Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Verbum et Ecclesia]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=2074-770520090003&lang=pt vol. 30 num. 3 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>The role of the Institute for Missiological and Ecumenical Research in the past and present</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000300001&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt IMER, the Institute for Missiological and Ecumenical Research, was initiated in 1979, when the 20th century missionary movement in the Dutch Reformed Church had already started to unravel. IMER's history gives us insight into these events. IMER has focused on the missionary calling of the church and on guiding the church in its broad responsibility to Southern African society. IMER conducted a comprehensive study on the unfinished task in the eighties, from which a variety of other projects followed. The understanding of the task of mission has gradually broadened to include the church's responsibility to the whole of life, with faith in Christ at the centre. However, as funding for the missionary movement diminished and the university had to cut down on expenses, funding for IMER dried up. IMER is now in the same position as mission itself, and even many congregations: it has to be innovative and find new structures and new sources of funding to respond to the challenges of a new century. <![CDATA[<b>The Dutch Reformed Church and the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000300002&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The focus of this article is on the fundamental and practical reasons that led to the establishment of theological training by the Dutch Reformed Church in the northern part of South Africa. The Faculty of Theology (Division B) was eventually established in 1938 at the University of Pretoria -nearly 80 years since the opening of the Theological Seminary in Stellenbosch. Attention is given both to the major role players in Church and Faculty as well as to the developments that influenced both Church and Faculty: the Dutch Reformed Church of Transvaal eventually dissolved into four synods; the Faculty of Theology on the other hand united the two Divisions to become one multi-denominational faculty in 2000. Cognisance is taken of the major tensions between faculty and Church during the course of time. Special attention is given to certain accusations regarding theological heresy during the last decade. <![CDATA[<b>Continuing theological training at the University of Pretoria</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000300003&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Around the world, most professional people are requested and expected to participate in continuing training, which is often referred to as 'continuing professional development'. Many denominations expect their pastors and other clergy to participate in such training. The Dutch Reformed Church has an official policy, in terms of which it expects such continuing theological training and ministry development of its ordained pastors. The introduction to this article offers some insight into the rationale behind such an expectation. After describing the history and programme of one of the first centres that offers such training, the history and programme of the ecumenical Centre for Contextual Ministry, Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria is described. <![CDATA[<b>The history of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria: A Dutch Reformed perspective 1938-2008</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000300004&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In 1938 the Faculty of Theology Section B was established at the University of Pretoria, which could be likened to a small fountain. As the fountain flowed through the decades of history, it grew and became a river that made a huge impact on the university, the Church and society. The aim of this article, coinciding with the centenary of the University of Pretoria, is to focus on the positive contribution of the Faculty of Theology towards university, church and society. Like any river it went through different stages. There were times of peace and tranquillity, but also times of raging rapids. At certain stages of growth and development both lecturers and students made a huge impact, playing leading roles in Church and society, clearly voicing the call of the Church. The voice of the Faculty was not always welcome and was at times met by strong reaction, which was possibly one of the reasons for the murder of Prof. J.A. Heyns. In 2000 a new era dawned when the stream that became a river was joined by streams of different denominations. This made the river even stronger, with much more impact. This article tells the story of the origin, growth and struggle of the Dutch Reformed Church at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria from 1938 to 2008. <![CDATA[<b>The story of the Department of Practical Theology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000300005&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article tells the story of the development of the Department of Practical Theology of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria. The story goes back to the start of the Faculty in 1938, although the Department of Practical Theology was only established in 1966 when Professor H.D.A. du Toit applied himself fully to the subject and Professor C.W.H. Boshoff became the first full-time lecturer for Missiology. The article is written mainly from the perspective of the Dutch Reformed Church, but with the acknowledgement of the appointments of Professor Yolanda Dreyer from the Nederduitsch Reformed Church of Africa and Professor Maake Masango from the Uniting Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Theological trends in our postsecular age</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000300006&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The article is a contribution to the commemoration of the 2008 centenary celebration of the University of Pretoria. Its focus is on present-day theological trends. The article's point of departure is the commendation of the philosopher Charles Taylor for being awarded with the Templeton Prize in 2007. With this prize the Templeton Foundation bestows 'progress toward discoveries about spirituality'. The article links Charles Taylor's idea of the postmodern spiritual tendency of 'enchantment' as a closure of modernity's exclusive humanism to Peter Berger's reproach of civil religion. It pleads for a non-fundamentalist and non-populist post-secular spirituality which concurs with post-theism, a de-centring of the power of institutional religion and the enhancement of a biblical hermeneutics that does not emphasise a proposition-like and moral code-like reading strategy. The article is aimed at a spirituality of living faith in light of ancient biblical and confessional life stories. <![CDATA[<b>Sharing in God's surprise: The place and role of the Department of Science of Religion and Missiology at the University of Pretoria</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000300007&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt During the centenary year of the University of Pretoria (2008), the Department of Science of Religion and Missiology took stock of its activities during the past 55 years, since the first professor in Missiology, H.D.A. du Toit, was appointed. In his wake a number of missiologists followed - C.W.H. Boshoff, D. Crafford, P.G.J. Meiring, J.J. Kritzinger, P.J. van der Merwe, A.S. van Niekerk and C.J.P. Niemandt - each of whom has contributed to the formation of hundreds of ministers and missionaries, as well as to the development of missiology and science of religion in South Africa through their research and writings. In this article, the place of missiology among the other theological disciplines at the University of Pretoria is discussed, together with an analysis of the nature and the mandate of missiology and science of religion in South Africa in our day. This article discusses five specific challenges to missiology at the beginning of the third millennium, namely to maintain its theological 'roots'; to operate in close relationship with the church; to focus on our African context; to concentrate on a relevant agenda; and to develop a responsible methodology. Attention is given to some of the more important publications by members of the Department. <![CDATA[<b>The Department of New Testament Studies, University of Pretoria (Dutch Reformed Church), 1938-2008</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000300008&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article deals with the history of the Department of New Testament Studies at the University of Pretoria from 1938 to 2008. The focus falls on the permanent staff members and their contributions during this period. The article begins with a discussion of the life and career of Prof. E.P. Groenewald. It then proceeds to the more difficult time of cultural boycotts, with Profs A.B. du Toit and F. Botha as members of the Department at that time. Then the careers of Profs J.G. van der Watt and S.J. Joubert are discussed. The article concludes with a discussion of the contribution made by Prof. G.J. Steyn. <![CDATA[<b>Seventy years of dogmatics and Christian ethics at the University of Pretoria: A Dutch Reformed perspective</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000300009&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article provides a brief analysis and evaluation of the work done by the Department of Dogmatics and Christian Ethics at the University of Pretoria during its history of 70 years. The respective periods of tenure of the successive members of staff were extensive enough to serve as a basis for distinguishing between various phases in the development of the Department. In each of the phases, a significant and distinctive contribution was made to the academic enterprise of the Faculty of Theology, as well as to the work of the Dutch Reformed Church which was represented by the relevant members of staff. <![CDATA[<b>Church History and Church Polity in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000300010&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Theology has been an integral part of the University of Pretoria since its inception and Church History has been taught since the establishment of the Faculty of Theology in 1917. At that time, the Presbyterian Church of South Africa and the Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika (NHK) were partners. The Presbyterian link with the Faculty ceased in 1933. From 1938 the Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk (NGK) joined the NHK and this remained the situation until 2002 when the Uniting Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa re-established its links with the Faculty. At the present time, the Department of Church History and Church Polity is staffed by representatives of all three partner churches. <![CDATA[<b>Old Testament studies: The story of a department</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052009000300011&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The Department of Old Testament at the Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, has been in existence since 1938 and this article is an attempt to highlight some aspects of its history. The article consists of two main sections. The first discusses the place of the Department in the world, in Africa and at the University. It is stated that the Department always moved with the times and re-invented itself in new contexts. It found a stronghold in the university context, addressed the problems of our times intellectually and consistently maintained international contacts. In the second section, the members of the Department are discussed individually. It will become clear that there is a strange mixture of synchrony and diachrony, of reading the text in its final form and of taking the historical context and growth seriously. Both approaches exist alongside each other and complement each other. It is concluded that the Department's future lies in its scholarly past - in the intellectual traditions in which it is embedded, and in its ability to adapt to new contexts without losing its total devotion to critical scholarship, the students and the church. Like human beings, a university department can also have a biography. It has a life entrenched in real experiences and is subjected to the same socio-political realities as people. This article briefly tells the life story of one such department, that of the Department of Old Testament at the University of Pretoria. It describes the Department's academic endeavours, and of the scholars who devoted their lives to the pursuit of Old Testament scholarship and the teaching of theological students from their first year to doctorate level. Over the years the Department had to adjust and re-adjust, but in the end it survived all kinds of pressures and established its place both here and abroad. One of the reasons for its endurance and survival has been the commitment of the members of the Department to cutting-edge research, sound scholarship and excellent teaching. This story is told here by focusing on the physical contexts in which the Department had to exist, and then on the scholars who made things happen.