Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Acta Theologica]]> vol. 34 num. 1 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b> Cyril of Alexandria speaks for God in his interpretation of the Holy Bible</b>]]> Cyril of Alexandria is known more for his defence of Alexandrian Christology than for his accomplishments as an interpreter of the Old and New Testaments. Although the fathers were aware that the Old Testament's idiom differed from that of the New Testament, they considered the Bible to be one book and that each part thereof complemented the other. Cyril emphasises that "[t]he entire Scripture is one book, and was spoken by the one Holy Spirit" (Isaiah PG 70, 656A).1 The unity of the Bible is based on Christ; without him, it is difficult to view Leviticus, Proverbs, Ezekiel, Mark's gospel, the Acts of the Apostles or the first epistle of John as part of one Holy Book, the Bible. <![CDATA[<b>Pastorale begeleiding van die emosioneel verwonde tiener</b>]]> Many teenagers struggle with the consequences of emotional injuries. Simultaneously they are moving through the difficult phase of adolescence which may complicate their situation. In this article the first focus is the typical factors which compound the difficulties in this phase. Secondly we focus on a variety of possible causes of emotional injury. The results and consequences of such injuries form the third issue investigated. In the last instance attention is given to some pastoral-theological points of departure concerning counselling of emotionally injured young people. To these young people their frame of reference is influenced by amongst other things their families, school, church and friends. To experience real meaning in life the teenager's relationship with God has to be healed, for this relationship determines all other inter-personal relationships. The spiritual deepening accompanying this process often also significantly contributes to the eventual handling of unprocessed hurt from the past. <![CDATA[<b>The garden of love: some orthodox perspectives on the Spirit and the Church</b>]]> In contemporary cultures, we often observe a strong shift of values. Traditional religious ones are being replaced with "worldly" - at times petty - values. Within this context, notion and understanding of "paradise" takes a central place. Indeed, this is frequently regarded as a consolation for failed ambition on earth, rather than as recognition of true communion with God. In fact, in paradise, human beings existed in a state of harmony with their Creator and the rest of creation, as well as with themselves. Due to the fall, human beings have been deprived of Grace. However, God sent the gift of His Son to recreate cosmic unity through His body, the Church. This article explores the manner in which the Church mysteriously shapes paradise life on earth. <![CDATA[<b>Biblical metaphor: the cosmic garden heritage</b>]]> An inquiry into the nature of metaphor, as it has evolved since Aristotle and particularly in the late twentieth century, allows fresh consideration of biblical texts. Using as a sample trope the ancient Near Eastern and biblical figure of the cosmic garden where humans live with the gods until they are exiled, the article works out the implications of the image, using prophetic texts and cognitive theory. Briefly and generally, then, three other texts are considered: Genesis 2-3, Deuteronomy, Song of Songs, where the figure is present but signifying differently. The article closes with a consideration of how moderns may be addressed by this biblical metaphor. <![CDATA[<b>Gender and Jewishness: a Greimassian analysis of <i>Susanna</i></b>]]> This article investigates the possible gender agenda of Susanna. Gender is one of the most debated issues in the study of the story. A frequently asked question is: "does Susanna reinforce or undermine patriarchy?" Most scholars, mainly feminists, are pessimistic and suspicious about the subversive programme of Susanna. This study addresses the above concern using the Greimassian approach to narratives, as refined by Everaert-Desmedt. The approach comprises three levels of analysis: the figurative, the narrative and the thematic. Results from preliminary analysis appear to highlight "Jewishness" as the main concern here. True Jewishness seems to depend exclusively on the commitment to the Law, regardless of gender. A woman such as Susanna, committed to the Law even to the cost of her life, is a true Jew (θυγάτηρ Ιούδας). Men like the elders, opposing the Law, are corrupt and corrupting strangers (σπέρยตα Χανάαν). Accordingly, Susanna undermines rather than reinforces patriarchy. <![CDATA[<b>Communities facing disruption: the need to shift from individual to community paradigms in pastoral care</b>]]> ABSTRACT In a country regarded as one of the most violent and unequal in the world, no community in South Africa is spared the intrusive, disruptive and traumatizing effects of a seemingly well-established culture of violence. Although people are affected by these in an individual capacity, the well-being of entire communities is at risk. This presents us with the question of whether our pastoral care orientations are adequately aligned with the needs of the communities affected by disruptive phenomena. In response to this question the article sets out to present a pleading case for pastoral theologians and care givers to become aware of the traumatizing contexts within which our communities exist. It further provides Biblical and theological motivation for a (w)holistic understanding of health, well-being, healing and restoration that is only fully understood when such understanding is undergirded by an acute awareness of the relational and communal dimension of each of these. <![CDATA[<b>A hundred years of theological training in the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa</b>]]> The AFM started as an interracial mission with a strong emphasis on the "anointing of the Holy Spirit" and the ministry of each member of the assembly. Leadership was developed through the local church as the body of Christ and there were no distinctions between clergy and laity. All who were saved were expected (and trained) to witness; no theological training was required for the different levels of ministry, not even for preachers. There was a hierarchy starting with church members being witnesses, but with the opportunity to develop into a deacon, elder, local preacher, and finally an overseer. In this article the development of training for the ministry along separate lines for different racial groups in accordance with the ruling Apartheid policy of the Nationalist government is discussed. After a hundred years the AFM has one training structure with a new centralized seminary and one curriculum for all. <![CDATA[<b>The problem of cultural stereotyping in the pastoral care of a suicidal person</b>]]> Suicide is a complex phenomenon; attempts to reduce or prevent it remain a challenge. Completed suicide has a deep negative impact on society. Suicidologists estimate that suicide will negatively affect at least ten times as many people as an accidental death or sudden death from illness. This article attempts to contribute to the prevention of suicide. It explores the future of pastoral care for a suicidal person using European and African contexts. It identifies cultural stereotyping as a problem that has influenced pastoral care. It argues that an objective challenge to the stereotypes and a possible dialogue of cultures and approaches is needed. Particular reference to the culture and spirituality of the suicidal person could be proactive to pastoral care of suicidal persons in our multicultural society. <![CDATA[<b>Christ as once for all sacrifice: a cultural reading of Hebrews</b>]]> The practice of sacrifices to the ancestors is still prevalent among some African Christians and it is inspired by various factors such as religious considerations or political aspirations through African renaissance. Furthermore, scholars argue as to whether this practice of sacrifices to the ancestors is Biblical or not. This article aims to determine that, from Hebrews, the demise of Old Testament sacrifices brings an end to ancestral sacrifice. <![CDATA[<b>Interpretations of the Tower of Babel narrative in the African context</b>]]> Biblical scholarship from the African context provides possible new and creative perspectives for the interpretation of the Tower of Babel narrative because of uniquely African questions that structure the interpretative process. These unique questions relate to the cultures of African people, the injustice of colonialism, apartheid and so forth. The problem is that some of these new perspectives are influenced by rationalism that may result in reductionist interpretations of the Tower of Babel narrative. This is clear in the African cultural hermeneutics of Solomon Avotri and Black African hermeneutics of emeritus arch-bishop Desmond Tutu. The contemporary move among some biblical scholars from the African context that focus on the interaction between scholarly and non-scholarly interpreters of the Bible is an attempt to address the problems associated with rationalism. The art of Azaria Mbatha will be used to illustrate the potential of this contemporary move. <![CDATA[<b>Some steps in a possible re-configuration of pastoral therapy? Perspectives on developing practices</b>]]> In this article perspectives regarding the development and transformation of pastoral care from being only the responsibility of individual ordained professionals towards a model of care for and by the community and its members, are described. In this development the emphasis is placed on pastoral care as a public theological endeavour with a strong strategic component resonating with the character of practical theology. A specific case study derived from the postgraduate program in pastoral therapy in the Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, is portrayed. A lecturer and two former students reflect on certain developments in the program using a model of narrative research and reflection. In this description developing and possible alternative perspectives are sketched for possible future developments in the teaching and providing of pastoral therapy. <![CDATA[<b>Hosea 6:6 and identity formation in Matthew</b>]]> Matthew uses Hos. 6:6 in two scenes of conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees. He defines the differences between Jesus and the Pharisees in terms of adherence to the Law with focus on the mercy that God desires. Matthew depicts Jesus as one who teaches and enacts Hos. 6:6 in continuity with the original prophetic intention of this statement. Jesus teaches by example by enacting mercy towards the marginalized and people in need. He loves the way Hosea announces that God intends his people to love. Jesus Himself becomes the presence and source of mercy. Jesus forms the central focus and prototype of the Matthean community. The community should follow his example.