Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Acta Theologica]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=1015-875820190002&lang=en vol. 39 num. lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Preface</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582019000200001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b>Unheard/ Heard Voices In Exodus 1-17 And Some Thoughts On Poverty In South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582019000200002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en When someone cries, it usually signals that something is wrong or that there has been some kind of unsettling experience. One can cry because of emotional pain, physical pain and even anger. Crying is not always heard though. A cry of silence may not be noticeable, but this does not mean that there is less pain or emotion. In Exodus 1-17, the theme of crying is presented from different angles. This article focuses on different aspects of crying in the Exodus tradition, which starts with a silent cry, and on the so-called absence of YHWH, which, in fact, points to an undoubtedly absent presence. In conclusion, with insights drawn from the narrative text, the article offers some thoughts on the theme of poverty in South Africa, as unheard voices in this regard should also be heard, with the church being the most likely agent to deliver this message. <![CDATA[<b>The Unheard Voices In Psalms 90, 91, And 92</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582019000200003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en A close reading of Psalms 90, 91, and 92, along with an understanding of the "storyline" of the Psalter as a whole, reveals "voices" within the three psalms that go largely unnoticed in translations of the Masoretic Text. This article outlines the placement of Psalms 90, 91, and 92 in the overall "shape" of the book of Psalms, examines their interconnectedness, discusses in detail various key Hebrew words and phrases, and demonstrates that we may hear within the three psalms the often neglected voices of Israelite women who were key actors in the Exodus from Egypt, the Babylonian Exile, and the Postexilic community. <![CDATA[<b>When The Unheard Voices Become Violent. Perspectives From Psalm 109 And The #FeesMustFall Movement</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582019000200004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In October 2015, the #FeesMustFall protest movement began. These protests started as a protest by the poor who could not afford the tuition fees of South African universities. This turned quite rapidly into violent protests as the focus of the movement became the addressing of past injustices: students, feeling that their voices were not being heard, added the issue of decolonisation of education. In the book of Psalms, too, there are examples of where violence results when voices crying for justice are not heard. One of these psalms is the imprecatory psalm, Psalm 109, where the poor are the starting point for the charges made against the one praying the psalm, and violent curses are used to address the situation. In this article the text of Psalm 109 is analysed, and perspectives on violence and unheard voices are provided and applied to the #FeesMustFall protests. The analysis of Psalm 109 is used to indicate whether or not a possible solution is found to the problem of the unheard voices.1 <![CDATA[<b>The Author Of Jeremiah 34:8-22 (LXX 41:8-22): Spokesperson For The Judean Debt Slaves?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582019000200005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article addresses the question as to whether the author of Jeremiah 34:8-22 was a voice for the manumitted Judean debt slaves, who were forced back into slavery during a temporary lifting of the siege of Jerusalem during 589-588 B.C.E. Jeremiah 34:8-22 sets the re-enslavement of these slaves as a precedent that explained the fall of Jerusalem in 587 B.C.E. The allusion in Jeremiah 34:14 to Deuteronomy 15:1, 12 does, however, signify that Jeremiah 34:8-22 echoes the "brother ethics" present in Deuteronomy 15:1-18. The author of Jeremiah 34:8-22 shared the "humanitarian" concerns of the debt release and the slave release laws in Deuteronomy 15:1-18. The debt slaves should have been treated as brothers and not as mere objects. He thus became a voice for these marginalised Judeans. <![CDATA[<b>Johannine Women As Paradigms In The Indian Context</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582019000200006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en John's portrayal of women is unique as they are viewed as paradigms over against the negative perceptions concerning women in the Mediterranean world. The Johannine women demonstrate their leadership qualities, brave movements, apostolic roles, and devotion to Jesus even in the challenging situations. Women's positive role and status in the Gospel of John enable us to understand them not merely as passive actors, but as active interlocutors and dialogue partners. Persons such as the mother of Jesus, the Samaritan woman, Mary and Martha of Bethany, and Mary Magdalene appear in the Gospel of John as representative figures and rhetorical characters. The Johannine narrator foregrounds the women characters as they use their freedom in both the Sitz-Im-Leben Jesu and the Sitz-Im-Leben Kirche. The Gospel of John is also interlocked with the Sitz-Im-Leben Indien to exemplify the evangelist's gnomic linguistic and literary artistry. <![CDATA[<b>Johannine Women As Paradigms In The Indian Context</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582019000200006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en John's portrayal of women is unique as they are viewed as paradigms over against the negative perceptions concerning women in the Mediterranean world. The Johannine women demonstrate their leadership qualities, brave movements, apostolic roles, and devotion to Jesus even in the challenging situations. Women's positive role and status in the Gospel of John enable us to understand them not merely as passive actors, but as active interlocutors and dialogue partners. Persons such as the mother of Jesus, the Samaritan woman, Mary and Martha of Bethany, and Mary Magdalene appear in the Gospel of John as representative figures and rhetorical characters. The Johannine narrator foregrounds the women characters as they use their freedom in both the Sitz-Im-Leben Jesu and the Sitz-Im-Leben Kirche. The Gospel of John is also interlocked with the Sitz-Im-Leben Indien to exemplify the evangelist's gnomic linguistic and literary artistry. <![CDATA[<b>How Onesimus Was Heard - Eventually. Some Insights From The History Of Interpretation Of Paul's Letter To Philemon</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582019000200007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Although Onesimus is the reason for Paul's Letter to Philemon, he is only mentioned by name for the first time nearly halfway through the letter (v. 10). He also remains voiceless throughout the letter. This contribution focuses on the history of interpretation of the letter, and, in particular, the way in which the role of Onesimus has been interpreted through the centuries. Several examples of the way in which scholars interpreted the role of Onesimus are discussed, and it is argued that four broad trends may be discerned: Onesimus as a culprit who was saved by Paul; Onesimus as a pawn in the abolitionism debate; Onesimus' status disputed, and Onesimus as a victim, with the letter being read in a resistant way. <![CDATA[<b>Unheard Voices Of Women In The Bible, With Implications Of Empowerment In The Context Of Today's Church</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582019000200008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article analyses the current status of women in the church and compares this with the status of women in the Bible. The unheard voices of women in the Bible have a corrective impact on the way in which women currently deal with their social ills. This article journeys with a narrative from the New Testament that encourages deconstruction of discourses that are harmful to women and reconstruction of healthy discourses that are inclusive and do not discriminate against women on the basis of gender. As the empowerment of women is located within the discourses of gender equality, a gender lens, which is a biblical liberation hermeneutic of vhusadzi theology, is employed to reconstruct positive discourses regarding people's perceptions about women in societies. The researchers argue that the unheard voices of women are still an issue and that the empowerment of women still needs to be prioritised. The church can play a significant role in contributing towards the empowerment of women. <![CDATA[<b>Beneath The Church Epitaph "to The Glory Of God" Scream The Voices Of The Unemployed</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582019000200009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The unemployment crisis is a growing threat in the socio-economic fabric of South African society. Close to fifteen million people live on social grants, while seven million are registered as unemployed. The number is growing exponentially. High-school leavers and university graduates have no assurance of employment at the end of their academic careers. The church, in general, is bombarded by demands of these masses for survival. The number of beggars at the urban church doors increases daily. In the meantime, the church is, in a broader context, silent or passive towards the voices of the unemployed. There is not only deafening silence, but also no plans, strategies, or initiatives to launch projects that can assist in minimising unemployment in society. However, acknowledgement is attested to many churches undertaking some programmes to address this threat. The unemployed feel marginalised. They are robbed of their dignity through short-term interventions instead of proactive initiatives that can make them employable and streamline them into job accessibility. Handouts and charitable activities that offer no long-term solutions enhance the dependency syndrome. This article promotes a proactive approach to the threat of the unemployed as a way of hearing their voices in the midst of poverty. Unemployment affects the economy of the church in a more tangible manner, and should thus be addressed. <![CDATA[<b>Ishmael, The Qur'ān, And The Bible</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582019000200010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en As opposed to his younger brother Isaac, Ishmael is a relatively minor character in the patriarchal narratives of the Old Testament. Islam, however, which largely adopts the biblical Pentateuch as a holy book of Islam given by God to Musa (Moses), re-interprets Ishmael's role in one significant event: the offering demanded by God as demonstration of Abraham's faith. In Islam, Ishmael supplants Isaac as the intended sacrificial lamb. This article examines both the biblical and the Qur'√§nic Isaac and Ishmael narratives from the perspective of academic curiosity to determine the grounds for, and the validity of the Islamic claim. <![CDATA[<b>Hear The Unheard Voices Of Visual Art: What Is The Story?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582019000200011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The debate in contemporary visual art exhibitions focuses on the art-making process. This article aims to compare the current art-making process regarding concept development in fine arts to the concept of storytelling, as applied in narrative therapy. Several case studies done over the past three years at Tshwane University of Technology motivated the researcher to investigate this process that brought healing to many, whilst contextualising an art concept. This narrative approach in concept development is subject to the student's ability to understand and manipulate content, together with the facilitators' approach to the reality. The researcher proposes the use of the narrative as a starting point to identify and develop a personal theme/concept in "tracing an untold history" of "unheard voices", not only to add content to art-making, but also to guide art students to trace their "history and meaning of a unique outcome" and rewrite their own alternative stories.