Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Verbum et Ecclesia]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=2074-770520220001&lang=pt vol. 43 num. 1 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Perspectives on church and mission: The missional church and metaphors for the church</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100001&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The most important issues for the missional church should be to establish the relation between mission and the church. The methodology used is to listen to voices concerning relevant issues in the missional church. Many important aspects of the missional church are discussed to give an overview of contemporary challenges. Metaphors for the church, such as people of God, body of Christ, temple of God, bride of Christ and witness of God give many essential guidelines for how the church should engage the world. By evaluating these metaphors, new suggestions can be made. It is concluded that the church should always be the church of the living Christ, living new lives in this world with the eye on the world to come. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: The relation of the Church and mission is of great importance. In the discipline of Missiology current ideas about the missional church call for new interpretations. Only by thoroughly interacting with the metaphors of the church can the missional church be understood in a new way. <![CDATA[<b>What is in a name? Does the difference between onto-theology and theo-ontology direct the way from eco-theology to <i>theo-ecology</i>? Specific Russian theological perspectives</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100002&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt I approach this venture of figuring out the correct terminology to understand reality through the prism of two distinctive Russian Orthodox theologians, Pavel Florensky (1882-1937) and Sergius Bulgakov (1871-1944). The lens I apply mainly to their works is their respective understanding of cosmology, that is, ontology and epistemology. Therefore, I concur with Grenz to abandon the term 'onto-theology' and qualify the inverse as a Trinitarian theo-ontology. This honours the intimate connection between knowing and being, and prevents the bifurcation between fidelity and rationality. Mutatis mutandis, the same applies to 'eco-theology'. This inversion reminds one of Hans-Urs von Balthasar, who bartered the concept of an aesthetic theology for theological aesthetics. Turning this question around would advance our dialogue with the sciences as the common denominator of the discourse is rather nature (creation) discerned from an acknowledged a priori (as all cognition do). In other words, the term theo-ecology is proposed. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: The purpose study is not ecological but rather an asyndetic use of the terminology about the science and religion dialogue, with reference to the nomenclature of ecology and theology. All observation terms and sentences are theory-laden. Religion can be viewed as a linguistic framework that shapes the entirety of life and thought. Truth claims should focus on the grammar (or rules of the game) and not the lexicon when expressive symbolism is employed. <![CDATA[<b>Exclusionary and inclusionary tendencies: An African relook at Paul's use of religious texts in Romans 9:26-29</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100003&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article considers Paul's use of Scripture in Romans 9:26-29 in dealing with exclusionary and inclusionary tendencies in view of the Jews-Gentiles dilemma. In his use of Scripture, Paul uses the concept of 'seed' as a link through which he draws various texts in developing his argument as to who is included or excluded within Israel. While it is crucial to observe how Paul utilises Scripture and exegetical traditions in developing his argument, it is argued that the Jews-Gentiles dilemma cannot be solved simply by paying attention to the biblical texts as the voices of the Gentile others also need to be considered. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: This article is an intersection of Second Temple interpretation and contextual reading of texts, thereby pointing to the importance of readers' social location in reading of the biblical texts. <![CDATA[<b>The concept and activity of 'obedience' in the Gospel of John</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100004&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The concept and activity of obedience can be regarded as fundamental to human existence as well as to Christian religion. The focus of this study was to investigate the occurrence of this concept in the Gospel of John. Of the two well-known Greek nouns ὑπακοή and ἀπειθέω (translated as 'obedience'), and the two related verbs ὑπακούω and ἀπειθέω (translated as 'obedient'), only ἀπειθέω occurs once (3:36) in the Gospel of John. The verb τηρέω has been used several times and not consistently translated because of diverse literary contexts. The objective of this study was to point out how the Gospel of John is filled with the obedience concept and how it was implied from different perspectives. The following themes associated with obedience will be discussed: (1) obedience to God as Father, (2) the essence of obedience - to love, (3) various expressions of obedience, (4) the ability to obey, (5) Christian obedience is to become like Jesus and (6) the rewards of being obedient. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: The concept and activity, 'obedience', are understood as a virtue fundamental to human existence, as well as fundamentally essential and important for the Christian religion. This article investigates the occurrence of 'obedience' in the Gospel of John. To experience God's blessings and enjoy God's communion, God should be obeyed. <![CDATA[<b>The concept of monotheism in the Book of Proverbs and an African (Yoruba) perspective</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100005&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The uniqueness of the Book of Proverbs among other wisdom books is incontestable because it uses •••• as the name of God. Its regular use of the name means that the Book is concerned about God's monotheism. The mention of that proper name (••••) 94 times and the generic name –••–” only twice (this generic name still refers to ••••), emphasises the concept of monotheism. Monotheism in ancient Israel is not the denial of the existence of other gods, but the exclusive worship of Yahweh as the only one true God. The origin and the meaning of Yahweh although debatable, the majority of scholars believe that it is Exodus 3:13-15. The definition of proverbs although debatable, they can be defined as a traditional saying that gives advice and instruction. It is 'a relic of ageless tradition' that contains a pithy structure. Generally, scholars believe that Yoruba religious tradition also holds the fact that Yahweh is monotheistic by the name given to him (Olodumare). Unfortunately, the Yoruba translation of the Hebrew word •••• is Oluwa instead of Olodumare. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: This makes the yoruba readers of the book of proverbs miss this monotheistic context. can the retranslation of the book of proverbs make the monotheism of god in yoruba be clearer? This article, therefore, emphasises the need for a retranslation of the present translation of the book of proverbs in yoruba. This article will be an eye opener for some readers who are not sure of the concept of monotheism in the book of proverbs and in yoruba religious tradition. <![CDATA[<b>The 'lived experiences' of the love of God according to a prayer in the letter of Ephesians</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100006&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The epistle to the Ephesians is regarded as a circular letter, yet it also contains two specific intercessory prayers (1:15-23; 3:14-21) in which the Trinity concept features persuasively. On the one side, this research tends to point out how the divine attribute of love relates to all three the divine persons in cooperation and how the trinity concept features in the prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21. On the other side, the article also aims to identify conceived spiritualities (lived experiences of the divine trinity) that the hearers (readers) could have perceived and experienced when hearing this prayer or even praying this prayer themselves. Methodologically, the 'hermeneutic research approach', as proposed and developed by Waaijman and Iser, has been deductively applied for the investigation in this research. Firstly, the dynamic and relational character of the trinitarian God is briefly discussed. Secondly, an exploration of the appearance and inclusion of trinitarianism in Ephesians has been conducted. Thirdly, the focus falls on trinitarian spirituality (the divine attribute of love) in Ephesians 3:14-21. Mechanisms proposed by Waaijman and Iser, which could foster spiritualities in the reading of texts, have been applied to Ephesians 3:14-21 to contribute towards a validation for a trinitarian spirituality of prayer. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: This research challenges believers to experience divine presence in the reading of biblical texts, how the reader can become involved in the text. This spirituality will certainly prepare them to experience the divine involvement in their personal life every day. The magnificent methodology proposed by Waaijman has been applied to guide the believers in accomplishing this. <![CDATA[<b>'[T]he prince and the judge ask for a bribe' (Mi 7:3): Interpreting the Old Testament prophets on bribery in light of the encounter between motorists and law enforcement agents on Nigerian highways</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100007&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Transparency International has consistently reported a high level of corruption in sub-Saharan Africa, of which bribery is the commonest aspect. In Nigeria, bribery has been found to be an integral part of the public life of most public officials. This article related the message of the 8th-century prophets of Israel to the Nigerian context in which motorists are forced to pay bribes to law enforcement agents on the highways, and attempted to exonerate the motorists from bribery. The work employed the historical exegesis for the study of the relevant texts, and the descriptive approach for the analysis of bribery on Nigerian highways. The work found that the central context of the 8th-century prophets' criticism of bribery was in the judicial process in which the court officials took bribes from the rich and denied justice to the poor. The message of the prophets is thus relevant to the current situation of the poor Nigerian motorists. It concluded that given the fact that the police, in particular, forcefully take money from the motorists, it is better described as extortion rather than bribery. In view of the helpless circumstances faced by the motorists, it is unlikely that the prophets would have accused them of bribery, but they certainly would have condemned the law enforcement agents for extortion. Therefore, given their situation, Nigerian motorists being extorted on the highways are not guilty of bribery. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This research involves the disciplines of the Old Testament (OT) and Christian ethics. It relates the message of the OT prophets to the Nigerian context in which motorists are forced to give bribes to the law enforcement agents. The article postulates that the motorists are absolved of bribery, given the manner by which money is extorted from them. <![CDATA[<b>Joseph Ratzinger's contribution to the interpretation of resurrection belief: The Nicholas Copernicus of Catholic theology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100008&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In this contribution, it is argued that Joseph Ratzinger had a profound influence on the Christology and specifically resurrection belief of the Catholic Church. This is evident in the way Ratzinger approached the challenge and relevance of Jesus' question, 'But who do you say that I am?' For Ratzinger, the reality of the incarnatory event means that the Christian faith is about a person, and thus, it is historical as well. In this sense, history for Ratzinger becomes more than just a succession of human events. It also includes God's act in history. Jesus Christ manifested God concretely. In the same light, for Ratzinger, the Church concretely manifested Jesus Christ. Hence, for Ratzinger, thinking with the Church is essential for a proper exegesis or hermeneutics. Because of that, tradition and Scripture are essential to Ratzinger's Christological thought. In the teachings of the Church fathers and the lives of the saints, he finds a concrete manifestation of Jesus' teaching as contained in the New Testament. Thus, his spiritual Christology results from his meditation on the fathers, saints and some contemporary theologians that makes Ratzinger's Christological thought to be both ancient and new. This contribution highlights a Christological approach that values the historical and brings it into conversation with the theological. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: This research represents intradisciplinary work within the field of Christian Theology, connecting aspects of Catholic Theology to hermeneutical methodology and what is known as a Christology 'from above'. It connects a historical and theological perspective within systematic theology to highlight the ways in which the Pope and theologian Joseph Ratzinger influenced resurrection belief within the Catholic Church. <![CDATA[<b>The practices of radical refusal in biblical feminist interpretation and black study</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100009&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Gender-specific frameworks detect androcentrism in biblical texts and create a methodology and a reading practice of reading the stories of women not only as by-products of their environments or religious figures but also humanises them through radical forms of storytelling. The method is followed through by recovery and revisionist readings. These modes of interpretation and examination amongst many (i.e. literary, social and historical) aim to retrieve and revive women, their stories, ways of being and living and experiences from the claws of redactional and ideological criticism and conventional theological constructs of meaning, which subsidise their erasure. It is the contention here that cinematic narrative storytelling of women's stories, experiences and ways of being both in antiquity and contemporary should not be embraced as merely accidental. Literal archives about women's lives and experiences should be engaged alongside fictional and religious narratives. These narratives are all encompassing as they are observed through the lens of othering as examined through the prism of what Magubane calls 'social relations, rather than psychological dispositions only' as determinative factors of how bodies are seen and perceived and not only as rhetorical devices. Therefore, this article sets out to be a reading that traces methodology and integrates critical fabulation as a possibility of engagement from critical race theory into the Old Testament. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: This article sets to create a discourse between methodologies in Old Testament Theology, biblical feminist ideologies, using critical race theory as interdisciplinary focus, critical fabulation, cinematic narrative analysis as conceptual frameworks in an effort to add to the arsenal of disobedient epistemes. <![CDATA[<b>2001, the Dutch Reformed Church's Year of Hope. Twenty years onwards: A church historiographic review</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100010&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The Dutch Reformed Church (DR Church) proclaimed the Year of Hope in 2001 as part of the church's response to complex social problems regarding poverty and factors affecting reconciliation and morality within the South African society at that stage. The ultimate objective was to mobilise the church to address these matters through different means, on different levels and within the respective contexts. In this church historiographic article, newspaper articles and official church documents are reviewed to assess the church's dealing with the Year of Hope and its subsequent effects in the years that followed, on the DR Church's resolutions, declarations and activities concerning the matters first articulated when introducing the Year of Hope. It is clear that the DR Church has not neglected its social and prophetic responsibilities. In this article, interest is also expressed, particularly in how the theme of hope is superposing matters of poverty, reconciliation and morality. Twenty years had lapsed since the Year of Hope. In this article it is argued that the theme of hope in social and ecclesiastical matters is still acutely relevant, and in the conclusion the idea is introduced of a theology of hope to direct the church in continuing to be a bearer of hope within society. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: Although the focus of this study falls within the field of Church Historiography, the study of the matters concerned, furthers inquiry in relation to Practical Theology and, more specifically, from a public theological perspective. <![CDATA[<b>When do religion and science meet in uncertainty?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100011&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This study reports on the concept of uncertainty through the words of Agur in the Book of Proverbs about four observed objects, namely the way of an eagle in the air, the way of a serpent upon a rock, the way of a ship amid the sea, and the way of a man with a woman. The approach used to explore those words is the uncertainty theory by Heisenberg and the falsification method by Popper. It can be concluded that uncertainty is one of the themes of the Bible that unites science and religion in a dialogical manner. The finding strengthens the perspective that science can demonstrate and strengthen the Bible narrations through certain themes. The study also shows that the metaphysic statements of the holy book are not always normative and can be accepted as the source of knowledge supporting its own methodology. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: This research strengthens the intersection of religion and science. Although the two methodologies are different, there are intersection points where the two can explain and confirm each other. <![CDATA[<b>Mathematics declaring the glory of God</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100012&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article discussed the question 'Does God speak through the language of mathematics?' For centuries, mathematicians with different religious backgrounds would have answered this question in the affirmative. Due to changes in mathematics from the 19th century onwards, this question cannot be answered as easily as it used to be. If one regards mathematical concepts as creations of the human mind, it is difficult to argue that mathematical formulae exist in a divine mind. The article argued that there were traces of the divine in mathematics. Six kinds of traces were explained: (1) the existence of indisputable truth, (2) the existence of beauty, (3) the importance of community, (4) rational speaking about infinity, (5) the discovery that speaking about unseen and abstract objects is reasonable and (6) the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics. In practice, traces (1), (2) and (6) are probably the most convincing. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: This article is very much interdisciplinary as it combines mathematics and theology, especially the philosophy of mathematics and systematic theology. <![CDATA[<b>From small country churches to explosion into megachurches: A modern Pentecostal cultural fit for the Assemblies of God in South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100013&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article examines the evolutionary journey of Assemblies of God in South Africa from small country churches into explosion of megachurches. This Pentecostal denomination is categorised as a classical Pentecostal church that evolved as a missionary church from the early twentieth century. It was officially registered in South Africa in 1917. Historically, it developed as small fellowships in small structures; however today, it has exploded into a huge denomination spread in some geographical locations as local megachurches. Through literature reviews, the objectives are to reveal the rationale behind this explosion, which are the church organisation, emphasis on education, entrepreneurship spirit, apostolic heritage and local church autonomy based on the group system. Results of this explosion are accounted to vigorous evangelism, and Bible-oriented religion such as kerygma, diakonia, koinonia and rhetorics to be culturally and contextually relevant. Assemblies of God embrace African gregarious worldviews and apostolic practices of ecclesial life. This apostolic outlook invokes the discussions on leadership principles. It also influences the church polity exercised by many African megachurches. Shifts from orthodox Pentecostal doctrines such as glossolalia, divine healing and eschatological expectations are examined. The conclusion is while the neo-Pentecostal movement replaces these doctrines by prosperity gospel, personal prophecies and motivational rhetorics instead of sound biblical hermeneutics, Assemblies of God in South Africa remain rooted in their evangelical and classical Pentecostal tradition. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: This research study is a historical reflection based on Church History, Missiology, Pentecostal Studies, and invokes Practical Theology by referring to strong leadership principles, which leads to church stability. It further calls for Pentecostals to carry out self-examination regarding their fundamental doctrines that are invaded and influenced retrogressively by the neo-Pentecostal movement. <![CDATA[<b>Tertullian's moral theology on women and the accusation of misogyny</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100014&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Some modern scholars have linked the second century church father, Tertullian, to misogynism. This article wades into the debate over whether Tertullian should be considered a misogynist. Through the combined approaches of historical enquiry and interpretative theory, this article probes the validity of such connections. This article also argues that a consideration of Tertullian's infamous De cultu feminarum and prevailing views of gender in the second and third centuries CE establish that he was not a misogynist per se. Rather, the offending comments should be understood as part of his broader moral and theological worldview of his time to call the Christian women to genuine Christian virtues, sobriety, sincerity, and continence. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: This article provides a reinterpretation of Tertullian's attitude towards women for modern readers. While modern thinkers become shocked of some of his remarks about women, we have shown that a proper understanding of Tertullian's moral theology will change the perception of modern readers, especially on the accusation of misogyny. <![CDATA[<b>African contextual hermeneutics</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100015&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Hermeneutics is the science of textual interpretation and comprises a wide range of disciplines, which helps to control subjective influences in the study of the Old Testament and Hebrew Scriptures. It is imperative to consider the context of any given text, as well as the context of the receiver in the interpretive process. This consideration, from the African point of view, is what may be referred to as African contextual hermeneutics. To see the effect different contexts have on the interpretation of an encountered text, using as an example 1 Chronicles 21, it was discovered that the changes in culture, religion, tradition, text and language affected the presentation of the new text, so much so that the writer made a lot of additions and subtractions from the original story in 2 Samuel 24. The diversity of the Old Testament texts requires that each text be studied within its historical framework. This also reflects the reality of life expressed by people in the African society. However, with hermeneutics in the Old Testament, the reader should be brave enough to throw off cultural ties and focus only on what matters. It requires reading the controversy and polemic in the text and not being influenced by it. What matters in any text is the relationship between God and humans, and this is what the interpreter should translate into the African context, not the culture or the controversy. There is a need for reassessment of the ancient biblical tradition and the African worldviews, cultures and life experiences, to correct the effect of the extraneous cultural and ideological conditioning. African biblical hermeneutics can be understood as the rereading of the Old Testament from a premeditatedly African perspective. African biblical hermeneutics is the principle of interpretation of the Bible that could lead to transformation in Africa. Africa's religious practice is mostly polytheistic. In the African religion, there are new allegories, images, figures of speech, ways of reasoning, etymologies, analogies and cosmogonies to gratify the intellect. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: The African contextual ideas of mysticism, tradition and initiation advance new theological inductions, astrophysical tales and ways to hypothesise moral behaviour. Nevertheless, the ideologically motivated text of 1 Chronicles 21 can still be relevant for Africa today if the following options can be taken into consideration. Israel was a confused nation, seeking identity after the exile. An author like the Chronicler wanted to give them direction by telling them that they can find identity in their relationship with God. This can be translated into the African context as a relationship with God. This means that people who are feeling confused about their circumstances and identity today can find certainty in their relationship with God, regardless of how and where they worship. <![CDATA[<b>'A dangerous and powerful woman?' - A feminist reading of an old story with new cultural eyes</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100016&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article explores the text of Judges 14, which describes the life of a so-called 'hyper-masculine' Israelite hero, Samson. However, a careful feminist and socio-historical interpretation of Samson's character reflects a rather bleak version of an anti-hero. This is based on his behaviour, which was the antithesis to the Israelite ideal of masculinity. When the text is firmly interrogated from a post-modernist (hermeneutic of suspicion) and feminist deconstruction of power texts, it becomes evident that women are not the dangerous betrayers they appear to be. Rather, when this text is read, questions such as who holds actual power and how destructive hyper-masculinity was in patriarchal societies such as ancient Israel emerge. The questions relating to the texts of terror can be useful to critically engage with contemporary society, where personal and social change in treating women equally and justly is sorely needed. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article brings theological discourse into discussion with biblical and feminist studies, hermeneutic studies, ethical studies and practical theology. It also explores the intersections between the texts in the book of Judges from a contemporary cultural context with regard to masculinity oppressing women. <![CDATA[<b>The medievalist caricature of sexual regress in Late-Medieval female monasteries</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100017&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article confronts the widely published medievalist caricature of sexual regress in Late-Medieval female monasteries by presenting a statistical analysis of the relatively low (measured against the Early and Central Middle Ages) frequency of sexual contact between monks and nuns, monks and monks, and nuns and nuns in 15th century England. C.H. Knudsen's examination of the pastoral register of the bishop of Lincoln, William Alnwick, in the period from 1436 to 1449 is utilised to counter the common, yet profoundly modernist notion of the Late-Medieval 'wayward nun'. Five idea-historical developments from the Early and Central Middle Ages are presented as a backdrop to this statistical analysis, showing that sexual encounters in monasteries in the Early to Central Middle Ages in the Latin West occurred more often than merely sporadic. Having defined medievalism as 'post-Medieval ideological-reductionist and anachronistic reconstructions of the Middle Ages, whereby the Middle Ages is essentialised by one or more contingencies', it becomes clear that the notion of 'sexual regress in Late Medieval female monasteries' with the image of the 'wayward nun' centralised therein, points to a form of medievalism: a single contingent aspect of Medieval female monasteries - the occurrence of sexual contact, however discreet - is used to present a fabricated totality of a complex socio-historical context. How complex this historical context indeed is, becomes apparent in Knudsen's analysis of the bishop of Lincoln's pastoral register during his 79 visits to 70 monasteries and interrogations of 217 nuns and 528 monks. Concluding that the 'promiscuous monk' was a far more general phenomenon than the 'wayward nun' in the Later Middle Ages, Knudsen's analysis confirms that the Middle Ages is still as much a domain of research as it is a realm of fantasy today. The modernist fixation on the Late-Medieval 'wayward nun' is, for example, expressed in Heinrich Lossow's (1843-1897) provocative painting Die Versündigung (ca.1880). It is argued that the 'wayward nun' in Lossow's painting was a self-conscious attempt to escape from the impasse created by Victorian sexual repression: just as in every other 19th and early 20th century representation of sexual regress in Late-Medieval female monasteries, 'she' was nothing more than vulgar fiction. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This critique of the medievalist caricature of sexual regress in Late-Medieval female monasteries overlaps with a variety of philosophical and theological disciplines, including Medieval philosophy, Medieval history, church history, patristics, philosophy of religion and sociology of religion. Whenever these proximate disciplines are impacted by niche Medieval research, it may hold implications that these disciplines could take note of. <![CDATA[<b>Christian faith and science: Efforts to encounter the Christian faith and science in the work of Alister E. McGrath</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100018&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This study aims to present an effort for an encounter between Christian faith and science in Alister E. McGrath's thinking. The process of encountering both Christian faith and science is mediated by Christian natural theology. Christian natural theology is the result of rethinking conventional natural theology by McGrath. This is carried out because the meaning of conventional natural theology as an interface of Christian faith and science is not in accordance with Christian faith. The efforts to encounter Christian faith and science through conventional natural theology are something that is not possible, because conventional natural theology is denoted as pure theology centred on the rationality of scientific thought alone. In this article, we will show how Christian natural theology as a result of thinking by McGrath can be a medium for an encounter between Christian faith and science. The analysis of this article is generally based on the writings of McGrath, which are only partially reconciled with the views of several other theologies. Data collection was carried out through a literature study and described descriptively. The result of the research is a description of the encounter between Christian faith and science mediated by Christian natural theology. McGrath established Christian natural theology on observations in critical reality, Christian history and the word of God (Gn 1 and 2), allowing the human intellect to have a strong relationship with the order and beauty of nature that God created. This is the reason why the encounter between Christian faith and science based on McGrath's concept of thought is more likely to reveal the truth in the reality of the Christian faith's life. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This study recommends that efforts be made to identify faith, science and natural theology in the work of Alister E. McGrath. This article has contributed to highlighting natural theology, which is still under long discussion, especially in the context of the Christian faith and the ambiguity of nature, which is also important in various disciplines, including theology, natural science and science. <![CDATA[<b>Development and the role of the church: Exploring public pastoral care positioning within congregational ministry</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100019&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Discussions on development have been ongoing for many decades. Within these discussions, approaches such as human and community-focused development have gained prominence in recent years. Churches are acknowledged as critical actors and vehicles that foster human development. However, locating development within church discussions raises the question of theological and praxeological relevance. This challenges theology and the church to both develop theological and ecclesiological justification. Within that justification is embedded the challenge of discerning and developing church ministry frameworks that interfaces with people in communities to ensure authentic human and community-focused development approaches. To that end, church public pastoral care is suggested, and its positioning needs to be clearly established, while emerging issues requiring research unveiled for investigation. This article describes the developments on the subject of development and the church, as well as position church public pastoral care as an approach that drives church development while highlighting questions for research on the subject. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This study employs an interdisciplinary approach whereby international development discussion and public role of churches within congregations are integrated to propose the role of church pastoral care as a ministry nexus. It contributes to public pastoral care and congregational ministry designs that respond to poverty and community-social challenges. It employs a critical literature analysis to make recommendations. <![CDATA[<b>2 Timothy 2:15 and the ordained and self-styled Nigerian ministers of God who twist the gospel</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100020&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In Nigeria, it is a theological issue when ministers of God do not give diligence and utmost care to the study, interpretation and application of the word of truth. Some ordained and self-styled Nigerian ministers of God twist the gospel for a gamut of reasons by not being apt in studying, interpreting and applying the word of God, which have negative implications to the mission mandate of the Church in Nigeria. Consequently, this study exegetically examines the theological implications of some Nigerian ministers of God twisting the gospel for an array of reasons and the need for them to be very apt and meticulous in studying, interpreting and applying the word of truth in the light of 2 Timothy 2:15. Employing redaction method of doing biblical exegesis, this study argues that the experiential issue of some ordained and self-styled Nigerian ministers of God who fail in being apt in studying, interpreting, applying and practising the word of truth is hindering the gospel from being fully known in Nigeria. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This study addressed the theological issue of some ordained and self-styled Nigerian ministers of God who are not diligently committed to the ministry of the word of truth. The study recommends that Nigerian ministers of God should study the ministry of the word of truth with diligence and utmost care as Paul instructed Timothy. Disciplines implicated include New Testament and Theological Studies. <![CDATA[<b>Abuse, power and discourse in the public trial of Timothy Omotoso</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100021&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Exposure of gender-based violence (GBV) has recently received attention from both scholars and the public. However, GBV within Christian discourse, and specifically as it occurs among pastors of the new Prophetic Pentecostal Churches (PPC), is yet to be explored in detail. This article begins to address this research gap by highlighting the difficulty of proving sexual and spiritual abuse in a secular court of law, as shown in the public trial of Timothy Omotoso. The study uses critical discourse analysis (CDA) as the methodology to examine aspects of the trial and the social media discourse commenting on the trial. In doing so, the article highlights three different discourses surrounding the Zondi trial, namely the discourse of GBV in Pentecostalism; the secular legal discourse and how it reshapes faith, spirituality and the abuse of believers; and the public trial victims endure on social media if they chose to come forward to testify against a church leader. By examining these discourses, the study shows how each of these need to be taken seriously and should inform pastoral care given to victims who experienced GBV by Christian leaders. Using the findings from Zondi's testimony, this article proposes a framework of pastoral care that can support people who experience GBV within a Christian context and consider bringing their abusers to trial. Interdisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article is an interface between GBV and Pentecostalism in a public trial of Timothy Omotoso through CDA. The article proposes a pastoral care as a remedy for those undergoing trauma of abuse. <![CDATA[<b>Sexually transmitted wealth: Proverbs 2:16-22</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100022&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt A woman who engages in sex for money is referred to in Proverbs 2:16-22 as a forbidden woman or a prostitute. Anyone who engages in sex for wealth or advancement is shown as a loose and confused lady in the pericope. This describes the commercial sex workers in Nigeria's Edo State. In Edo State, some women and girls no doubt consider their bodies as the surest and easiest way of acquiring instant wealth, esteem and progress. This is seen in the number of brothels, motels, hotels and other prostitute homes and sanctuaries situated in different parts of the state. Some of these women who engage in sex for wealth do it for money, position, prestige and also jobs. As a sapiential-based intervention, this article argues that Proverbs 2:16-22 can offer stakeholders a unique approach to address the problems of an increasing spate of those who engage in sex for wealth, fame, and positions. A rhetoric-based pedagogy therapy is presented as an intervention in this looming crisis based on Proverbs 2:16-22. The rhetor in Proverbs 2:16-22 emphasised that sex under any guise apart from marriage only leads to unhappiness, curses and poverty. It classifies sex for wealth as an immoral way and distinguished it from the moral way, which is a tradition among writers of sapiential literature. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The research focuses on the current sexual promiscuity prevalent in Edo State. It was discovered that some women and girls pursue sex work for money, position and power. There are increasing HIV cases, rapes and the use of these women for rituals by their customers. Disciplines implicated are Old Testament studies and practical theology. <![CDATA[<b>Clergies and self-care during the COVID-19 pandemic: A challenge to pastoral care</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100023&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt On the 15th of March 2020, the current president of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, declared a National State of Disaster as a response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A range of regulations and directions were effected in many countries to respond to this pandemic. Essential service workers were deployed across the country to help minimise the spread of the virus. Some of these essential service workers lost their lives in the line of duty. Clergies found themselves having to bury more people in a short period of time. The increase in the death rate resulted in an increase in funerals. Therefore, clergies were also part of the essential workers during this pandemic. Clergies also found themselves having to bury fellow clergies. Congregants and clergies became mourners. The church found itself having to adjust to the 'new normal', because the way church nine-function has changed, it will never be the same again. Clergies like many South Africans became chief mourners because they also had to bury their relatives. However, they also had to bury members of their own congregations because of COVID-19 related illnesses. This challenged the way pastoral care has always been done. It challenged clergies to find new ways of doing pastoral care while keeping social distance, protecting themselves and others. This article looked at the practice of practical theology during the COVID-19 pandemic, reflected on caregiving during the pandemic, referred to literature to encourage clergies to acknowledge their own pain and also briefly discussed the change in ministry since the beginning of the pandemic. The aim of this article was to challenge pastoral care to look deep into caring for clergies, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. As they care for others, they also need to be cared for. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The contextual perspective challenged by this research is the understanding of self-care for clergies, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research calls for a change in the traditional cause of Practical Theology. This research will be done using a literature review on suicide according to both Christianity and psychology. <![CDATA[<b>The development of <i>ars</i> in the theological-philosophical works of Ramon Llull (ca.1232-1316)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100024&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt By synthesising the most recent specialist research, notably that of Anthony Bonner and Mark D. Johnston, this article provides an accessible overview of the development of the 'great universal art' or ars in Ramon Llull's (ca.1232-1316) theological-philosophical output, as presented in his works Libere de contemplació en Déu, Ars compendiosa inveniendi veritatem, Ars inventiva veritatis, Tabula generalis, Ars demonstrativa and Ars generalis ultima. It is shown that Llull's ars was an eccentric yet coherent attempt to provide an alternative to both the Aristotelian scholastic-conceptual framework and its radicalised versions in Averroism during the second half of the 13th century. By insisting on religious tolerance as its premise, Llull embedded this alternative squarely within the monotheistic missionary context of the same period. Without neglecting the discursive magnitude of his ars, this rather 'nonmedieval' tolerance stands as Llull's greatest gift to the central Middle Ages and its subsequent idea-historical development in both theology and philosophy. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: As a millennium-long discourse, Medieval philosophy functions in a Venn diagrammatic relationship with Medieval history, church history, patristics, philosophy of religion, and in this case, missiology. Whenever mainstream or 'canonised' Medieval philosophy is being impacted by specialist research, it may well have noteworthy implications for these related disciplines. Such is the case in this critical reappraisal of theological-philosophical aspects in the central Medieval ars of Ramon Llull. <![CDATA[<b>From in-person to online worship</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100025&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt For too long, the world of theology was separated from the digital world. At present, the church of God is facing a unique moment, in which they have to decide how to act as a community of joyful and engaging followers of Jesus in a world where coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) protocols like wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing are followed and where digital connectivity has become indispensable. Many people refer to this period as the 'new normal', while it is actually the interim period between the 'old normal' and the 'new normal' which is to come. What should the church of God do in this period, first to accommodate her congregants now, and second to prepare herself and them for the time to come? This unique moment should be utilised to its fullest in both instances. This article discusses the three periods indicated above, with the focus on the present time. It only concerns the Christian church and her actions pre-, during, and post-COVID-19. The main source of this article is a book published in 2020 by Heidi Campbell, The Distanced Church: Reflections on Doing Church Online. The insights gained from this article can be of much help, especially in South Africa, to (re)gain momentum as church of God in a pandemic-struck country during the present time, and afterwards. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: Semper reformanda: The church is in constant change/reformation. This article intends to assist pastors and lecturers in the transformation process from in-person to online or hybrid worship, requiring a mental paradigm shift. It involves Church History, the Bible, and Practical Theology. Will the church adapt or die? The debate is on. <![CDATA[<b>Public religious embodiment: A contemporary discussion</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100026&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Spiritualism is an inseparable part of human existence. The reduction of this dimension (spiritualism) will negatively affect human existence. This causes the emergence of new phenomenon, or even culture, in the life of modern society. The phenomenon is the increase of their interest in spiritualism. Even though spiritualism in this context is not always identical with religion, this phenomenon cannot be separated from capitalism. This article explores how the intersection of religion, religiosity and public segment is more likely to manifest in our everyday life. Humans are considered indisputably religious from ancestry; therefore, they are regarded as homo-religious. As technology and society progress, some scholars argue that in no time distant religion is going to give way to secularisation. However, it remains a vital and prominent role for humans despite the rate of secularisation in European and other Western societies. This sociological research utilises the transversal and residential theory to define religion as a phenomenon that crosses every aspect of life while maintaining a prominent public position. The result showed that humans are religious, and therefore religion is bound to exist in accordance with their existence. The study concludes that religion provides ultimate answers to questions that have not been answered by science and philosophy. Therefore, as long as humans exist, their place in society cannot be abolished. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This research contributes to providing education to the community that religion, social and culture have an integrated and interconnected relationship. <![CDATA[<b><i>Ecclesia in transitu</i>: Four characteristics of transit church in relation to <i>notae ecclesiae</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100027&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The term 'transit church' describes a church that becomes a temporary church for students who migrate to urban areas for studying. GKI Delima, a Reformed Presbyterian church in Indonesia, is one of them. Unfortunately, GKI Delima is not able to adapt to its context as a transit church. Consequently, there are several issues, namely, it could not fully embrace the transit students, provide space for them to participate, involve them in any church activities or empower them to carry out the mission of God. Therefore, a transit church must respond to its context by theologically and critically reflecting on its concrete identity. As the church has a threefold existence (local, particular and universal), the local congregation that adapts itself must not be disconnected from the universal church and should not be separated from being part of the particular church. In this article, I want to propose the ecclesiology of the transit church by manifesting the four marks of the universal church (notae ecclesiae) - namely, catholic, holy, one and apostolic - into the four characteristics of a transit church. By using the theories of diaclesia, liquid church, trinitarian church and exodus church, I propose friendly, relevant, intergenerational and missional characters of the transit church. I conclude this article by stating that ecclesia in transitu refers to the nature of the church in its wanderings in this world, which is always in a transit situation. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article may contribute to the contextual ecclesiology discussion. This research can be an inspiration for other researchers to develop a transit church ecclesiology based on the context of other local churches. This research may also be developed further by discussing concrete activities that can be carried out by transit churches, such as intergenerational transit church liturgies, curriculum for members of the congregation to instil a missionary mindset, efforts to adjust church orders in the context of local congregations and the formation of small communities that provide space for friendship between the members and non-members of the church. <![CDATA[<b>African biblical hermeneutics in a state of flux - towards refocusing its trajectory</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100028&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This study attempts to critically re-examine certain key hermeneutical concerns of a representative group of African biblical and religious studies scholars, who ground African theological reflection on traditional African values, cultures and social realities. Most of the scholars examined are united by a focus on the past and by an attempt to interpret the present and future on the basis of it. The article critiques the backward-looking hermeneutic implicit in the work of the scholars, especially Jesse Mugambi's backward-looking metaphor of reconstruction. It proposes a hermeneutic based on the metaphor of liberation, as employed, for example, by African women theologians or by Gerald West or Emmanuel Katongole, who focus on building the present and future on the basis of a new liberative transformative narrative and praxis that prioritises the sacredness and inviolability of human life in the context of the web of life, and in particular foregrounds the dignity of African lives, as well as all others. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The article engages exposition and understanding of biblical texts by African scholars. Aspects of NT Christology or Ecclesiology are connected to theologies of traditional African socio-cultural realities. The relevance for an African theology of liberation and African theology of women is defended as necessitated by a new liberative transformative hermeneutic. <![CDATA[<b>How Balinese Hindus interpret the story adapted from the story of the Syrophoenician woman found in the Christian Bible in Mark 7:24-30</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100029&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article proposes an alternate way of reading the story of the Syrophoenician woman found in the Christian Bible in Mark 7:24-30. The goal of this contextual reading is to see how cultural and ethnic identity affects the perception of the story and the level of reverence to Jesus in the story. In this study, a non-Christian population was selected to avoid pre-conceived notions of the well-known story. The sample in this study comprised a Balinese student population (90.3% Hindu and 40.3% men). The results show that ethnic identity relates positively to positive perception of the Syrophoenician woman. When forced to choose between siding with the woman or with Jesus (labelled as 'religious leader'), the perception of the good character of the woman relates to her being chosen as the hero of the story; however, her submissive attitude relates negatively to her being chosen as the hero of the story. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article takes a cultural psychology and narrative approach to evaluate the behaviour and perceptions of Balinese Hindus in seeing the roles of women and religious teachers. The general perception and behaviour in religion seems to be influenced by the sociocultural context. Interdisciplinary implications of theological and psychological study are confirmed in the article. <![CDATA[<b>A tale of two Tamars: Domestic violence in the Hebrew Bible</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100030&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Jacqueline Vayntrub argues that the date-palm root helps us see the link metaphor between two Tamar figures in Genesis 38 and 2 Samuel 13. However, it is more appropriate to see its fruit as the link metaphor, although in a negative way. Their bitter experiences of domestic violence are not as sweet as the date-palm fruit. Tamar's basic right to progeny and motherhood is violated. In the case of David's Tamar, the culture of silence does not allow her to voice her pain and the perpetrator is granted impunity from the inaction of the administrator of justice. To show how domestic violence occurs in both texts and how they imply things important for the paternal authority and the victim to do, I will do a close reading and some word study. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: This article expands the issue of sexual violence against women, not only physically but also the violation of their basic rights to a decent life because of the unequal power relations based on gender. This study provides a biblical basis for public theology and sociological understanding of domestic violence. <![CDATA[<b>'I will marry Ruth so that the name of the dead will not be blotted out': Exploring </b><b>הסך</b><b> (<i>hesed</i>) in Ruth 4:1-13</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100031&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The literary construct of Ruth 4:1-13, which borders on the marriage union of Boaz and Ruth, is underscored with the loving-kindness of God. Boaz was not obligated under any legal requirement to marry Ruth. However, following the kinsman-redeemer's abdication of his right of inheritance, Boaz declared in an unrestrained utterance before the elders of the Israelite society his intention to marry Ruth (the Moabite woman and the wife of the dead Mahlon) in order to perpetuate the name of Mahlon. It was considered a great misfortune in ancient Israel for a man to die without having a son to continue the family name. This decision of Boaz in accepting to take the responsibility of a redeemer for Ruth is arguably a demonstration of kindness, for this gesture surpasses the call of required responsibility. This study adopted a literary approach to read the text of Ruth 4:1-13 against the sociological lens of ethnic exclusion. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: The pericope of Ruth 4:1-13 celebrated Boaz's marriage with Ruth in order to perpetuate the name of the dead amongst his clan in Israelite society. Boaz truly understood the threat of family extinction that weighed upon Naomi and Ruth, and hence, he was stimulated to take the responsibility of a redeemer for Ruth so that Elimelech's family would not be blotted out amongst his people. Disciplines implicated were Old Testament exegesis and sociology. <![CDATA[<b>Sustaining pastoral work and welfare in Zimbabwe: Case study of pastors in Masvingo urban</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100032&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt A growing number of pastors in Zimbabwe are adversely affected by the economic crisis that has been caused by the lockdown measures imposed by the government to tackle the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Only some pastors who are financially supported by their churches and donors and others who have adopted tent-making ministry are getting through this difficult situation. There is very little study on the subject of economic sustainability of Zimbabwean pastors. The majority of the available literature is limited to a few denominations. This article applies 'theonomic reciprocity' theory, which integrates divine action and human participation for ecclesiastic sustainability. In this respect, tent-making was reviewed. In the context of economic volatility, this study examined the economic sustainability gap that needs to be bridged between pastoral ministry and welfare. The article discusses sustainability of congregational support for pastors and tent-making ministry in the Zimbabwean economic context. Very few pastors in Masvingo have embraced self-sustaining initiatives. Most of them are yet to integrate faith and business due to fear of diverting their attention from ministry. The study recommends pastors to consider contextually needful tent-making towards sustaining their work and welfare. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: Exploring the economic sustainability of congregational support and consideration of tent-making is a contextually crucial research that features Pastoral Theology, Ecclesiology and Economics. <![CDATA[<b>A moral-theological analysis of unethical business practices in Warri through the lens of Proverbs 11:1-6</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100033&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Few studies have examined unethical business practices in Nigeria, and no study has examined unethical business practices in Warri local government area of Delta State from the lens of Proverbs 11:1-6. A reading of Proverbs 11, beginning from verse one, reveals that a false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight. It further mentions how God hates dishonesty and lack of integrity in whatever form, which in this context is the business environment. The rate of fraudulent business activities in markets across Warri is alarming. Indeed, promoters and culprits of counterfeit goods, such as food, pharmaceuticals, electrical appliances and wire are boldly counting their profits and laughing all the way to the bank in amusement at those who have decided not to join them. This study explores the consequences that await these promoters and culprits of unethical business practices. Literary analysis was used through a phenomenological approach in this context. The recommendations given, as expected, will shed light for the promoters on how to escape the consequences of their actions, and it also encourages those who are determined to maintain their integrity by refusing to engage in these unethical business practices. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: Proverbs 11 warns that those who engage in unethical business practices will eventually face the wrath of God, which may be expressed through their exposure to law enforcement agencies and the loss of all the riches that will not deliver them when they are caught. <![CDATA[<b>A critical assessment of Church and political engagement in Zimbabwe under the new dispensation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100034&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Since the reign of the late Robert Gabriel Mugabe, Zimbabwe has been seized by retrogressive puppetisation of partisan gospel ministers and churches, worsened by state victimisation of those who stand against political ills. Church and state relations were compromised and fear gripped most citizens. At his inauguration, the incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa pledged a 'new dispensation' but contrarily remained similar to the preceding regime. Today, Church and state relations remain compromised as leaders appear accommodative when supported and vindictive when critiqued. The prevailing situation divided the Church, leaving some pastors dining with oppressive leaders whilst others side with the oppressed, culminating in disturbing polarisation. Ruling politicians captured some gospel ministers to sanitise the 'new dispensation' and vilify its critics. Although multiple researches have been carried out on Church and politics in Zimbabwe, the lack of clarity on how churches should engage with the state remains an ongoing challenge. Using a literature-based approach, this article evaluates ecclesial engagement with national politics in view of the Old Testament's fearless prophetic involvement in politics and the New Testament's understanding of the Church as the salt and the light of the world (Mt 5:13-16). Results of this assessment are that Church engagements with politics have been defined by economic volatility, polarisation, corruptibility, hermeneutical weaknesses and theological differences. The article concludes that the Church should contextually apply the Old Testament's prophetic stance and the New Testament's 'salt and light' engagement in Zimbabwe. INTERDISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: Assessing Church and political engagement in Zimbabwe under the new dispensation in light of the Old Testament's prophetic involvement in politics and the New Testament's conceptualisation of the Church as salt and light (Mt 5:13-16) is a contextually critical contribution that interfaces ecclesiology with Christian, biblical, public and political theologies. <![CDATA[<b>The Church as God's agent in uniting immigrants and natives: A case from Ephesians 2:11-22</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100035&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt As the number of people migrating from many different countries to South Africa constantly increases, there is bound to be immense tension between the immigrants and the citizens for many and different reasons. Within this context, the South African Church is expected to play a critical role in bringing peace and unity between the immigrants and the natives. In responding to the proposed challenge, this article submits that the Church has a God-given role of uniting immigrants and native South Africans by utilising Ephesians 2:11-22. This conception arises from locating Ephesians 2:11-22 in the broader context of Scripture. In so doing, the article submits that the role of the Church entails both preaching and practising the social aspects of the vertical (God's reconciliation with humans) and the horizontal (human to human reconciliation) reconciliation that were accomplished by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. That is to say, the Church should be perceived as the agent of God in uniting the immigrants and the native South Africans by proclaiming the doctrine of vertical and horizontal reconciliation to Christians and non-Christians in both word and deeds. INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATION: This is an interdisciplinary article that conducts a thorough exegetical work on Ephesians 2:11-22. Thereafter, the article alludes to relevant biblical passages to draw some ensuing social implications of Ephesians 2:11-22 in easing the existing tensions between immigrants and native South Africans. In bringing the aforesaid together, the former aspect of the article falls within biblical studies, while the latter falls within practical-missional theology. <![CDATA[<b>Peculiarities in the Pentecostal tradition: Disciplinal and decolonial perspectives in a South African context</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100036&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The African Pentecostal tradition as a distinct movement within the Protestant tradition is discussed here from disciplinal and decolonial perspectives. The characteristics that inform this distinction are explored to show that Pentecostalism is part of the Protestant tradition but distinct from other streams within this tradition. In addition, the different types and streams that exist within the broader Pentecostal movement such as classical Pentecostalism, African Independent Pentecostalism, Newer Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches and prophetic Pentecostalism are highlighted to demonstrate peculiarities. These distinctions help not to generalise when addressing the challenges and weaknesses of a specific Pentecostal sub-tradition. However, it is these distinctions in Pentecostalism that enable both insiders and outsiders to engage in an interdisciplinary study within theological disciplines and multidisciplinary study between theology and other disciplines. The distinctions in Pentecostalism assist African scholars in thoroughly engaging in decolonial discourses within theological studies in order to highlight challenges and provide solutions. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: This article demonstrates that the peculiarities in the Pentecostal tradition and sub-traditions in Africa serve as an opportunity for an interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary study of theology. In addition, these peculiarities - despite their challenges - are a trigger for the decolonisation of theological education and knowledge systems in South Africa and elsewhere in Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Why do the ancient texts differ in their translations of </b><b>אמצים</b><b> in Zechariah?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100037&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Throughout history, the holy scripture has been translated into different languages. One of the purposes of Bible translation is to give readers who do not have knowledge of Hebrew or Greek access to the biblical text. Translators of the Bible are often faced with problems of interpretation, especially when there are Hebrew words that are used only once. Ancient translations of the Hebrew text can assist translators in understanding how their translators understood a problematic word. The ancient translations, however, leave some challenges, especially when they render problematic words differently. These variants may derive from different purposes while translating or a different vorlage. This article argues that the different translations of '”–—•–' in Zechariah 6:3 and 6:7 among ancient texts - LXX, Peshitta, Targum and Vulgate - are because of different purposes. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: This research is a combination of textual criticism with translations. <![CDATA[<b>Theology in dialogue and dialogue in theology: Destroying the walls of hostility</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100038&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Dialogue has the power to calm the conflicts, misunderstandings and prejudices among people of different cultures, religions, theologies and worldviews. This article points out that theology and dialogue are inseparable. It endeavours to find a definition of dialogue and its role in theology and how theology expresses itself through dialogue. The church speaks through dialogue, and theology's voice is heard mostly from and through the church. It is a dialogue that spearheads the shape and formation of theology. All the biblical dialogues are theological in content. The role played by the biblical text during the dialogical processes is very important. A theologian affirms and embraces the text through communicating with it. He or she must always attempt to engage the movements and the thoughts of the text. Texts are primarily powerful instruments of groups and only second-line power tools of individuals. The principles of comparative theology are ideal in any dialogue. Dialogues are the meeting points of theology and dialogist as the confessors express themselves to God through dialogue. The dialogical spaces become sacred spaces because it is where dialogue partners encounter a common commitment to justice. Dialogues are not necessarily theological because non-Christian religions and natural sciences are encountered in and through dialogues. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: This article acknowledges the realities of civil strife in the communities and that this strife creates walls between the people. A solution to this tension is that theology through dialogue should engage all sciences, natural or social, for harmonious co-existence within humanity <![CDATA[<b>A holistic homiletical approach to preaching based on ancient and modern texts</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100039&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article proposes a homiletical model as an alternative to traditional homiletical approaches in response to the recent membership decline in evangelical churches in Korea. While socio-economic and sociocultural aspects may contribute to the membership decline, the article considers evangelical preaching and its alternative. Evangelical churches have been struggling with the decline of church membership since the early 2010s. While the Korean sociocultural value has changed, evangelical preaching has remained unchanged in its content and homiletical approach. The premises of this article considers how and what the preacher should preach in Korea by analysing and revisiting both classical persuasive rhetoric and the current homiletical approaches as a literature study. The literature study shows how both the elements of classical rhetoric and different homiletical approaches are evident in Paul's speech at Areopagus in Acts 17. As a sample, the article shows how one can implement the new alternative homiletical approach to Judges 6 in the current social context in Korea. In the act of preaching, the message moves the listeners towards fulfilling God's missional calling by engaging in the new norm of social distancing in these times of pandemic crisis. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: The proposed holistic homiletical approach results from an interdisciplinary discussion synthesising non-religious classical rhetoric and modern religious homiletical approaches. Furthermore, the holistic approach treats different elements within classical rhetoric and homiletical approaches based on intradisciplinary discussion. The Korean preachers should consider the new proposed holistic model in response to church membership decline in Korea <![CDATA[<b>Towards a reconstructed society: Hope for a better today and tomorrow in a world of unstable economic systems and increasing poverty, with a focus on Zambia</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100040&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The social value of this article is a demonstration of the impact of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative on Zambia and how, in response, faith-based organisations had attempted to influence public economic policy for the betterment of 80% of Zambians who lived under the 'poverty datum line' and spent one U.S. dollar a day per capita by 2002, when compared to almost a decade earlier, and who experienced a reduction in life expectancy from 54 years in the late 1980s to 37 years in 2002. The knowledge gap which this article sought to narrow is a lack of adequate reflections on the role of faith-based organisations in addressing economic instability and increasing poverty among majority citizens. The methods used were mainly qualitative in nature, which examined both primary and secondary sources of data. The findings were that the situation of adverse social dislocation of the majority was unlikely to be any better in and beyond 2002. Experience showed that in the year 2005, the socio-economic situation of the majority was still pathetic. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: This article sought to highlight the specific role which faith-based organisations played in the orientation of the state towards a 'reconstructed society' in Zambia. The paper challenged the view that socio-economic development matters are a preserve of development experts and politicians only. Instead, the paper argued that the path towards economic stability and prosperity called for the involvement of all stakeholders, including faith-based organisations <![CDATA[<b>Restoring the ethics of the common good in the South African pluralistic society</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052022000100041&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The idea of the common good is missing in politics today. Fighting for political ideology and self-interest has replaced finding solutions to problems or practising the ethics of public interest. We urgently need to create a new social contract with proper implementation of the values set out in the national Constitution. This study was undertaken from a reformed ethical perspective, with special emphasis on the ethics of the common good. Methodologically, in researching this article, the author was guided by two related questions: how do ideas, beliefs and norms form? What happens in society to let these norms shape our actions? Conducting research guided by these questions has helped the author to understand that for many communities, stability is maintained by rules, norms, beliefs, convictions and worldview as located in tradition and culture. It is institutions such as those outlined here that still guide attitude and behaviour in the majority of cases. While being sensitive to these institutions and the role they play, through policy and legislation, under constitutional supremacy, the Constitution has become the primary guide and source for community stability. INTERDISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: This article brings the disciplines of theology, politics and governance together in defining the ethics of the common good in contemporary South African politics. It proposes that the moral prerequisite for solving the deepest problems our country now face is a commitment to the ethics of the common good. By definition, this will require the engagement and collaboration of all the 'stakeholders' - government, businesses, civil society groups, faith groups and especially young people