Scielo RSS <![CDATA[HTS Theological Studies]]> vol. 75 num. 4 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Centenary of Pentecostalism in Ghana (1917-2017): A case study of Christ Apostolic Church International</b>]]> Centenary celebrations in every organisation are approached with joy and reflection of the past, present, impact on society and planning for the years ahead. The Christ Apostolic Church International (CACI), which is acknowledged by Ghanaian Pentecostals as the mother of Pentecostalism, celebrated its Centenary of Pentecostalism in 2017. Having come this far and being acknowledged as the pioneer of classical Pentecostalism in Ghana, it is very important that issues concerning the church, its leadership and impact on society are discussed and properly recorded for future reference. Although some Ghanaian Pentecostal scholars did their best to document some aspects of history of CACI, their focus was limited to the early history of the church and the ministry of Apostle Peter Newman Anim. This article contributes to the existing missional and historical literature on CACI by bringing on board some of the historical gaps. This article also discusses the miraculous dispensation in CACI, their leadership and administrative structure, their growth and challenges as well as their religio-social and economic impact in Ghana. <![CDATA[<b>The idea of the Biblical economics: Utopia or chance in the face of the contemporary transformations of the sphere of work</b>]]> The future of labour appears as one of the crucial themes of the sociological and economic reflections. Sociologists and economists proclaim a shrinking scope of labour and, consequently, a certain elitism of jobs. In their opinion, professional work will be a privilege for those who are more skilled and better educated, and those who are able to face the challenges of the rapid technological progress. This will be causing an unknown future of the reality of both common unemployment and enforced idleness, and, consequently, a deep social transformation. Questions related to human labour from the very beginning are an important field of involvement for the ecumenical movement. Theologians and churchmen of different Christian confessions, while striving for unity, put the stress on the common reflection and activity in order to counteract poverty and unemployment. An example is a biblical economics developed in the ecumenical movement, an attempt to apply both some specific biblical economic ideas and biblical general model of economic relations to the contemporary economic systems, to make them more just and more ecological. This article presents the most important elements of the biblical economics and considers their relevance for the sphere of human labour in the perspective of the oncoming crisis. Research methods encompass analysis of the presentations developed within the World Council of Churches as well as some sociological diagnosis concerning professional and wage work. <![CDATA[<b>A dangerous pedagogy of discomfort: Redressing racism in theology education</b>]]> This article aims to illustrate how racism could be addressed. Three pedagogies - a dangerous pedagogy as courageous dialogue, a pedagogy of discomfort and a critical pedagogy - are presented as examples to reframe the issue of racism. The contribution of James Cone is applied as a broad descriptive theoretical framework. Cone's views in this article resonate with the history of contemporary racism in South Africa and will therefore be juxtaposed by the contribution of South African theologians. A fourth pedagogy, namely, a pedagogy of freedom and healing, is introduced to address gaps in the first three pedagogies. The objective is to realise freedom or healing between people of different races. <![CDATA[<b>Die bittereinderstandpunt van President M.T. Steyn tydens die Anglo-Boereoorlog van 1899-1902 - 'n Etiese beoordeling</b>]]> The die-hard viewpoint of an influential figure like President M.T. Steyn of the Republic of the Orange Free State (1896-1902) led to the lengthening of the Anglo-Boer War by more than a year. The reasons for Steyn leading the Free State into this war, the reasons for his call not to surrender and the effect of the war on the Afrikaner, is discussed in this article. An ethical discussion of factors indicating a bitter end, is also on the cards. There was a strong realisation among the representatives of the Republics of the Free State and the Transvaal in 1902 that this is the end of the war. <![CDATA[<b>Forgiveness and politics: Reading Matthew 18:21-35 with survivors of armed conflict in Colombia</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Rediscovering 'disciplemaking' and the role of faith-sharing</b>]]> According to the Gospel of Matthew, disciplemaking seems to be the signature mark of faithful disciples of Jesus the Christ (cf. Mt 28:18-20). Van Aarde refers to this, with reference to Von Harnack and Lohmeyer as the manifesto of the church, being on the same level of meaning as Deuteronomy 6 in the Old Testament. It may be fair to say that this 'natural' way of being and doing was in more than one way exchanged for evangelism practices that did nothing to show forth that following the Christ is a better or best way of living life, here already, to its fullest. These practices even reflected negatively on disciplemaking as such. A personal conviction is that 'discipling' may even be one of the missing links in the so-called missional conversation. This article will reflect on current theory on discipling and the natural necessity thereof. It will also draw upon findings in empirical research conducted by the National Church Life Surveys during 2014 in South Africa that may give an indication whether discipling is a common praxis among selected South African denominations and congregations. The focus will be on 'Faith-Sharing' as a core quality among adult attenders and includes several measures of the involvement of attenders in the outreach of the congregation (e.g. evangelistic activities, readiness to share their faith with others and whether outreach is a highly valued part of the ministry of the congregation). <![CDATA[<b>Land and identity in South Africa: An immanent moral critique of dominant discourses in the debate on expropriation without compensation</b>]]> Ownership is an important identity marker. It provides people with a sense of autonomy, rootedness and opportunity. This essay examines the oral submissions of civil organisations to the Joint Constitutional Review Committee (04-07 September 2018) about the issue of land expropriation without compensation. The discussion pays specific attention to the philosophical understandings of land and identity that emerged during the hearings. Three dominant trajectories came into play, namely land as commodity, land as social space and land as spiritual inheritance. Some submissions espoused more than one view, which indicates that the boundaries between the identified paradigms are permeable. However, even those presentations tended to prioritise one approach above the others. Besides identifying the main approaches to land and identity, this essay also provides an immanent critique of their moral assumptions. In contrast to a transcendental approach, an immanent critique asks questions from 'within' and evaluates paradigms in terms of their plausibility, universal applicability, ethical consistency and moral integrity. <![CDATA[<b>Rethinking mission, missions and money: A focus on the Baptist Church in Central Africa</b>]]> The African church has the most growing figures compared to the west and yet it contributes the least to world missions. This article analyses the issue of disparity in funding mission practices between the African church and its mother church, the Western church. It then explores reasons behind the African church's struggles to support missions and identifies opportunities for world missions to which the eastern Congolese church is exposed. A critical analysis of different arguments and reports from different authors was used to draw the main conclusions and, therefore, identify the central reason of the disparity and provide recommendations for the two churches. The paper suggests how scholars and the church should rethink mission, missions and money in Eastern Congo. <![CDATA[<b>Interculturality in peace-building and mutual edification (Rm 14:19)</b>]]> This article shows that, according to Romans 14:19, peace-building and mutual edification are closely interrelated. This hypothesis is substantiated through an intercultural method, which explores the issues of peace from a triple perspective: a contemporary culture (DR Congo), an original Biblical culture (Rm 14:19) and a past Church culture (Church Fathers). These three frames basically agree that for restoring and maintaining peace, it is important to fight against its main cause, namely sin. It is equally important to cultivate things that promote peace and mutual edification. <![CDATA[<b>The search for a moral compass and a new social contract in the context of citizenship education</b>]]> Some observers regard South Africa as one of the most violent, lawless and morally depraved societies in the world. Several other countries around the world can be shown to be similarly afflicted. In South Africa's case, this condition might be because of political transformation, particularly the lingering effects of the struggle against past injustices (apartheid, racism) inflicted on sections of the population. The social instability has been exacerbated by an influx of migrants and a resultant increase in diversity. One way of attempting to assuage this situation is to harness the school subject known as 'citizenship education' for guiding the upcoming generations into committing to a new moral compass, that is, awareness or consciousness with a conscience, and to an accompanying new social contract. Finding a rationale for such a moral compass and social contract that all the citizens of South Africa and of other similarly stricken countries would be prepared to commit to is a daunting task because people tend to be subjective in reflecting about their personal and group views, particularly about their religious beliefs and convictions. Closer examination reveals, however, that despite all the diversity, differences and conflict prevalent in societies, people are potentially able to share a set of basic values that arguably could form the core of the sought-for moral compass. Citizenship education could be functional in bringing home to the next generation the notion of henceforth living in accordance with the precepts of such a moral compass and social contract. <![CDATA[<b>The New Perspective challenge to Luther</b>]]> New Perspective scholars challenge Protestant interpretations of Paul. It used to be the case, they state, that Protestants assumed that Paul was to Judaism as Luther was to Medieval Catholicism. Both men supposedly reacted against legalistic religions and championed grace-based faiths. However, in 1977, E.P. Sanders wrote Paul and Palestinian Judaism, arguing that Judaism is not a legalistic but a grace-based faith. Assuming that Sanders is correct, New Perspectivists claim that Paul's and Luther's theologies and experiences were thus not parallel. Hence, Luther misunderstood Paul. Additionally, New Perspectivists challenge Protestant understandings of 'justification'. In New Perspective thought, Paul uses the term 'justification' primarily to describe how people, particularly Gentiles, join the church Christians without following Jewish ritual laws. 'Justification', then, does not describe how people 'stay in' the covenant and receive salvation, as Protestants think. However, this article maintains that while New Perspectivists have some knowledge of Paul and Judaism, they are much less knowledgeable regarding Luther, Medieval Catholicism and Luther's reaction to it. Greater scrutiny of these latter areas reveals large difficulties with New Perspective arguments. In addition, a review of relevant passages from Paul's letters demonstrates that Protestants have not misunderstood Paul's use of the term 'justification'. Many Pauline passages show that when Paul discusses justification he is also thinking about 'staying in', not just 'getting in' the covenant. <![CDATA[<b>Aspects of political theology in the spiritual autobiography of Nicolas Berdiaev</b>]]> Despite its importance for the understanding of ideas and the genesis of Nicholas Berdiaev's works, his spiritual autobiography, written at the end of his life, has not been fructified enough by contemporary research until today. Therefore, this research aims at bringing it into attention and emphasising the aspects of political theology it contains. The author investigates elements such as the philosopher's eschatological notes, his conception about freedom and slavery or about the superior human condition, trying to see how they influence his representation of political theology. Moreover, he links his political and religious attitudes, in an attempt not only to identify the context in which his ideas regarding this topic were born and to find influences of the context in which he lived, but also to emphasise the contemporary dimension of his way of thinking and the place the topic holds in his spiritual autobiography. For this purpose, he also uses the works of the aforementioned philosopher, the book reviews and dictionary entries dedicated to his autobiography, as well as the books, articles and reviews dedicated to Berdiaev and his work, starting from his lifetime and up to these days. <![CDATA[<b>The contradictory unity of faith and reason in Christian theoretical thought</b>]]> This article aims to demonstrate the unity of faith and reason as irrational and rational elements of the theoretical religious discourse on instances of Christian theoretical thought. This unity was represented as a dialectical contradiction, the violation of which led to the destruction of religious discourse. The contradictory unity of faith and reason was researched in European medieval philosophy and Russian religious philosophy in the first half of the 20th century and in the theoretical systems that were considered ways of explaining the relationship between faith and reason in Christian thought. This article reveals two historical types of the dynamic unity of faith and reason as well as violations of this unity: when medieval authors attempted to find the most effective relationship between faith and reason for Christian theology; and when Russian philosophers attempted to transmit theological knowledge by means of philosophy in the secular age. The results of the dynamic unity violations in both traditions are investigated as the conceptions that had been denied by these traditions. The main conclusion of the article is that Christian theoretical thought maintained the contradictions between faith and reason as a search for its development. <![CDATA[<b>The linguistic characteristics of the language of human rights and its use in reality as the kingdom of God in the light of Speech Act Theory</b>]]> Human rights, a language that keeps public order, is realised in ordinary life by language characteristics according to social rules. Despite this fact, research that considers the linguistic features of human rights relating to its use and effects in terms of the kingdom of God in the present world seems to have not been attempted or seldom attempted. Thus, this article proposes to examine the language of human rights by means of Speech Act Theory. The approach is predicated upon the language use as performative acts. The approach shows the language of human rights with performative language by seeking to uncover the operation and effects of language of rights in real-life situations. The thrust of this article implies how we can explain the semantics of human rights and execute them in ordinary life in terms of God's kingdom. <![CDATA[<b>Distinguishing the virtuous city of Alfarabi from that of Plato in light of his unique historical context</b>]]> There is a tendency among scholars to identify Alfarabi's political philosophy in general and his theory of the state in particular with that of Plato's The Republic. Undoubtedly Alfarabi was well versed in the philosophy of Plato and was greatly influenced by it. He borrows the Platonic concept of the philosopher king and uses it in his theory of the state. However, we argue that the identification of Alfarabi's virtuous city with that of Plato's The Republic is an inaccurate assessment as it involves overlooking Alfarabi's unique religiopolitical context. Alfarabi was a Muslim political philosopher, and the present article intends to understand Alfarabi's theory of the state in light of his historical context. The article shows that, viewed through the prism of Islamic religion and political history, Alfarabi's virtuous city seems distinct from that of Plato's The Republic. <![CDATA[<b>Mission awakening in the Dutch Reformed Church: The possibility of a fifth wave?</b>]]> The Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) had a strong missionary DNA since the planting of the church. This missionary focus and fervour, however, ebbed and flowed during the history of the church. Saayman described that the mission upsurges in the DRC in four waves or 'periods of extraordinary mission endeavour'. The current research aimed to develop this theory through a literature study on the sociopolitical context and the developments in the ecclesiology and missiology of the DRC since the planting of the church up to 2013. The research found strong evidence to define a fifth wave. The fifth wave was influenced by contextual changes (e.g. a secularising, a more integrated multicultural society and the realisation of the needs of the poor) and loss of influence and money by the DRC. Furthermore, the growth in the church's missional identity can be seen in the following aspects: the influence of theologians like Lesslie Newbigin and David Bosch; a belief that mission is not something the church does but something the church is; a shift from a Christocentric theology to a Trinitarian theology; a holistic view of salvation; a commitment to the local context of the congregation and a focus on bringing healing to their local communities; and lastly, the success of the Gestuurde Gemeentes network and, more recently, the Mission Shaped Ministry training. <![CDATA[<b>From the earth of Africa: Q research in South Africa</b>]]> As the title indicates, this article traces the history of Q research in South Africa. It focuses on South African scholars who have made worthwhile contributions to our understanding and knowledge of the Sayings Gospel Q. An attempt is ultimately made to detect some trends in this regard. One significant finding perhaps worth mentioning in the abstract is the undeniable influence of Andries G. van Aarde on Q scholarship in South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Missional branding: A case study of the Church of Pentecost</b>]]> Branding is a strategy designed by companies to help patrons or consumers quickly identify their products or organisations and give them a reason to choose their products or organisations over other competitors. In the Old Testament, God identified the Israelites as a unique brand. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ branded the church with the power of the Holy Spirit, miracles, signs and wonders. Reading the Acts of the Apostles, the church developed a brand of being Spirit-filled, communal-living and mission-minded. It was out of this that early believers in Antioch were called 'Christians'. The name 'Christian' therefore became a brand name for believers and followers of Jesus Christ. In view of this, one would expect that the concept of branding would be a major tool for modern-day churches. Although there are several publications on branding from the perspective of marketing and management, there is no such academic research on missional branding, hence this research. This article contributes to the interdisciplinary discourse on branding, with specific reference to the missional branding of the Church of Pentecost. <![CDATA[<b>A cognitive analysis of Proverbs 1:20-33</b>]]> This article uses cognitive linguistics and an embodied cognitive approach to analyse the passage of Proverbs 1:20-33. The poem, presented as a prophetic threat, uses metaphoric language to depict the dialogue between personified wisdom and metaphorised human beings. The analysis indicates that there is a coherence of metaphors in the target domain shared by both metaphorised source domains of wisdom and the hearers. Using bodily metaphors it stresses the need of wisdom to be internalised by men. <![CDATA[<b>A critical analysis of social innovation: A qualitative exploration of a religious organisation</b>]]> New challenges are constantly emerging in the social sector in South Africa. Various social (non-profit) organisations are developing new and innovative ways to accommodate these challenges and to meet social needs. The aim of this research article is to measure the current social innovation capacity of the Dutch Reformed Church (DR Church), with reference to innovation capabilities, to determine at what level the church is meeting new social needs. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect data from six different congregations and a governing body in the Pretoria area, South Africa, was included. Twelve participants were interviewed between August and October 2017. The participants, consisting of ministers and board members, each held a management position. The social innovation capacity measurement of the DR Church showed that the organisation was successfully developing new ways to serve as a social agent in society. There are obstacles that prohibit the DR Church from developing new innovative ways to meet the social needs of its society, for example, entrepreneurial, developmental and leadership change capacities. Recommendations are made to maximise social innovation capacity of the managers (ministers and board members). <![CDATA[<b>A missional hermeneutic for the transformation of theological education in Africa</b>]]> The wide acceptance and maturation of the theology of missio Dei is the most important development in the theology of mission in recent times. It introduced a radically new understanding of mission and theology, and flowing from that a re-appropriation of ecclesiology. Mission studies are also characterised by a new appreciation of mission from the margins: liberation theology and the associated discourses on decoloniality, deep engagement in contextuality and the explosion of missional ecclesiology (missional church). This apostolic orientation of the church is of the utmost importance in the reflection on the future of theology. This research attends to the postcolonial discourse as an important critique of colonialism and understands the emancipation of Africanised or decolonised theological education as an inevitable and positive development. Contextual sensitivity, attention to diverse power structures and a predisposition to appreciate diversity open imaginative possibilities for theological education. This leads to the argument that decolonial African theology must confront issues of biblical hermeneutics. The proposal of this research is that missional hermeneutic is an excellent starting point. It describes the contours of a missional hermeneutic, attending to mission as central to the Biblical story, the meaning of mission and the conviction that reading Scriptures constitutes an essential part of missional praxis. Missional hermeneutic is a centring vision and purpose for theological education. The argument is for a missional curriculum that defines a centre that unifies the various disciplines, one that places mission and missiology at the heart of theological education. <![CDATA[<b>Determining moral leadership as argued from an evolutionary point of view - With reference to gender, race, poverty and sexual orientation</b>]]> This essay focuses on determining moral leadership, as theoretically debated from an evolutionary point of view in an attempt to reflect on how this kind of moral leadership can contribute, among others, in dealing with issues such as gender, race, poverty and sexual orientation. Although important, not one of the latter issues will be discussed. It is not the primary focus of the essay. But because we are aware of the extent of the challenges regarding these issues, they were specifically identified as examples for applying the moral guidelines developed and determined in this essay. This essay mainly argues that morality and moral leadership require analytical and critical evolutionary thinking and reflection that could contribute to making the world a more just and fair place in which to live. Moral leaders are created when people are constantly striving in an ongoing process of reasoning to become more humane, thereby allowing every person to flourish and to reach their full potential through biologically determined and justice-based moral reflection and action. <![CDATA[<b>Fearing the stranger?</b>: <b>Homiletical explorations in a fear-filled world</b>]]> The large number of xenophobic attacks that broke out in different places in South Africa during 2008 was still continuing unabated 10 years later. We were stressed to come to terms with the reality that this occurred in a country that is globally considered to be an example of reconciliation. It is clear that we were confronted by the politics of fear, which were manifested in xenophobia and all the other -isms. In this article, the primary causes of these xenophobic outbreaks were scrutinised and placed within the wider framework of a culture of fear. The central research question is: Why are we still struggling with this phenomenon more than a decade after it first appeared on South African soil? In-depth analysis will be performed on what is lying behind the culture of fear underlying these acts of violence. After exploring some of the factors related to a culture of fear by making use of a sociological frame, the author moved on to answer a second question: How do we, as preachers, researchers and practical theologians, respond in a theological way to the challenges posed by a xenophobic culture in our preaching activities? Finally, the impact of violence and fear on the practice of preaching within a Christian context was discussed. <![CDATA[<b>Testing the inescapable network of mutuality: Albert Luthuli, Martin Luther King Jr and the challenges of post-liberation South Africa</b>]]> The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, 50 years ago on 04 April 1968, has been recalled in the United States with memorial services, conferences, public discussions and books. In contrast, the commemoration in 2017 of the death of Albert John Mvumbi Luthuli, 50 years ago on December 1967, passed almost unremarked. That is to our detriment. Yet, these two Christian fighters for freedom, in different contexts, did not only have much in common, but they also left remarkably similar and equally inspiring legacies for South Africa, the United States and the world in the ways they lived their lives in complete faith commitment to ideals and ways of struggle that may guide us in the ongoing struggles to make the world a more just, peacable and humane place. For South African reflections on our ethical stance in the fierce, continuing struggles for justice, dignity and the authenticity of our democracy, I propose that these two leaders should be considered in tandem. We should learn from both. This article engages Martin Luther King Jr's belief in the 'inescapable network of mutuality', applies it to the struggle for freedom in South Africa and explores the ways in which South Africans can embrace these ethical ideals in facing the challenges of post-liberation. <![CDATA[<b>A case of therapeutic preaching done well: Theological diagnostics in Von Balthasar's sermon, 'Joy in the Midst of Anxiety'</b>]]> It is argued that the proper way to construct and deliver a therapeutic sermon is to take a theocentric approach. Preaching, rightly understood, is proclamation of the good news that God has redeemed the world through Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is by definition theological. Feeling pressure to be relevant, engaging and contemporary, a significant number of preachers fall into administering mini-doses of psychological self-help from the pulpit. Hans Urs von Balthasar's homily, 'Joy in the Midst of Anxiety', is offered as a positive alternative. The sermon is theologically and homiletically analysed to show why it is an excellent example of theocentric therapeutic preaching. <![CDATA[<b>A Neuro Linguistic Programming's modelling process for the development of and guidance to congregations: An adaptive ministry</b>]]> Several congregations in the workspace of the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa are losing viability and sustainability. This can be attributed to various factors, the most prominent being isolation. Isolation is defined here as the inability of some congregations to move away from maintenance and an inward focus towards making necessary adjustments on the way to a dimension of missional focus. While commitment and enthusiasm are present in the work of all congregations, some find it difficult to adapt their established ideas and in some cases obsolete customs and traditions. Other congregations have made the necessary adjustments by defining themselves as missional. In congregations where constructive change occurs, the focus moves to undertake congregational ministries. The congregation not only gains insight into their own situation but also becomes aware of God's calling for that specific congregation within a specific context. The focus shifts from their own situation and needs to the needs and challenges of the context surrounding the specific congregation. A consequence of this change in focus is that the whole ministry of the congregation adjusts accordingly. These congregations discover their own unique spirituality and begin to ask: For whom do we exist? The article is based on a PhD thesis, where Osmer's four questions of practical theology were brought into the conversation with the modelling process of neuro-linguistic programming, in an attempt to sojourn with congregations towards a contextual missional focus. This research was undertaken to expand Osmer's four questions of practical theology by using the modelling process of neuro-linguistic programming so that congregations may succeed in making the necessary adjustments. <![CDATA[<b>The concept of vicarious suffering in the Old Testament</b>]]> The concept of vicarious suffering has been used to describe some form(s) of suffering in the Old Testament. The use of this concept has, however, been a source of much debate and controversy. In this article, the meaning of the concept of vicarious suffering, its presence in the Old Testament, as well as its 'appropriateness' and usefulness as a heuristic term in the study of the Old Testament account of suffering is discussed. Vicarious suffering is defined as 'suffering in place of and for the benefit of others'. The study establishes that while a number of terms and practices in the Old Testament express the idea of vicariousness, the concept of vicarious suffering finds its fullest and dramatic expression in Isaiah 52:13-53:12. Therefore, the article concludes by proposing that the concept of vicarious suffering is present in the Old Testament, particularly in Isaiah 52:13-53:12, and that it continues to be an appropriate and useful heuristic concept in the study of the issue of suffering in the Old Testament. <![CDATA[<b>International knowledge transfer in religious education? The example of Germany and South Africa as test case</b>]]> The focus of this article is on international knowledge transfer in religious education as it has been proposed by a recent Manifesto in Europe. Readers are introduced to this Manifesto which also is the starting point of the article. The example of Germany and South Africa is used as a test case for the understanding of international knowledge transfer. The author analyses this understanding on the background of general considerations, among others, concerning unilateral and bilateral forms of transfer, but also the meaning of empirical research in this context before he discusses three examples for German religious education learning from South Africa: human dignity, justice and reconciliation. In the final section of this article, the results of these discussions are connected with the question of what they imply for the understanding of international knowledge transfer in religious education. The author argues for a complex approach which entails a careful balance between the idea of sharing knowledge and doing justice to the contextual nature of research results in the field of religious education. <![CDATA[<b>Jesus — The immigrant Egyptian Jews in Matthew's Sondergut: A migration perspective</b>]]> Using pull and push factors inspired by the migration theory, this study explains Matthew's Sondergut concerning Jesus' flight to Egypt from the perspective of possible pull-push factors associated with Egypt and Palestine during the first century. Within early Christianity, two perception strands concerning Egypt existed: on the one hand, Jews such as Celsus depicted Egypt negatively as a place of magic and oppression. Yet another perspective portrays Egypt as a place of refuge, recuperation and recovery - a view reflected in Luke-Acts, Matthew and some parts of Mark. Not disregarding views that read the story as Midrash or allegory, this study focuses on Matthew's Sondergut concerning Jesus' flight to Egypt as narrative explainable from a positive migration perspective, and argues that the prosperity of Egypt and possible political turmoil in Palestine during the first century give plausible reconstruct for Matthew's Sondergut regarding Jesus' flight to Egypt as a place of refuge and sustenance. <![CDATA[<b>Die uitspraak '</b><b>…</b><b> en saam laat sit in die hemel' (Ef 2:6) as voorbeeld van 'n eskatologiese hoogtepunt in die brief aan die Efesiërs</b>]]> The sentence 'to rule with him in the heavenly world' (Eph 2:6) as example of an eschatological highlight in the letter to the Ephesians: The viewpoint in this article is that the above-mentioned statement in the letter to the Ephesians can be seen as an eschatological sentence of extraordinary value. In view of different eschatological viewpoints from the past, it can be stated that this sentence is an example of eschatology not only for the future, but also for the present. It is understandable that there is a close link between eschatology and mission. The meaning of theosis (deification), a concept from the Eastern churches' theological debate, underlines the need for a present eschatological consciousness that has significance for the future of church and faith. Believers can in this way escape from the destructive lust that is in the world, and may become partakers of the divine nature. <![CDATA[<b>Spirituality and impact evaluation design: The case of an addiction recovery faith-based organisation in Argentina</b>]]> The importance of the spiritual dimension in the lives of people living in conditions of poverty and social exclusion and the often-critical role of faith-based organisations has gained increasing relevance in development research and practice. A growing line of research focuses on how to integrate the faith dimension into the evaluation of social programmes and on quantifying the effects of faith. The objective of this article is to propose a framework for integrating a spiritual dimension into the design and practice of impact evaluation by using the concept of integral human development (IHD). Integral human development emerged within the Catholic social tradition, but is not specific to it. It is a perspective on human development that integrates the material and spiritual, recognises the interdependence between humans and their environment or territory and demands change at both the individual and collective levels. This framework is then applied to the design of an impact evaluation of a faith-based programme that accompanies people with drug and alcohol addictions in Argentina. The article highlights the following characteristics of an integral impact evaluation: the interaction between multiple well-being dimensions; the use of knowledge and methods of analysis from multiple disciplines; the importance of understanding the diverse pathways to improvements in well-being; the assessment of the spiritual dimension through changes in one's relationships with oneself, others and the environment; and the importance of assessing personal change within the context of social and community transformation. <![CDATA[<b>The Great Emergence: An exposition</b>]]> In this review article, the book entitled Emergence Christianity, What it is, Where it is Going, and Why it Matters, written by Phyllis Tickle in 2012, is discussed. The discussion is both informative (as most of the people in South Africa are not much aware of the Emergence movement/s in the West - especially in the United States and Europe) and critical. The publication, being a follow-up of a book she wrote in 2008, refers to the Great Emergence that is almost in full swing all over the Western and Latinised world. According to Tickle, an Emergence happens approximately every 500 years, and this concerns Christianity as well. As the world is in the 500-year slot after the previous Emergence, the so-called fifth Emergence, nicknamed the Great Emergence, is imminent. <![CDATA[<b>Stephen Bantu Biko: An agent of change in South Africa's socio-politico-religious landscape</b>]]> This article examines and analyses Biko's contribution to the liberation struggle in South Africa from the perspective of politics and religion. Through his leading participation in Black Consciousness Movement and Black Theology Project, Biko has not only influenced the direction of the liberation agenda, but he has also left a legacy that if the liberated and democratic South Africa were to follow, this country would be a much better place for all to live in. In fact, the continent as a whole through its endeavours in the African Union underpinned by the African Renaissance philosophy would go a long way in forging unity among the continent's nation states. Biko's legacy covers among other things identity, human dignity, education, research, health and job creation. This article will have far reaching implications for the relations between the democratic state and the church in South Africa, more so that there has been such a lack of the church's prophecy for the past 25 years. <![CDATA[<b>What is so theological about a faculty of theology at a public university? Athens — Berlin — Pretoria</b>]]> In this article, the author engages with the question 'what is so theological about theological education?', which he calls a genealogy of theology. This matter is approached from a very specific vantage point as the author was the former dean of the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Pretoria (South Africa) and has engaged in this research project over the past 5 years, as the Faculty was under severe review as to its composition, and ultimately its very future. This article endeavours to bring to the surface the underlying theology of the author and the paradigm he is operating from. It concludes with a definition of theology as he sees it, but with the explicit qualification of it being situated at a research-intensive university competing for a notable position on the ranking indexes of world universities. A new niche is thus opening up for theology (vis-à-vis a seminary or even a Christian university), namely, a 'scholarly endeavour of believers in the public sphere in order to inquire into a multi-dimensional reality in a manner that matters'. <![CDATA[<b>To feel with and for Friedrich Schleiermacher: On religious experience</b>]]> The German systematic theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher has shaped Western Christian theological thinking in many ways. One such influential way has been his formulation and exposition of religious experience, and specifically the concept of the 'feeling of absolute dependence' (Gefühl der schlechthinnigen Abhängigkeit). From a brief account of his understanding of the 'feeling of absolute independence', a few critical remarks are made from the broader context of contemporary hermeneutical discourses, focusing on the constitutive role of affectivity and narrative identity in religious experiences of embodied personhood. It is argued that these two themes in revisiting Schleiermacher's understanding of the 'feeling of absolute dependence' can contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of religious experience. <![CDATA[<b>Schism, syncretism and politics: Derived and implied social model in the self-definition of early Christian orthodoxy</b>]]> The first 400 years of Christianity posed an intricate scenario of social dynamics. The interplay of these social dynamics or catalysts analogous to time perceivably conceived the political-religious establishment that then forged orthodoxy. The resultant continuum that was consequent of the imperial religious-political merger upon the following eras further established a formative impact of these catalysts. As a revisionist analysis of the era leading up to the Constantinian turn, and a parallel comparison between preceding and following eras, this research proposes an alternate construction to the narrative of Early Christianity orthodoxy. The preceding position derives from the attempt at the development of a modular theory through which Christianity can be analysed. Through document analysis, a literature review was accomplished. The development of early Christianity from inception to 400 CE when deduced against enculturating influences implies a sociological study. From the three perceived phases that Christianity went through, Jewish-Christian schism, Hellenism and then imperial interventional politics, implications can be made upon latter eras and derivations can be deduced from earlier eras. Significantly, there seems to have been a resurgent theme in the person of religious-political institutions that consolidated their positions. The synergy and inevitability of the process that preceded the first ecumenical council are confirmed in both a positive and negative substantiation of the proposed model. The emergent episcopal leadership in Christianity and its consolidation averse to the political dynamics of imperial Rome implied a composite significance of all factors. Similarly, the intransigent nature of certain African Christian elements argues for the inevitability of cultural enculturation as precedent to political definition in the formation of a universal orthodoxy. <![CDATA[<b>Reimagining the practice of Pentecostal prophecy in Southern Africa: A critical engagement</b>]]> This article is a critical engagement on the practice of Pentecostal prophecy in Southern Africa. Pentecostal prophecy is widely practiced in Southern Africa and other parts of the African continent, especially West Africa, in countries like Ghana and Nigeria. The phenomenon is related to divination in African Traditional Religions. The practices of Pentecostal prophecy in Southern Africa include forensic prophecy, prophetic titles, prophetic objects, prophetic consultation and prophetic miracles. This article critically engages these practices and reimagines the practice of Pentecostal prophecy in Southern Africa. The article suggests a prophecy of salvation, prophecy of love, prophecy of humility and approved prophecy as a remedy for bizarre practices of Pentecostal prophecy in Southern Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Nicaea as political orthodoxy: Imperial Christianity versus episcopal polities</b>]]> Fourth-century Christianity and the Council of Nicaea have continually been read as a Constantinian narrative. The dominancy of imperial Christianity has been a consequent feature of the established narrative regarding the events within early Christianity. There is a case for a revisionist enquiry regarding the influence of the emperor in the formation of orthodoxy. The role of bishops and its political characterisation had definitive implications upon Christianity as it would seem. Recent revisions on Constantine by Leithart and Barnes incited the enquiry. The enquiry was made possible through document analysis; this mainly took the form of a literature study. The orthodoxy that emerged at Nicaea in 325 CE was reflective of the political-orthodoxy trajectory that Christianity took beyond the 4th century. Between imperial intervention and clerical polities, one was a definitive dynamic to the then emergent Christianity. The influence of the emperor, which was an apparently definitive feature characterising the era, was compositely relevant as a catalyst in the formation of the Christianity that emerged during the 4th century. The implication that centuries before the Council of Nicaea Christianity had been characterised by significant phases of socio-cultural dynamics relegates the influence of the emperor. The emperor Constantine and his association with the Council of Nicaea characterised an era of imperial ecclesiastical politics in Christianity, and so did the Jewish-Christian Schism and a monarchical episcopate that shaped the orthodox matrix of the church. This research deduced that the function of imperial intervention should be analysed in conjunction with diverse factors characterising the Christianity emergent at Nicaea, particularly ecclesiastical polities. <![CDATA[<b>The philosophical output of Héloïse d'Argenteuil</b>]]> This article attempts to deconstruct the overhyped erotic relationship between the philosopher-monk Peter Abelard (1079-1142) and philosopher-nun Héloïse d'Argenteuil (ca. 1100-1164), by surveying Héloïse's extant texts (Epistolae duorum amantium, Episto lae Heloissae and Problemata Heloissae) as such, isolating three themes in her philosophical output: her concept of Cicerian love, her criticism of marriage and her notion of moral and material responsibility, which includes her understanding of an ethics of attitude and intention. When Héloïse is read against the grain of the standardised Abelard-reception (which holds Héloïse as at best a productive correspondent of Abelard, yet a mere muse for his extensive academic output), she is brought into perspective as an independent thinker, who deserves more intellectual respect than to be caricaturised as either Abelard's secret young lover, or his unwilling wife. When her texts are read as independent outputs, albeit often in the form of correspondence, she steps forward as the 'first female philosopher of the Middle Ages'. Her relationship with Abelard, important as it was for both of them, is secondary to her standing as a philosopher proper. <![CDATA[<b>A critical study of Acts 6:1-3 and its implications for political restructuring in Nigeria</b>]]> The nascent church in Jerusalem represented in Acts 6 verses 1-3 was promptly challenged by the problem of inequity and lack of fair play among the various stakeholders and such disaffection reached a situation of murmur and open agitation. This challenge to the apostles was a threat to the consolidation of the already established Christian community in Jerusalem and its spread to the whole world. Something must be done to arrest the situation or the Church runs the risk of disintegration. Having some moral lessons drawn from the pericope at the back of the mind, one notices that recently there has been a clamour by the different geopolitical groups in Nigeria to restructure the Nigerian political system. The clamour is based on the failed position of post-war federalism to give all parts of Nigeria's pluralistic society a fair and equal representation which hitherto was meant to stop Nigeria from another civil war or the cry for cessation by one region or another. The church, as an impartial umpire in the art of politics, should, in the midst of the turmoil, serve as the conscience of the masses, pressing hard to the actualisation of the demands of the masses. The study, through historical-critical method of biblical scholarship with Form criticism, analysed that situation of agitation to inequality and gross misrepresentation in the book of Acts 6:1-3, pressing to offer vital lessons to Nigeria in her quest for political restructuring. It concluded by finding out that Nigeria's pluralistic nature, when restructured, should be a catalyst for global vision attainment and sustainable development. <![CDATA[<b>The cleansing of the leper in Mark 1:40-45 and the secrecy motif: An African ecclesial context</b>]]> This article examines the reason behind the charge to secrecy imposed by Jesus on the leper in Mark 1:40-45, in the context of African experience, the implications of the meaning conveyed and the challenges posed on the church and the gospel enterprise in Africa. The ministry of Jesus could have been a platform for conflicts, self-glorification, hero worship and exploitation. Jesus resisted the temptation in those directions. The charge to silence in African context reveals the virtue of silence which is subsumed in integrity, modesty and character (trust and accountability). It calls the attention of the followers of Jesus to the worthiness of emulating such a lifestyle as a pattern for service to God and humanity. The textual and historical exegetical methodology is adopted in this research. <![CDATA[<b>Learning of Catholic theology in the digital age</b>]]> This article focuses on the intersections between theological knowledge and the use of the Internet to access study resources for students studying Catholic theology at tertiary institutions. In the 21st century, the use of the Internet to access electronic resources (ERs) is gaining momentum as a tool for obtaining needed information among theology students, to support many aspects of their learning activities. This is mainly because of the proliferation of online theological libraries, as well as the fact that theology students ought to resist the easy path of uncritical passivity and select reliable data from other resources, and welcome it without merely imposing their critical theological opinions and views. Recent literature indicates that the hierarchical nature of Catholic doctrine needs not to exclude openness to the more rhizomatic approaches to knowledge structures that students' independent accessing of online ER represents. This intersection in learning theology requires a theoretical paradigm shift for adult theology students which can contribute greatly to the enlargement of the theology students' academic horizon and enriches their minds for an open theological dialogue and discussion with different theological opinions and views. <![CDATA[<b>African Ethiopia and Byzantine imperial orthodoxy: Politically influenced self-definition of Christianity</b>]]> The ancient Ethiopian Christian empire was an emergent and notable power in Eastern Africa and influenced its surrounding regions. It was itself influenced both religiously and politically. The ancient Christian narrative of North Africa has been deduced against a Roman imperial background. Whilst the preceding is congruent with the historical political dynamics, a consideration of the autonomy and uniqueness of ancient African Christianity and its regional influence is also relevant. This implied a revisionist approach to literature which was achieved through document analysis. A review of the continual independent interaction of ancient African Christianity with Roman or Byzantine imperial orthodoxy reflected on the multi-factorial self-definitive development within African Christianity. Against the background of ecclesiastical polities and socio-ethnical dynamics, the relationship of Africa or Ethiopia with Byzantine orthodoxy provides a strong argument for an organic African orthodoxy. The Constantinian era ushered a new phase of imperial orthodoxy and imperial-ecclesiastical ties that became formative for an imperial policy; these were definitive of Byzantine orthodoxy and were reflected in Roman and Vandal Africa and also in the Ethiopian Christian empire. This consequently characterised the orthodox Christianity post 325 CE/Nicaea; introspection regarding the extent of its influence formed the basis of this study. A study of the Ethiopian empire in its immediate Judaic-Arabian environment enhances the understanding regarding the ethnically politically defined Christianity that characterised it. Correspondingly, the review of Ethiopian Christianity's interaction with Byzantine orthodoxy and definitive features of ancient North African Christianity helped clear the ground for an organic orthodoxy. An establishment regarding a cooperative Ethiopian-Byzantine geopolitical policy, as opposed to theological divergence, helped change the narrative of African orthodoxy. <![CDATA[<b>The worldview of the pilgrim and the foundation of a confessional and narrative philosophy of education</b>]]> In this article, we explore the worldview of the pilgrim and how it relates to the drama of human existence. The worldview of the pilgrim is the starting point in our explorations of the postmodern conundrum and interrelated subjects such as epistemology, ethics, religious symbolism, hospitality and practical life strategies from a narrative and confessional perspective. These elaborations will serve the ultimate goal of this article, which is to contribute to the philosophy of education (including educators and educationists) and consequently to equip individuals with skills and substantial knowledge that would allow them to understand, define and pursue their own life goals as well as to participate with integrity in their community as full-fledged, responsible citizens. <![CDATA[<b>Serious games in theology</b>]]> In South Africa, the implementation of serious games and gamification (collectively referred to as gaming) in the design of curricula, being presented in schools and institutions of higher education, is mostly a novelty. As we are (should be) in a transitional phase with education, especially on two levels, namely, with the decolonisation of education and preparing education for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it would be fitting and high time to fully implement gaming into the curricula. This article takes a look at the implementation of a serious game on an undergraduate level at a residential university. It focuses in a pragmatic way on applying the serious game on biblical languages - Greek, Hebrew and Latin - proposing that they should be presented to the student as paper behind the glass. <![CDATA[<b>An analysis of the <i>Gayatri</i> mantra as a mega-compression: A cognitive linguistic perspective in light of conceptual blending theory</b>]]> In this article, the Gayatri mantra, one of the most sacred chants to be found in Hindu lore, will be analysed as a blend, where an entire philosophy is compressed into these few syllables, which will be expounded upon here in more detail. Drawing upon insights from conceptual blending theory, this sacred mantra will be unpacked and explored, and it will be shown here that this ancient Rigvedic hymn is actually a nucleic compression which once tapped into leads the practitioner to new insights and higher levels of spiritual awareness as the inner meaning unfolds. Practising Hindus around the world revere and recite this mantra with the utmost reverence, and this is true of the Indian diaspora in South Africa as well. Aside from presenting this hymn through the lens of blending theory, the aim is to demonstrate and explain why exactly this mantra is chanted with such reverence and given precedence over the many other mantras found throughout the Vedic texts. <![CDATA[<b>The Throne of God as a prototype of primacy in the Church and in creation</b>]]> This study emphasises the cosmic dimensions of the Church understood as the Throne of God, analysing its understanding in this way by the great writers and thinkers of the ancient world, for example, Philo the Alexandrine, Saint Dionysius the Areopagite and Saint Irene of Lyon. The reconstitution of all the cosmological contexts and understanding of the Throne of God inspired by the texts of the ancient authors is opening a very interesting perspective over the existence of the Church as a cosmic Throne of God and reassembling of all the heavenly and intelligible creations sustained and vivified by the primal light of God transmitted in this way towards the lower degrees of the heavenly angelic and churchly hierarchy. Thus, the real source of primacy in the Church is originated, as Saint Dionysius pointed out, in the primal light of God poured over the Church. The Church as the Throne of God helps to discover the real cosmic and heavenly perspective over the heavenly power and authority, the bishops of the Churches are called frankly by God from the beginning (Rv 3:21). <![CDATA[<b>National conscripts and their quest for closure: A Pastoral challenge</b>]]> During the apartheid era, young white men were conscripted for military service in the South African Defence Force. After the demise of apartheid, these military veterans became part of the transformation process in the country. They were often not prepared for the emotional and psychological impact of the political, economic and social changes. Many of them found and still find it difficult to take their place among the citizenry of the country. The post-apartheid government provided no support for them to reintegrate into the community or to process the often long-lasting effects of war related trauma and moral injury. For many, this resulted in a lack of healing and closure on a psychological, moral and spiritual level. This article aims to contribute from a pastoral care perspective to the process of healing, closure and reintegration of this specific group. A holistic narrative approach integrates the contextual approach of Charles Gerkin, the philosophical counselling of Daniel Louw and the insights of Neil Anderson with regard to the connection between spirituality and identity. A contextual approach promotes a deeper understanding of the veterans and their needs in the context of their local communities, including faith communities. In these local communities, resources are available and should be utilised. Such a constructive engagement between veterans, local communities and faith communities can contribute to healthier individuals, families and communities as well as to a healthier society. Guidelines for pastoral support of these veterans that can contribute to their social and personal transformation and process of psychological closure are proposed. <![CDATA[<b>ἀπονέμοντες τιμήν</b><b>: 1 Peter as subversive text, challenging predominant gender roles in the 1st-century Mediterranean world</b>]]> Although the tension which Christianity, in continuance with the Sache Jesu, first displayed with its surrounding culture, gradually conformed to the predominate culture of the ancient Mediterranean world, probably to avoid further conflict, it seems that the author of 1 Peter, despite my preference for a later dating (circa the turn of the 1st century AD), was set on maintaining this tension. 1 Peter employs a 'revolutionary subordination'. When the author of 1 Peter urges wives to be submissive or slaves to obey their masters, he is not perpetuating normative conservatism. Rather, wives and slaves as followers of Christ were to subvert injustice the same way Jesus did. Wives therefore do not submit to their non-believing husbands because they buy in to society's evaluation of them as inferior to their male counterparts. Rather, wives can submit to their non-believing husbands because they are triumphant in Christ and therefore emancipated moral agents, who may win over their non-believing husbands by their moral and godly conduct. <![CDATA[<b>An Ambazonian theology? A theological approach to the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon</b>]]> The last 3 years have witnessed a period of substantial volatility in Cameroon. In 2016, protests within the minority Anglophone regions against the obligatory use of French in schools triggered a period of considerable unrest, in which hundreds of people have been incarcerated and killed. Following an increased security presence in the English-speaking regions, armed groups have surfaced calling for secession - the creation of an independent nation of Ambazonia. In view of this escalating crisis, this article will investigate how the 'Anglophone problem' in Cameroon might be brought to bear upon the African theological debate by examining issues of violence, marginalisation and fragmentation within the two English-speaking areas of Cameroon. <![CDATA[<i><b>Theosis</b></i><b> in the Eastern-Orthodox and Western-Protestant theological debate</b>]]> All major religions agree on one theme, namely they strive to provide an answer regarding the relation with their God. A good relation to God is the way of salvation, because the question about God is an acknowledgement that a human being needs to be in union with God. Some questions and answers are only possible in the relation between God and humankind. The well-known saying from the letter to the Romans (1:17), is typical of such a relation formulated in the Western Protestant debate in forensic style. From the Eastern orthodox theological debate, theosis is used in accordance to what the church father Irenaeus meant: 'God became human that we might become divine'. This article gives a definition of theosis, sketch the historic background of the concept, discuss salvation in the Western theological tradition, and pays attention to a theosis scriptural basis. Furthermore, attention is also given to Martin Luther and theosis as an indication that his view of salvation was much closer to theosis as was readily accepted in the Western theological debate since the Reformation of the 16th century. <![CDATA[<b>'A Barricade across the High Road': C.S. Lewis on the theology of his time</b>]]> In this article, I analyse C.S. Lewis's attitude towards the theology and the theologians of his time. Lewis often emphasised that he was not a theologian. Sometimes he does so out of modesty, to excuse minor errors that a specialist in the field would not have made. More often than not, however, something else plays a role: Lewis's dislike of the theology and the theologians of his time. Although he intended not to become a party in theological controversies, Lewis occasionally took sides. He expressed himself in extremely negative terms about the liberal ... movement, which in his experience... dominated the theology of his time. By assuming them to be in error, and showing how they had arrived there, he participates in the practice he elsewhere rejected as 'Bulverism'. Moreover, he employed pejorative, sexually tinged metaphors. Only on one occasion did Lewis provide arguments for his rejection of liberal theology, and on that occasion he limited himself to New Testament exegesis. On another occasion, Lewis states that he allows only marginal, religiously irrelevant revisions of Christian doctrine. Ironically, his own revisions sometimes went beyond this - for example, in the case of the traditional doctrine of hell. In this article I suggested that for Lewis, the practice of faith implicitly is the ultimate criterion. <![CDATA[<b>The Bantu Presbyterian Church in South Africa and Ecumenism, 1940-1999</b>]]> From 1940, ecumenical developments in the Presbyterian/Congregational corpus in Southern Africa became more tortuous and complex, with an expansion of the number of denominations involved in union negotiations to include the Bantu Presbyterian Church of South Africa (BPCSA, from 1979 the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa, RPCSA), the Congregational Union of South Africa, later the United Congregational Church of South Africa, the Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa and the Tsonga Presbyterian Church (TPC, later the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of South Africa, EPCSA). The problem statement centres around the complex situation that despite substantial similarities in doctrine, liturgy and polity, as well as involvement in the Church Unity Commission and the South African Council of Churches, the union proved to be elusive. The aim of this article is to investigate the dynamics of the developing relationships and hindrances to closer relationships in the wider South African context. This study is conducted from the perspective of the BPCSA and RPCSA, and the methodology is based predominantly on archival research. <![CDATA[<b>You are not a man, none of you are men! Early Christian masculinity and Lucian's the <i>Passing of Peregrinus</i></b>]]> Much recent work on the masculinities enacted by early Christians has focused upon Christian texts and claims about their heroes and practices among elite Christians. Lucian's Passing of Peregrinus offers another avenue for thinking about early Christian masculinity. Lucian denies Peregrinus' claim to masculinity on the basis of his over-concern for honour, especially from the masses, his inability to control his appetites regarding food and sex, his being a parricide, his enacting 'strange' ascetic practices and his lack of courage in the face of death. By tying Peregrinus to a Christian community in Judea, Lucian both demonstrates the lack of manliness in the Christian movement, which he suggests is populated mostly by gullible women and children, and further 'unmans' Peregrinus by linking him to a community of easily duped people whose praise is not worthy of a philosopher. By presenting this Christian community as a group that not only accepts Peregrinus as a member but also quickly establishes him as their leader, almost at par with Jesus himself, according to Lucian's account, these early Christians show their lack of self-control by being deceived by a charlatan. Early Christian writers who claimed that their heroes were manly, even more manly than the Greek or Roman heroes, were writing in part to rebut the types of claims made by writers like Lucian. <![CDATA[<b>(Re)constructing God to find meaning in suffering: Men serving long-term sentences in Zonderwater</b>]]> Offender populations experience their incarceration through different lenses and often as a spiritual journey of suffering. During 2017 and 2018 a study was conducted by the authors with 30 men serving long-term sentences in Correctional Centre A, Zonderwater Management Area in the Gauteng province of South Africa. Following interviews and focus group sessions, the authors report on participants' representations on how their (re)constructed views of God assist them to find meaning in suffering while incarcerated. Narrative inquiry as a philosophical framework was applied, which presupposes equality between the researcher and the participant, the unmediated representation of words as data, the researcher as auto-ethnographer and respectful submission to subjectivity. Participants' views of God are thematised according to sets of God-images, firstly, as identified by Van der Ven in his book God Reinvented? (1998), adapted by the authors to suit the contents of the participants' God talk. Secondly, the 'God-images in Africa' were applied. The participants' (re)constructed God-images are divided into two categories: images that feed on the binary between divine and human (transcendence) and images that function in the dialogical spaces between divine and human where the incarcerated have internalised an external God (immanence). Binary images of God are presented by the apathetic God, retributive God, controlling God and the purifying God. However, a significant number of participants expressed their belief in God through the dialogical image of the compassionate God, and the suffering God as co-sufferer. The role of Africanness in constructing these God-images constitutes a special point of inquiry in this article, as reflected in the images of God defined by God the Great Ancestor and Divine Spirit, and God with whom a mystical union is formed. <![CDATA[<b>Reconstructing black identity: The <i>Black Panther</i>, Frantz Fanon and Achilles Mbembe in conversation</b>]]> It is dehumanising to identify people in terms of colour. Stereotyping and discrimination come with racial identification. Black identity has been expressed in different forms over the centuries. For a long period black identity was a constructed identity assigned to black people through a white-dominated matrix. After the end of slavery, efforts were made to reconstruct black identity. This developed into two divergent lines: one resulting in an illusionary identity as identified by Frantz Fanon and a second line of thought of a continued search for a true authentic black identity as explicated by the Cameroon-born philosopher Achilles Mbembe. This process of creating a new authentic black identity is still ongoing and viewed by some as a pessimistic futile attempt. An example of the ongoing attempt for establishing an authentic black identity is illustrated by the movie Black Panther, which attempts to portray a different side of being black. <![CDATA[<b>Herodias and Salome in Mark's story about the beheading of John the Baptist</b>]]> According to Mark 6:14-29, John the Baptist was beheaded by the order of Herod Antipas. This dramatic event became inevitable after a cunning interplay between Herodias and her daughter, who remains nameless in the New Testament. According to Flavius Josephus, she was called Salome (Jewish Antiquities XVIII, 5.4 § 136-137), and under that name, she went down in history. For the sake of convenience, I also call her 'Salome' in this article. Salome is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Shlomith, which was very popular in early Judaic times and means 'she who brings peace and tranquillity'. Unlike the faithful women elsewhere in Mark's gospel (5:21-43; 7:24-30; 14:3-9), Herodias and her daughter are not exactly models of virtue. Yet, it is questionable as to whether they are both thoroughly bad and whether they are both equally responsible for the murder of John. This article does not provide a historical reconstruction of what exactly happened at the court of Herod Antipas, but it contains a narrative analysis of what happened in the court of Herod Antipas. This narrative analysis is followed by an intertextual approach in the second part of this article. Firstly, I will compare Mark's story with what Flavius Josephus tells about the beheading of John. Thereafter, I will highlight the roles of Herodias and Salome in the play Salome by Oscar Wilde from 1894, which, in turn, forms the basis of the libretto for the opera Salome by Richard Strauss from 1905. Do we encounter in these modern artistic recreations (Neuschöpfungen) only transformations of Mark's story, or also transgressions in which Wilde and Strauss have largely replaced the original meaning of the story with new meaning? <![CDATA[<b>'A pretty decent sort of bloke': Towards the quest for an Australian Jesus</b>]]> From many Aboriginal elders, such as Tjangika Napaltjani, Bob Williams and Djiniyini Gondarra, to painters, such as Arthur Boyd, Pro Hart and John Forrester-Clack, from historians, such as Manning Clark, and poets, such as Maureen Watson, Francis Webb and Henry Lawson, to celebrated novelists, such as Joseph Furphy, Patrick White and Tim Winton, the figure of Jesus has occupied an endearing and idiosyncratic place in the Australian imagination. It is evidence enough that 'Australians have been anticlerical and antichurch, but rarely antiJesus' (Piggin 2000:163). But which Jesus? In what follows, I seek to listen to what some Australians make of Jesus, and to consider some theological implications of their contributions for the enduring quest for an Australian Jesus <![CDATA[<b>Seven correlations between interpersonal violence and the progression of organised religion</b>]]> While the majority of organised religions determine the origins of religion itself in an act of divine revelation, social science literature takes an evolutionary perspective. Without engaging the question of origin of religion from either perspective, this article proposes seven correlations between interpersonal violence and the progression of organised religion by suggesting that interpersonal violence plays a significant role in the institutionalising process of organised religion. Although interpersonal violence does not necessarily cause the structuring of faith, it reinforces and provides solutions to the existing patterns of threat faced by the community, which together lead to the organisation of religion. The first part of this article (stages 1-4) surveys the psychology of violence by focusing on the theories of frustration-aggression, mimetic rivalry, triangulation and the genesis of scapegoating and guilt. The second part (stages 5-6) marks the transition from personal to social psychology and surveys violence in the primitive religion, as manifested in the ritualising process of the scapegoat, and the genesis of sacrifice. The third part (stage 7) highlights the complexity of ritual, ethics and doctrine, in the evolution of religion from a primitive state to an advanced organised institution. <![CDATA[<b>Practical guidelines to ameliorate the effects of internal and external deployments on the marriages of soldiers</b>]]> This article critically looks at the challenges that are incumbent in the deployment of married soldiers who work for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). The SANDF previously deployed soldiers outside the borders of South Africa for a period of 6 months or less. But currently, the SANDF has a deployment period of 12 months. This period is twice that of the earlier period, which means that soldiers and their families have to spend 12 months apart from one another. This has an adverse effect on the marriages of soldiers and makes the SANDF appear as an uncaring institute because its military operations tend to impact family lives. Using a qualitative research approach, this article explores the emic experiences of married soldiers who were deployed, and concludes by suggesting some pastoral guidelines that may prove useful for a multi-professional team handling the issues of deployment. <![CDATA[<b>'Foucault se sodomiet': Damianus se <i>Liber gomorrhianus</i> (1049) heropen</b>]]> 'Foucault's sodomite': Damian's Liber gomorrhianus (1049) reopened. Taking Michel Foucault's famous statement about the difference between the 'Medieval sodomite' and the heteronormative '19th century homosexual' as its cue, this article surveys the discursive source of that statement in the work of Peter Damian (1007-1072) with regard to his obscure, yet consequential text, Liber gomorrhianus (presented in 1049 to Pope Leo IX, preceding the Council of Reims). Drawing on the recent research by Ranft and because Damian is such an understated figure in the corpus of Medieval philosophy, an overview of Damian's life and work is presented, especially in terms of Damian's 11th century reforming labour ethics. Only then the article proceeds to reopen Damian's text, indicating that the 'Medieval sodomite' is far removed from an elementary precursor to the modern scientia sexualis homosexual, but is indeed presented by Damian as a complex and gender-inclusive licentious person, within the context of the disintegration of sexual morality (especially within the domains of celibacy and confession) in the middle to late 11th century church and monasteries. Cross-referencing the own translation of the Latin text with the translation of Payer, the article disseminates and critiques the key concepts in Damian's argument for the summarily deposition of lapsi [fallen priests] and the expulsion of promiscuous monks (and nuns) from the orders, especially with regard to Damian's concepts of contra-natural and irrational fornication. Pope Leo's deeply pastoral and insightful answer to Damian (Ad splendidum nitentis) is presented in the last part of the article, including his sanctioning of Damian's complex concept of sodomy, which on that ground, became the conceptual source for the council of Reims (1049), and subsequent Medieval councils dealing with the 'problem of sodomy' in the church and monasteries. The canons of those councils were indeed the source of Foucault's analysis of Medieval sexuality - yet the more fundamental source was Damian's obscure text. <![CDATA[<b>Huldyrch Zwingli's contribution to the Reformation</b>]]> Huldyrch Zwingli, the first Swiss reformer in Zurich, made significant contributions to the 16th-century Reformation, yet he remains relatively unknown, if not forgotten. He is generally overshadowed by other reformers, such as Martin Luther and John Calvin. This article attempts to bring Zwingli to the surface by examining some of his contributions in Zurich which impacted the Reformation at large. This is especially significant because 2019 marks the 500th anniversary of Zwingli. The aim of the article is to provide an overview of Zwingli's contributions to the Reformation and point out how his works, in given areas such as faith and society, theology and sacraments, have stimulated further developments and dialogues during the Reformation and beyond. <![CDATA[<b>Redressing the past, doing justice in the present: Necessary paradoxes</b>]]> In this contribution, the connection between redressing the past and doing justice in the present is explored by presenting the notion of 'paradox' as a response to 'binary thinking'. In this regard, 'paradox' denotes contradictory, yet interrelated aspects that exist simultaneously. 'Binary thinking' refers to either/or categorical aspects that cannot co-exist. Two paradoxes are explored as a response to increasing polarisation because of a struggle in redressing past injustices: the paradox of remembering and forgetting and the paradox of difference and sameness. This is done by bringing the work of the South African practical theologian, Denise Ackermann, in conversation with the work of the Croatian systematic theologian, Miroslav Volf. From different origins and experiences, both offer a way forward, and a way to move on beyond the devastation that is caused by dealing with injustice, difference and memory in a polarising fashion. The contribution concludes with a reflection on the notion of 'ceding space' from a Trinitarian theological perspective. The ceding of space is proposed as act of transformation, as the outcome of the ideas proposed by Ackermann and Volf, and as a way to live together, 'after the locusts'. <![CDATA[<b>Non-philosophy and Derrida</b>]]> This study brings the thoughts of Derrida into conversation with François Laruelle's non-philosophy or non-standard philosophy. Laruelle argued that Derrida is a philosopher of difference, thereby grouping Derrida together with Heidegger and Deleuze as philosophers of difference. The argument of this article is to explore Derrida's work, bringing it into conversation with Laruelle's non-philosophy and non-standard philosophy. This article is focussed specifically on Derrida's democracy to come in line with Laruelle's democracy of thought. The context of this discussion is the end of philosophy or the closure of philosophy, and the opening of this closure for a democracy is yet to come - or whether the ideas of the end of philosophy or the closure of philosophy (metaphysics) are philosophical materials for Laruelle's science of philosophy or non-philosophy. Laruelle does not seek a democracy to come, but understands these different thoughts as democracy of thought: all thoughts equal and unifacially turned not towards a democracy to come, but a future. <![CDATA[<b>From the tower to the pews: A call for academic theology to re-engage with the local context</b>]]> This article assesses the shortcomings and the disconnectedness of the current academic theological education in South Africa. It offers a brief history to provide a guiding principle for academic theology. It then proceeds to show the current disconnect and challenges between academic theology and the church, with its primary focus on academic theology. Drawing on original research and reflection on these responses, commodification, euro-centricity and rankings are seen as three traps of modern academics. These three areas have distorted the true content of theological reflection. This article thus clearly highlights the current problem and motivates the need for academic theology and the local church to reconnect with each other. With this article focussing on academic institutions, it calls for the academy to change not in nature but in content, and to draw its content for the local context. <![CDATA[<b>Spirituality and beliefs of Colombian internal conflict survivors</b>]]> Remarkable stories of resilience and forgiveness have been reported in the wake of the internationally recognised peace process in Colombia. From the perspective of Christian spirituality, this study seeks to understand the individual and communal values, beliefs and practices that made the reconciliation and restoration of a community possible after severe dislocation and violence, some of it of neighbour against neighbour. Interviews conducted in the field (in San Carlos, Antioquia, Colombia) and transcribed by the author were used as texts. Transcripts were studied taking into account cultural, geographic and historical contexts. I found that a deeply rooted family- and community-based Catholic culture, brought by the Spanish in the 16th century and continuing to influence this rural area, offered values, beliefs and devotional practices that gave meaning, strength and empowered the ability to forgive. Also, psychological and pastoral tools for grieving, together with sociological and political values about reconciliation and the rebuilding of a community's fabric, intertwined with the religious values to deepen the capacity for reconciliation and community rebuilding. The experiences of these interviewees reveal a form of Christian spirituality lived through family and community ties that was augmented and empowered by values and practices of non-religious institutions, making possible significant personal and communal journeys of transformation and the concomitant remarkable resilience. <![CDATA[<b>Tweeting God: Notes on articulating a Twitter theology</b>]]> As part of the search for relevant and contextual articulations of theology, this article provides an overview of a comprehensive research project that explored, described and analysed Christian motifs on Twitter. Based on the brief overview of the project, perspectives for the formulation of a Twitter theology are presented from a practical theological orientation. Two central markers are indicated and described as primary drivers of a Twitter theology: the first marker places its focus on the relationship, dynamics and functioning of aspects of authority and normativity in facilitating a Twitter theology. The second marker puts particular emphasis on the value and significance of using aphoristic formulations in the elucidation of a comprehensible Twitter theology. The article presents important strategic perspectives on the practice of a Twitter theology, as well as the formulation of a relevant contextual theology. <![CDATA[<b>Godhead and humankind: The New Testament in unison with creedal Christianity</b>]]> The aim of this article is to argue that the sharing of 'being' between Jesus and the Godhead, professed in creedal Christianity and based on the Nicaean creed, pertains to a 'sameness in divine substance'. This substance refers to divine wisdom, justice and mercy. The article attempts to demonstrate that there exists a congruence between textual evidence in the New Testament and these 'orthodox' belief tenets, especially represented in the Athanasian creed. This is explained in terms of an analysis of the origins and development of creedal formulae. This process represents a movement from a fundamental religious experience to a 'use' of metaphorical language, to the origins of confessional formulae that lead to the formulation of dogma. In light of the insight into the 'building blocks' of the formation of confessional formulae, the article concludes with a 'deconstruction' of the concepts 'anathematisation' and 'heresy'. <![CDATA[<b>Do you hear what these are saying?' (Mt 21:16): Children and their role within Matthew's narrative</b>]]> This article sketches the broad outlines of Matthew's ironic portrayal of children, examining first the 'lower level' of the narrative (i.e. the way things appear to be in the everyday world) and then the 'upper level' of the narrative (i.e. the way things truly are from the 'God's-eye' perspective). When viewed from the 'lower level' of Matthew's narrative, the everyday circumstances of children reflect the nurture of their parents as well as significant challenges: debilitating physical conditions, serious illnesses, military violence and premature childhood death. In addition, children occupy the lowest rung on the 1st-century Mediterranean social ladder, a status they share with slaves. But on the 'upper level' of his narrative, from the 'God's-eye' perspective, Matthew turns everyday reality for children on its head in ironic fashion. Emmanuel, the 'God who is with us', appears as a 'child' who has just 'been born' and who exhibits all the powerlessness and vulnerability of such a 'child'. In a violent showdown between 'King Herod' and the one 'who has been born king of the Jews', it is Herod, the powerful ruler, who dies, while the vulnerable 'child' ends up safely in Nazareth. Throughout his ministry, Jesus heals children along with adults. To the apparent chagrin of his disciples, Jesus lays hands on children in an act of blessing. He commends the messianic praises of children, in contrast to the outrage of the Jewish leadership. Moreover, Jesus proclaims that it is 'to such as these [children] that the kingdom of heaven belongs'. <![CDATA[<b>Religion, religion! Wherefore art thou, religion? Enactment in interreligious encounters as walking the talk</b>]]> 'Interfaith dialogue' is a term that generally assumes dialogue between different faiths. Much has been written about why, how and what form this dialogue should assume. Although many theories have been developed around this process, it remained theories and did not develop into praxis. Some of these theories include aspects of psychology, theology of religions, preconditions for dialogue, ethical theories, epistemology and even social constructs in relation to the economy, social justice and peace. In as much as these theories are important, and needed to be noted, the how to walk the talk in the encounters in interreligious dialogue is not often addressed. This article, therefore, addresses the 'enacting' element of interreligious encounters as human-to-human encounters in walking the talk. With the emphasis on human-to-human encounters, examples from history are considered to explicate these encounters and, finally, why the term 'interreligious dialogue' better expresses the human-to-human encounters than the term 'interfaith dialogue'. <![CDATA[<b>Uninterrupted prayer - A spiritual challenge</b>]]> This contribution probes the question how the biblical instruction to pray continuously was understood in the history of Christian spirituality. It investigates two main traditions of interpretation. The first tradition interprets the instruction from a material-temporal perspective. Prayer should be, in the literal sense of the word, everlasting, never ending and perpetual. The second tradition focuses more on the relationship with God, its permanent character, and its lasting and enduring quality. It has to do with the question how a sustainable growth can be improved. It is a spiritual challenge, requiring an in-depth understanding and conversation, to consider and reflect on the difficult and complex interaction between these two approaches. <![CDATA[<b>The social thought of the Orthodox Church reflected in the documents of the Holy Pan-Orthodox Council of Crete (2016)</b>]]> An important moment in the history of the Orthodox Church is despite the withdrawal of local churches like the Bulgarian, Russian, Georgian and Alexandrian ones and the fear of Serbian Church to take part in it, the Pan-Orthodox Council of Crete remains an important meeting that influenced the history of Orthodoxy and shifted its conception to the world. The relevance of some of the topics discussed there explains why it can be found inside the important theological journals from the entire world chronicles of the event and articles dedicated to some of the topics investigated. Noticing this fact, we have tried to see the way the social thinking of the Orthodox Church is reflected in the documents released by the participants and its encyclical letter. Because of the fact that, until today, only the Russian Orthodox Church has a document that defines in an articulate way its social thinking and this one was published in 2002, when many challenges were not present in society, the ideas presented there are not only important for their relevance and actuality (because there are approached topics like fundamentalism, terrorism, nuclear weapons, family crisis, persecution of Christians of migration crisis), but also for the fact that they became the official document that articulates the landmarks of social thinking of the Eastern Orthodox Church, seen as a federation of local churches that are in Eucharistic and doctrinaire communion. Therefore, we have tried to see how the bishops presented to the Pan-Orthodox meeting, the way they understood and approached these topics and what represented the motivations of their conclusions. <![CDATA[<b>Naming God's presence in preaching</b>]]> Does preaching bring God on stage? Protestants assume an intimate relationship between the 'Word of God' and preaching. However, the principle that 'preaching of the Word of God is the Word of God' caused intense debates about the status of God language. The author highlights the classic disputes of the 19th and 20th centuries and argues that the old dilemma must be overcome. Sermons address the subjective-contextual conditions of the listeners, and this in no way precludes the attention for divine disclosure. On the contrary, there is a true reciprocity between personal spirituality and the sense of God as really other. The author defends the thesis that the renewed attention for the human condition in the theological debates of the last decades should also include a positive stand towards the believer's spiritual awareness of God's real existence and presence. <![CDATA[<b>All the Apocalypse a stage: The ritual function of apocalyptic literature</b>]]> It has been made clear for quite some time that if the Bible has become a classic of Western culture because of its normativity, then the responsibility of the biblical scholar cannot be restricted to giving readers clear access to the original intentions of the biblical writers. It must also include the question: 'What does a reading of the biblical text do to someone who submits to its world of vision?' This is a question that has been especially significant in the study of apocalyptic literature, as all apocalypses are hortatory. The implication is that, even in the historical context in which the text was first produced, there is room to consider the earliest stages of audience interaction with the text. Interestingly, most studies making use of this model do not address what the implications of this kind of 'reading as performance' might be for today's reader. This research argued that in the understanding of the biblical text as an oral performance, there is a need to leave room for all that happens to a text after it leaves the author's hands. The method proposed urged 'performers' of texts to pay attention to how they bring themselves to interpretation. More specifically, this method aimed to make use of ritual and liturgy as the rhetorical or performative context within which biblical texts functioned and still function. This research thus proposed a liturgical-functional reading reading of biblical texts which integrates affective reading and the deliberate move from cognitive to affective processes. <![CDATA[<b>Faith communities, youth and development in Mozambique</b>]]> In Mozambique, poverty is pervasive because of factors such as the civil war (1976-1992) and its aftermath, political instability, food scarcity and natural disasters. This article elucidates the situation of post-civil war Mozambique from a socio-political perspective with a specific focus on children and the youth as a particularly vulnerable group. Many children and young people have been displaced and are subject to work exploitation and sexual abuse. Female children also fall victim to the cultural practice of child marriage. The absence of comprehensive social measures for the protection of vulnerable young persons has a detrimental effect on their welfare and future prospects. The aim of the article is to explore the role that faith communities and church institutions can play in this context. From an inclusive congregational perspective, the inclusion of youth in all aspects of faith communities as a strategy for development is discussed. From a human rights and theological perspective, participatory action is required for faith communities and church institutions to contribute to making a life of human dignity possible for children and young people. <![CDATA[<b>History and developments of pastoral care in Africa: A survey and proposition for effective contextual pastoral caregiving</b>]]> The practice of pastoral care (cura animarum) over the ages has been informed and influenced by the need to develop creative ways (interventions) to respond to people's contextual challenges. These approaches have been well documented. However, the history, developments and emerging pastoral care practices in Africa have not been documented. This article, by way of a survey, considers the pastoral care approaches that emerged in Africa from the period when Christianity was introduced to the continent. It addresses three interlinked questions. Firstly, to what extent has pastoral care approaches and practices in Africa been influenced by the African context and developments? Secondly, to what extent has the context and the emerging pastoral care approaches in Africa been discerned from historical developments and documented? Thirdly, what links can be drawn between pastoral care practices in Africa and its historical as well as cultural context? In answering these questions, the article retrieves pastoral care developments in Africa by discerning pastoral care during the periods of Christianity in Africa. The notion of cura animarum as 'soul care', referring to care for the whole person (holistic care, i.e., nephesh care) from a Christian spiritual perspective, will be employed as a framework. The assumption guiding the article is that pastoral care practices and approaches in Africa have arisen as responses to the contextual realities being experienced at the interface of Christianity and the African people. These realities arose and persist to this day as a struggle to relate, apply and live out an authentic African Christian life to cope with life in a meaningful way. It concludes by suggesting ways on how pastoral care in Africa should be practiced in the current period and going forward. <![CDATA[<b>Augustinus: 'n Studie oor die etiek van die kerkvader uit Afrika deur J.H. van Wyk</b>]]> In this review article, the book by J.H. (Amie) van Wyk, Augustine: A study on the ethics of the church father from Africa is presented and discussed Short overviews of the content of the six chapters are given. They are: (1) Introduction - the necessity for a book on Augustine's ethics in Afrikaans, (2) Orientation - an overview of his life and works, (3) Grounding - the relationship between dogmatics and ethics, (4) Typology - the character of his ethics, (5) Themes - marriage and sexual ethics, political ethics and animal ethics, (6) Findings - evaluation of Augustine's ethics. Support is given to the argument that Augustine is an important forerunner to the Reformation. Information is provided on Augustine and the early years of the Reformation in Wittenberg. Critical remarks are made about the author's understanding of the relationship between faith and works, dogmatics and ethics. The Lutheran understanding of this topic is presented as an important alternative to the Reformed version that is defended in this book. Finally, attention is given to Augustine's 'theory of the two cities'. Also in this regard advice is given from one of Luther's publication. His exposition of Mary's Song ('Magnificat') in Luke 1:46-55 is used as an example of how a witness to the government could look like. <![CDATA[<b>The Matthean community's state of coexistence between Jews and Gentiles</b>]]> The past century has seen various studies on the nature of Matthew's community, and conclusions are still being debated. The study on which this article is based acknowledges the past studies, but further proposes that the nature of the Matthean community was one of coexistence. The Matthean community implied in the book of Matthew coexisted in three ways. Firstly, Jews and Gentiles coexisted within the community: the Jewish-Christian-centred community had started to accept Gentiles and became a community where Gentiles and Jews lived together. Secondly, the community was in a state where both the Jewish law and the teachings of Jesus were followed. Finally, the community tended to set both Jews and Gentiles as targets for the mission. This means that there was missionary coexistence within the community. These three main reasons are the basis for the claim that the Matthean community maintained the nature of coexistence. <![CDATA[<b>Theological reflection, assurance and the doctrine of God</b>]]> This article focuses on the anxiety about whether God loves one or not. In the author's nearly 30-year ministry, this pastoral difficulty continues to perplex and afflict. While the presenting problem is what in theological parlance is 'a lack of assurance', a side difficulty is the poor and incorrect doctrine of God often associated with this. A Baylor University Study in 2006 characterises the kind of God that different groups of Americans believe in. While the phrase 'a lack of assurance' is a part of dogmatic parlance, and has fallen out of use, the feeling of not belonging to God can be overwhelming for people. This feeling may be overwhelming. This makes it a pastoral issue. This article suggests a pastoral response to this issue and a proposal for a clarification in the nature and character of God using the therapeutic theology of 19th-century Scottish minister-theologian John McLeod Campbell. <![CDATA[<b>Neglect of people with disability by the African church</b>]]> The African community, as well as the church, has always cared for people with disability. The main problem they faced is that they care for them by imposing their own agenda on them. In other words, they take over their lives by over-caring. Because of guilt, they want to do everything for them, as if they are not capable of functioning within that community. This way of caring leads to them over-protecting these people. The process of caring over-shadows people with disability. They simply take over their lives, which results in the fact that these people become object of those who care for them. They are called names and are described by their function or through their disability. This is how they lose their name in life. The above discussion simply explain this object relational syndrome. For example, they are called digole (handicapped). In brief, they lose who they are, when the community uses their characteristic instead of their names, and behaviour becomes a way of dealing with them. The African church finally endorses the above by removing the image and likeness of God from them. For example, when they attend worship, they are viewed as people who are not normal, and in need of prayer, for healing so that they can be normal like us. This is another way of dealing with them as objects. Another obstacle in the African church is lack of ramps. The church is expecting the so-called normal people who function in a way that they want. This is a sign that people with disability are not welcomed. Finally, they are viewed as people possessed by demons and therefore in need of healing. The church, without finding out what they need, sets the agenda. The reader will now understand why the African church has neglected them. <![CDATA[<b>Reading the Beatitudes (Mt 5:1-10) through the lenses of introverted intuition and introverted sensing: Perceiving text differently</b>]]> Working within the reader perspective approach to biblical hermeneutics, a recent series of empirical studies has tested the theory that the readers' psychological type preferences between sensing and intuition (perceiving functions) and between feeling and thinking (judging functions) shape distinctive readings of biblical texts. This study advances the debate by distinguishing between the two orientations within which the functions are expressed (introverted and extraverted). The added clarity offered by this refinement is illustrated by the distinctive voices of introverted intuition and introverted sensing engaging with the Matthean Beatitudes, eight verses rich in materials to engage the perceiving functions. <![CDATA[<b>Supplementing the lack of ubuntu? The ministry of Zimbabwe's Mashoko Christian Hospital to people living with HIV and AIDS in challenging their stigmatisation in the church</b>]]> This article uses the African communal concept of ubuntu to reflect on the ministry of Mashoko Christian Hospital (MCH), Zimbabwe, to people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS (PLWHA) during the early days since the discovery of the disease. The main question this article seeks to answer is: from a perspective of the African philosophy of ubuntu, how did the ministry of MCH to PLWHA challenge the fear and judgemental attitudes towards the disease within the Churches of Christ in Zimbabwe? This leads to another question: what should the churches learn from MCH's response to HIV and AIDS? This article only focusses on trends in conduct and not on a detailed history of engaging HIV and AIDS. The significance of this article is to demonstrate the important role played by faith-based organisations (FBOs) in complementing the compassion and care often lacking in the official churches' response to HIV and AIDS. <![CDATA[<b>Leveraging social capital of the church for development: A case study of a farming community in Wellington</b>]]> This article explores how a farming community in Wellington (Bovlei) moved from dependence towards an empowered community through non-profit organisations' (NPOs) transformative community development initiatives, undertaken together with the church's social capital. This example serves as the backdrop to explore critical viewpoints by various scholars who are critical about how the church engages in an unequal and unjust society. The critical questions that remain are the following; who is the church?, what is the church's role as a change agent? and how should churches leverage social capital for development? Although various definitions have been given in conceptualising the church and its role in society, through this article, the author engages with the social capital theory in understanding how the transformation came about in this community by describing the churches' involvement through a case study. <![CDATA[<b>Does faith matter? Exploring the emerging value and tensions ascribed to faith identity in South African faith-based organisations</b>]]> Faith-based Organisations (FBOs) have been at the forefront of a growing interest of the intersection between religion and development. Their value has been recognised as both pragmatic (such as reaching the poorest at the grassroots level and encouraging civil society and advocacy) and, perhaps more contentiously, also 'spiritual' in nature because of advantages arising from faith itself (such as hope, meaning, purpose and transcendental power). For many FBOs, religion is far more than an 'essential component of identity … it is a source of well-being'. In this manner, FBOs challenge the modernist assumptions of traditional development theory, which view the spiritual and physical domains as separate. In fact, for some FBOs, 'spiritual faith provides the fuel for action'. This paper reports on an aspect of the empirical findings of a South African study and explores both the way in which Christian FBOs understand their Christian identity and the way in which they articulate this through their use of scripture as a motivating or an envisioning tool. <![CDATA[<b>Towards defining the Christian development organisation</b>]]> Around the world, there exist many organisations who claim a Christian motivation and whose work falls within the scope of the development sector. These organisations are distinctly different from local congregations, and whilst development as a field of theological study is becoming increasingly well-defined and established, there has been limited theological research and reflection on these organisations. Much about them remains unstudied and unclear, raising questions about their purpose, legitimacy and theological contribution. This in turn hampers a responsive and responsible engagement with them within the academy. Contributing to this oversight is the absence of an appropriate, commonly shared name and definition around which research and discourse can occur. This article reviews names and definitions currently being used and then proposes the name 'Christian developmental organisation' (CDO). It provides a rich definition, considering the CDO's organisational, societal, purpose, activity and faith dimensions. In addition, the history dimension brings an understanding of the origins and formation of the CDO whilst the relationship dimension positions the CDO within a web of relational dynamics. It is hoped that the name and definition offered in this article will promote research and engagement with the CDO as well as aid their self-understanding. <![CDATA[<b>Gender-based violence and efforts to address the phenomenon: Towards a church public pastoral care intervention proposition for community development in Zimbabwe</b>]]> Gender-based Violence (GBV) is a huge concern in many African countries such as Zimbabwe despite the preventative and mitigatory interventions that have been proposed and implemented by various stakeholders. The interventions applied range from policies and programmes that are government initiated as well as those interventions by social actors such as non-government organisations and Faith-based Organisations (FBOs) like churches. Gender-based violence as a social structural issue is sustained and perpetuated by cultural norms, values and beliefs that are fed by patriarchy, among other things. To effectively respond to the situation, interventions should target multiple social levels, including policy, government officials' attitudes, individual men and women, families, community leaders and structures and social institutions such as churches. Churches are a critical community social institution that could play a pivotal role in addressing GBV. To position churches as players on public issues such as GBV, the questions that emerge are: 'What is the role of the church in a public problem such as GBV? How could churches conceive and perform a public ministerial role that addresses GBV?' To respond to these questions, this article employs the idea of public pastoral care as a nexus that churches could utilise in performing a community and public role function in contributing towards addressing GBV. Firstly, the article sketches the context of GBV in Zimbabwe and the various efforts to address it. Secondly, it outlines the ambivalent role of churches in GBV. Thirdly, it conceptualises the notion of public pastoral care as an approach that could be employed by churches to address GBV. Lastly, it proposes some public practical approaches that could be employed in addressing GBV by churches. <![CDATA[<b>Doing public pastoral care through church-driven development in Africa: Reflection on church and community mobilisation process approach in Lesotho</b>]]> African communities face various challenges that require different sectors' interventions to be effectively addressed. Churches as key community structures in Africa along with people experience these life challenges. The situation prompts churches to continually re-examine their role in communities to develop relevant responses that are deeply rooted in Christian approaches and heritage. Pastoral care as a community frontline ministry is expected to intervene practically to address people's holistic needs. However, the questions that emerge are the following: how can pastoral care practically be performed in a manner that it performs a public community caring role? How can public pastoral care be practically implemented? What models can be employed in providing public pastoral care? This article considers how pastoral care can be practically performed at the intersection of public theology and community development. Pastoral care performed at this intersection is termed public pastoral care. The article discusses and notes the 'murky' terrain and 'apparent confusion' on the notion of public pastoral care. Furthermore, it employs a church and community mobilisation process (CCMP) case study to progress beyond theoretical discussion to examine how public pastoral care can be operationalised in real-life situations. In doing so, it discerns the possibilities and challenges of positioning pastoral care to address public issues. <![CDATA[<b>So, what's your story? — The role of storytelling in nurturing inclusive congregational identity</b>]]> South African churches are struggling to form cohesive communities and strategies are needed to bring people together. Because of a deficiency in trust, people are reluctant to get to know each other, impacting on the quality of relationships and a positive sense of belonging and community. Congregations need to find ways to nurture an inclusive identity instead of the current norm of all-white or all-black churches, which can be perceived as being inaccessible or exclusive. Innovative strategies like storytelling can unlock the power to understand each other breaking down prejudice, racism and xenophobia. Because intercultural socialisation is found wanting in congregations, sharing different perspectives and experiences can deepen engagements overcoming superficial interactions. This article expands on how storytelling can be used to facilitate an inclusive and intercultural congregational identity through identity formation, liberative practices of reconciliation, community building and as an educational resource. <![CDATA[<b>The Dutch Reformed Church is continuously changing: Revision of the church order of 1998</b>]]> As the name of the title suggests, the Dutch Reformed Church is continuously changing or reforming. This change focuses on improvement as times change. In 1994, the Dutch Reformed Church was confronted with a new South African society built on a new paradigm, as expressed in Chapter 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 1996. Against this background, the General Synod of 1998 amended the church order. The amendments, including employment relationships of ministers, church discipline and the relationship between church and state, echoed the new South Africa and were an attempt to operate anew from reformed constants or principles. As a changing church in a changing situation, the Dutch Reformed Church wished to reform on these points or change on the basis of reformed principles. <![CDATA[<b>Towards a decolonial hermeneutic of experience in African Pentecostal Christianity: A South African perspective</b>]]> The idea for this article was developed in ecumenical discussion regarding the worrisome developments in some neo-Pentecostal ministries where stories of snake-eating, petrol-drinking, false prophecies and so on were being alleged. A burning question during the discussion was: what is it with the hermeneutic of experience that makes it possible for such stories to arise? Furthermore, how can this situation be remedied? The researchers set to answer this question by conducting a literature study on the subject of hermeneutics of African Indigenous Churches (AICs), neo-Pentecostalism and Mission Pentecostalism. The inclusion of AICs and Mission Pentecostalism follows the scholarly consensus led by Allan Anderson in which all three together constitute African Pentecostalism. This article offers a critical reflection on the corrosive role of fundamentalist-inspired exclusivism, judgementalism and pride, which feed ignorance of the basic oneness of African Pentecostal Christianity. It concludes that abuse abounds in the divisions and maintenance of the above-mentioned fundamentalist attitudes and raises the necessity of creating awareness of belonging to one community. This community's historical experience of the activity of the Spirit and Scripture may serve as critical input into its hermeneutic, hopefully lessening if not eradicating abuse. <![CDATA[<b>Rethinking the message of the church in the 21st century: An amalgamation between science and religion</b>]]> Throughout its history, Christianity has stood in a dichotomous relation to the various philosophical movements or eras (pre-modernism, modernism, postmodernism and post-postmodernism) that took on different faces throughout history. In each period, it was the sciences that influenced, to a great extent, the interpretation and understanding of the Bible. Christianity, however, was not immune to influences, specifically those of the Western world. This essay reflects briefly on this dichotomy and the influence of Bultmann's demythologising of the kerygma during the 20th century. Also, the remythologising (Vanhoozer) of the church's message as proposed for the 21st century no more satisfies the critical Christian thinkers. The relationship between science and religion is revisited, albeit from a different perspective as established over the past two decades as to how the sciences have been pointed out more and more to complement theology. This article endeavours to evoke the church to consider the fundamental contributions of the sciences and how it is going to incorporate the sciences into its theological training and message to the world. <![CDATA[<b><i>Homo disruptus</i> and the future church</b>]]> The Fourth Industrial Revolution is a phrase that is frequently heard in the media. This study explores the major changes that this revolution has installed for us. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is an umbrella term for many aspects, and the study takes note of the concepts like the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, artificial general intelligence, artificial superintelligence, transhumanism and Homo digitalis. The spin-off effect of this revolution may cause possible disruptive effects on Homo sapiens by creating greater numbers of Homo disruptus. The term Homo disruptus is not a frequently used term, although it can be used in conjunction with the disruption that will be part of our future. Disruption may occur because of emerging technology, robotics, unemployment, digital dictatorships and exploitation, the side effects of Homo digitalis and transhumanism. The church will be part and parcel of this world, although the church does not have to be a victim and can play a significant role in anchoring Homo disruptus with the timeless message of the gospel and finding innovative ways to deal with their disruptive world. <![CDATA[<b>Foreigners go home! Re-imagining ubuntology and the agency of faith communities in addressing the migration crisis in the City of Tshwane</b>]]> Foreigners go home! This is a reverberating chorus at the heart of the migration crisis everywhere in the world. This call manifests itself in the recurring xenophobic or Afrophobic attacks directed at foreign nationals in South Africa. This article reflects on the most recent xenophobic attacks directed at foreign nationals during the anti-immigration march, held on 24 February 2017, in the City of Tshwane (South Africa). This article states that calls for foreigners to go home and the xenophobic or Afrophobic violent attacks that accompanied them were a direct attack on ubuntu. It was an attack that rendered ubuntu 'homeless' and reflected the direct opposite of what an African community generally stands for. It was also an attack directed towards the migrant God; hence, the article proposes a re-imagination of the theology of ubuntu and the agency of faith communities as an antidote to the recurring calls for foreigners to go home. <![CDATA[<b>The Catholic Church in need of de-clericalisation and moral doctrinal agency: Towards an ethically accountable hierarchical leadership</b>]]> Under normal circumstances the church would function as an agent of change and transformation, but this article focuses on the church herself that needs radical change if she is to remain relevant in mission and ministry in this current era. Clericalism and the centralisation of hierarchical control can be identified as the root causes of institutional pathology and weakening collegiality. To address clericalism may require the adjustment of seminary training, as in the current system seminarians are nurtured in a sense of separateness, promoting male-ego and feed gender exclusivity and doctrinal self-righteousness. While the seminary was once an instrument of reform in the Catholic Church, established to counter problems such as clerical concubinage and illiteracy, but now it is no longer suitable as it has become the forum that breeds other problems. Priority attention should be paid to purge the church of rampant clericalism, discriminatory scapegoating of gay persons, marginalisation of free thinkers, exclusion of women priests, the perceived moral laxity of family life issues and reception of communion by divorced Catholics without the benefits of annulment. Discrediting the personal authority of the pope is hardly an enlightened option. What ought to be transformed is the centralisation of control and allowing increased localised dominion whereby crises such as sexual abuse scandals could be addressed and solved more speedily and liberally, and limit the need to go to the top for solutions. To wait for centralised, hierarchal structures to deal with urgent issues is not desirable, as speedy accountability is needed to address issues that hurt the church in its entirety. <![CDATA[<b>The traditional Afrikaans-speaking churches in dire straits</b>]]> Christianity is entering another revolution or reformation phase. Five hundred years ago, Luther stood up against the Roman Catholic Church, which started the reformation and the reformed movement, culminating in the birth of the Reformed Churches (RC). Today these RCs are seemingly the victims of the new revolution. The traditional Afrikaans-speaking RCs in South Africa serve as a striking example. The symptoms of these churches correspond to those of a dying church, highlighted by scholars like Rainer, Noble, Niewhof and Mattera. Central to this situation is the fact that the relationship with God and his commandments is no longer the focus point of the churches. Thus, the identity crisis that the churches are experiencing is mirroring the chaotic South African society of violence, corruption and hopelessness. For these churches to turn the death spiral around, a reformation is needed that will transform them into alternative societies of peace and hope, founded on a living relationship with God. This article ends with suggestions on how to turn the tide for these churches, or at least how to start doing something positive to get out of the crisis. <![CDATA[<b>Schleiermacher: God-consciousness and religious identity</b>]]> The world sees a shift in people's religious identity, moving away from the orthodox centre to either the extremes of religious fundamentalism or the religious identity of being 'spiritual, but not religious'. This article investigates the latter religious identity and asks whether Schleiermacher's theology may be of any value to it. The argument is that the context of disillusionment experienced during the Enlightenment and South Africa's transition to a post-secular constitutional democracy created the environment for a religious search beyond orthodoxy. The article then describes the tension between being conscious of the self and an awareness of dependence on the other, found in Schleiermacher's thinking and the notion of 'spirituality'. The article concludes by questioning how sin and evil, and the place of Jesus in Schleiermacher's theology and the stated form of religious identity, can be understood. <![CDATA[<b>Schleiermacher as preacher: A contemporary South African perspective</b>]]> South African homiletics is in a crisis and it has - contrary to our expectation - nothing to do with either the presence or the influence of the great 19th-century theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher. In fact, this article shows that his absence stretches even deeper and wider than is often assumed. What makes this state in scholarship even more strange and remarkable is that the practice of preaching played an immense and crucial role in Schleiermacher's own life and theology. By coming to know how this famous theologian as a preacher embodied the blending of different voices - preacher, church, Scripture and the Triune God - into the mystery of the one living voice of the gospel that speaks to us in the preaching event, this article tries to show why it is necessary and relevant to engage with Schleiermacher as a preacher who primarily thought about himself as a servant of the Word. Reading one of his sermons on sermons may stimulate theological thought beyond the borders and confinements of discipline and context. <![CDATA[<b>Multifarious facets in the thinking of the elusive Friedrich Schleiermacher (21 November 1768 - 12 February 1834)</b>]]> This article forms part of the commemoration of Friedrich Schleiermacher, who died 185 years ago on 12 February 1834. It focuses on the aspects of Schleiermacher's life and work that have influenced the author the most. The article consists of personal annotations, Schleiermacher's understanding of 'divine' hermeneutics, his notion of congeniality and his 'subscription' to creedal Christianity while promoting the freedom of the exegete to interpret the Bible and ecclesiastical confessions robustly and critically. <![CDATA[<b>Friedrich Schleiermacher's Reden and the problem of religious plurality</b>]]> Modern knowledge of the world's religions brings to light the problem of religious plurality, meaning the problem of why there is such great religious diversity, and which set of religious beliefs, if any, can be judged to be true. In 1799 and in the later editions, the young Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834) offered a pioneering account of religion in his revolutionary work, widely known as the Reden, first rendered in English in 1893 with the title On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers, which this article summarises and critically evaluates in relation to that problem. Guided by the work of Eric Sharpe on the history of the comparative study of religion, the article locates Schleiermacher in the context of the state of knowledge about the plurality of religions when he wrote the Reden, compared to our present knowledge. The evaluation takes as its primary critical criteria the requirements of the academic study of religions, not the theological interests relevant to Schleiermacher as a Christian thinker. The evaluation yields a mixed verdict, noting four significant strengths in Schleiermacher's account of religion but also three important limitations, the main one arising, understandably, from his personal faith, but nonetheless a problem in the academic study of religions. <![CDATA[<b>Reflections on Schleiermacher's God</b>]]> Schleiermacher's approach to the doctrine of God has attracted interest in contemporary theological scholarship. The article tries to map the major features of his God-construal and a number of perspectives are highlighted. Attention is given to the general sentiments of his project, the history of interpretation, the question of a primary referent for 'God' and the centrality of causation, the role of structure in his Glaubenslehre and finally the attribute tradition and the doctrine of the Trinity. The second part of the article engages Schleiermacher's interpretation from the developments in especially the Trinitarian Renaissance since the last part of the 20th century. A number of critical divergences are identified, for example, the preference given to plurality, greater appreciation for the immanent Trinity, a Trinitarian approach to the attributes and an expansive notion of the 'practical' implications of the Trinity. Critical questions about 'Schleiermacher's God' are raised in the conclusion. <![CDATA[<b>Schleiermacher on justification: A resource for a Reformed theology of recognition?</b>]]> Against the backdrop of the resistance against Schleiermacher's theology in Reformed theological circles in South Africa, this article poses the question as to whether Schleiermacher's theology can be brought into a constructive conversation with the views often associated with a Reformed understanding of God's grace. With this in mind, this article takes a closer look at Schleiermacher's exposition of the theme of justification in his Christian faith. This discussion of Schleiermacher's doctrine of justification is introduced by calling attention to some more recent attempts to re-read Schleiermacher in a way that at least complicates the view of him as standing antithetic towards the classical Reformed understanding of grace. Drawing on Schleiermacher's main thesis on justification, this article proposes that Schleiermacher's thought in this regard is historically and theologically significant for an attempt to bring the doctrine of justification in conversation with the notion of divine recognition. <![CDATA[<b>Corrigendum: Spirituality and impact evaluation design: The case of an addiction recovery faith-based organisation in Argentina</b>]]> Against the backdrop of the resistance against Schleiermacher's theology in Reformed theological circles in South Africa, this article poses the question as to whether Schleiermacher's theology can be brought into a constructive conversation with the views often associated with a Reformed understanding of God's grace. With this in mind, this article takes a closer look at Schleiermacher's exposition of the theme of justification in his Christian faith. This discussion of Schleiermacher's doctrine of justification is introduced by calling attention to some more recent attempts to re-read Schleiermacher in a way that at least complicates the view of him as standing antithetic towards the classical Reformed understanding of grace. Drawing on Schleiermacher's main thesis on justification, this article proposes that Schleiermacher's thought in this regard is historically and theologically significant for an attempt to bring the doctrine of justification in conversation with the notion of divine recognition. <![CDATA[<i><b>Christus medicus - Christus patiens</b></i><b>: Healing as exorcism in context</b>]]> The aim of this article is to argue that healing stories in the Jesus tradition should be understood as exorcisms, even if the concept of demonisation does not occur in the narrative. In the theistic and mythological context of the 1st-century Graeco-Roman religious and political world, external forces responsible for social imbalances pertain to the demonisation of body and spirit. Medical cure was also embedded in the same biopolitical setting. The article describes aspects of this biopolitics and the role of ancient physicians. However, Jesus' revolutionary acts were not deeds of a medical doctor, but ought to be understood as the healing activity of a faith healer who empowered traumatised people by creating safe space for them within a quasi-fictive kinship network. The article concludes with an application of the dialectic notion 'Christus medicus - Christus patiens' in the life of the present-day network of Jesus-followers. <![CDATA[<b>Standing in awe of scientific healthcare</b>]]> Spirituality and healthcare have been dependant on and supported one another from the earliest times. However, this marriage eventually found itself in stormy waters and parted ways, blaming scientific advances in healthcare for the split. But, as in any broken marriage, the story usually has two sides, and the blame for this split cannot be put squarely on science. In fact, scientific research is now trying to bridge the gap, whereas in the field of Christian spirituality, some are even opposing medical practices and the use of medicine as it could portray a belief in the science of healthcare, as opposed to God. These beliefs only serve to widen the gap between spirituality and healthcare, alienating Christianity from healthcare. If we want to restore the marriage between spirituality and healthcare, it is important to reflect on these beliefs.The purpose of this article is therefore to explore and critically reflect on the relationship between spirituality and healthcare from a Christian perspective. The objective is to identify and address beliefs that are alienating Christianity from healthcare, arguing that, rather than opposing medical practices, we could stand in awe of scientific healthcare. <![CDATA[<b>Mainstreaming gender in the public service, developing conducive spaces</b>]]> 'Looking beyond Compliance' assesses the role of an enabling environment as a major factor in the successful mainstreaming of gender. This article analyses the important role of political will in influencing the creation of an enabling environment. The article suggests that several role-players need to possess the political will to ensure that an enabling environment is created. Notably, the actions of an individual have an impact on the institutional reforms developed and vice versa. Political will is argued as the most influential component in the development of an enabling environment and therefore creates the enabling environment through political buy-in. The argument specifically looks at the Department of Public Service and Administration located in the South African public service. <![CDATA[<b>Female leadership, parental non-involvement, teenage pregnancy and poverty impact on underperformance of learners in the further education and training</b>]]> A number of studies have explored the underperformance of learners. However, there is a paucity of research in South Africa, which focuses primarily on how school leadership, commonly referred to as school management teams (SMTs), accounts for the underperformance of learners and thus the underperformance of schools. To fill this gap, the current study, undertaken in two schools in a district in KwaZulu-Natal province, aimed to explore through a qualitative approach the opinions of SMTs regarding underperformance in the further education and training (FET) phase. School management teams were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide and in-depth face-to-face interviews. The interview guideline had a set of broad flexibly worded questions that allowed for in-depth discussion. Data were analysed using a thematic data analysis method. The school management team accounted for, and linked underperformance to a range of reasons. In this article, we present findings which emerged in relation to leadership weaknesses, particularly female leadership weaknesses, socio-economic challenges such as child-headed households and its consequences, teenage pregnancy, violence experienced by female learners, health of learners and educators and poverty. Systemic and structural societal challenges were flagged in the interviews as also impacting on the overall cognitive and psycho social development of learners. School management teams addressed the challenges by implementing a number of interventions that they reported were not successful. There is no simple answer to address the problem and we argue for a social compact which is inclusive of all stakeholders and suggest that intervening at the local level may not have a nation-wide impact but it would have an impact on a particular school. Sensitivity training, which includes gender sensitivity training, and leadership training and support is suggested as part of the interventions. Certain best practices could then be shared with other schools which face similar challenges. <![CDATA[<b>The Bureaucratisation of the National Gender Machinery, Circumventing the 'Red Tape'</b>]]> The bureaucratisation of the National Gender Machinery (NGM) in South Africa is discussed with a specific focus on documenting the historical formation thereof. This article addresses the barriers to implementation and explains the evolution of gender mainstreaming as a strategy for gender equality. Key recommendations for the effective use of the structures of the NGM are provided with an emphasis on an integrated strategy for the furtherance of gender equality within the South African public service. <![CDATA[<b>Editorial - <i>HTS Theological Studies'</i> 75th anniversary volume: Maake Masango dedication</b>]]> The bureaucratisation of the National Gender Machinery (NGM) in South Africa is discussed with a specific focus on documenting the historical formation thereof. This article addresses the barriers to implementation and explains the evolution of gender mainstreaming as a strategy for gender equality. Key recommendations for the effective use of the structures of the NGM are provided with an emphasis on an integrated strategy for the furtherance of gender equality within the South African public service. <![CDATA[<b>Framing insiders by outsiders</b>]]> In this article, the author rehearses the Lukan parable of the Friend at Midnight (Lk 11:5-8) as a segue from Insiders and Outsiders and a Hermeneutic of Resonance to provide a method she employs as an outsider sharing stories from and insights into a culture in which she was not born. She then connects her personal and existential experiences to the academic world of research. <![CDATA[<b>'All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted' (2 Tm 3:12) — An Eastern Orthodox perspective on persecutions and martyrdom</b>]]> The purpose of this article is to offer a perspective on persecutions and martyrdom in the context of today's world, when so many Christians are under threat and even die for their faith. In the Introduction section, some short exegetical comments on 1 Timothy 3:12 and some impressive references to the religious persecutions in a Communist regime are made. The first part contains some terminological aspects and biblical references concerning the term 'witness' (martys, testis), from Genesis to Revelation where Jesus Christ is called 'the faithful Witness (Martys)' (1:5). Then special emphasis is put on the martyrdom of St Stephen, St Polycarp and St Ignatius of Antioch. In the second part, the author tries to offer a theological perspective on persecution and martyrdom. Although persecution is a deeply spiritual struggle and a result of satanic attack, it is also an opportunity for witness (martyria), while martyrdom is the fruit of sacrificial love. Acts 9:4 clearly reveals who is the main target and who is finally persecuted; hence, the conclusion is that persecutions and martyrdom represent a permanent condition of the Church, the Body of Christ. During persecutions, Christians are advised to keep their faith, but not to force martyrdom, not to self-inflict it on themselves. <![CDATA[<b>Martin Luther en gebed</b>]]> For decades, not many theologians published on the theme of prayer. The philosophical critique on religion is one reason. A sensible thing to do in times of uncertainty and disorientation is to fall back on the advice of theologians of name who guided the church in the past. Martin Luther is one such theologian. He was a theologian of prayer. Prayer was a pivotal element in his understanding of spirituality. It was also a constitutive factor for his theology. In Luther, we find a respected and reliable teacher on Christian prayer. Luther himself prayed often in the privacy of his home and in public spaces. His life is an example of a praying Christian. He left behind many sermons and publications on prayer. The research on Luther's theology of prayer is vast. Unfortunately, we have no publications on Luther and prayer in Afrikaans. This is hopefully the first of many to come. The article concentrates on Luther's practical advice regarding prayer to congregants who joined the Reformation. The advice could also be useful to the South African community that is becoming more and more secularised. In the second part of the article, his theology of prayer is discussed and his Rogationtide sermons are emphasised. His introductions and theology on, especially, John 16 receive attention. Thirdly, as an example of his expositions on prayer, we look at the second petition of the Lord's Prayer. The relationship between the kingdom and the church is explained. <![CDATA[<b>Orality-if anything, Imagination, resistance in dialogue with the discourse of the historical 'Other'</b>]]> South Africa has a long history of orality deeply embedded in the archival memory of the 'Other' or the history of the poor and oppressed. Their untold stories, undocumented histories with displacing identities are how the historical 'Other' has been perceived by colonialism and the apartheid regime. The 'Other' or primary oral communities in the context of this article can be seen by a name, a face and a particular identity, namely, indigenous people. This article will engage the work of Finnegan on what is 'Orality - if anything'. The term 'orality', as a conceptual tool, can help us to widen our horizons and attention to forms of human creativity and imagination which was neglected or unnoticed by scholars. Orality has forced scholars to ask new questions on what is the meaning of 'text' and encouraged and challenge scholars in orality and literacy research with a new analysis of what we thought we already knew. The article engages oral and written research and how it can assist in understanding the discourse of the 'Other' and the power relation in reconstructing and re-ordering of their social universe through collective memory, songs, rituals, satire, drama and political protest which at large was perceived by the apartheid era and Western colonisers as savage, uncivilised and barbaric. The oral discourse of the 'Other' has become part of the power struggles politically and educationally in South Africa. Orality has further reshaped the Christian discourse in South Africa and Africa as the poor and oppressed find new power in a discourse of metaphysics of presence of the Gospel through preaching and bearing witness of their new encounter spiritually. <![CDATA[<b>Creation and evolution: A relationship fraught with misunderstandings</b>]]> The relationship between evolution and creation, both religiously and ideologically, continues to be a source of misunderstandings that occur at various levels and is further explored in this article. On the basis of empirical studies and theological considerations, the following four types of misunderstandings in the field of religious education are discussed: (1) 'Creation' as nature - an ethically motivated misunderstanding, (2) Genesis 1 as 'Creation Report' - a theologically conditioned misunderstanding, (3) 'Scientific Creation Report' versus Evolution - the Creationist misunderstanding and (4) Scientifically proven Theory of Evolution versus Creation - the Scientistic misunderstanding. These types of misunderstanding might be well known to experts in the field of 'creation and evolution'. In the field of religious education, however, the harassing question remains as to why these misunderstandings are so widespread and resistant. For this reason, the last part of the articles asserts that empirical teaching and learning research is a religious educational desideratum in the face of these misunderstandings. <![CDATA[<b>Electing grace? Friedrich Schleiermacher on the doctrine of election</b>]]> Friedrich Schleiermacher's (1768-1834) theological essay on the doctrine of election - in which he claims to stand squarely within the Reformed tradition - was an attempt to aid church unification in the 19th century Prussian church of which he was a member and a minister. In this essay Schleiermacher resists a narrow focus on individual election and particularly on how election was worked out in the direction of double predestination. The gift of God's electing grace is worked out historically and is therefore Christological and communal. He argues that God's will is neither twofold nor divisible - into two parts, concerning the elect and the reprobate - but one, indivisible, unconditional decree governed by the logic of electing grace. This article explores Schleiermacher's doctrine of election as part of a 250th commemoration of Schleiermacher's birth, and suggests how Schleiermacher's essay on election may contribute to theological interpretations and portrayals of the doctrine of election today. <![CDATA[<b>Advocating the value-add of faith in a secular context: The case of the Knowledge Centre Religion and Development in the Netherlands</b>]]> This article analyses how faith-based civil society organisations have advocated the value-add of faith to governmental and non-governmental development actors in the highly secularised context of the Netherlands. Its social value lies in the space for reflexivity it opens up on how the religious and the secular are entangled in the field of development through shifting the gaze towards secularised Europe. Its academic value lies in how it combines the study of faith and development, with a critical analysis of the secular formations in which much of the thinking around faith and development is shaped. The article builds on an academic study of and long-term engagement with the Dutch non-governmental organisation (NGO)-based Knowledge Centre Religion and Development (KCRD), offering a critical overview of the KCRD's work between 2006 and 2016. Data were gathered through interviews, document analysis and participant observation as part of the academic research, as well as informal observations and analysis through professional engagement. The KCRD, because of its institutional setting, had to adopt an instrumental approach towards the role of religion in development, which prevented it from challenging the reigning secular paradigm in development and its biases towards faith-based actors. The article will recommend that future initiatives on faith and development more consciously anchor their approach to faith in their institutional practices and mainstream discussions on the European continent. <![CDATA[<b>Unapologetically faith based: The nature of donor engagement in the context of South African faith-based organisations</b>]]> The funding of faith-based organisations (FBOs) is often complex and at times unsustainable because of many factors that may render the FBO and its valuable work in serving the most marginalised vulnerable to fickle donor funding. Not least amongst such factors are that of the 'faith factor' - namely, the ways in which the religious dimension of an FBO works - which may be seen as too religious for secular donors such as corporates, government and other international funders. While there is a growing body of literature concerning the effects of donor funding on the work of FBOs, there has been no empirical study conducted in South Africa that specifically explores the issue of donor funding and relationships. This article, therefore, seeks to explore the nature of donor funding in South Africa with regard to the FBO sector, its challenges, sustainability and the role of faith identity regarding the relationship between donors and FBOs. <![CDATA[<b>Mission as 'saving' abandoned infants in Johannesburg inner city: An evaluation of the Door of Hope Mission</b>]]> In this study, I position the Door of Hope (DoH), an organisation which attempts to work with abandoned and orphaned children, as a faith-based organisation and attempt to determine its effectiveness in relation to missio Dei [the mission of God]. This evaluation focussed on the four different 'mission orientations' that a religious community could have in society. Insights gained through this scrutiny of DoH highlight the notion that faith-based organisations in areas such as the inner city of Johannesburg in South Africa can genuinely embrace God's mission as co-workers in God's mission to realise a transformed reality symbolised by shalom or collective well-being of all of creation, in particular, for the most vulnerable citizens of Johannesburg inner city, such as infants and young women at risk. <![CDATA[<b>Young people at the margins in Pretoria Central: Are the faith-based organisations making a difference?</b>]]> The authors' recent case study work in Pretoria Central as part of the international research project 'Youth at the margins' (YOMA) constitutes the focus of this article. From this vantage point, the authors offer a presentation of their research findings in order to ultimately answer the question 'to what extent the faith-based organisations (FBOs) are making a difference in the lives of young people at the margins in this particular case study locality (Pretoria Central)'. The article begins by contextualising the lives of young people in Pretoria Central against the backdrop of far-reaching socio-economic, demographic and religious change in the area since the end of the apartheid era. After explaining the case study methodology and offering a brief profile of the research participants, the discussion then proceeds with a more detailed discussion of distinctive aspects of the case study findings. In the conclusion, the authors argue that the answer to the article's guiding question seems to be a negative one when the reality of young people's seemingly permanent structural exclusion is considered. At the same time, this verdict does not withhold them to also conclude with appreciative remarks about the role that churches and FBOs of the non-governmental organisation (NGO) type are playing with respect to marginalised young people in Pretoria Central. <![CDATA[<b>Faith-based agency and theological education: A failed opportunity?</b>]]> After attending to shifts in the landscape of theological education at a public university in South Africa, this article explores the re-imagination of theological education as fostering faith-based agency. With reference to the (potential) role faith-based organisations play in response to developmental challenges in local communities, it then suggests a deliberate retrieval of faith-based sources - locatedness, voices, assets, agency and formation - in liberating theological education. It concludes with concrete curriculum recommendations for consideration. <![CDATA[<b>The centrality of partnership between local congregations and Christian development organisations in facilitating holistic praxis</b>]]> Central to the argument of this article is the view that enhanced partnership between local congregations and Christian development organisations has the potential to facilitate holistic congregational praxis. In most cases, these entities of the church are found in the same locality, and therefore, need to define how they can together play a bigger and meaningful role in the transformation of their community. Bound by their faith mandate, working together as partners as opposed to competing with each other, they will find strength in each other and portray a good image of the Christian community in society. Guided by partnership ethos of trust, equality and mutual respect, they can both play a leading role in the nation-building project of South Africa. The article therefore explores the findings of the 'Faith Matters' study with regard to the relationship between local congregations and Christian development organisations and seeks to make recommendations with regard to ways in which this partnership could be strengthened. <![CDATA[<b>'There's no-one you can trust to talk to here': Churches and internally displaced survivors of sexual violence in Medellín, Colombia</b>]]> After over 50 years of warfare, Colombia has the largest internally displaced population in the world. Internally displaced women appear to be particularly at risk of sexual violence. Religious belief and affiliation can potentially impact the coping of internally displaced and sexual violence survivors in a country where 79% of the population self-identifies as Catholic and 13% as Protestant. This article explores the complex intersect of religion, internal displacement and sexual violence by drawing on interview and focus group data collected from sexual violence survivors and faith leaders in a community of internally displaced survivors in Medellín, Colombia. The qualitative empirical data are used to unpack displaced survivors' experiences and needs, and reflect on churches' response to internally displaced and sexual violence survivors more broadly. We see that by offering a spiritual response to a traumatic event and its consequences, as well as a sense of community and belonging, churches can contribute to the coping ability and healing process of displaced survivors. A theological approach to sexual violence can ensure that sexual violence prevention and response is seen as part of churches' core mandate and mainstreamed in their activities, and by leveraging their ability to influence community and individual beliefs and behaviours, churches can counter the inter-generational cycle of intra-familial violence that so often emerges in the settings of internally displaced persons. <![CDATA[<b>The Baptist Union of South Africa's mission orientation needs transformation: A scrutiny by an insider</b>]]> This article aims to trigger a process of critical reflexive analysis relative to how colonial perspectives are played out in the contemporary mission orientation of the Baptist Union of South Africa (BUSA). It highlights the fact that the BUSA' s mission orientation, predominantly evangelism and church planting, is still embedded in the colonial perspectives influenced by the thoughts of the 19th-century missiologists Henry Venn and Rufus Anderson. Hence, the key argument of this article is that the BUSA's mission orientation should be released from these colonial perspectives in order to give way to the emergence of an authentic and contextual Baptist missional agency in South Africa. A scrutiny of the BUSA reveals that it faces threefold challenges, namely, historical, philosophical and methodological challenges. Failure to address these challenges has (1) robbed the BUSA of imagination to measure up to contemporary contextual issues, (2) made it predominantly otherworldly in worldview and mainly membership-centred in focus and (3) made it embrace and practice on the ground 'missionary activist' and 'conversionist' reductionist shortcuts. To move forward, the BUSA is called to go through continuous conversions and reflexive process as a prerequisite for a deep transformation experience. This article concludes by contributing three solutions, namely, generating new mission insights befitting the South African context should involve the collective, avoid missionary reductionist shortcuts by opting for an integrated and holistic mission praxis and embrace participatory action research as a way forward for BUSA's mission agenda. <![CDATA[<b>Exploring Uniting Reformed Church of South Africa African pastors' well-being, calling and healing: An interactive qualitative analysis</b>]]> The caregiving focus of churches is on congregational members and communities, and often the well-being of the pastor is neglected. Emanating from the medical health model, the focus of caregiving in the past was on ill-being. Positive psychology introduces another focus in caregiving, which is well-being. This article reports that three primary drivers emerged during an interactive qualitative analysis (IQA) focus group activity with four African pastors from the Uniting Reformed Church of South Africa (URCSA). These drivers are the calling of the pastor, servant leadership and pastoral reflection. The first aim of this article is to describe the driving factors that were identified by the focus group as important in terms of their well-being in the ministry. The second aim is to describe how the construct 'Calling' has contributed to an identity of discipleship over and above diaconal healing for pastors. <![CDATA[<b>Editorial - Special Collection Gender Justice, Health and Human Development</b>]]> The caregiving focus of churches is on congregational members and communities, and often the well-being of the pastor is neglected. Emanating from the medical health model, the focus of caregiving in the past was on ill-being. Positive psychology introduces another focus in caregiving, which is well-being. This article reports that three primary drivers emerged during an interactive qualitative analysis (IQA) focus group activity with four African pastors from the Uniting Reformed Church of South Africa (URCSA). These drivers are the calling of the pastor, servant leadership and pastoral reflection. The first aim of this article is to describe the driving factors that were identified by the focus group as important in terms of their well-being in the ministry. The second aim is to describe how the construct 'Calling' has contributed to an identity of discipleship over and above diaconal healing for pastors. <![CDATA[<b>People with disabilities as a gift and a challenge for the church</b>]]> A person with disabilities is a person suffering from some acquired or congenital dysfunctions in the development or in his mobility, mentality or sensual perception, which prevent his normal functioning in the social, cultural and religious life. Although disability strongly influences the life of a person with disabilities, it does not influence his dignity. A person with disabilities is fully equipped with human features: he is the subject of his life and has unlimited human rights. God gives life to the persons with disabilities and creates them as his children, as his helpers and co-workers. When the people who suffer from disability accept it and give testimony of suffering, they thus participate in the ecclesial apostolate in the church and in the world. The apostolate of suffering is perceived as one of the greatest gifts for the church. At the same time, people with disabilities receive the support from the Christian community. This support concerns both everyday existence and the realisation of the vocation given by God. The families of the people with disabilities should receive particular aid. This aid should mainly be provided to the children with disabilities in the family.