Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Verbum et Ecclesia]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=2074-770520150003&lang=es vol. 36 num. 3 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b><i>Ecodomy</i>: Life in its fullness - if love rules the <i>oikoumenē</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052015000300001&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In the article related terms are deconstructively compared with each other, such as oikodomē (encouragement), dioikēsis theia (divine administration) and oikoumenē (inhabited world). The article aims to identify the positive roots of the term oikoumenē beyond the pejorative referencing in the New Testament as 'imperial power'. It demonstrates that the notion basileia tou theou (kingdom of God) provides a key to discover the gift of love as the heart of ecodomy. The article concludes with a critical discussion of forms of inauthentic love in order to outline what kind of love is conveyed in Jesus' kingdom ethics. The article consists of four sections: (1) 'When children rule the oikoumenē', (2) 'When power rules the oikoumenē', (3) 'When love rules the oikoumenē', and finally (4) 'Différance' - when love is not love. <![CDATA[<b>'Bliksem!'/Damn it! A ritual-liturgical appreciation of a deadly sin for an angry nation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052015000300002&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article addresses the current levels of anger within South African society from a practical theological perspective. Following a description of the current context with regard to the on-going processes of reconciliation and transformation two theories are revisited and critiqued. Normative insights are thereafter gained by making use of several stories from the book of Judges, and in conclusion an outline for a liturgical and homiletical theory for praxis is presented. The aim of this contribution as a whole is to reflect - in a praxis-theory cycle - on the theme of anger in order to formulate practical theological ritual-liturgical route markers for South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Locating nature and culture: <i>Pan-Homo</i> culture and theological primatology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052015000300003&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Studies of chimpanzee and bonobo social and learning behaviours, as well as diverse explorations of language abilities in primates, suggest that the attribution of 'culture' to primates other than humans is appropriate. The underestimation of primate cultural and cognitive characteristics leads to minimising the evolutionary relationship of humans and other primates. Consequently my claim in this reflection is about the importance of primate studies for the enhancement of Christian thought, with the specific observation that the bifurcation of nature and culture may be an unsustainable feature of any world view, which includes extraordinary status for humans (at least, some humans) as a key presupposition. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: The scientific literature concerning primate studies is typically ignored by Christian theology. Reaping the benefits of dialogue between science and religion, Christian thought must engage and respond to the depth of primate language, social, and cultural skills in order to better interpret the relationship of nature and culture. <![CDATA[<b><i>Song of Songs: </i>A celebration of and invitation to participate in the fullness of life</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052015000300004&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The Song of Songs is usually appreciated for its celebration of love in the foreground, erotic or divine, if these are not regarded as different aspects of the same experience. This has perhaps led to the neglect of the celebration of life as pertinent background in a unique way in the Hebrew and even Christian Bible as a whole. In a secular world disillusioned by the perceived emphasis on death in traditional religion and therefore desperately obsessed with life, this biblical poetry may come as a surprising liberation through its critical and creative voice even within the religious canons of two world religions. <![CDATA[<b>A centre for community life in its fullness</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052015000300005&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article considers some theological reasons why there is a Centre for Sustainable Communities at the Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria. The role of the Centre is discussed within the global and local search for sustainability; the world-wide trend in churches towards a missional approach, which emphasises the church's life-giving role in all areas of life, and the theological reflection on the relationship between the church community and the civil community, so reflecting on the role of the local church to promote life in its fullness in the community. The Centre for Sustainable Communities (Centre) was established at the Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, in 2014. The Centre is intended to develop resources for local congregations to promote life in its fullness in local communities in southern Africa in an effective and meaningful way. In this article attention is given to the theological reasons for its establishment and where it is being positioned in the wider field of sustainability institutions. Attention will be given to the following: • The position of the Centre in the global search for sustainability. • Life in its fullness in the emerging 21st century missional paradigm. • The Christian community as agent of life in its fullness in the civil community. <![CDATA[<b>Pursuing an understanding of animal consciousness: Implications for animal morality and a creaturely theology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052015000300006&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The importance of animals in the evolutionary history of homo sapiens comes to the fore in light of an increasingly trans-human techno-scientific environment. New research on consciousness, and animal consciousness in particular, has prompted questions relating to animal rights, animal morality and the emergence of a creaturely theology and theological primatology. The possibility of understanding nonhuman animals is investigated with reference to notions like consciousness, thinking, awareness, language and communication, including the importance of emotion in communication. Special attention is given to the nature of animal communication as it came to the fore in bonobo and other chimpanzee research. Building on the notion of awareness and communication, the article focuses on the notion of animal morality and comments on some aspects of a creaturely theology. <![CDATA[<b>Wealth, poverty and mutual care: Towards a reconstructive reading of the book of Job</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052015000300007&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Perceived disruptions between the poetic and prose genres in the book of Job often lead to deconstruction or deconstructive readings of the text. In this article the broad outlines of a possible reconstructive reading are sketched. This revolves around research results regarding the principles inherent to God's address to Job in chapters 38-41. The transformation of Job is shown by comparing his earlier prosperity in the prologue, which he lost, and the description of his newly found prosperity in the epilogue. It will be argued that the epilogue is an essential part of the whole book, and serves to illustrate that Job was indeed transformed by the principles unveiled by the Voice from within the storm. This transformation led to a life which is characterised by its fullness and satisfactory conclusion. <![CDATA[<b>Ecodomy in mission: The ecological crisis in the light of recent ecumenical statements</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052015000300008&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This research explored ecodomy in mission and gave a brief overview of the ecological dimension of mission. This was done in terms of the polarity between creation and end times, or a creation-centred and a redemption-centred approach. The two approaches were described by focusing on two themes found in the works of missiologist and ecumenical policy documents (The Accra Confession, The Cape Town Commitment, and Together towards life - Mission and evangelism in changing landscapes): the reorientation towards creation and the re-imagination of the eschaton. In terms of the reorientation towards creation, the research found that current developments in missiology reflect a major interest in the importance of ecological issues, offer a clear understanding that the Gospel is good news for all of creation, and demand justice towards the whole oikoumene. It affirmed that God's mission is inherently creational and world-affirming. In terms of the re-imagination of the eschaton, the research found that the new life promised by the gospel is life in fullness, and includes the whole oikoumene. The reality that is already present in the reign of the risen Christ in his kingdom, structures and informs the life-giving mission of the church. <![CDATA[<b>Doing public theology in the anthropocene towards life-creating theology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052015000300009&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es If one presumes that we are today living in the anthropocene, how does this challenge the doing of public theology? What is the calling of a public theologian in the anthropocene? To be able to answer these questions, this article shortly described the anthropocene and then sought to unpack a possible doing of theology in a particular local context, within the time of the anthropocene, creating (poiesis) a deconstructive space for possible resurrection life to emerge. <![CDATA[<b>Geen water, geen volheid: Die dringende boodskap van die eksistensieël-teologiese betekenis van water</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052015000300010&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Water is no longer only a source of life, but at the same time entails the possibility of death. In this article the question is posed to the theological implications of the statement when God is proclaimed as creator and giver of life, and this very life is now threatened by various human activities (eg. industrialisation) or the lack of activities (eg. no sanitation) in which the availability of fresh water can no longer be taken for granted. Attention is specifically given to the availability and access to fresh water within the South African context from international, national and ecclesial reports. From theological considerations on the significance of water in a biblical context, a strong argument is presented for involvement with this crisis as specialised conversation partner. <![CDATA[<b>An exploration of the idea of ecodomy in Calvin's view of God and the world: Its implications for churches in South Africa today</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052015000300011&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The Faculty of Theology chose as its theme oikodome, which speaks about the fullness of life for all. This article explored this theme by looking at John Calvin's understanding of God and the world. In this article, working from the premise of the sovereignty of God, the author attempted to show that undergirding Calvin's theology is the idea of oikodome. The author showed that for Calvin everything in life is connected to God and thus the idea of oikodome is deeply rooted in Calvin's theology. The author illustrated this by examining significant themes in Calvin's teachings on the Trinitarian God, creation, humanity and providence, state and church, transformation of society, concern for the poor, and education. The author used this information to show what implications the idea of oikodome has for churches in South Africa today, especially in the context of poverty and struggle. The author calls on churches to embrace the theological foundation explicated by Calvin in their endeavour to work toward the fullness of life for all people. <![CDATA[<b>The radicality of early Christian oikodome: A theology that edifies insiders ánd outsiders</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052015000300012&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In this article a study is made of the concept 'oikodome' and its derivatives in the New Testament and early Christianity. Hence, in this essay the focus is limited to the use of the term οίκοδομέω/οίκοδομή(ν) in the New Testament, and briefly turns to inspiring trajectories in early Christianity. A detailed focus on the term(s) reveals the complexity of the matter in the different Biblical contexts with its multi-layered dimensions of meaning. Subsequently, attention is turned to a study of 1 Thessalonians, followed up with a discussion of the trajectories of other-regard and radical self-giving love in the early Church as witnessed by insiders and outsiders in antiquity. <![CDATA[<b>Abraham's reinterpretation and life's meaning</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052015000300013&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article contributes to the theme of life's fullness by emphasising the struggle for meaning during the Persian era as reflected in Genesis 15 and 17. The community's 'strategy' was to reflect on their identity in order to find their place in the Persian-ruled society and experience something of life's meaning. Different answers were given and each must be understood separately. In order to survive, one group opted for a broader view of the community and God (Genesis 17), while others were of the opinion that a narrower view had to be followed (Genesis 15). The arguments of both groups are discussed in this article. <![CDATA[<b>Black Theology of liberation: A theology of life in the context of Empire</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2074-77052015000300014&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The cry for life by the peoples of the global South and all the victims of the vicious antics of Empire is our hope. Living against the logic of Empire is rebellion against the life killing order of Empire. This cry for life, the article argues, is our method for reasserting the goals of Black Theology of liberation as life - life as a precondition to all ethical claims. Racism cannot be treated as a marginal aspect of modernity and, ipso facto, economics. Capitalism exists in a symbiotic relationship between racism, hiding in the husk of Empire that feeds on the paradigms of life Empire destroys and kills. Using as an illustration the dynamics of the mind, unmasking the universe of Empire is the task of a Black Theology of liberation as a theology of life.