Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae]]> vol. 36 num. lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Impact of new policy developments in higher education on theological education</b>]]> This article analyses the impact of recent South African higher education policies on education in general and theological education in particular. This will be done in three stages. First, I offer a brief description of recent South African higher education policies imposed by the state. Second, I reflect on the effects of this policy intervention on curriculum practices in Theology. Finally, I highlight a few challenges facing theological education in South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>"Direct experience of God": A quest for refinement and illumination in Christian faith and practice</b>]]> "Direct experience of God", a concept that is frequently used by theologians, was a topic Simon Maimela wrestled with in conjunction with his students since its meaning became increasingly complicated through the processes of secularisation. In the 1960's, it was asserted that modern people cannot have a direct experience of God; albeit one could still live by faith and by commitment to religious values in a world which claimed that "God is dead". This article explores the concept "experiencing God directly" according to Karl Rahner, who situates a direct experience of God in a human self-transcendent (philosophical-theological) environment. This article is an effort to return to theology's historical quest of ascertaining the experiential relevance of God in a human milieu that is often riddled with social, human, economic, political and cultural complexities. It is also a tribute to Simon Maimela, who did not hesitate to present his students with theologically challenging topics for academic exploration. <![CDATA[<b>Karl Barth's contribution to the German Church struggle against National Socialism</b>]]> Germany was under a totalitarian regime led by Adolf Hitler from 1933 to 1945. This article looks at the responses of the churches in Germany during that period. In particular, Karl Barth's theology on church and state is examined to determine to what extent it did assist Germany in fighting National Socialism and in rebuilding Germany after the war. The author is of the view that most of Barth's insights could be relevant and would be applicable today especially in those countries that are still being ruled by autocrats and dictators. <![CDATA[<b>Is Ruth the <i>'</i></b><b><i>ēš</i></b><b><i>et hayil </i></b><b>for real? An exploration of womanhood from African proverbs to the threshing floor (Ruth 3:1-13)</b>]]> Contradictory definitions of what a worthy womanhood is, have in many contexts, including African contexts, caused divisions within religious institutions, families and communities at large. In Christian African contexts, definitions of worthy womanhood emerging from various Bible interpretations, and shaped by different African cultures, have influenced and continue to influence views concerning women and men, boyand girl-children, even as these mould our definitions of what affirming gender relationships (should) entail. In Ruth 3:11, Boaz, the wealthy Judahite man, informs Ruth, the poor foreign (Moabite) widow, that the assembly of Judahite men knows that she is the 'ēšet hayil, the woman of substance. Which images of womanhood are revealed when some African proverbs are read in conjunction with Boaz's words in Ruth 3:11? Do these images indeed reveal Ruth as the woman of substance? Do they resonate with those who seek affirming definitions of womanhood in our African contexts? This article will address these questions, among others. <![CDATA[<b>Celebrating communal authorship: The Theological Declaration of the Belydende Kring (1979) and the Belhar Confession</b>]]> A Reformed Confession of faith represents the voice of a church as community of faith, and yet individual authors play a role in its formation. This article demonstrates that the Theological Declaration of the Belydende Kring (1979) had a formative effect on the Belhar Confession, which was drafted in 1982. The article analyses the similarities and differences between the two documents and concludes that "communal authorship" is the most appropriate term to describe the process that led to the formulation of the Belhar Confession.