Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Acta Theologica]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=1015-875820110001&lang=en vol. 31 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>The South African Chaplaincy Service (SACHS) and state policy during the Border War, 1966-1989</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582011000100001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en During the Border War (1966-1989), also known as the Bush War or the Namibian War of Independence, the accusation was made that chaplains serving in the South African Chaplaincy Service (SACHS) endorsed and propagated the policy of apartheid. This article gives an historical perspective on the question whether chaplains were able to function independently, in accordance with the doctrines of their respective denominations, or whether they became liveried servants to state politics during the Border War. Diverse cultures, underpinning different socio-political viewpoints, were involved, as is evident from the oral testimonies of chaplains serving during the time of the war. By reassessing historical identities and interpreting the nature of the controversial values and sentiments that prevailed during the specific timeframe, this article endeavours to create a better understanding of the past. <![CDATA[<b>Liturgical deductions based on the continuity and discontinuity of the Passover and the Holy Communion</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582011000100002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The Service of the Word constitutes the climax and junction of the liturgy during the service, and the Holy Communion is the crucial confirmation and appropriation of the core of Scripture, namely Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. The question is whether liturgic deductions for the purpose of enriching the celebration of the Holy Communion can result from a consideration of the continuity and the discontinuity of Passover and the Holy Communion of our Lord. A literature study was employed in the investigation of this question. Passover is probably the one Old Testamentical festival that is of importance for research regarding the Holy Communion, precisely because Jesus consciously chose the time of Passover to instate the Holy Communion. Liturgical deductions are amongst other things made regarding both festivals as celebration of the great acts of redemption in history, the eating of bread and the drinking of wine during both festivals, the eschatological elements in both festivals and the elements of commemoration, proclamation and expectation in both festivals. In each instance the continuity and discontinuity are considered as well. <![CDATA[<b>The conception of the circle of Concerned African Women Theologians</b>: <b>is it African or Western?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582011000100003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this article, we argue that the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians was largely conceived as African, and that it addresses the issues of African women. The Circle approaches the issue of women's liberation from an African perspective, and is not based on a Western concept. Thus, we will show how Mercy Amba Oduyoye and her mother experienced liberation in the African context. Furthermore, by reflecting on the experiences of Mercy Amba Oduyoye and her mother in the context of the men who formed part of their world (their husbands, grandfathers and uncles), we will show how the reinterpretation of oppressive African cultures by men can bring about the liberation of African women. This is in keeping with the agenda of the Circle, namely to liberate women in the church and in society. The ecumenical bodies merely provided the structures within which the Circle was organized. The influence of Western feminist theologies enshrined in the ecumenical bodies with which Mercy Amba Oduyoye was associated, therefore had only a limited impact on the conception of the Circle. <![CDATA[<b>What's turning the wheel?</b> <b>The theological hub of Song of Songs</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582011000100004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Different interpretations are evaluated for their contribution towards a better under-standing of the theology of Song of Songs. Chapter 4:16-5:1 is presented as the structural centre of Song of Songs. Linear, cyclic and concentric structures point to the centrality of this passage. It has a key-function for the theology of the book which is understood as creational theology because love recalls paradise. God is identified with the third voice, encouraging the lovers to enjoy love in all its fullness. <![CDATA[<b>South Africa</b>: <b>the arduous task of facing our religious past</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582011000100005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The term 'rainbow nation' tends to soften both the intensity and divergence of the complex mixture of origins, languages, ideologies, cultures, lifestyles and skills of the South African society. With Christians totalling more than 80% of the population and the Church recognised as the strongest non-government organization, one apparent exception to these differences is religion. However, incapacitated by their past, Afrikaners were unable to respond positively during the critical stages of transformation and find themselves marginalized, at the edge of the 'rainbow nation'. Evading confrontation with the past or constantly postponing it while waiting for the current crises to subside is no longer an option. This article attempts to identify unresolved issues from the history, culture and theology of Afrikaners that form obstacles in the way of positive development and progress. Facing these issues is the prerequisite to identifying and implementing remedial actions in order to find new direction and life. <![CDATA[<b>An open coding analytical model of sermons on poverty with Matthew 25:31-46 as sermon text</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582011000100006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article reports on the first cycle (out of three) of a grounded theory analysis of sermons on poverty with Matthew 25:31-46 as sermon text. The problem addressed in this research project has to do with the poverty situation in South Africa. The leading research question is: how do preachers deal with sermons on poverty with this text as sermon text. The goal of the first phase in this project is to develop an open coding analytical model from the sermons. Six sermons by Uniting Reformed Church preachers and six sermons by Dutch Reformed Church preachers have been analyzed. Significant sermon segments in the light of the research question were then coded in the analysis. Initial categories could then be formed as they emerged from the data, based on the open coded codes. From the categories an open coding analytical model with hypotheses has been constructed. <![CDATA[<b>The 'evangelical mission' 2010</b>: <b>obsolete or relevant?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582011000100007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The Evangelical Mission (EM) dates its official history back to 1846 with the establishment of the Evangelical Alliance with as common goal 'to promote unity and fellowship among Christians for more effective witness to the gospel' and 'to foster interpersonal relationships of common faith, trust and prayer'. This they achieved by several general mission conferences: Liverpool 1860, London 1888, and New York 1900. Several youth organisations, like SVM and YMCA and some Churches received membership. Nevertheless the EA was always less keen on their structural expression of unity. The movement invested high hopes on the International Mission Conference at Edinburgh 1910 to accelerate its goal of world evangelisation. Several factors lead to dissatisfaction with the outcomes and later developments regarding church-based mission. Eventually the EA group withdrew from the churches' ecumenical movement. A process of re-grouping and re-defining of its identity followed, leading to the watershed Lausanne Conference 1974 and its subsequent structures and projects. The movement presents itself energetically to the 21st century in Cape Town during its Edinburgh 2010 Conference. <![CDATA[<b>The theology of creation in Vito Mancuso's radical theology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582011000100008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Vito Mancuso, a young Italian theologian of lay inspiration, has been causing a great deal of theological unrest within Italy's conservative quarters because of his radical program intended to re-found Christianity in order for it to be understood by contemporary men and women. Mancuso's concern to re-anchor Christian theology in the experience of today's people drove him to affirm the fundamental importance of matter as source of everything. Thus, matter is the mother of all existing realities which include the universe, nature and even the soul. In other words, Mancuso proposes a theology from below which seeks to re-interpret the basic teachings of Christianity in a way which sheds light on the experience of today's world. This theological program includes the traditional doctrine of creation, which in Mancuso acquires a new facet as it is described in terms related to his conviction that the origin of everything should be understood in material terms. <![CDATA[<b>Rethinking the demarcation of Malachi 2:17-3:5</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582011000100009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Demarcating a unit remains important for the interpretation and understanding of the particular unit in a (Biblical) book. In the case of the book of Malachi, the majority of scholars adhere to the traditional demarcation of the fourth unit in the book of Malachi (2:17-3:5). Closer investigation reveals that the matter is not as settled as one might think. Other possibilities are also advocated by scholars. Some regard Mal. 2:17-3:12 as a unit. Another possibility is to regard Mal. 2:17 as a unit on its own followed by either Mal. 3:1-5 or 3:1-12 as a separate unit. A third possibility is to view Mal. 2:17-3:6 as a unit. This paper argues for yet another possibility stretching from Mal. 2:17-3:7a. Arguments for this delimitation are given and the impact this new possibility has on the exegesis and eventual meaning of both Mal. 2:17-3:7a and the following unit (Mal. 3:7b-12) is explored. <![CDATA[<b>Basic theoretical perspectives for evaluation of a hymn book</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582011000100010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In 2003 the Gereformeerde Kerke in Suid-Afrika (Reformed Churches in South Africa) introduced a new hymn book Psalmboek 2003 (Psalter 2003). For the evaluation of the use of this hymn book as communication medium in a liturgical service, six basic theoretical perspectives were formulated from Scripture, utilising the model of Zerfass (1974). This article discusses these perspectives and the Scriptural data they are based on. Three of them are related to functional aspects of the song, two with form and communication and one with the expansion of the Old Testament Psalter in the New Testament. These three aspects can be used for the evaluation of a hymn book, as well as individual hymns. <![CDATA[<b>A Christian ethical perspective on the moral status of the human embryo</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582011000100011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This investigation focuses on the moral status of the human embryo from a Christian ethical perspective. The central theoretical argument is that the embryo has a particular standing before God and should therefore have a special standing in the eyes of human beings. The article examines three biblical concepts from the perspective of a biblical-theological hermeneutical model in order to unfold this argument. These are: the creation of the human being as a living being with the breath of God (nephesh); the creation of the human being in the image of God; and the biblical view of the human being as a covenantal being. The conclusion reached is that the human embryo must be regarded as a neighbour. Therefore, the commandment of neighbourly love, which is a core characteristic of deontological Christian ethics, should also be extended to include the human embryo. <![CDATA[<b>Resensies/Reviews</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582011000100012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This investigation focuses on the moral status of the human embryo from a Christian ethical perspective. The central theoretical argument is that the embryo has a particular standing before God and should therefore have a special standing in the eyes of human beings. The article examines three biblical concepts from the perspective of a biblical-theological hermeneutical model in order to unfold this argument. These are: the creation of the human being as a living being with the breath of God (nephesh); the creation of the human being in the image of God; and the biblical view of the human being as a covenantal being. The conclusion reached is that the human embryo must be regarded as a neighbour. Therefore, the commandment of neighbourly love, which is a core characteristic of deontological Christian ethics, should also be extended to include the human embryo.