Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Acta Theologica]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=1015-875820120003&lang=pt vol. 32 num. lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582012000300001&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt <![CDATA[<b>The (possible) function of the beatitude of the poor in the context of the struggle against poverty</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582012000300002&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The article focuses on the beatitude of the poor in the social and religious context of historical Jesus. The original version of this makarism has to be seen as a religious statement which is not meant as a program of social reform. Yet it has political and socio-ethical implications as it connects the poor with God and his kingdom. Those who are searching God have to go to the poor. A possible function of the beatitude of the poor in the struggle against poverty can be seen in the spiritual empowerment it gives to the poor themselves: Poverty is against God's will; it is no divine punishment and does not separate from God. The poor will be liberated from suffering. Poverty has no place in the kingdom but will be eradicated. <![CDATA[<b>Poverty relief or poverty eradication?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582012000300003&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The author challenges the reader to make two mindshifts: from a focus on poverty relief to an emphasis on poverty eradication; and from viewing the poor as the objects of poverty alleviation to accepting them as the subjects of poverty eradication. The case is argued and a practical approach towards poverty eradication is proposed. <![CDATA[<b>"...But the poor opted for the Evangelicals!"- Evangelicals, poverty and prosperity</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582012000300004&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article discusses developments in the historical discourse on evangelicalism, poverty and prosperity. Have the global evangelical celebrations of 2010 bridged the dichotomy between social responsibility (Ecumenicals) and the proclamation of salvation (Evangelicals)? The article focuses on the rapid growth of a specific brand of evangelicalism, namely "prosperity faith" as predisposition within the neoPentecostal churches, especially throughout sub-Saharan Africa. In an appreciative, but critical enquiry, this article reflects on the radical claim of dispensing "health and wealth" to the desperately poor. Are proponents of prosperity faith putting forward a credible answer to poverty, a new entrepreneurial and creative evangelical response to the call for social responsibility? Or will the poor ultimately be disillusioned? What challenges are posed to Evangelicals? <![CDATA[<b>Mission as action in hope in the context of white poverty in Pretoria: a case for Betlehem Mission Centre</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582012000300005&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The gap between the rich and the poor is widening daily and the proportion of people living in poverty in South Africa is steadily on the rise. The phenomenon of white poverty has existed since the 1890s and is becoming a more common trend across South Africa. White poverty left a number of whites in South Africa homeless. Consequently, they are forced to live in the streets, in shelters and informal settlements such as Bethlehem Mission Centre in Pretoria. A descriptive study was undertaken within the qualitative paradigm to describe the living conditions at the Bethlehem Mission Centre in Pretoria. The mission operandi, faith-based focus and funding of the Centre is described. In describing the experience of people involved in Bethlehem Mission Centre a story unfolds of how hope may be restored to a seemingly hopeless situation. The church living out "mission as action in hope" can address the issue of poverty in the context it serves. <![CDATA[<b>A church with the poor -lessons from scripture and from congregations in informal settlements</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582012000300006&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The church has an essential role to play in communities riddled with poverty, disease, and despair. Communities in informal-settlement areas suffer a great deal. Churches in these communities are often small and have few means for alleviating poverty. In the Bible, the community of God is a community of love. Although there are instances of retribution in the Old Testament, there are clear instances where the community of God experiences the implications of love for one's neighbour. In the New Testament, the essence of the church is to be the community of love. Congregations in Mangaung's informal settlements bring a message of hope by being the community of love in their area. The church can become the true messenger of God's hope in informal areas. <![CDATA[God's missional people: Reflecting God's love in the midst of suffering and affliction]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582012000300007&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The title of this article reflects a deep and personal conviction founded on the belief that a major solution to lessen the suffering of people living in poverty and in the midst of pandemics such as AIDS, lies within the body of Christ. The focus therefore is on God's people being called to participate in God's mission in God's world. Reflecting on those people, his church, in which he is incarnating himself through his Holy Spirit in an extraordinary and empowering way in order for them to reflect his love on the highways and byways of life - to transform the lives and circumstances of people in order for him to receive glory and honour. The title of this article clearly indicates a fundamental characteristic of God's people - they are being sent to participate in his mission (missio Dei). <![CDATA[<b>Siyazama entrepreneurial development project</b>: <b>Challenges of a community-university partnership within a Faculty of Theology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582012000300008&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Calls for global relevance and accountability are prevalent in private-public partnerships. Current community engagement projects in higher educational institutions reflect this focus. The academic partner can play a boundary spanning (bridge building) role in a community-university partnership. The university partner often enters the partnership without full realisation of the challenges of its role. The Siyazama Craft Project, an entrepreneurial development intervention for poverty alleviation in Stellenbosch is an example of the boundary spanning role of the academic partner in the Faculty of Theology. This intervention is in line with the community interaction policy of the faculty and the university. The Siyazama entrepreneurship project is described, and challenges experienced during the course of planning, implementation and evaluation are presented. Identification of challenges in projects of this nature could provide insight for university partners in development projects. Findings could be applied to the broader context of public-private partnerships, which form part of corporate social responsibility projects in response to needs for relevance, accountability and responsible sustainable development. <![CDATA[<b>The Church's response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in India</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582012000300009&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt I gratefully remember working with Reverend Charles in a rehabilitation centre in the US and later with my HIV-positive friends in India. Their laughter, courage and resilience reminded me that it is not they who are HIV-positive but it is we who are all HIV-positive. In this article I would like to reflect on the cultural context of HIV/AIDS in India, its prevalence and the Church's response to this epidemic. <![CDATA[<b>Pauline challenge to African masculinities</b>: <b>Reading Pauline texts in the context of HIV/AIDS</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582012000300010&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article discusses Pauline masculinity in the context of HIV/AIDS. If any success against HIV/AIDS is to be achieved, men need to be constructively involved in this struggle rather than merely being vilified. It is directed towards those who want to live by the ideals set by Paul. The article argues that in many ways Paul challenges dangerous masculinities and that, if his challenge is taken seriously, Christian communities may witness a decline in HIV prevalence. The article focuses specifically on Paul's teaching on marriage and sex. <![CDATA[<b>The unified body of Christ as Biblical metaphor for being Church</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-87582012000300011&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The church, as faith community, is described with the metaphor of one body, with all members interlinked to each other, helping each other, praying for each other, serving each other. The reality is that this church, like the secular community (locally, provincially, nationally, throughout Africa and globally) is divided into class, wealth and health categories. Is this "world-like" fragmented existence of the church depriving her of her unique role as source of hope in a given community? Is she loosing face in the world due to this "world-like" fragmented way of living? Can she better meet the social challenges, related to poverty and HIV, if, as alternative community, rich and poor were indeed living as one body? How would she then define and respond to poverty and HIV infection?