> Christians and the church tend to shy away from talking about sex, premarital sex and sex outside of marriage. God and sex are rarely mentioned in the same sentence, and yet people still have a deep need for spirituality, to experience God in their lives and to seek guidance on sexual matters. It becomes a dilemma when the question is posed: where do sexuality and spirituality meet? One way to answer this question is to attempt to find a link between spirituality and sexuality. In this way, spirituality could gain relevance, and expressing one's sexuality could find a moral foundation. People are both spiritual and sexual creatures - with the need to express their spirituality and sexuality in a moral, but unashamedly natural way. This article attempts to find alternative solutions for our complex society - on the subject of marriage and sexuality. The intention is not to dismiss the institution of marriage, but rather to renegotiate the terms and structure of marriage in the 21st century. <![CDATA[<b>Fear as dread of a God who kills and abuses? About a darker side of a key, but still forgotten biblical motif</b>]]> This article investigates the motif of fear of God in biblical texts and contexts by discussing its use to indicate dread and by analysing the implications and consequences of such a reading of this key motif. After a brief overview of research on and contextual information about fear of God, it investigates fear as an intense and extreme human emotion and considers the reason why the motif is used by biblical authors in their discussions of the divine-human relationship, especially in the light of the fact that dread of God implies that God is a threatening force and dangerous power. It then evaluates how biblical authors embed fear within a configuration of thought that contains crucial themes of justice and holiness, without moving beyond this dimension of dread. Finally it investigates some hermeneutical considerations to cope with the challenges that an understanding of fear of God as dread brings with it. <![CDATA[<b>Trajectories of scripture transmission</b>: <b>The case of Amos 5:25-27 in Acts 7:42-43</b>]]> It is the intention of this study to explore the trajectory of the transmission and reception of three elements from Amos 5:25-27 through the stages of its history in ancient religious literature. Four stages in its trajectory are explored, namely in the Amos Masoretic Text (MT), the quotations from the Jewish Damascus Scroll sect, the Jewish-Hellenistic context of the Septuagint (LXX) Amos, and the Early Christian context of Stephen's speech by Luke in Acts 7:42-43. The astral Mesopotamian deities of Amos MT changed to symbols which now stood for the law, the congregation, the prophets and the interpreter of the law in the sectarian context of the Damascus scroll. The LXX, in turn, understood these to be 'the tent of Moloch' and the 'star of your god Raiphan'. This version is used in Acts 7, but whereas the LXX shows traces of a connection with the Heaven-and-Sun god, particularly with the planet Saturn, Luke now places the same elements within the context of the exodus narrative in Stephen's speech. The investigation shows how the mutation of scripture becomes clear in the trajectory of its transmission and how it is constantly being reinterpreted to be relevant within the context of its time. <![CDATA[<b>The function of Zechariah 7-8 within the book of Zechariah</b>]]> It is argued that the function of Zechariah 7-8 in the book of Zechariah is central to the issue of the structure of Zechariah. It is proposed that a text-linguistic approach offers a new reading of Zechariah 7-8. It is further proposed that the larger segment of Zechariah 7:1-8:23 is a bridge (a transition from the preceding discourse to the subsequent discourse) that is connected to the prologue in Zechariah 1:1-6 and is developed and expanded in the subsequent discourses. This reading indicates the structure and the overall theme of Zechariah by viewing the book as a sequential discourse. This argument will be defended by studying the structure and the overall theme of Zechariah and emphasising the holistic aspect of the book of Zechariah. <![CDATA[<b>The heuristic potential of narrativity for socially relevant Systematic Theology: The world war experiences of Jürgen Moltmann as case study</b>]]> The article argues that an argumentative discourse should be complemented by a narrative discursive mode to express the connectedness between experience and the social context in which people's life history is embedded. The article's point of departure is Jean-Baptisté Metz's notion of the 'practical, liberating character of narrative'. An example of such a narrative systematic discourse is the approach of Michael Weinrich in which he replaces logos (ratio) with mythosis. The latter includes narratio, whilst logos does not. The life history of Jürgen Moltmann as contextual theologian serves as case study to demonstrate the heuristic potential of narrativity for contextual systematic theology. Moltmann's autobiography The Broad Place functions as the frame of reference for such a narrative approach to systematic theology. <![CDATA[<b><i>Horkos</i></b><b> [oath] and the sacrament of language - The purloined letter</b>]]> The article will bring a reading of Agamben's interpretation of horkos [oath] in the Sacrament of language, a reading of Derrida's faith as the grammar of language, into conversation with Lacan's interpretation of Poe's 'The purloined letter' by taking into consideration the context of this reading: South Africa. South Africa is a multilingual context in the fullest sense of the word 'multilingual', and as such, it is faced with the dilemma of a corrupt postal system. The postal system is a metaphor for the system of communication where messages are sent and received. This postal system is corrupt as the sender and receiver of messages are not sacramentally bound by the same oath, and therefore the letters are doomed to be purloined. Derrida's différance and the grammar of faith transcends the various languages and the various oaths as the quasi-transcendental condition for the sacrament of language, thereby opening a sacred space to encounter the inevitable corruption of the postal service. <![CDATA[<b>Contextualising biblical exegesis</b>: <b>What is the African biblical hermeneutic approach?</b>]]> This article responded to the question about the right methodology needed for the reconstruction of a viable African Christian theology. It equally contributed an answer to earlier concerns by Appiah-Kubi, Stinton and Nyiawung, who had grappled with an African response to the question of Jesus' identity: 'Who do you say I am?' (Lk 9:20). It also attended to Aben's remark that Africans contribute minimally to biblical theology especially in the domain of biblical exegesis. Finally, it proposed an African biblical hermeneutic approach, a shift of paradigm from the text, its author as well as its context to the context of the subject of exegesis as a contextual approach of biblical criticism. Three main conclusions emerged from the article, namely, (1) the African context contains enormous potentials that can enhance the understanding and interpretation of biblical texts; (2) from the perspective of biblical interpretation, there is no superior context or culture; and (3) the African biblical hermeneutic approach is a possible route to the development of an authentic African Christian theology. <![CDATA[<b>The young adult's perception of religion and formal structures</b>: <b>A postmodern perspective</b>]]> The postmodern era has an impact on different dimensions of the contemporary young adult's social functioning which incorporates perceptions regarding religion and formal structures. This contemporary young adult refers to an individual between the ages of 18 and 25 years. Therefore the goal of this article was to report on research results regarding the perceptions of young adults on religion and formal structures. Within a mixed methods research approach, the exploratory mixed methods research design was utilised. Qualitative data was collected from 47 young adults by means of focus group interviewing. Quantitative data was collected from 1019 respondents utilising a questionnaire. Both groups were selected through the utilisation of purposive sampling. Qualitative data were analysed through thematic analysis, whilst a range of descriptive and inferential statistical procedures was used to analyse quantitative data. The findings indicated that the postmodern young adult displays a tendency to value conventional religious norms and practices, but the element of choice is of importance, as young adults seem to choose the aspects of religion that suit them. An increased interest in and a need for spirituality or a form of transcendence was found. Guidance by formal structures was favoured, but did not necessarily refer to 'church' or religious structures. The results illustrated that the contemporary young adult explores and experiments in terms of identity and lifestyle. Views and values seem to be person-specific and based on emotions and experiences with a tendency towards 'own authority' and an emphasis on the self. The rise of individualism which characterises the postmodern era has led to the creation of meaning by drawing on personal resources and on own personal moral beliefs and values. <![CDATA[<b>The Spirit <i>and</i> the meal as a model for Charismatic worship</b>: <b>A practical-theological exploration</b>]]> The purpose of this article is to present one aspect of a larger research project. The Spirit tradition (Charismatic) and its liturgical rituals as well as the Meal tradition (Liturgical Movement) and its liturgical rituals through history were researched as well as the concomitant theology. The aim was to gain a better understanding of whether the future of Charismatic worship can benefit from a somewhat closer integration of aspects of the meal tradition, especially the celebration of the Lord's Supper. This article will mostly be focused on the empirical research done in this project within three Charismatic churches in Gauteng, South Africa. This research seeks to contribute to Robert Webber's model of bringing old and new together in synergy. In the end, this article poses a new model for Charismatic worship when liturgical-rituals of the Spirit are combined with the celebration of communion in a way that worshippers experience as being more meaningful. <![CDATA[<b>The Ethiopian eunuch in transit</b>: <b>A migrant theoretical perspective</b>]]> Biblical scholars tend to see the Ethiopian eunuch and court official through the eyes of Philip the evangelist, which is also what the author of the text wants us to do. However, the narrative about the Ethiopian court official is also a story about the experiences of an ancient traveller, and as such, the story invokes the tales of contemporary migrants. In this study, I explore how the story about a sojourning court official intersects with contemporary immigration and identity issues. My study demonstrates how the travelling court official can be used as a figure to think with and how his story mirrors challenges faced by migrant workers today. <![CDATA[<b>Biblical perspectives on family ministry in a postmodern church</b>]]> The aim of the article is to reflect on biblical-theological perspectives on family in order to enrich postmodern faith communities. In the post-biblical period the biological family was central to the process of the institutionalisation of the church and the spiritual aspect of family was underplayed. The church father, Augustine, indowed marriage with sacramental status. This emphasised the presence of God in the family, but 'procreation' dominated his theology of marriage. The sacramental status of marriage along with the dominance of patriarchy made marriage indisputable. This obstructed any possibility of thinking creatively about marriage in a postmodern context. In his reformation of marriage Martin Luther succeeded in deconstructing the sacramental status of marriage, but did not succeed in overturning patriarchal dominance. The reality of postmodern families differs vastly from that of biblical times and the times of Augustine, Aquinas and Luther. The challenge of the church in a postmodern world is to reflect in a responsible biblical theological way on the relationship between adults and children from the perspective of the kingdom of God. This article aims to contribute in this regard. <![CDATA[<b>Archaeology of homophobia</b>: <b>Building blocks of power</b>]]> The article investigates present-day discourses which demonstrate coercive power with regard to sexuality according to which people are attributed an identity. Such hegemony restricts existential authenticity. The article shows that, although sexual minorities could have public rights according to constitutional law, they still experience marginalisation because of victimisation on account of a heteronormative societal discourse. The article consists of an introductory section in which Michel Foucault's notion of 'the archaeology of knowledge' is used to explore levels of perceptions in society which illustrate perceptions and ideas on homophobia. The first section focuses on the phenomenon of stigmatisation. The second section describes the process of stereotyping taboos that result in the phenomenon of internalised homophobia. The article concludes with a deconstruction of homophobia by emphasising the recognition of the Other by means of a contradiscourse to heteronormativity. <![CDATA[<b>Unravelling the structure of First John</b>: <b>Exegetical analysis, Part 1</b>]]> Surveying commentaries and introductions to the Johannine epistles reveals a multiplicity of methodology with regard to the structure of the epistles. Proposals have generally emphasised characteristics of content (doctrine and paraenesis), style (antithesis and repetition) or outline divisions. If the intent of the author is connected to the structure of the text, commentaries and introductions may not adequately discern the authorial intent. The lack of agreement amongst commentators as to the division of the First Epistle of John has resulted in numerous interpretative conclusions. As a consequence of difficulty in ascertaining the structure of the text, interpretations are frequently formulated upon theological persuasions and historical reconstruction. The purpose of the article is to overcome such persuasions and reconstructions. <![CDATA[<b>First John structure resolved</b>: <b>Exegetical analysis, Part 2</b>]]> Numerous attempts have been suggested regarding the structure of First John. The only nearly unanimous agreement amongst commentators is concerning the prologue (1:1-4) and the conclusion (5:13-21). The lack of unanimity can be frustrating for the majority of those who seek to understand the macrostructure of the First Epistle of John. Consequentially, some commentators have opined that it is impossible to determine a notable structure of First John, and the epistle is thus regarded as a relatively imprecise series of various thoughts that were composed on the basis of mere association. Many exegetes have therefore proposed suggested outlines to aid the understanding of First John as opposed to providing genuine efforts to articulate a discernable structure of the epistle. The final part of this exegetical analysis seeks to demonstrate that exegetes need not succumb to such pessimism because there does appear to be a discernable structure to First John. Providing and stating resolve concerning the First John structure is fundamental for understanding the revealed contents of the epistle. <![CDATA[<b>Homophobia and heterosexism</b>]]> The article investigated phenomena such as fear, aversion and hatred as a result of heterosexism and homophobia. This is done from three angles. The first is that of the individual relationship with the Other. The second is a reflection on prejudice concerning homosexuality in the context of a cultural, social and religious environments. Perceptions with regard to sexuality and power are the result of social constructions. These two perceptions influence relationships. The third angle concerns individual reactions to fear as emotion and affect. The article considered a contra discourse to redress aversion and hatred. It argued that a shift should take place from being a perpetrator to being tolerant and from being a victim to becoming an agent of hope. <![CDATA[<b>Ethics of prayer and work in 1 and 2 Thessalonians</b>]]> This article raises the question of the balance between prayer and work. This topic is discussed through an intercultural approach of Paul's recommendation about praying and working without ceasing (1 Th 1:9; 3:10). The main hypothesis postulates that constant prayer and work are associated with the concepts of thanksgiving (words of the si)%apiax-lemma) and exemplarity. It is argued that Pauline recommendations about praying and working without ceasing prove to be supported not only by an original biblical culture, but also by a church culture as well as a currently emerging African culture. <![CDATA[<b>The disposal of the <i>hattat</i> flesh</b>]]> This article investigates the criteria for the disposal of the sin offering in the book of Leviticus, the function of the different ways of disposal and the meaning of the disposal with regard to Leviticus 10:17. It is indicated that this sacrifice is intended to eliminate the offerer's sin and the sanctuary's impurity. The eaten hattat offering retains minor contamination by human sin or impurity, whilst the burnt hattat offering is contaminated by more severe and major sins and impurities, in appropriation with either the offerer's socio-religious status or the gravity of the sin. <![CDATA[<b>James Alfred Loader: A tribute to a critical-solidary prophet in the ethical theological tradition</b>]]> This article investigates the criteria for the disposal of the sin offering in the book of Leviticus, the function of the different ways of disposal and the meaning of the disposal with regard to Leviticus 10:17. It is indicated that this sacrifice is intended to eliminate the offerer's sin and the sanctuary's impurity. The eaten hattat offering retains minor contamination by human sin or impurity, whilst the burnt hattat offering is contaminated by more severe and major sins and impurities, in appropriation with either the offerer's socio-religious status or the gravity of the sin. <![CDATA[<b>The assaulted (man) on the Jerusalem - Jericho road</b>: <b>Luke's creative interpretation of 2 Chronicles 28:15</b>]]> The article takes as a point of departure that the parable of the Good Samaritan was inspired by Luke's reading of 2 Chronicles 28:15. After introducing the concept of Lucan creative interpretation by referring to other examples in the gospel, it will be argued that a comparison between the texts in question provides a relief for an even better understanding of the parable. Some hermeneutical conclusions will be drawn regarding the concept of 'creative interpretation' for the authority of the Bible and its use, the theodicy problem, and the ultimate purpose of the gospel's emphasis on the marginalised, taking Old Testament motif(s) of beauty into account.