Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Stellenbosch Theological Journal]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=2413-946720150002&lang=en vol. 1 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Editorial</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b>Redaksionele Voorwoord</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b>The social production of sacred space in urban Oslo</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article examines two recent expressions of religion in the multi-religious setting of the Norwegian capital Oslo. The Muslim group Ansar al-Sunnah's claim of the district Grønland is scrutinized in relation to the public and cultural image of Islam in Norway, and a Christian response to the contemporary multi-religious context is examined via an analysis of the priest Gyrid Gunnes' performance at The National Exhibition of the Visual Arts in Oslo. These cases are further discussed in relation to spatial theories and theologically embedded questions about ecclesiology and eschatology. This article shows that Ansar al-Sunnah stages an image of Islam that is produced in a cultural Islamophobic discourse, while Gunnes' performance problematizes taken-for-granted notions about God, the church and what it means to be a Christian. The prevailing, dominant and culturally embedded ideas of what it means to be a Christian or a Muslim are being challenged in Gunnes' performance through the use of queer theory and apophatic theology. <![CDATA[<b>Urban theology endeavours and a theological vision of hope and justice for post-apartheid South African cities</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Twenty one years since the dawn of democracy in South Africa, the cities of the nation appear to be in a downward spiral of injustice and callousness. This article considers the transformative significance of urban theology. Beginning with a description of the author's insertion into the administrative capital of South Africa the article proceeds to chart out urban theology as a "God and Bible", "contextual", "intellectual" and "activist" endeavour. It then illuminates the vision of the New Jerusalem as described in the Old Testament in Isaiah 65:17-24 juxtaposing it with the context of South African cities today. This ancient urban vision will serve as a theological mandate for urban transformation. <![CDATA[<b>African urbanims: Reinterpreting the marks of the church</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This essay presents a broad analysis of African "cityness" and brings this analysis in relation to an ecumenical interpretation of the marks of the church. The aim is to construct an "urban ecclesiology" where the realities of African cities influence our understanding of the church, and where - in turn - the marks of the church provides some pointers to a life of community, justice and fulfilment in the city. <![CDATA[<b>The parish as existential space: A theological critique of territory</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this article I call for a reconceptualization of space in relation to the ecclesial parish system through differentiating between "space", "place", and "territory", suggesting that the last term has been instrumental in introducing an ideological notion of space - in short, the reduction of place and space to administrative territory - into the ecclesiological self-understanding of the Church of Sweden. For my analysis of "territory" as an ideological notion and for a more productive understanding of what I call "existential space", I refer to contemporary spatial theory in philosophy. The object of study is several paragraphs in the statutes of the Church of Sweden. Several empirical examples - the suburban areas of Rosengård and Flemingsberg - help to further the analysis and substantiate my theoretical argument. Finally, I offer some thoughts toward a more constructive theology of space than that provided by the territorial understanding of the parish. Although concerned with the understanding of parish within the Church of Sweden, the ultimate aim of this article is to contribute to a more general discussion of theological understandings of spatiality. <![CDATA[<b>Cities, corporeality and consciousness</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article seeks to explore the connections between our ability to live and work with symbols, our nature as a symbolic species, our physiologies, and our theologies, by examining the phenomenon of the (modern) city. It proposes that cities could be conceived of as 'corporate' expressions of human consciousness, that are founded on and continuously aim to purvey certain images and myths. These images and myth, it is argued, has been profoundly the work of a theological imagination. In an attempt to understand our modern (and seemingly secular) cityscapes, this article accordingly sets out to uncover some of the the particular theologies they articulate. <![CDATA[<b>Reading the Bible in the African context: Assessing Africa's love affair with prosperity Gospel</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The aim of this article is to examine Bible reading in the African context and the willingness and enthusiasm to embrace prosperity gospel in Africa. To achieve this objective, a discussion on the developments in biblical interpretation in Africa will first be presented. This will be done by examining three historical periods: colonial, independence and democratisation periods. This will be followed by an outline of migrations that have taken place from traditional religions to different versions of Christianity in different times in Africa. These migrations will be examined in connection with Bible translation. The relationship between prosperity gospel and African people in Africa will be discussed by considering the tools prosperity gospel uses to appeal to African people, namely the religio-cultural and socio-economic factors. The article will then provide its assessment of contextual reading in the prosperity gospel and a conclusion will follow. <![CDATA[<b>Reading for the dignity of all: Overcoming the troubling legacy of the Old Testament</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In light of the numerous instances in the Hebrew Bible in which the dignity of its characters are threatened, violated or potentially violated, this article seeks to identify a number of strategies that may be used to read the Bible for the dignity of all so overcoming the Old Testament's troubling legacy. These strategies have been inspired by the work of Martha Nussbaum who, in one of her recent books, The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age, names three principles that may help a society to become more compassionate in nature and to transcend, what she calls, a narcissistic notion of fear: (1) Political (and I would add religious) principles that express equal respect and dignity for all people (2) Rigorous critical thinking that criticizes inconsistencies that may lead to human rights violations (3) Developing an empathetic or participatory imagination, in which one is able to consider how the world looks from the point of view of a person of a different cultural or religious point of view. <![CDATA[<b>Reading the Bible through the ages? Historical and hermeneutical perspectives</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this contribution the seemingly straightforward slogan espoused by Biblica, namely, "Transforming lives through God's Word" is complicated by placing it within the context of the rich, multi-layered and complex history of Bible-reading. Fully aware that it is an impossible task to construe the history of the reading of the Bible, offers a few broad strokes describing Biblical reception and interpretation, beginning with the complex genesis of the Bible, extending through the Early Church, the Middle Ages, The Renaissance and Reformation, the time of Enlightenment and rise of Modernity, the emergence of ecumenical hermeneutics in the 20th century, and the contemporary conflicts in hermeneutic perspectives. Throughout the essay, the question is asked - in various ways and with different responses - what "Transforming lives through God's Word" could mean. <![CDATA[<b>The Bible and the justification of apartheid in Reformed circles in the 1940's in South Africa: Some historical, hermeneutical and theological remarks</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article focuses on the way the Bible was used in the 1940s in some Reformed theological circles in South Africa as part of the discourse to justify apartheid. Attention is also given to some voices critical of this endeavour. The article therefore offers a close reading of influential texts by prominent theologians who provided a biblical justification of apartheid, such as JD du Toit (Totius) and EP Groenewald. In addition, the article attends to some of the writings of theologians such as BJ Marais and BB Keet, who strongly opposed any attempt to justify apartheid in this manner. The article is especially interested in identifying the constructions of identity and otherness that seem to be operative in the discourse connected to the biblical justification of apartheid during this period. <![CDATA[<b>Listening past difference: Towards a compassionate ethics of communication</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article attempts to contribute to the discussion about reading the Bible in a contemporary social and political context by highlighting one of the most pertinent influences on our understanding of that context, namely the global media. While the article therefore does not claim any authority in terms of Biblical hermeneutics, it hopes to make a modest contribution to our understanding of how we experience our place in a globalised world, how we make meaning out of the images and messages circulating around us every day, and how we respond ethically to the pervasive nature of global media, especially in the South African context. The central question to be answered pertains to the ethics of mediation, representation and communication in a world marked by difference, inequality and struggle. Of particular importance is the question of how we communicate with each other across the many differences that lie between us. <![CDATA[<b>Reading the Bible with the marginalised: The value/s of contextual Bible reading</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200013&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en There is a long history of collaboration between "popular" or "contextual" forms of biblical interpretation between Brazil and South Africa, going back into the early 1980's. Though there are significant differences between these forms of Bible "reading", there are values and processes that cohere across these contexts, providing an integrity to such forms of Bible reading. This article reflects on the values and processes that may be discerned across the Brazilian and South African interpretive practices after more than thirty years of conversation across these contexts. <![CDATA[<b>Religious education and nation-building in Nigeria</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200014&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en After the Nigerian Civil War in 1970, the federal government took over schools founded by religious groups because education was thought to be a huge government venture and no longer a private enterprise. Prior to this time, Nigerian leaders benefitted from the free education offered by missionaries, which became the bedrock for Nigerian nationalism and independence. Most people argue that the sudden takeover of the schools by the government brought about the collapse of education that was hitherto reputed for high standards in learning and morality. Hence, the call for return of mission schools by pressure groups became rife. Conversely, in the wake of the return of mission schools by some states in the federation, stakeholders have expressed divergent views, citing denominational sentiments, tribal prejudices and unhealthy rivalry among citizens as problems that could militate against national integration and development. This article aims at examining the divergent views in the light of the role of religious education (RE) in nation building and integration. <![CDATA[<b>An ethos of hospitality as public morality in the face of the disorderly process in Nigeria today?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200015&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Nigeria, a highly populated country in West Africa, has for the past five years been embroiled in turmoil. Agitation arising from displacement of a large number of people coupled with alienation in their own ancestral lands and homes, due to activities of the unpopular Islamic sect, Boko Haram (roughly translated in English as "Western education is an abomination"). This radical religious sect seeks in the most poignant way, to create a wide gap for its own conceived Islamic world order by killing, dispossessing, kidnapping and alienating people, especially in the north-eastern part of Nigeria, bordering Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republics. Economic, religious, cultural and political lives of the locals including Muslims are destroyed. No end is in sight. However, in the face of hostility, hatred, injustice, disorder, despair and an attempt to create order, a new form of public morality is desperately needed in Nigeria, today. The questions then are: what is this public morality? How can a public morality be facilitated to salvage such a disturbing situation? <![CDATA[<b>Back to the future: Thoughts about development and the future of missiology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200016&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Missiologists have spent a lot of time since the 1990s in debating issues such as postmodernism, paradigm changes, etc. For the growing majority of Christians in the world (in Africa), pervasive poverty and the resultant need for community development seem to be more pressing. How and where will our people get their everyday needs? We should return to the debate of the 1970s and 1980s about the preferential option for the poor - churches, mission agencies and academics have too easily forgotten about this. Community development should therefore return to the top of the missiological agenda again. Missiologists have left development to the "experts" too easily. Faith communities and their leaders mostly know better than any others what kind of development is needed; faith communities are often the only credible and workable social institutions left in many areas; and community development is a fundamental dimension of Christian mission. There are signs that academics are beginning to be aware of this reality, so a call seems to be in order for missiologists to go "back to the future" by integrating the preferential option for the poor, the need for community development, and missiological praxis again. <![CDATA[<b>Albert Schweitzer's ethical horizon: Reverence and gratitude for life</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200017&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In the search for relevant theology, especially in the context of the ethical and moral challenges facing contemporary South Africa, the theology/philosophy of religion of Albert Schweitzer can play an important role. Aspects of Schweitzer's deliberations are briefly discussed under three topics: ethical mysticism, the centrality of life and the responsibility associated with living. The famous statement, "reverence for life" as summary for Schweitzer's thinking is embedded in profound and comprehensive reflection, and properly understood can provide meaningful support to contemporary theologies struggling with the faith-action divide. <![CDATA[<b>The limited public good of a confession. A public theological reflection on enhancing the (public) good of the Belhar Confession in the Reformed Church family of South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200018&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Public theology takes on many forms, generally seeking some public good by interpreting Scripture, trying to reveal the social relevance of the theological truth concerned. In this framework the Belhar Confession can arguably be deemed a public theological tour de force as it spoke out against, amongst others, social injustices based on wrongful Biblical exegesis. Speaking to different "publics" over the last three decades, the good resulting from this confession, ironically, seems extremely limited - especially in the Reformed Church family (public) of its native land, South Africa. It would even be safe to allege that this confession has had a polarizing effect, rather than a unifying one. As public theology is regarded as an intra-disciplinary venture, this article will reflect critically on the limited good of this confession and will ponder the notion of enhancing its good as a form of public theology by means of a public-theological reflection. It is suspected that several possibilities reside within a public-theological reading whereby the good this confession is capable of can be enhanced. <![CDATA[<b>Where have all the prophets gone? Perspectives on political preaching</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200019&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article takes a brief look at the notions of voice, event, and experience within the communal paradigm of South African societies. This is followed by a description of different ways in which political and eschatological preaching has been understood within recent times, starting with the reverted eschatology of apartheid sermons, linked to the experience of fear; then the hopeful eschatology of Desmond Tutu's sermons, evoking experiences of anticipation; and concluding with what could be called the present day vacuum in this regard: preaching that strives to maintain by means of introverted eschatology, contributing to experiences of uncertainty. <![CDATA[<b>A perspective on marriages and civil unions in South Africa Part 2 - Civil unions</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200020&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The article argues that churches/religions ought to fully accept homosexuals as full members with all the rights that go with that, and treat them with Christian love, compassion and respect. But it also argues that if homosexual members do not abide by the official viewpoints of the Church and do not comply with the church's requirements for membership and thereby threatens the faith identity of a church or a religion, church's and religions have the right to terminate the membership of such members. Church's and religions have a right to their faith viewpoint, to express that viewpoint and to expect from all their members to accept that viewpoint if they want to remain members of that church/religion. Just as churches and religions should show love and respect to homosexual members they can also expect from the homosexual members and outside pressure groups to respect the faith convictions of the church that the practising of homosexuality is in contradiction with what Scripture teaches in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and in many other parts of Scripture. <![CDATA[<b>Worship and sport. A spatial-liturgical study</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200021&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The main aim of this article is to look into the possible connection there is between worship and sport. Through participatory observation an attempt was made to answer the basic practical theological question, namely "what is going on?" Two spaces in Atteridgeville were visited and compared, the one a worship space and the other a sport space. Similarities and differences were pointed out. Thereafter an attempt was made to answer the second question of practical theological interpretation, namely "why is this going on?" Two themes were used in doing so: spatiality and rituals. Both spaces are important in the lives of the community. The spaces and the rituals create an axis mundi where participation in life can take place through the rituals performed. The information in this article is an abstract of a study that culminated into a model for social cohesion. <![CDATA[<b>Who do you want: Barabbas or Jesus? Power and empowerment in theological education</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200022&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The article deals with theological education and leadership and questions the way power and empowerment functions in the church. It argues that theologically we follow the Barabbas choice and reject Jesus by not choosing the way of the cross and weakness. Our true identity needs to be, in following Philippians 2 and other passages, cruciform kenotic. The implications of such an identity for theological education and leadership are then put forward. <![CDATA[<b>From welcomed migrants to alleged terrorists: A missio-political reading of Exodus 1:8-2:10</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200023&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article examines the plight of migrants by conversing Brian Wren's poetic song, Travellers, with a missio-political reading of Exodus 1:8 - 2:10. Most migrants are people on the move fleeing from untenable threats to their lives from dysfunctional states of the Global South. The article argues that the socio-economic and political forces that deny the Hebrew migrants in ancient Egypt fullness of life as described in Exodus 1:8-2:10 are still at work in the threats that contemporary migrants face. Wren's poetic song offers a life-affirming discourse that postulate an alternative missio-political response that affirm human dignity, human rights, human respect and a commitment to justice that facilitate "fullness of life". <![CDATA[<b>Mission driven by fear and despair: The case of Kranspoort - the first Dutch Reformed Church mission station outside the Cape Colony</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200024&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article surveys the Dutch Reformed Church Mission Policy and the close collaboration of mission and politics. The 1948 Nationalist Party election victory brought about a host of laws designed to bring total control and dominance over black people's lives and their destiny. The Dutch Reformed Church was drawn into the government agenda to the extent that they lost their prophetic voice. The use of government instruments such as the forced removal of 'excess' and unwanted people from white farms was employed by the church. Black Christians that held a different political view were declared "no longer Christians" and forcefully removed from the mission stations. The pious outlook of mission did not help the church to realise that its social and political interests were against the love of Christ and thus the love of the neighbour. <![CDATA[<b>Trinity, masculinity and the feminine - a critical analysis in search of a responsible methodology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200025&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Regarding the relationship between the Trinity and gender, theologians differ radically. This article first show how the Trinity is seen as a model for gender relationships from an immanent and economic point of view. Thereafter the critique of projection is discussed. In searching for a theological responsable method, the image of God is bought in as a key for understanding the creation of male and female. A Trinitarian and relational perspective on the image of God is helpfull in focussing on the relationship with God, rather than the relations in God. <![CDATA[<b>Social media and the new struggles of young people against marginalisation: A challenge to missional ecclesiology in Southern Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200026&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Social media technologies have become a prominent feature of public life, but also the personal lives of young people. The question is whether the academic discourses on the missional church in southern Africa have taken this trend into consideration adequately. This article addresses this question by introducing a postcolonial missiological perspective on social media and the new struggles of young people against marginalisation. Through a literature review, the article appropriates research from sociologists, in particular Manuel Castells, firstly to show how subjects are constructed in this new, networked world order and secondly to show how social transformation is framed and engendered. It is concluded that these findings are the basis for the notion of the missional church as a social network. It is recommended that a subtheme, which prioritises the role of social media in this age of the network society, be established in the academic discourse on the southern African missional church in order to continue the dialogue with young people in their contemporary struggles. <![CDATA[<b>Learning, changing and doing - Critical citizenship through ecumenical exposure</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200027&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Critical citizenship is becoming a very significant part of the educational pedagogy at Stellenbosch University relating to the vocational, personal and civic lives of the students and lecturers, focusing on critical and reflective thinking in what to learn, believe and do. Making use of the central concepts of critical citizenship as hermeneutical lenses, the main research question of this article is: "Does the exposure through ecumenical tours, as part of the programme in the Postgraduate Diploma in Theology in Christian Ministry, foster critical citizenship, and if so, in what ways?" The purpose of the article is therefore to take a closer look at one component of this specific programme and to see if, and in what ways, critical citizenship is embedded and fostered through aspects of ecumenical exposure. Factors at play in ecumenical exposure include the diversity of the student population, the content of the programme and, especially, the participatory and reflective practices of living faith communities. A pedagogical framework will be used to evaluate whether critical citizenship is enhanced through the ecumenical exposure of the programme. <![CDATA[<b>"Managing the household of God" : The contribution from management sciences to the sustainability of the church as an organization</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200028&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Church leaders are considered "managers of the household of God" (1 Cor 4: 1, 2) and responsible to give the transforming message of the gospel its rightful place in the organization of the church as well as in the broader society. Despite this imperative, a literature review confirmed that the church as an organization has not been studied extensively by management science, nor do faculties and institutions of theology engage properly with management science. The focus of this article is therefore twofold: to prove that basic management science principles and skills do apply to the church as an organization; and secondly, to identify some of the reasons why the church has not sufficiently incorporated and applied management science principles and skills that can contribute to the effective management of the church. This article contributes to the management of the church as an organization. Although it is commonly acknowledged that different churches and denominations deal with management in different ways, the universality of management skills and principles apply to the church as organization in all its different forms and contexts. <![CDATA[<b>An investigation into the use of Israel's "historical traditions" in Joel 1:2-20</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200029&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The text of Joel 1:2-20 presents the reader with a unique, albeit challenging, perspective on an unprecedented disaster - a locust plague (and a subsequent drought) as the harbinger of the Yom YHWH (Day of the LORD). In his own unique way the author of Joel portrays this calamity by appealing to the ancient community's knowledge of their professed historical (and theological) traditions. In particular, he distinctly emphasizes four of these traditions namely Creation, Exodus, Sinai, and Promised Land. Approaching the text in this manner, from the perspective of Israel's historical traditions (and thus drawing on the work done by Gerhard von Rad), it is explained that the emphasis falls on a twofold textual focus (explicitly and implicitly): primarily on divine judgement, but conversely also on YHWH's saving blessings. <![CDATA[<b>Moral earthquakes and our response: Can ethics make a difference?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200030&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The major conflicts that shake our world are often driven by deep seated religious and cultural differences - they seem so overwhelming and run so deep that a seismological metaphor seems appropriate. How can ethics help to resolve these conflicts when much twentieth century ethical theory understood its role to be "neutral as regards actual conduct"? Alasdair MacIntyre rightly criticised the ethics of the Enlightenment project, but his own positive proposals do not seem to offer a clear way to address major moral conflicts. Can Christian ethics and the Christian church play a constructive role in our multi-faith and multicultural world? A practical ecumenical proposal is considered and is seen to offer a bridge across the theory-action divide; to draw together some positive suggestions of MacIntyre and other socio-ethicists; and to foreground the important role that the church might play in responding to major moral conflicts. <![CDATA[<b>"Making history for the coming generation" - on the theological logic of Russel Botman's commitment to transformation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200031&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The late rector of Stellenbosch University, Russel Botman, was widely known for his commitment to transformation. In the first Memorial Lecture to commemorate his legacy, it is argued that he had already been committed to transformation from early on in his life as student, minister, church figure and theologian and that this commitment was based on what he described as his "theological logic." This logic is then explained in terms of four key notions in his life and work, namely vocational spirituality, responsible discipleship, complex obedience, and hopeful agency. It is shown how he developed this logic already in his doctoral dissertation, in creative engagement with Dietrich Bonhoeffer. From this encounter grew his own conviction that transformation is making history for the coming generation. <![CDATA[<b>A hermeneutic of vulnerability: Redeeming Cain?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200032&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article inquires about the appropriation of Cain within a critical South African whiteness. The main argument is that despite Cain's wrongdoing and punishment, he succeeded in living a fruitful life. The idea of the appropriation of Cain is based upon ideas expressed by Katharina von Kellenbach in her book, The Mark of Cain. The article looks at the story in terms of a hermeneutic of vulnerability. It starts with the notion of the decolonial turn and its delinking programme, followed by the exploring of the issue of vulnerability as illustrated by three recent incidents in South Africa as reported by some newspapers. It then proceeds to an analysis of Cain's story, starting with early Christian interpretations in terms of fratricide, typology and association with the Jews, followed by two brief references of liberationist readings of Cain before explaining Von Kellenbach's utilisation of the story. Finally, the article presents a reading of Cain that more or less provide some redemption for the character before drawing consequences for reading the story from the position of critical whiteness. <![CDATA[<b>The Dutch Reformed Church and the content of the acceptance of its confessions</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200033&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In its acceptance of six confessions, the more general confessions from the early church namely the Apostolicum and the Confessions of Nicea and Athanasius as well as the Three Formulas of Unity from the Dutch Reformation, the Dutch Reformed Church follows the footsteps of the National Synod of Dordrecht in 1618-1619. It accepts the formulation or wording of faith in these documents. This wording has authority because (quia) it is according to Scripture. The same church also acknowledges the need for a Scriptural rehearsal of the confessions if needed. By using this basis for the acceptance of the confessions it takes into account the aim and purpose of these documents namely to formulate faith according to Scripture. <![CDATA[<b>A confessing church at war with itself: The significance of the relationship between the concepts "Gospel and law"</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200034&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The confessing movement of Germany has influenced the South African confessional movement. Although the confessing movement of Germany was successful in alerting some Christians of the ills of nationalism and the concoction of nationalism with theology, this movement was not without its own challenges. One major challenge was revealed in terms of how the concepts Gospel and Law were related with one another. Being constituted by different ecclesial traditions, it lacked a clear consensus of how to deal with secular law, which was considered to be of concern by the state. A separation between gospel and law, which is sometimes insisted upon especially in some theological traditions is seen in this article as one contributing factor to the German church's late reaction to the Jewish question. <![CDATA[<b>Biblical happiness and baptismal identity</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200035&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this essay the author makes a theological contribution to the happiness discourse, by i) exploring the etymology of some terms used for happiness in the Old and New Testament, by ii) valuing the contribution of Ellen Charry on biblical happiness as "Asherism" and iii) emphasizing the sacraments, in particular baptism, as identity marker, constituting a calling to a flourishing life, which includes being a flourishing agent enabling the flourishing of others and God's creation. <![CDATA[<b>"God the Revealed: Christology "Michael Welker's response to Dietrich Bonhoeffer's question</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200036&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Almost twenty years after the publication of the German Systematic Theologian Michael Welker's celebrated Gottes Geist: Theologie des Heiligen Geistes, comes his awaited Gottes Offenbarung. Christologie. In the light of this publication, recently translated by Douglas W. Stott into God the Revealed: Christology, the article attempts to analyse his theology of Jesus Christ. This theology has developed over the last decades out of his theology of the Holy Spirit. In the first part it will be shown how his theology of Jesus Christ can be seen as an answer to Dietrich Bonhoeffer's question of who Jesus Christ is for us today. The second part then sketch the most important insights and impulses for future theologies concerned with the confession: "God revealed himself in Jesus Christ". This is followed by a few remarks in the light of his realistic theological endeavour. <![CDATA[<b>The struggle against poverty, unemployment and social injustice in present-day South Africa: Exploring the involvement of the Dutch Reformed Church at congregational level</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200037&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article is based on an exploration of the involvement of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) at congregational level in the struggle against poverty, unemployment and social injustice in present-day South Africa. The exploration arises from the thesis that South African citizens continue to regard poverty, unemployment and social injustice as the key challenges to be met in order to build a healthy nation. Historically, the DRC acted as a prominent partner of the government to address the basic needs of the poor and the sick, especially among the country's white population. But the structural and social changes that followed the transformation to the new democratic South Africa impacted significantly on this partnership. This in turn required that the role of the DRC in addressing social issues in the country be revisited. The essential purpose of this article is, firstly, to provide better insight into the nature and extent of the current social services rendered by congregations of the DRC in addressing the challenges of poverty, unemployment and social injustice; and secondly, from this vantage point, to present some recommendations in conclusion on how the DRC could, in terms of its own striving towards even deeper and more effective social engagement, further enhance its contribution to address the identified challenges at congregational level. <![CDATA[<b>Inspiration from the Gospel for the fullness of life in the informal settlements in Mangaung, Free State Province, South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200038&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Informal settlements are mushrooming in Mangaung. The essential questions are what the implications of the Christian Gospel in this situation facing inhabitants of informal settlements in Mangaung are, and how the Gospel can inspire people living in dire circumstances to strive for the fullness of life. The needs of people should be determined first. Listening to people living in informal settlements is essential. Settlements in Mangaung were approached and qualitative research was conducted. The Gospel gives an encompassing and holistic answer to people's needs. All aspects, from the basic need for daily bread to the expectation of a new future, are relevant. Evangelism and humble service should be part of those bringing the Gospel to people living in informal settlements. A relation with Christ is all-important in inspiring a person to experience the fullness of life. The total person should, however, be brought to Christ to experience a full relationship with Him. In order to inspire, the Gospel should be brought by emphasising the glory of Christ so that the person can indeed hear and experience it, and be redeemed of and by Christ. <![CDATA[<b><i>The Earth in God's Economy: Creation, Salvation and Consummation in Ecological Perspective</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200039&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Informal settlements are mushrooming in Mangaung. The essential questions are what the implications of the Christian Gospel in this situation facing inhabitants of informal settlements in Mangaung are, and how the Gospel can inspire people living in dire circumstances to strive for the fullness of life. The needs of people should be determined first. Listening to people living in informal settlements is essential. Settlements in Mangaung were approached and qualitative research was conducted. The Gospel gives an encompassing and holistic answer to people's needs. All aspects, from the basic need for daily bread to the expectation of a new future, are relevant. Evangelism and humble service should be part of those bringing the Gospel to people living in informal settlements. A relation with Christ is all-important in inspiring a person to experience the fullness of life. The total person should, however, be brought to Christ to experience a full relationship with Him. In order to inspire, the Gospel should be brought by emphasising the glory of Christ so that the person can indeed hear and experience it, and be redeemed of and by Christ. <![CDATA[<b><i>The Living God and the Fullness of Life</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200040&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Informal settlements are mushrooming in Mangaung. The essential questions are what the implications of the Christian Gospel in this situation facing inhabitants of informal settlements in Mangaung are, and how the Gospel can inspire people living in dire circumstances to strive for the fullness of life. The needs of people should be determined first. Listening to people living in informal settlements is essential. Settlements in Mangaung were approached and qualitative research was conducted. The Gospel gives an encompassing and holistic answer to people's needs. All aspects, from the basic need for daily bread to the expectation of a new future, are relevant. Evangelism and humble service should be part of those bringing the Gospel to people living in informal settlements. A relation with Christ is all-important in inspiring a person to experience the fullness of life. The total person should, however, be brought to Christ to experience a full relationship with Him. In order to inspire, the Gospel should be brought by emphasising the glory of Christ so that the person can indeed hear and experience it, and be redeemed of and by Christ. <![CDATA[<b><i>Christ the Stranger: The theology of Rowan Williams</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200041&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Informal settlements are mushrooming in Mangaung. The essential questions are what the implications of the Christian Gospel in this situation facing inhabitants of informal settlements in Mangaung are, and how the Gospel can inspire people living in dire circumstances to strive for the fullness of life. The needs of people should be determined first. Listening to people living in informal settlements is essential. Settlements in Mangaung were approached and qualitative research was conducted. The Gospel gives an encompassing and holistic answer to people's needs. All aspects, from the basic need for daily bread to the expectation of a new future, are relevant. Evangelism and humble service should be part of those bringing the Gospel to people living in informal settlements. A relation with Christ is all-important in inspiring a person to experience the fullness of life. The total person should, however, be brought to Christ to experience a full relationship with Him. In order to inspire, the Gospel should be brought by emphasising the glory of Christ so that the person can indeed hear and experience it, and be redeemed of and by Christ. <![CDATA[<b><i>Contesting post-racialism: Conflicted churches in the United States and South Africa</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200042&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Informal settlements are mushrooming in Mangaung. The essential questions are what the implications of the Christian Gospel in this situation facing inhabitants of informal settlements in Mangaung are, and how the Gospel can inspire people living in dire circumstances to strive for the fullness of life. The needs of people should be determined first. Listening to people living in informal settlements is essential. Settlements in Mangaung were approached and qualitative research was conducted. The Gospel gives an encompassing and holistic answer to people's needs. All aspects, from the basic need for daily bread to the expectation of a new future, are relevant. Evangelism and humble service should be part of those bringing the Gospel to people living in informal settlements. A relation with Christ is all-important in inspiring a person to experience the fullness of life. The total person should, however, be brought to Christ to experience a full relationship with Him. In order to inspire, the Gospel should be brought by emphasising the glory of Christ so that the person can indeed hear and experience it, and be redeemed of and by Christ. <![CDATA[<b>Pasen als paradigmawisseling (Easter as paradigm change) <i>Symposion over de boek van Dirk-Martin Grube, Ostern als Paradigmenwechsel. Eine wissenschaftstheoretische Untersuchung zur Entstehung des Urchristentums und deren Konsequenzen für die Christologie (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2413-94672015000200043&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Informal settlements are mushrooming in Mangaung. The essential questions are what the implications of the Christian Gospel in this situation facing inhabitants of informal settlements in Mangaung are, and how the Gospel can inspire people living in dire circumstances to strive for the fullness of life. The needs of people should be determined first. Listening to people living in informal settlements is essential. Settlements in Mangaung were approached and qualitative research was conducted. The Gospel gives an encompassing and holistic answer to people's needs. All aspects, from the basic need for daily bread to the expectation of a new future, are relevant. Evangelism and humble service should be part of those bringing the Gospel to people living in informal settlements. A relation with Christ is all-important in inspiring a person to experience the fullness of life. The total person should, however, be brought to Christ to experience a full relationship with Him. In order to inspire, the Gospel should be brought by emphasising the glory of Christ so that the person can indeed hear and experience it, and be redeemed of and by Christ.