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HTS Theological Studies

On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422


DE VILLIERS, Pieter G.R.  and  MARCHINKOWSKI, George. Guidelines for the spiritual practice of Sabbath-keeping. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2021, vol.77, n.2, pp.1-10. ISSN 2072-8050.

The commandment not to work and to rest on the Sabbath became a major spiritual practice in Judeo-Christian history. This article will spell out, in a concrete manner, the key spiritual contents of Sabbath-keeping that are relevant for and that determine an authentic, liberating and joyful celebration of the Sabbath. It, thus, contributes to the debate by Christians about the shape and form of what the practice of Sabbath-keeping practice might look like today. This article firstly explains how and why the practice by times became oppressive and abusive, losing its popularity because of a legalistic moralism. It then analyses how the practice in reality is about sanctifying work that reflects its true nature and that contributes meaningfully to human existence. It will focus on how commitment is a necessary beginning to practise the Sabbath before it analyses the dynamic and inspirational nature of Sabbath-keeping as a practice about resting. The article will anchor theological and theoretic reflections concretely in the life experience of faith communities concluding with a discussion about the lightness of the practice that is enjoyed in liturgy, in community, in play and in joyful celebration. The very last part will spell out ecological implications of Sabbath-keeping as one of the latest, exciting forms of Sabbath-keeping.CONTRIBUTION: This article responds to the renewed interest in the spiritual practice of Sabbath-keeping. It analyses how the practice lost its popularity because of a legalistic moralism. It will then analyse the lightness of the practice as it is enjoyed in liturgy, in community, in play and in joyful celebration

Keywords : Sabbath-keeping; Sunday observance; spiritual practices; legalism; moralism; liturgy.

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