Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Verbum et Ecclesia]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=2074-770520140003&lang=pt vol. 35 num. 3 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Social cohesion and social capital: Possible implications for the common good</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052014000300001&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The main objective of the article is to identify the possible implications of social cohesion and social capital for the common good. In order to reach this overarching aim the following structure will be utilised. The first part explores the conceptual understanding of social cohesion and social capital in order to establish how these concepts are related and how they could possibly inform each other. The contextual nature of social cohesion and social capital is briefly reflected upon, with specific reference to the South African context. The contribution of religious capital in the formation of social capital is explored in the last section of the article. The article could be viewed as mainly conceptual and explorative in nature in order to draw some conclusions about the common good of social capital and social cohesion. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article contributes to the interdisciplinary discourse on social cohesion with specific reference to the role of congregations. It provides a critical reflection on the role of congregations with regard to bonding and bridging social capital. The contextual nature of social cohesion is also addressed with specific reference to South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>A perspective on notions of spirituality, democracy, social cohesion and public theology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052014000300002&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article explores the notions of spirituality, democracy, social cohesion and public theology briefly. Whilst these notions seem unrelated to each other, the article finds that they are indeed very much related especially in a conversation pertaining to the role of theology in democratic South Africa today. It argues that these notions are particularly important if one seeks the unity of a dislocated people. The word dislocation here refers to more than merely those who were dispossessed of their wealth and land, but speaks especially also to a spiritual dislocation which happened as a result of that material dislocation. Black liberation theology which has always been public must be seen to incorporate issues of the spiritual in its reflections. All this, it is argued, has pertinent repercussions for social cohesion in South Africa today. <![CDATA[<b>The Old Testament or Hebrew Bible in Africa: Challenges and prospects for interpretation and translation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052014000300003&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The Old Testament or Hebrew Bible is much loved in Africa. It is however encountered almost exclusively in translation, either through translation into local indigenous languages or translation into foreign, non-local languages. The source language Hebrew text is inaccessible to the vast majority of readers, including Christian pastors or theological students who would naturally be expected to have access by virtue of their profession. Knowledge of the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible is thus mediated through existing translations and interpretations, and through the popular or scholarly writings of Old Testament or Hebrew Bible experts. In many parts of Africa the latter are in very short supply. This article is an attempt to engage and critically reflect further on some of the issues arising out of this situation with specific reference to the work of Knut Holter, as well as others. This situation and the challenges posed for a full and unencumbered encounter with the Hebrew scriptures and prospects for the future is explored. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: It is expected that the translation of the Hebrew scriptures involves interaction with local cultures and belief systems opening space for new interpretations from the perspectives of local world views and practices. The challenges for local Christian theologies and Christian doctrine in general arising from this are unavoidable. <![CDATA[<b>The local South African worshipping community as a site for spiritual formation towards transformation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052014000300004&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The article focuses on the local worshipping community as a site for the spiritual formation of citizens to become agents of transformation in public life. How are citizens spiritually formed so that, through their witness and praxis, they become instruments of transformation, thereby challenging the dominant discourses by offering, through their collective witness and praxis, redeeming alternatives? To answer this question, the article focuses not on a methodology but rather offers suggestions as to how to nurture a radical spirituality towards the formation of agents of transformation. The specific South African context with its numerous socioeconomic and political challenges as well as the plurality of voices and values need to be taken into consideration. Therefore the challenge is to develop an inclusive spirituality. <![CDATA[<b>Spirituality for democracy and social cohesion versus the spirituality of money</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052014000300005&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt We live in a life-killing global system, and thus, we are called by our own biblical basis - re-read in the spirit of other than Western traditions - to search for life-giving alternatives and to develop democracy accordingly. However, this is not a geographical exercise. We cannot count on South Africa as a place where Ubuntu is practiced or on South Korea living in communities according to Sangsaeng. The reason is that Western civilisation, with its own spirituality, has permeated all corners of the earth. My thesis is that this is the spirituality of money; biblically speaking, of Mammon. Before we can talk about a spirituality for democracy and social cohesion, we need to address the spirituality of the status quo in order to understand what the alternative could be. The issue gets complicated by the new insight that Western civilisation has deep roots in history; in fact a history of almost 3000 years. Only by looking at this history can we really understand how money did not only change socio-economic and political structures but also hearts, minds and the spirituality of people. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article challenges the normal Western assumption that democracy is but a political issue of voting every 4 or 5 years. Instead it shows that real democracy is linked to economic and social justice, as well as to deep cultural and spiritual roots. Authors should carefully identify the contextual perspective they challenge, identifying the potential results of the proposed research and whether it calls for a change in traditional discourse as well as whether such a change is possible. Key insights into the research results and its future function should be revealed. <![CDATA[<b>Spirituality for democracy: Spiritual resources for democratic participation in the 21st century</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052014000300006&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The topic invites us to explore spirituality for democracy and to identify and critique the spiritual resources that are needed for democratic participation in the 21st century. The statement specifically focused on for and not of democracy. Modern expressions of democracy are in crisis. Every context is teething with challenges and conflicts between governments and their citizens concerning how much influence through participation should be allowed in the decision-making process of governance. This topic is of extreme importance for academic discourse because the malaise that has crept into contemporary forms of democratic governance calls for urgent attention. Democratic forms of governance are not set in stone. Rather, they are formed as a result of human deliberation and praxis and cultural developments and must therefore remain open for further reformation. It is this intrinsic capacity for renewal that opens democracy to converse with spirituality. This article begins with identifying the key terms that constitute the academic building blocks of this study. The inherent contradictions in the use of these terms are noted in order to arrive at a theoretical construct to converse with the key concepts of spirituality, democracy, spiritual resources and democratic participation. Through the use of the postcolonial lenses of Rastafari hermeneutics, a theoretical framework will be employed to map a life-giving path for contemporary expressions of spirituality for democracy and to identify the resources needed for democratic participation. <![CDATA[<b>The need for leadership in gender justice: Advancing a missiological agenda for the church in Swaziland</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052014000300007&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Underpinned by missiological thinking, the article argues that, in a context searching for gender justice, the mission of God should begin with making sensitive the consciousness of Swazi church leaders who, in turn, would act as agents for transforming social consciousness. In this process, the leaders become critically aware that they are called to act as prophetic example by adopting a gender-sensibility posture and calling the local church to account for its reluctance and slothfulness in teaching and practicing gender-justice values and ideals as one of the key social organs of the country. In addition, the leaders should become conscious of the fact that they have a wider prophetic missiological task to subversively challenge and wisely remind the State about its social responsibility to advance the socially shared agenda of radically promoting the rights, humanity and dignity of women in its domain. <![CDATA[<b>The African indigenous churches' spiritual resources for democracy and social cohesion</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052014000300008&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article outlines resources possessed by the African indigenous churches (AICs) that help them engage with the democratic dispensation and could be used to foster social cohesion in South Africa. It starts off with the premise that social cohesion is that which holds the nation together. The South African rainbow-nation narrative tended to focus on tolerance and the recognition of diversity as strength. Tolerance does not address the fundamental issues that would facilitate cohesion. The idea of cultural justice as advocated by Chirevo Kwenda is seen as the most useful tool to move forward. Cultural justice ensures that all citizens are able to draw on their cultural resources without any fear of being discriminated against. The AICs have an assortment of resources at their disposal that are drawn from African religion, Christianity and Western culture. These resources enable AIC members to appreciate being African and Christian, as well as being South African.