Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Acta Theologica]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=1015-875820100001&lang=en vol. 30 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Praising God or singing of love?</b> <b>From theological to erotic allegorisation in the interpretation of Canticles</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582010000100001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In the history of the interpretation of Canticles, one generally distinguishes two tendencies, which can also be identified in the interpretation history of the rest of the Old Testament literature. Alongside a literal reading of the text, there is also the possibility of an allegorical interpretation, which was often, consciously or otherwise, a reaction against a literal reading of the Bible. Although this contrast between the terms 'literal' and 'allegorical' appears frequently in the literature on Canticles, the present article argues that this terminology seems to be inadequate for Canticles at any rate: reading Canticles either 'literally' or 'allegorically' is an expression of a false dilemma with respect to this book. After all, being love poetry, the book sings about love as a transcendent, even 'divine' reality. Against this background, this contribution will argue that the so-called 'literal' - anthropological - reading, according to which Canticles praises the love between two persons, is, in the case of many authors, at least as allegorical as the so-called theological-allegorical reading, according to which Canticles is supposed to speak about the relationship between God and Israel, or Christ and the Church. Therefore, in the first part of this contribution, we shall briefly consider the background of the theological-allegorical reading of Canticles. Then, we shall examine the anthropological interpretation, which has received renewed attention, especially since the beginning of the twentieth century, and which has rapidly developed into an anthropological-allegorical interpretation. In the third part, the evolution outlined in the previous two parts will be illustrated in an analysis of Canticles 2:16. <![CDATA[<b>Religion</b>: <b>a means to addiction or to healing?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582010000100002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en There are two sides to religion, on the one hand the threat that implies emotional pain and addiction, on the other hand the healing and liberating effect of a balanced and healthy religion. In this article the focus is on the former. Factors which render people vulnerable to spiritual addiction are put on the table. Similarities between a dysfunctional family system and a dysfunctional church system as well as parallels between alcoholic families and dysfunctional Christian families play a significant role in this respect. Linking up with this we have a great measure of similarity between chemical addiction and religious addiction. Further attention is given to the progressive character of the process of addiction, the process of breaking free from the sick system as well as the various areas demanding attention during the process of healing. Concerning the latter particular attention is given to behaviour which could lead to a relapse. <![CDATA[<b>The book of Qohelet</b>: <b>a surprising and challenging voice in the Bible</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582010000100003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en As historical-critical exegesis has demonstrated that the bible does not provide a readymade and unified answer to each and every actual question, the present study aims at highlighting the particular contribution of the book of Qohelet to the 'library' of biblical books. Against the background of the church fathers' christological interpretation of the book (1), emphasis is put on the need to situate and interpret the book in its original historical context (2), which has been identified - on account of its Late Biblical Hebrew linguistic profile - as the fourth or third century BCE. After some critical remarks on the traditional ascription of the book of Qohelet to king Salomon, its thematic statement that everything is 'vanity' (<img src="/img/revistas/at/v30n1/a03ent01.jpg" align="absmiddle">) is presented and analysed (3). Finally, a plea is made for reading the book of Qohelet in the present, post-modern context as it expresses authentic existential doubt and, within this context, the need to enjoy the earthly life (4). <![CDATA[<b>The Church History Society of Southern Africa (CHSSA) attempting to come of age</b>: <b>the story of the CHSSA between 1991 and 2005</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582010000100004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this article, the focus is on the question whether the Church History Society of Southern Africa (CHSSA) has matured after its 35 years of existence (1970-2005) to a fairly mature theological society in the South African academic context. After an introduction, attention is given to the proposals of an ad hoc committee that investigated the reorganization of the society into a more inclusive and representative organization, the different conferences, the journal, membership and management of the society, theological traditions and positions present in the society and some perspectives on the road ahead. Without trying to provide an official audit of the society, it is finally concluded that it is attempting to come of age and the prospects for the future are relatively positive. However, only the years to come will prove whether this society has fully come of age. <![CDATA[<b>The ultimate commission</b>: <b>the key for the gospel according to Matthew</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582010000100005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en It is frequently acknowledged that the ultimate commission is important for understanding the whole gospel of matthew. in this article, we investigate how several themes incorporated in the ultimate commission (28:18-20) are connected to the whole gospel. Thus readers of matthew will not be surprised at their encounter with the ultimate commission at the end. The themes within this commission are not sudden, but are already visible in every section of the whole gospel. Having read the gospel from the beginning, readers will be well prepared for the ultimate commission. <![CDATA[<b>A new leadership for a new ecclesiology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582010000100006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en While many berate the poor level of leadership in the Church, it is noticeable that the same complaint is made about leadership in the corporate world. It is the authors' contention that the new ecclesiology that has been spoken and written about during the past decades cannot be implemented until there is a change in the understanding and practice of Church leadership. Much could be learned from the changes taking place in corporate management. This paper considers a number of leadership models developed over recent years and shows how these could bring renewal to the Christian Church if applied in ecclesial circles. <![CDATA[<b>Role expectations of AFM pastors</b>: <b>suggestions for a continuous theological training programme</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582010000100007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ABSTRACT In this article, the focus will be on the findings of two qualitative research investigations of the role expectations of the Apostolic faith Mission (hereafter AFM ) pastor. It indicates the importance of a continuous theological training programme for the pastor. The necessity of equipping pastors to be more effective in their different role functioning poses an enormous challenge in these present days. Role players in the AF M and the broader church in general, as well as theological institutions face a major challenge, namely that of establishing relevant theological training, in order to help pastors become more effective in their different role expectations. A provisional model for a continuous theological training programme for the Ophir Network-pastor (at that time the South East Region of the AFM) will be discussed. The purpose of this article is to provide indications and guidelines for theological institutions towards a continuous theological training programme for pastors. <![CDATA[<b>"God in himself" and "God as revealed to us"</b>: <b>the impact of the <i>substance concept</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582010000100008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The static space metaphysics of the Eleatic school (Parmenides) is continued by Plato, Aristotle and subsequently followed up by Thomas Aquinas. Concurrently a negative theological approach surfaced, claiming that one can only say what god is not. it runs from Plato's dialogue Parmenides and is continued via the Cappadocians, Plotinus, Pseudo-Dionysius and certain elements in the thought of Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. What is constant is elevated into the unknowable essence of God. There are two options. The first option (theo-ontologically) duplicates (accommodates) the creational diversity into the communicable (appearance) part of God - as the counter-pole of the esse(nce) part (namely "God-in-Himself"). In the second option, still as the counter-pole of the esse(nce) part (namely "God-in-Himself), God accommodated Himself to the creational diversity in order to explain the "appearance" (revelation) of God to creatures. The distinction between conceptual knowledge and concept-transcending knowledge provides an alternative approach. <![CDATA[<b>Thomas Aquinas</b>: <b>on law, tyranny and resistance</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582010000100009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Thomas Aquinas's notion on law, tyranny and resistance served as a limitation on governmental powers. When those who bear the law command things which exceed the competence of such authority, the subject is free to obey or disobey. The function of the law culminates in two maxims: quantum ad vim coactivam legis and quantum ad vim directivam. With regard to the former, the prince is above the law (legibus solutus). It implies the principle of Salus reipublicae suprema lex, which means that the safety of the state is the supreme law. According to this principle property, liberty and life (basic individual rights) are subordinate to or even sacrificed for the supposed public good. With regard to the latter, the prince's power should be subject to the law. The vis directiva limits the authority of the prince. This principle is in accordance with the rule of law. This notion is concomitant with the constitutional principles entrenched in the Constitution of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996. The idea of the Constitution is also bolstered by the entrenchment of the rule of law. The purpose of the rule of law is to protect basic individual rights. Hereafter the rule of law requires the prince or state to act in accordance with the law. It also means that the prince or branches of state must obey the law. If the prince or state acts without legal authority, it is acting lawlessly, which is against the notion of a constitutional democracy. <![CDATA[<b>"Showing respect" in Bible translation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582010000100010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article focuses on the way respect is shown by using 2nd person personal pronouns in languages that distinguish between you plural (you all), you honorific (polite) and you singular (familiar) forms. It discusses the likely influence of the well known Russian Synodal Translation on other translations in the former Soviet Union regarding the usage of the 2nd person personal pronouns. This article also highlights by way of comparison how Afrikaans and other Western translations use the 2nd person personal pronoun. Problems often arise when the original languages are followed too literally without taking into account the target culture, or due to the translators' perception of the social status of the engaging referents. Issues discussed and principles drawn from this study not only apply to the Russian world, but also influence all translations that have a set of 2nd person personal pronouns that distinguishes between 2nd person singular, plural and polite forms. <![CDATA[<b>Resensies</b><b>/</b><b>Reviews</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582010000100011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article focuses on the way respect is shown by using 2nd person personal pronouns in languages that distinguish between you plural (you all), you honorific (polite) and you singular (familiar) forms. It discusses the likely influence of the well known Russian Synodal Translation on other translations in the former Soviet Union regarding the usage of the 2nd person personal pronouns. This article also highlights by way of comparison how Afrikaans and other Western translations use the 2nd person personal pronoun. Problems often arise when the original languages are followed too literally without taking into account the target culture, or due to the translators' perception of the social status of the engaging referents. Issues discussed and principles drawn from this study not only apply to the Russian world, but also influence all translations that have a set of 2nd person personal pronouns that distinguishes between 2nd person singular, plural and polite forms.