Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Verbum et Ecclesia]]> vol. 38 num. 4 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Foreword</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Rethinking research impact by Theology and Religious Studies with references to the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria</b>]]> TRS are two interconnected and mutually dependent fields of academic inquiry, which belong to the larger and more encompassing domain of general humanities. Given this interconnectivity, reciprocity, and interdependability as integrative part of the humanities, TRS find themselves in the same position of being constantly evaluated from various perspectives, including the particularly measurable aspect of research outputs. While research outputs can be measured rather easily in the sense that they are tangible and readable in a published format, the way they are actually evaluated and given credit for regarding their content is a totally different matter and a whole lot more complex a problem. This chapter is an attempt to demonstrate that research productions in the field of TRS should be evaluated not only against other completely different fields, such as natural sciences, but also against closer and more related domains from the very corpus of the Humanities. It is suggested, therefore, that three distinct features should be taken into account for a proper and fair assessment of research outputs in TRS: research productivity, citations, and academic reputation. These, in turn, must be always complemented by a set of necessarily subsequent measures such as an increased productivity reward, high citations reward, high impact journals must be rewarded, and international to be increased. The proposed ranking indicators and their rewarding measures are going to be discussed and exemplified with specific reference to the research performance of the FT within the UP, SA. <![CDATA[<b>Old Testament Studies at the University of Pretoria: Glimpses of the past and future</b>]]> This chapter intends to cast selective glimpses of the past, present and anticipated future of the Department of OTS at the UP. During the centenary celebrations of the FT (2017), this contemplation is imperative. Academic activities and contributions of its personnel, students and associate scholars of the past and present hold a significant influence on its prospective academic stature and future. Their relevance and the contextualisation of OT and Ancient Near Eastern literature in the South African and African contexts could resonate in an influential and clear global footprint. Therefore, the Department will continuously strive for academic excellence at a world-ranked Faculty and University. In alliance with ecclesial partners, society and academic collaborators this Department will work for academic integrity to be locally relevant and internationally competitive in the century to come. In a short historical overview of the academic and social contributions of the Department of OTS at the UP over the past century (1917-2017), this chapter provides a limited picture of how the department has contributed to academia, church and society. In this year of the Faculty of Theology's centenary celebrations, this chapter contemplates selected highlights of the past and intends to discover the avenues of future vistas through current academic strengths, research foci of personnel and the actualisation of the OT in the African context(s). From the inception of the UP in 1908, the Faculty of Humanities has been involved in OT related studies, namely the study of the Hebrew language. OTS has become known over many years through individual scholars' expertise regarding Bible translation and the foci on specific parts of the OT, namely the Pentateuch, Psalms, Prophets or Second Temple literature. World renowned projects started since 1990 to involve several international scholars. These include inter alia Pro Pent, Pro Psalms, Pro Prof and Qumran projects. Because the department is located at a FT in Africa, it has continuously strived to become theologically relevant for local and African contexts. The department continually envisions excellence and relevant scholarship for its contexts in academia, church and society. <![CDATA[<b>Celebratory nostalgia: Reflecting on the work and impact of the Department of New Testament Studies at the University of Pretoria</b>]]> In lieu of the centenary celebrations of the FT at the UP, this chapter takes a closer look at the Department of NTS. It does not only want to serve as a reflection on people and events that have led to the department's present. Making use of introspective examination focused on the Department's current position, task and impact, the chapter aspires to allow for the generation and evaluation of mental representations of possible futures. It thus anticipates exploring the history, work and impact of the Department of NTS at the UP, briefly by focusing on the variety of methods used by current members of the Department in their various research projects as well as the impact that these projects have and can continue to have. In doing so, the chapter demonstrates that the Department embraces a methodology which holds the diachronic and synchronous approaches in dialogue, thus pursuing a holistic approach. Through this continual pursuit of a holistic approach, the Department of NTS ensures a focus on the distinctive contribution that the NT offers - a better understanding of the dialectic between theological conceptualisations and historical reality. <![CDATA[<b>Finding an academic voice in post-apartheid South Africa: Systematic Theology at the University of Pretoria</b>]]> How can an academic voice concerning systematic-theological reflection find expression at a public university in a postapartheid SA? In this chapter, the different research foci of the members of the Department of Dogmatics and Christian Ethics at the UP are presented and interpreted as attempts to find such a voice as a collection of voices within a society characterised by shifting social-ecclesial and theological landscapes. The specific research foci, namely eco-hermeneutics; evolutionary perspectives on religious experience; an ethic of sociality within postcolonial, pluralist and unequal societies; and ecclesiological challenges and political theology are structured and presented in terms of the hermeneutical question that was posed by Ricoeur, namely D'ou parlez-vous? [Where do you speak from?]. Against the background of the vision, objectives and values of the Department, the main objectives of their respective approaches as explication of the 'speaking from' and 'speaking to' are outlined. Some of the most important contemporary issues are identified in a conclusion that are, according to them, to be addressed within the Southern African contexts. <![CDATA[<b>Historical Theology: Content, methodology and relevance</b>]]> In this contribution, the authors reflect on historical theology as theological discipline. The authors propose that historical theology be applied to different areas of research, namely prolegomena, history of the church, history of missions, history of theology, history of ecumenical theology or public theology and church polity. The point is made that historical theology, when properly structured and presented, could play a major role in enriching the theological and ecclesial conversation and in assisting the church in the process of reformation and transformation. <![CDATA[<b>The tradition of Practical Theology at the University of Pretoria</b>]]> The focus of this chapter is the tradition of PT at the UP. We consider it as practiced in the Department of PT at the UP at the time of celebrating the centenary of the FT by looking at it from different angles in order to focus on its unique position and especially its future in its particular context. By looking at the history of the subject and the Department as well as the global and local context within which the discipline is practiced in Pretoria, the possible direction is sketched in which this discipline can move at the Department of PT at the UP after 2017 (the year of the centenary of the FT). The chapter challenges the discipline of PT to embrace the continent of Africa where the department is situated, assuming that such an embracing will impact both ontology and epistemology. In this regard, we suggest a pneumapraxis to be part of the future of this discipline in SA. The chapter promotes both an intra and interdisciplinary approach. <![CDATA[<b>Science of Religion and Missiology at the Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria: Historical overview, theological discourses and future possibilities</b>]]> The history and contributions of the Department Science of Religion and Missiology at the UP have been described with a particular focus on a discussion of the understanding of both disciplines. In the case of Science of Religion, the research covers theological discourses in the discipline, attending to issues such as secularisation as well as Theology of Religions. It is argued that, in future, Science of Religion will continue to contribute to three areas of concern, namely studying religions, secularisation and theology of religion and religions. The section concludes with a brief overview of future contributions by the Department. Missiology is defined in terms of current insights in the discipline against the background of the decline in mission studies at many universities. The research argues for Missiology to be an intrinsic part of Theology. The following discourses in Missiology are noted, namely flourishing life, ecological justice, the role of the Holy Spirit in the missio Dei, missional church, contextualisation and indigenisation, and mission from the margins. Past and future contributions from the Department are described. This includes an argument for the change of the name of the Department to the Department of Religion Studies. In terms of future developments, research into flourishing life as well as deep incarnation are noted as exciting new possibilities. <![CDATA[<b>Fathoming Religion Studies: Treading on the spider's web</b>]]> Any attempt at understanding religion proves to be a perilous undertaking. Understanding Religion Studies as it is envisioned to function in the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the UP already implies some perils. To fathom the breadth of Religion Studies is like treading on a spider's web: There are so many interconnected elements related to this field of study. The metaphor of a spider's web is utilised to portray the interconnectedness of religion to other elements. Kobus Kr├╝ger's concept of conditionality is utilised to describe this interrelatedness. There are many possible approaches to studying religion. This research highlights the anthropological, philosophical and sociological approaches. The relationship between religion and several other disciplines (i.e. education, law, science, politics and economy) is illuminated. Religion Studies at the UP should be aligned with the postcolonial demands for a particular way of doing research in Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Transforming curricula into the next century: Doing theology collaboratively with local communities</b>]]> The FT at the UP celebrates its first century of existence in 2017. This chapter is an attempt to draw from the emerging approach in both the CCM and the CSC, asking whether it perhaps offers clues for transforming curricula as we enter our second century. The chapter seeks to offer a vision for doing theology collaboratively with communities, in liminal spaces, opening up a transdisciplinary approach to theological engagement. In its engagement with local and struggling contexts, subverting the conventional suburban classroom spaces and hierarchies of knowledge alike, it opens itself up for the ongoing transformation of both theology and the theological curriculum as well as for the transformation of local communities. It presents the possibility of doing theology at a public university in a way that could have direct and hopefully liberating and life-giving impact in a deeply unequal society, mediating multiple households of freedom. <![CDATA[<b><i>HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies </i>and <i>Verbum et Ecclesia: </i>South African accredited journals with footprint</b>]]> The chapter forms part of the centennial celebration of the FT at the UP. The focus is on the two scholarly journals attached to the FT in Pretoria, namely HTS and VE. The first and longer section of the chapter is on HTS, the oldest and largest of the two journals. The second and much shorter section is on VE. The overarching aim of the chapter is to tell the story of their respective historical and formal footprints that have shaped their respective characters as scientific theological journals. Much attention is given to the contemporary functioning and positioning of the journals within the broader university and intellectual context but also in relationship to the African context.