On-line version ISSN 2309-9089
Acta theol. vol.30 suppl.13 Bloemfontein Jan. 2010
An (auto)biographical theologia habitus - futures perspectives for the workplace
Prof. J.A. van den Berg
This design which has emerged from my academic drawing-board, was inspired by my own personal quest for, and expression of, a relevant theologia habitus for everyday life. The spaces that have been mapped out were further facilitated by the collaboration of various persons and institutions, by means of various processes.
In my own search for accents with a view to a relevant description of a lived spirituality, the further studies that I carried out in the M Phil programme in Futures Studies at the School of Management of the University of Stellenbosch played an important role. The published research is a direct outcome of research that I undertook as part of the Master's-degree programme and, in particular, with a view to the completion of my thesis, in fulfilment of the requirements for this qualification. My study supervisor, Prof. André Roux (Director of the Institute for Futures Research), perceived the possibilities relating to the potential publication of this research, and opened the way for me to introduce the meaningful debate between practical theology and futures studies to a broader readership.
Quite some time ago already, Prof. Francois Tolmie, Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the University of the Free State, who was the editor of the Acta Theologica at the time, entered into discussions with me, and also encouraged me to seriously consider preparing a monograph for possible publication. The accomplishment of this task was further guided by Prof. Hermie van Zyl, the current editor of Acta Theologica, as well as by the executive editor, Dr Lyzette Hoffman. Ms Alice de Jager, as a professional translator, achieved the impossible by translating the initial Afrikaans manuscript, which was strongly informed by metaphorical and idiomatic language, in such a way that the nuances and meaning of the original text were retained. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all of these persons.
A number of first readers were also closely involved in the initial reading of the manuscript. My sincere thanks to Profs Ruard Ganzevoort, Julian Müller, Kobus Schoeman, Rian Venter, as well as Dr Eben Smith and Rev. De La Harpe Le Roux, for their valuable inputs in this regard.
Part of the dialogue in the design revolves around the accent on the (auto)biographical character of the research. Various individuals played a distinctive role in this regard, thereby augmenting my own biography. Profs Piet Naude, Laetus Lategan, Bennie Anderson; Drs Eben Smith, Arnold Smit and Kulu Ferreira; Revs Danie Fourie, Johan Beukes, Ivan Katzke, Willem Fourie, Christo Spies, Nico Mostert; Messrs Hendri Viljoen, Johan Paulse, Neels Grobbelaar, Das van Deventer and Johan Cloete, as well as Ms Rothea van Biljon, all made special contributions relating to this aspect.
As a professional architect, Mr Sandy Stevenson provided me with valuable guidance in terms of the facilitation and use of architectonic concepts that feature in the design.
To my wife, Jeannine, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the repeated rereading of the manuscript. Jeannine and our two daughters, Mandi and Mineé - as well as our parents - provided me with invaluable support in the finalisation of the design. Many, many thanks to each and every one of you!
May every reader feel at home in the exploration of the proposed design!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Prof Jan-Albert van den Berg
Department of Practical Theology
University of the Free State
IN SEARCH OF SPACE
In professional jargon, architects often refer to the entrance of a particular building. This is a direct allusion to, inter alia, the design and the way in which it influences the aesthetic sense-impressions with which a specific space is entered. In the corresponding space which will be entered in this study, the search for a relevant theologia habitus that has meaning for the future workplace will be mapped out. This quest for an appropriate presentation of a relevant theologia habitus for the future workplace will be informed from the vantage point(s) of an interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and futures studies, as formulated and guided on the basis of narrative (auto)biographical accents. In the entrance - which can be regarded as the foyer of the building to which the study pertains - it is thus important to articulate design accents in order to escort the reader towards an understanding and experience of the space(s) that is (are) delineated.
The entry into this design is guided by - and in - the use of metaphorical value and meaning. Fainsilber and Ortony (1987:240-241) aptly sum up the communicative value of metaphors by indicating that there are at least three communicative functions that a metaphor fulfils: Firstly, a metaphor formulates that which is difficult or impossible to put into words. Secondly, it embodies compact meaning; and thirdly, metaphors have the ability to record phenomenological experience and meaning. Atwood and Levine (1991:202) point out, inter alia, that in the creation of metaphors, it is necessary to make use of so-called "fresh metaphors" that
will wrench us to new awareness by opening our eyes to hidden likenesses or analogies. They lead us to notice what otherwise might not be noticed by drawing attention to a newly created and discovered system of relations.
In this study, the metaphor of architecture plays an important role. This can be expressed even more strongly by asserting that the research itself aims to become architecture. Not only is the tentative nature of the proposed design thereby accentuated, but emphasis is also placed on the creation of newly chartered spaces.
As an initial motivation for the use of the metaphor of architecture, I subscribe to the views of Lakoff and Johnston. In their well-known work, Metaphors we live by (1980), the authors accord recognition and expression to human existence, which, in essence, is metaphorical in nature, and which can also be interpreted thus:
... metaphor is not merely a matter of language. It is a matter of conceptual structure. And conceptual structure is not merely a matter of the intellect - it involves all the natural dimensions of our experience, including aspects of our sense experiences: colour, shape, texture, sound, etc. These dimensions structure not only mundane experience but aesthetic experience as well (Lakoff and Johnson 1980:235).
In the recognition and use of associative networks of meaning that are facilitated by metaphors (Müller & Maritz 1998:66), an attribution of meaning (Fourie 1991:64) occurs, with an a-theoretical understanding in which the greatest content of meaning is possible.
In the specific use of the metaphor of architecture, I see a possibility for the creation of space, understood in the broadest sense as a multidimensional activity within which a conceptual structure is created. Thus, Miles (2000:57) rightfully points out that "[t]he production of space is more than the building of walls." In addition to the indication of the conceptual structure that is created by the use of metaphor, I will base the central role of the metaphor of architecture in research, in particular, on the foundation of the following seven levels:
Firstly, the metaphor of architecture offers a bridge to a professional space other than that which relates exclusively to theology. Thus, right from the outset, a clear interdisciplinary emphasis is present, with a particular focus on the new and future workplace, which will shortly be further considered and developed in the course of the research.
Secondly, the research has a strongly (auto)biographical emphasis, which is already clearly present in the title. The therapeutic significance and value of the metaphorical is thereby accentuated, amongst other factors. The act of recognising and expressing what is personal brings about a recognition of, and receptiveness to, the perspective of the renowned psychoanalyst, Carl Gustav Jung, who regarded a house comprised of several storeys as a symbol of the human psyche (Van Rensburg 2000:48). In the description thereof, the architecture of personality, inter alia, is postulated. In the pages of this research, and from an (auto)biographical perspective, I will accord pre-eminence to the interpretation, not only of the lives of others, but also of my own (Roberts 2002:172).
A third reason for the use of the metaphor of architecture is found in the work of Manuel Castells, a renowned contemporary philosopher in the field of macro-theory, who points out that architecture entails much, much more than conspicuous constructions of concrete, steel and glass, since it frequently happens that architecture indeed gives expression to the inexpressible:
... all over history, architecture has been the "failed act" of society, the mediated expression of the deeper tendencies of society, of those that could not be openly declared but yet were strong enough to be cast in stone, in concrete, in steel, in glass, and in the visual perception of the human beings who were to dwell, deal, or worship in such forms (Castells 2000:448).
According to Castells, architecture is thus the representation of deeper accents that often cannot be put into words. In themselves, these deeper, inexpressible accents to which he refers, imply an anxiety, a limitation, a restriction of space. In the further acknowledgement that "practical theological enquiry is critical" (Swinton & Mowat 2006:6), the words on the pages of that which is documented also become descriptions of the experience of the limitation of possible restricted structures, in the broadest sense of the term. However, it is precisely in the act of setting foot in these spaces that the possibility arises for the creation of new space(s). In the spaces that are created within the pages, a connection is effectuated with those aspects of architectural science that presuppose place, design and the aesthetic, inter alia. Therefore - without lapsing into a laboured style, in which the meaning of the metaphor as a leitmotiv for the study becomes over-stretched - the strokes made by letters inscribed on paper are used in order to facilitate the creation of space(s).
It is precisely this above-mentioned factor that presents a fourth reason for the use of the metaphor of architecture. Inherent in the use of the concerned metaphor of an architectonic design, lie accents of a new and future reality. Even though this reality has not yet been formally construed, these accents already offer a plan, on paper, of what such a future reality might be like. In this regard, inspiration is found, albeit not exclusively, in the theological concept of eschatology (Louw 2008:434), which represents aspects of temporality and dimensions of hope, inter alia (Lester 1995:4). This emphasis on that which is in the future, is already accommodated in the title of the design, and is accentuated by the reference to the future workplace.
It is thus important to emphasise, from the outset, that this design is a proposed design, which implies, precisely, a non-static, provisional, dynamic character. In addition, it is thus also implied that this design is not intended to solve problems, so much as to map out perspectives for further reflection. In the study, and in pursuance of the interdisciplinary discourse already referred to earlier, this accent is represented, in particular, by the developing scientific field of futures studies. Futures studies are traditionally conducted within the space of the economic and management sciences, with the purpose of futures research being "to systematically explore, create, and test both possible and desirable futures to improve decisions". Likewise, "futurists with foresight systems for the world can point out problems and opportunities to leaders around the world" (Glenn, Gordon & Florescu 2008:Foreword). Distinct accents of an experimental design are thus indeed present in the use of the metaphor of architecture, confirming that "[u]nderstanding and communicating complex ideas calls for a new type of language" (Judge 2008:1). Precisely because of the nature of this research, and as an outcome of the meaning of the metaphor of architecture, I refer to the documentation thereof as a design, which implies a certain tentativeness in the character of the research.
A fifth reason for the use of the metaphor of architecture is found within the domain of meaning that arises from associated networks of meaning, as already mentioned earlier on. Indeed, a single word like construction, as Volf (1991:x) points out, evokes associations such as, inter alia, the erection of a building by means of the use of specific building material. However, in order to portray the fluidity of the construction that is to be effectuated by means of the research, the metaphor of architecture indeed offers a specific dynamics, on the basis of which another possible structure can be erected by another researcher, through the use of the same foundations. It would thus also not be strange if one were to visit the world of construction and associated domains of meaning through the development of the research.
A sixth reason for the use of the metaphor of architecture, which intrinsically implies a functional space, relates to the facilitation of the use of the concept "ordinary theology" (Astley 2002), with a distinct pragmatic accent, in which "[a]cademic theologians should be more curious about what ordinary believers have come up with" (Astley 2002:149). It is thus with good reason that, in the documentation of the research, through the pivotal use of the metaphor of architecture, inter alia, I have made it my endeavour to achieve an authoritative scientific description, on the one hand - but also a highly accessible one, on the other.
The seventh and final reason for the choice of the metaphor of architecture lies in the strategic character thereof. A proposed plan offers a specific strategy, with distinct pragmatic accentuations of functionality. The same strategic character traits of both practical theology and futures studies are thereby put into words and accommodated as "de analyse van de bestaande praxis en het bijdragen aan de ontwikkeling van een nieuwe praxis" (Ganzevoort 2006:159). In view of the extensiveness of human experience, however, I will exercise discretion regarding the need to restrict the nuancedness of this praxis exclusively to the proposed discourse between practical theology and futures studies. For example, perspectives from, in particular, pastoral care, as well as developments within psychology, such as positive psychology, could indeed further enrich the design with a view to interdisciplinary dialogue.
The selection and use of the metaphor of architecture, therefore, can indeed be related back to the design and construction of a space (or spaces) of meaning. The constructed space(s) of meaning, which - in keeping with the narratively informed (auto)biographical methodology - is (or are) often presented in the research in the format of a first-person narrative (Roberts 2002:87), displays (or display) design-related accents that have a bearing on an own life that is highly personal and private, but which - precisely in the recognition thereof - also has general and public significance. It was the renowned author of spiritual works, Henri Nouwen, who said that what is most personal is also most general. These personal accents, in conjunction with the perspectives of various co-researchers participating in the concerned research, and also with the aid of a variety of perspectives from a number of recognised qualitative research methods, are further mapped out, with specific emphasis on the facilitation of the interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and futures studies, inter alia. Within the architectonic plan of the research, my voice, and the voices of my co-researchers, will be indicated by means of italics and an indented text format.
In order to give shape to these spaces of meaning, the distinctive relationship between theology and narrative, as interpreted on the basis of practical theology, inter alia, will be used as the primary medium. Regarding the nature of this relationship and its meaning for Christian identity and practice, Stroup (1981:85) makes the following significant observation:
Rather, it is something in between the first-order language of faith and the second-order reflection of systematic theology and serves as a bridge between them. Christian narratives - poems, short stories, novels, and autobiographies - would be primary resources for understanding and interpreting the more abstract, discursive arguments in Christian doctrine and systematic theology.
It stands to reason that this understanding and interpretation of the texts must occur through the medium of language, and that - as indicated in Stroup's observation cited above - a variety of genres are involved. It is precisely this factor that offers a motivation as to why the documentation of the research, along with the style thereof, expresses a sensitivity towards the "interconnection between (narrative) genres" (Roberts 2002:59) in which the use of the metaphor of architecture is linked to the fragments from the narratives of the co-researchers. Precisely by virtue hereof, expression is given to a postmodern hermeneutics, in which a new meaning of the whole is of importance, and which is also fundamental to the study.
In subscribing to the pivotal use of the metaphor of architecture, the research space is mapped out in such a way that specific architectonic movements of design and shaping become discernible therein. The study is mapped out on the basis of four movements that are closely related to the design of the so-called architectonic gestalt or figure, namely the movements of terrain; path; threshold and destination (Norberg-Schulz 2000:144). With, and within, each of these four movements, specific design accents are formulated. These four movements, in turn, are ultimately related to three core perceptual categories, namely background, centre and foreground, against which the study is mapped out. This design is continually brought up during the course of the study, and becomes an important expression of a proposed method in order to facilitate an interdisciplinary dialogue.
During a visit to the world-renowned Opera House in Sydney, Australia, in 2009, I read - inscribed on a plaque on the outer wall of the edifice - the following words of the celebrated architect of this famous landmark, Jørn Utzon: "As time passes and needs change, it is natural to modify the building to suit the needs and technique of the day." The research that is documented in the following pages links up with the metaphor of an architectonic design which, on the one hand, takes cognisance of existing needs, and on the other, aims to reflect the latest movement of practice and theory in addressing these needs - with a view to possible future developments in "performing the faith" (Swinton & Mowat 2006:4) - and in which expression is given to the dynamics of life, since "[l]ife is about change" (Astley 2002:21).
CHAPTER 1 - TERRAIN
With the three broad movements of background, centre and foreground, against which the research is conducted and documented, not only is a link established with the metaphor of architecture, but an implicit indication of a specific interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and accents of futures studies, is also already present. This specific design is closely aligned with the continual and circular movement of practice-theory-practice - as pointed out by Browning (1991:84) - which has been further developed, through a narratively informed method, into an ABDCE research model, inter alia (Müller 2001:64-70; Müller, Van Deventer & Human 2001:80). This method presupposes a specific dynamics that leaves room for so-called "open-ended" possibilities, through which the evolutionary nature of the research is accentuated. In contrast to a traditional design, there is thus no linear alignment in the documentation extending, for example, from problem-formulation and the setting of objectives to a proposed solution. Giving expression to Josselson's (1999:xi) assertion that narrative research "is a process of inquiry that embraces paradox and cannot therefore be defined in linear terms", the relevant dynamics and evolutionary character are also articulated in the documentation of the design. In terms of this stylistic approach, which is strongly informed by postmodernity, inter alia, the issue at hand is thus not primarily the presentation of a model or answer, but rather the facilitation of specific perspectives.
In the movement of background (against which chapter 1 of the research has been mapped out), the terrain of research is described. Indeed, Norberg-Schultz explains, in his book entitled Architecture: Presence, language, place (2000), that the first accent of the gestalt is, precisely, the terrain (or territory), and that - as he puts it - "territory is that which we frequent" (Norberg-Schultz 2000:144). In order to access the specific terrain that has been earmarked for the planned construction in chapter 1, I make use of the following markers: arrival, encounter and construction. Under each of the markers, a specific development, interwovenness and growth are postulated, in which dynamic semantic moments relating to the background, as well as the action domains in which the research is involved, are sketched (Müller, Van Deventer & Human 2001:80-83). The first movement in which a proposed method can be accommodated in order to facilitate the envisaged interdisciplinary dialogue, is also found herein.
Under the accent of arrival, a method is postulated in terms of which the circular movement of practice-theory-practice is socially construed by voices that make a contribution to the creation of a text (or texts) or a plan (or plans) in a systemic interpretation of reality (Hermans 2002:xi). However, it is important to take cognisance of the fact that the introduction is preliminary in nature, and is mainly aimed at filling in the background, since the history and characteristics of the respective disciplines and participants will be presented in more detail during the course of the research, as the interdisciplinary dialogue is further articulated. The introduction will be made on the basis of perspectives gleaned from a literature study conducted within the respective domains of practical theology and futures studies, in an endeavour to make the study as representative as possible of the recent academic debate in which the interdisciplinary discourse is clearly audible. These perspectives are further reinforced by the personal accents of the researcher and co-researchers who are called upon to speak in accordance with a pragmatic qualitative approach. An attunement to a "dynamic form of contextualisation" in which "postmodernity cultivates a sensitivity for the complexity of a network of signs which cannot escape its link to temporality" (Van Wyk 1997:83) is thereby already expressed. Before these perspectives and voices are articulated, however, the space of the interdisciplinary dialogue will be mapped out.
1.1.i Interdisciplinary dialogue
It is a given fact that academic disciplines exercise a dominant influence on the way in which life and its associated realities are reflected on. Giri (2002:104) asserts that
[m]odern modes of inquiry into the human condition have been characterized by a disciplinary mode - we make sense of the world through particular, specialized and bounded disciplines.
As I will indicate (with due motivation) later on, this initial dominant reading is currently under pressure from a postmodern viewpoint. Precisely for this reason, Inayatullah (2002:482) points out that in order to arrive at an understanding - in view of the theory of complexity, inter alia -
we should not be lulled into a single variable approach (a theory of everything) but rather we must include many variables and - this is crucial - many ways of knowing.
Thus, to attempt to articulate the recent scientific dialogue solely in terms of a monodisciplinary idiom, and to exercise a choice in favour of either a deductive or an inductive method (Janse van Rensburg 2003:26-28), in my opinion, would no longer constitute a valid approach to the development of a method aimed at effectuating a more integrated and holistic understanding (Van Wyk 1997:77; Van der Ven 1993:89-93; Van Huyssteen 2006:9). To my mind, however, the mere advocacy of a multidisciplinary dialogue (Van Wyk 1997:77), in which another science (or other sciences) make(s) a contribution to the dialogue, also does not necessarily go hand-in-hand with the capacity to articulate the complexity and magnitude of a real, integrated discourse. In a multidisciplinary dialogue, there is an implicit danger that the discipline from whence the research originates may dominate the research agenda and methodology in terms of a narcissistic epistemology (Van Huysteen 2009:52). Often, this danger unconsciously manifests itself in the discourse that is documented in the specific design, not only on the level of its contents, but also at a stylistic level. For this very reason, I, as a practical theologian, am cognisant of the fact that the practical theological accents in the rubrics of the research design at hand, are brought up for discussion first. Although this is, indeed, the case, I will endeavour, by means of this articulated sensitivity - as well as in the evolutionary development of the methodology, for example - to meet this challenge.
Of greater necessity, therefore, is that the discourse of an interdisciplinary dialogue should be so accommodating that two or more disciplines can enter fully into a dialogical exchange with one another on an equal footing (Van Wyk 1997:78), so that
the borrowing of concepts, methods and techniques of one science by another and the integration of these elements into the other science (Van der Ven 1993:101)
can become possible. I therefore regard it as a given that in order to develop a complete and effective design, I need to feel at home in the spaces that are facilitated in the epistemological and methodological development of such a proposed broad and interdisciplinary scientific dialogue. In this dialogue, the meaning of the discourse arising from the interdisciplinary exchange of ideas plays an important role in the evolutionary and pragmatic development relating to this particular research design which will be presented later on. In the exploration of the terrain, it is only necessary, as a preliminary step, to take cognisance of what the discourse of an interdisciplinary dialogue entails.
According to Van Huyssteen (2006:9), the interdisciplinary dialogue is indicative of, inter alia, the endeavour
to bring together disciplines or reasoning strategies that may have widely different points of reference, different epistemological foci, and different experiential resources
in which "the multiplicity, abundance, and completeness of human experience" can be mapped out. In order to give shape to the proposed method, and in keeping with the (auto)biographical emphasis in the research which evokes aspects of identity, inter alia, the following values for such a dialogue have been formulated by Giri (2002:109-112): Firstly, this dialogue between various scientific disciplines is mapped out on the basis of a dialogical character, which implies equality and reciprocity. Secondly, the interdisciplinary dialogue is conducted from the position of authentic embeddedness, in which the identity and value of the own discipline is cherished, thereby confirming that
[d]ialogue is not just an other-oriented activity; in fact, the willingness to listen to the other is facilitated by the discovery of the true self within (Giri 2002:108).
It is precisely in the confirmation of the value of the identity of an own discipline that the third value of the courage to abandon is pointed out.
The art of authentic embeddedness requires an act of distantiation and the courage to abandon one's home discipline in the pilgrimage of one's quest and search (Giri 2002:109).
In the research design, I will attempt to clearly demonstrate these three values in the construction of the spaces for the interdisciplinary dialogue, but also in the design of the agenda which must direct the dialogue. The integrity of this process is affirmed by the (auto)biographical style of the research design, which fosters a narrative and personal approach, and which is conducive to the dialogical character of the design, as well as to the unfolding of themes of identity.
In the exploration of the territory for the interdisciplinary dialogue in the context of the research, I will now proceed to discuss the so-called different disciplines, or "reasoning strategies", and explain, by way of motivation, why these particular spaces of reflection have been chosen for the accommodation of the research design. In the course of the research, the exploration and consideration of the other perspectives, as explained by Van Huyssteen in the passage quoted earlier on, will be addressed. In the motivation of this relationship, however, it is necessary to clearly indicate, from the outset, that although the partners in the dialogue are introduced as practical theology and futures studies respectively, this dialogical space can indeed also accommodate other perspectives that are associated with this dialogue, such as, inter alia, insights from pastoral care and from the developing field of positive psychology.
In cognisance of the need to guard against forcing different disciplines into a coercive discussion, it would appear that it is definitely necessary to offer a rationale as to why the divergent fields of practical theology and futures studies are being construed as dialogue partners in relation to each other. In this regard, I am mindful of the exhortation of Osmer (2006:343), who - rightfully, in my opinion - advocates the "[articulation] and [justification of] the principle of selection in a transversal model of interdisciplinarity", in order to indicate "why specific persons or perspectives are engaged as interdisciplinary dialogue partners in a particular book or research project".
In answering the question, and offering a motivation, as to why practical theology and futures studies, in particular, are being proposed as dialogue partners in the concerned interdisciplinary dialogue, with the "promising liminalities between the disciplines" (Van Huyssteen 2006:9) as the anticipated benefit, the following arguments are put forward in order to demarcate the relevant space: Firstly, as will be indicated in the course of the research, there is, in my opinion, a gap in the scope of the architecture of the interdisciplinary dialogue in which theology and, in particular, practical theology, are involved, and which currently leans heavily on dialogue partners from the so-called social or human sciences which have a particular interest in "the meaning question, the task of making sense of one's experience" (Clayton 2006:90). Although the research space has already been enlarged, in the past, by the dialogue with dialogue partners from the natural sciences (Du Toit 2002; Buitendag 2004; De Lange 2007; Van den Berg 2008a), with the emphasis on, inter alia, the "technical concerns of the natural sciences" (Clayton 2006:90), the proposed dialogue between practical theology and futures studies will make a particular contribution towards the enlargement of the domain, with newer accents from the economic and management sciences. It is precisely in this factor that the accentual contribution of futures studies can be found, since the inclusion thereof poses a special challenge to the evaluation of the paradigm that is used. Indeed, Gelatt (1993:11) points out that paradigms "create the lenses through which we see our present realities and future possibilities." Precisely through this awareness that is required and cultivated, the interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and - in particular - futures studies thus contributes to the investigation of existing functional paradigms, but also to the way in which these lenses can depict newly-conceptualised future scenarios.
Secondly - as subsequently indicated in the preliminary introduction of these two disciplines - both disciplines are characterised by a strong focus on a positive articulation of, and contribution to, the well-being of human beings and the world, understood in the broadest possible contextual terms. Practical theology, with particular emphasis on pastoral care, is aimed at the spiritual facilitation of joy and hope (Louw 1999a:2), while the aim of futures studies includes, inter alia, the development of holistic, optimal and sustainable future scenarios (Malloch 2003:4-5). This emphasis on development, characterised by a positive, evolving and sustainable orientation, naturally focuses not only on the personal component, but also on the broad community in the most inclusive sense of the term.
The third motivational consideration relating to the construction of the dialogue between practical theology and futures studies is found in the pragmatic and strategic character of both of these disciplines, with a view to facilitating a movement away from abstraction towards praxis/contextuality, with the emphasis on concrete facts and effective action. Viau (1999:146) puts it as follows:
It does not renounce theory, but makes it play rather a different role: no longer an answer to the puzzle of the universe, but a tool in the search for truth; no longer interested in the first things (first principles, categories), but rather in the last things (results, consequences).
A fourth and final motivation for this especial interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and futures studies, however, also brings what is most personal into the domain. During my own professional training in theology, my fields of specialisation were practical theology and, in particular, pastoral care. As a result of further studies, I also received exposure to the developing field of futures studies, as conducted currently in South Africa and internationally. My personal involvement, in a facilitative capacity, in the proposed design with regard to the construction of the interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and futures studies thus comprises a spontaneous development. The method also ties up with the given factor, as expressed by Atkinson (1998:4), that
[t]he life story, then, is very much an interdisciplinary approach to understanding not only life across time but how individuals' lives interact with the whole.
1.1.ii Practical theology
Through a preliminary placement in the field of practical theology, a first contribution to the proposed interdisciplinary dialogue is mapped out. With regard to practical theology, I have purposefully made a choice in favour of a
type (publieke) praktische teologie, dat de nadruk legt op de geleefde religie in al haar verschijningsvormen ... met het oog op onderling verstaan en beter samenleven (Ganzevoort 2006:151).
This approach entails an innovative interpretation of practical theology, which developed from a discipline that was initially only concerned "with the task of the clergy or the life of congregations" (Osmer 2008:x) into a discipline focusing on the "radical transformation of modern religion into postmodern spiritualities" (Graham 1996:38).
In the description of this "lived religion" (Ganzevoort 2006:151), and in the interpretation of practical theology in terms of Cilliers's (2009a:634) definition thereof as "fides quaerens societatem" (faith in search of social embodiment), methodological boundaries are exceeded through new developments in which the emphasis falls on the discourse within an interdisciplinary domain of study (Immink 2005:266; Osmer 2008:163; Müller 2009:202), with the focus on "plausible forms of interdisciplinary dialogue" (Demasure & Müller 2006:418).
In the design, I initially make use of the meaningful concept of "lived religion" ( 2006; 2007; 2009a). Although Ganzevoort (2006:12) points out that "[r]eligie is dus een geladen taalveld", he also stresses, with regard to the concept of "lived religion", that the emphasis on the religious component is responsible for the identity of the disciplinary science (Ganzevoort 2009b:3). However, despite the fact that this concept appeals to my own way of thinking, and despite my usage of it, I have also remained sensitive, from the outset, to certain possible limitations which, in my opinion, are intrinsic to the concept. Although the accentuation of "lived" as an expression denoting an embodied and contextualised faith has particular value, I am concerned that the concept of "religion" in "a secular age" (Taylor 2007) displays too many traces of an institutionalised, declining religion, and that it may be too restrictive for the contours of understanding pertaining to an everyday faith, as described later on. In due course, my concern and criticism, and also my suggestion(s) for (an) alternative(s) (as reflected in the title of the research, inter alia), will be fully discussed and considered in the design.
Further to this emphasis on the public meaning of faith, Bass and Dykstra (2008:13) also draw attention to the fact that a multi-perspective development of the positive in the facilitation of well-being also presupposes that:
... practical theology requires stereoscopic attention to both the specific moves of personal and communal living and the all-encompassing horizon of faith. It is undertaken in hope for the well-being of persons, communities of faith, and all creation.
It is precisely within this stereoscopic view of reality that the focus falls, not only on what is most personal, but also on what is most general; not only on the pathological, but also on the positive accents in life. In this public space, a search is conducted for, inter alia, a possible practical theological embodiment of the notion of "[m]oving away from a disease and dysfunction model to a new look at the world", resulting in "a focus on positive attributes of people and organizations," which entails "looking at organizational behavior in a new light" (Nelson & Cooper 2007:3). Pivotal to this design, therefore, is the possible meaning of the contents of a "lived religion", with the emphasis on the development of a relevant spirituality as an expression of this positive orientation (Valiant 2008:7).
It is especially in the investigation and consideration of this given factor, and of how it could be realised in the future to the greatest possible advantage, that the voices that contribute to the study are further enhanced through the chosen field of futures studies. In this regard, an own unique encounter in the form of an interdisciplinary dialogue is facilitated, with practical theology and the developing field of futures studies as dialogue partners.
1.1.iii Futures studies
In Ettienne van Heerden's acclaimed novel, 30 Nagte in Amsterdam [30 nights in Amsterdam], the main character, Henk de Melker, asks a question regarding the special ability of individuals who have the capacity to "open up the horizon" by looking at it in a certain way (Van Heerden 2009:190). This notion of "opening" the horizon by means of one's gaze offers a character sketch of the scientific field of futures studies, owing to the fact that the "assumption behind forecasting is that with more information, particularly more timely information, decision-makers can make wiser decisions" (Inayatullah 2009:1).
Owing to the fact that the character of the future displays no regular patterns, and that its workings are always surprising in an unpredictable manner (Taleb 2007:xix), the appropriate metaphor to use in the authentication of the voyage on the "sea" of the future is that of "steering rather than planning" (Hayward 2009:18). In the same way as, in former times, the person manning the mast of a sailing ship had to give warning about the presence of dangerous rocks, and indicate possible navigable routes through unchartered waters, the purpose of futures research is
to systematically explore, create, and test both possible and desirable futures to improve decisions ... so too futurists with foresight systems for the world can point out problems and opportunities to leaders around the world (Glenn, Gordon & Florescu 2008: Foreword).
The scientific field of futures studies is traditionally and internationally located within the domain of the economic and management sciences. Currently, this specialist field of study, comprising the only Master's-degree programme of its kind in Africa, is housed at the Postgraduate Management School of the University of Stellenbosch, where it is offered in close collaboration with the Institute of Futures Research (Spies 1999:5; M Phil in Futures Studies 2010:electronic source).
The recognition of the general human capacity to approach the future - which includes specific alternatives and choices and which is formed, inter alia, by structures, perceptions and forces - in a strategic and purposeful manner, falls within the domain of research and study (Slaughter 2001:2; Lombardo 2008:15-16). The objective hereof - and also of the broader field of futures studies - would thus naturally be
to contribute toward making the world a better place in which to live, benefiting people as well as plants, animals, and the life-sustaining capacities of the Earth (Bell 1997:3).
It is within the context of this perspective that I have taken cognisance, in the research, of - inter alia - the results and challenges of the Millennium Project of the UN, as documented by Glenn, Gordon and Florescu (2008:12-41) in the relevant publication commissioned by the UN, entitled 2008 - State of the future, according to which "15 Global Challenges" comprise some of the most important questions for the following decade. Some of the questions for consideration, which will be further touched upon (amongst other issues) later on in this document, include the following:
• How can sustainable development be achieved for all while addressing global climate change?
• How can everyone have sufficient clean water without conflict?
• How can population growth and resources be brought into balance?
• How can genuine democracy emerge from authoritarian regimes?
• How can policymaking be made more sensitive to global long-term perspectives?
• How can the capacity to decide be improved as the nature of work and institutions changes?
Within the space that is facilitated through the interdisciplinary discourse, a search for possible valid and meaningful perspectives on some of the questions arising from the respective fields of practical theology and futures studies, becomes a given. In my opinion, it is important to take cognisance of these questions, on the one hand, and to address them, on the other, since such action determines accents of relevance, sustainability and strategy. The significance hereof for the relevant research is naturally to be found in terms of awareness regarding the world of tomorrow, and how a relevant practical theology, informed by futures studies, could play a role therein. Hames (2007:228) points out that, if this method can be embodied in a meaningful way, then the
art of confidently and ethically finding viable paths into the future, negotiating unknown terrain and unprecedented complexity while retaining integrity and relevance,
will be realised. Whereas it has already been indicated that, in the domain of practical theology, particular attention will be focused on semantic moments pertaining to pastoral care, the focus in the case of futures studies is the endeavour to "increasingly find ways to integrate futures literacy with futures strategy" (Slaughter 2001:415). A strong strategic emphasis, therefore, is of importance to the research and the design, with a continual movement between practice and theory, in which the movement between the general and the personal is represented. However, where the mentioned questions contain a strong emphasis on the general, for example the question pertaining to the meaning of sustainability within a larger world, as well as the meaning of ethical decision-making, inter alia, the embodiment of the design also contains an emphasis on the personal, which will subsequently be articulated under the rubric of encounter.
Before a research terrain of this nature can be entered, there is the "self", or the "I", together with other research partners, to be considered. I cannot do otherwise than to acknowledge my own life-text first of all, since it is also through this lens that other "living human documents" and other texts are read (Gerkin 1984:122). In making this acknowledgement, I as a researcher move away from the traditional and linear dichotomy between object and subject; and newer evolutionary developments in qualitative scientific methodology are mapped out. As Roberts (2002:13) points out:
More recently the emphasis has shifted to a recognition for the collaborative and reflexive role of the researcher ... To place the researcher fully within the research is to recognize that we all have stories and it seems a fundamental part of social interaction to 'tell our tales'.
It is, precisely, the narration of stories that is documented in the design, in a variety of ways - ranging from fragments derived from an own life-text and those of co-researchers, to excerpts from novels - which are aimed at emphasising this biographical aspect per se; and it is also in the telling of stories that a contribution is made to a process of "life writing" (Babbie & Mouton 1998:502). It is within the dynamic process of the "biographisation" of life - "biografisering van het leven" (Ganzevoort 2007:50) - that both an orientation and a re-orientation towards identity undergo construction, on a permanent basis, in a variety of roles and relationships. Against the background of a self-introduction, as well as an introduction of co-researchers, the context in which the dialogue takes place is called upon to speak, under the broader movement of encounter. I will now briefly formulate two accents that will serve to introduce the researcher and co-researchers, as a preliminary step:
In the narration of my story, the words of Karel Schoeman, from his novel, Die uur van die engel [The hour of the Angel], can be heard echoing - although admittedly from a different time in history - reflecting my personal and subjective experience on a variety of levels:
Was it really a source of joy to me, when every sermon that I completed comprised yet another defeat, a reconfirmation of my incapacity? The cool, dim vestry, the sound of the organ, the coughing and shuffling of the people in the pews, and the awareness of my failure as I paused, for a moment, with my hand on the doorknob. Seldom had I cast my gaze over the heads of my congregation without a realisation of failure; never had I stood behind that pulpit without a sense of inadequacy. Never had I stood there to deliver my sermon without being aware that my voice was inaudible, my words incomprehensible, my entangled thoughts inaccessible to those who were obliged to give me a hearing. Never had I stood there, poised to preach, without a feeling of desolation, a sense of sheer anguish. From the dark heavens overhead, from the bare white walls of the church, my words re-echoed, dead and dull (Schoeman 1995:247). [Own translation]
In this quotation, questions regarding my own personality, as well as my professional identity, inter alia, are articulated. The appraisal of my own ministry and of its impact on, and meaning for, other people and the world, is pivotal. The unaddressed and unfulfilled need(s) of the hearers - of which I often have only the faintest inkling - is (are) are also mapped out therein, in the broadest terms.
Without allowing my own voice to carry too much weight during the encounter in the research terrain, it is nevertheless important to indicate that the practice and theory of the study are strongly influenced by accents from the (auto)biographical research, with a strong emphasis on the construction of the "real life" in which the researcher is also personally involved (Roberts 2002:77). In the design, execution and documentation of the research, the accents of my own voice were continually audible to me; and they were also visible in the form of written characters and symbols. Josellson (1999:x) rightly points out that what is at issue in this type of research is
a person's inner, subjective reality and, in particular, how a person makes meaning of some aspect of his or her experience.
The recognition of this factor comprises part of a hermeneutic process in which I, as the researcher, aim to acknowledge and consider - in an overt manner - my own subjectivity and its influence on the process of understanding, with the establishment of a subjective integrity as the envisaged outcome. The term "subjective integrity" is used, not only in order to emphasise that objectivity is a myth, but also to accentuate the fact that I acknowledge my own subjectivity. However, I do not merely open up my subjective horizon of understanding to the design accents of others, but also to the possibility that these accents may inform, and even modify, my own understanding and design (Gadamer 1975:397-447; Lester 1995:104; Müller 2005:86). Precisely for this reason, it is of great importance that not only should my own (auto)biographical accents be sounded, but that they should also be further enriched and enlarged by the biographical narrations of co-participants. The (auto)biographical emphasis on the researcher as an "engaged participant" is thereby also indicated and enhanced (Dreyer 1998:18).
Given that - in keeping with the architectonic attunement of the research - "my work depends absolutely on my clients and users" (Day 2004:143), the character sketches of the co-researchers will now be briefly mapped out. The construction of this encounter and involvement is further consolidated by the multilingualism of the various participants. On the basis of the developing spiral of the research, these voices of the co-researchers will be continually heard throughout the development of the study. Approximately thirty voices from various backgrounds and sectors will form part of the dialogue, with the aim of facilitating a "method of inquiry that can enrich researchers' insight into the social life" (Gray, Williamson, Karp & Dalphin 2007:182). In the mapping of this dialogue, I endorse Müller's (1996:25) perspective, namely, that the relationship that is embodied herein does not merely describe a fleeting encounter, but that it indeed calls for an involvement with one another; and the persons taking part in the research are thus referred to as "research participants; co-researchers" (Müller, Van Deventer & Human 2001:76).
By focusing on the linking of people's lives with those of others in helpful ways, and in creating avenues by which insider-knowledges can be shared (Morgan 2000:119),
a design text that is characterised by a richness of description and a variety of levels, is constructed.
I have endeavoured to portray this involvement, and the inherent narrative character thereof, through the architecture and construction of the word (auto)biography. Through the primary placement of auto placed within brackets but connected to biography, I acknowledge that my own story is in presence elusive yet pervasive and thus inseparable from, and pivotal to the reading of every biographical text. However, by linking auto to biography by means of brackets, I'm indicating that the biographies of the co-researchers are, indeed, equally significant and also play a central role in the description of the terrain of the research. Indeed, so important is this perspective that it is incorporated into the title of the design.
These participants will continually be called upon to speak in greater depth during the course of the design. On the basis of the methodology that is followed, I am primarily responsible for the documentation of the participants' perspectives. However, although distinct biographical accents are conveyed in the narrative idiom, it is I myself who construe the letters, words and sentences in order to give utterance to the experience of the participants, as communicated to me. In acknowledgement of my own subjective integrity, as pointed out above, accents of a personal experience are periodically articulated on the basis of the construed perspectives of the co-researchers, in a regular reflection rubric in which the (auto)biographical accent in the research is further highlighted. This methodological approach to the design will later be explained more fully, within the postulated context of "open-ended" research that was already mapped out during the first steps into the terrain. This approach offers an opportunity, inter alia - in view of the developing nature of the research - to make room for any further perspectives, other than those of the initially identified participants, should such perspectives indeed be required during the development of the research.
In this method, concrete shape is given to the explanation offered by the main character, Henk de Melker, in 30 Nagte in Amsterdam, in answer to the question as to just who those persons are who can actually open up the horizon by means of their gaze:
It is the people who are able to let go, those who can open up and make way ... who know that history never repeats itself, but is really the most resourceful thing on earth. The past indeed has no genetics, no built-in regularities or patterns (cf. Van Heerden 2009:97).
In order to determine the measurements for the design of the proposed dialogue(s), in which the unpredictable character of the future - together with its meaning in the quest for the social embodiment of practical theology - is taken into account, the following accents are mapped out:
The term construction refers to the structure that offers space and content to the design. Naturally, the construction of the design takes place against the background of the proposed interdisciplinary dialogue. In the motion-moments of construction, accents are encountered which revolve around the formulation of questions, as well as methodological aspects in the answering of the stated need(s) that are identified in the questions, with - finally - a few theoretical perspectives for possible further consideration.
1.3.i The right question?
A Nobel prize-winner in physics was once asked to name the person to whom he attributed his success. Without any hesitation, he replied that his mother was that person. His answer was surprising, since his parents were East European immigrants without any formal education, who had not been able to teach him very much. However, he proceeded to explain that during his school years, his mother had often asked him, on his return home, whether he had asked a good question at school that day (Sher 2009:70). The significance of this story is highly relevant, in my opinion, and confirms the given factor that the content of questions, and the way in which they are asked as a part of the research, are important (Astley 2002:101). In this regard, however, it is also assumed that a question is indeed representative of the discourse "behind or beneath the question" (Keel 2007:229).
Provisionally, up until this point, it has been indicated that within the domain of the interdisciplinary dialogue, a need exists for (a) new, effective design(s). The design of the envisaged construction is only possible if the right question(s) is (are) asked, in order to address real needs. Although I am cognisant - from a narrative framework of interpretation, which is aimed precisely at making room for a variety of perspectives - of the possible one-sidedness, from a semantic point of view, of the accentuation of "right" in the term, "the right question", as if there were only one answer, I have nevertheless made a choice in favour of this accentuation, in order to effectuate a contrast in the envisaged relevant design between what is functional, on the one hand, and what is useless or outmoded, on the other. This ideal of asking the right question also articulates well with the strategic nature of both practical theology and futures studies when meaningful alternatives are being sought.
Specific challenges must be met in the pursuit of this ideal. Mitroff, in his coinage of the so-called "Mitroff E3 problem", has already pointed out that the wrong problem is often addressed, elaborately and at great length, by means of the right solution. "E3 is the error of 'solving' the 'wrong' problem precisely when one should have solved the 'right' problem" (Mitroff 1998:16). In this regard, I am certainly not contending that the respective scientific fields of practical theology and/or futures studies have addressed the wrong problems in precisely the right manner up to this point in time. On the contrary, numerous documented research results have confirmed that a wide variety of problematic areas have already been addressed in a meaningful way. However, it is within the terrain that a particular search is being carried out, in this design, for accentuations of the facilitation of development, welfare and sustainability within a specific context. What is of importance, therefore, is to ensure that the most effective design is found in order to meet the specific challenge:
In my reflections in this regard, from the standpoint of the proposed paradigm of practical theology as social embodiment, I have asked myself the question, in particular, as to whether I did not tend to solve the wrong problems in precisely the right manner during large portions of my ministry, and whether I have not perhaps subsequently done so in the context of my academic work - and whether I still have a tendency to do so at times. For example, in the quest for the social embodiment of a relevant practical theology, I ask myself the critical question: What degree of sensitivity and involvement am I displaying in respect of the '15 Global Challenges' referred to earlier on during the dialogue with futures studies? To what degree am I myself involved in the construction of relevant practical theological perspectives in order to further facilitate sustainable development?
From a postmodern framework that embraces complexity, inter alia, this discourse of "asking just the right question" is naturally also open to criticism. Precisely in this regard, for example, research within the scientific field of futures studies requires the recognition and consideration of complexity. As Spies (1999:12) points out:
The future is complex - its evolution is governed by the rules of complexity - which requires of futures researchers great humility in practice and a tolerance for ambiguity.
Precisely for this reason, the renowned futures scholar, Richard Hames, warns that although the identification of the right question is important, most organisations do not have the ability to formulate the right questions, since "[w]e know of no simple formula, no prescriptive made-to-measure consultant's package able automatically to pinpoint the right questions to be asking at all times" (Hames 2007:302).
Further to the above, this challenge is of relevance to the concerned research design, since - as Clive-Simmonds (1977:14) acknowledges - the formulation of a futures problem is indeed complex, as a result of the following rationale:
A typical futures problem is almost exactly the inverse or opposite of normal science. The problem cannot usually be aptly-defined, nor precisely-structured; the probabilities of success and failure do not add to unity or any basis; the measurements may or [may] not be accepted; and since there is not normally general agreement on the basic assumptions, communication requires the establishment of a basis and agreed language between the researcher and the client.
In terms of the understanding that specific challenges are posed by the contours of "a lived religion" and the act of entering into such a lived religion through a relevant practical theology, in the context of a dialogue with the perspectives arising from futures studies, these assumptions are of importance. In order to go about the construction of the contours of the domain in which the right question(s) must be formulated, it seems that a specific process must be followed, in which perspectives from the interdisciplinary dialogue must be accommodated within a shared space of understanding.
In the mapping out of the research space, with the emphasis on the meaning of "lived religion", a practical theological enquiry is deemed to be comprised of "questions about present practices, the symbols and legitimations of these practices, and challenges to these practices" (Browning 1991:223). Arising from, and accentuated in terms of the meaning of the scientific field of futures studies, the possibility of enquiry is further refined "in the light of fresh questions which emerge from particular situations" (Swinton & Mowat 2006:26). As an illustration of fresh questions that arise from related situations in the respective fields of practical theology and futures studies, a proposed construction terrain is designed.
In this "construction zone", where the building work is far from complete, and which often looks rather messy as a result of building rubble that is strewn about (Cilliers 2009a:626), the character of practical theology is portrayed as "an empirically descriptive and critically constructive theory of religious practice" (Browning, Fowler, Schweitzer & Van der Ven 1999:xvi). It is within this construction zone that a search is conducted, inter alia, for reconstructions with a view to "a new encoding of message" (Taylor 2008:205), with relevant significance for the future. It is then in this quest for the development of a relevant practical theological construction for the future workplace that "praxis" is construed, suggesting that one "reflects about what one is doing while one is doing it" (cf. Pieterse 2001:13).
In visiting and evaluating this praxis terrain, it is important, from the start, to point out that, in addressing the questions, I aim to break away from the traditional dichotomy between object and subject that is inherent to the linear movement between theory and practice, and that I wish to ensure that the research questions that are asked really reflect the need that is currently calling out to be addressed within the mandate of the design. Ruard Ganzevoort writes meaningfully about the nature of the act of entering into and interpreting this praxis terrain by pointing out:
dat het niet alleen gaat om het beschrijven van een praktijk die daarna theologisch moet worden geinterpreteerd, maar dat de praxis zelf wordt beschouwd als geladen met theologische materiaal (Ganzevoort 2006:155).
The background to, and also the profile of the unanswered questions and surmises, will subsequently be discussed in the study. I will do so, firstly, by presenting certain perspectives from the specific contextual living space of the workplace, after which the focus will shift to certain methodological assumptions, followed by - thirdly - a description of the implications hereof for the concerned research design.
1.3.ii "Soul at work"
For the purpose of this design, work is understood to mean
a set of task elements grouped together under one job title and designated to be performed by a single individual (Singh 2008:88),
although - with the emphasis on the future workplace - cognisance is also taken of the given fact that "job boundaries are becoming blurred, as inter-job activities become the norm" (Singh 2008:88).
Work occupies a central place in human existence. As a matter of fact, each person on Planet Earth is involved in work, in one way or another (Watson 2004:1). In their book, Good work - When excellence and ethics meet (2001), Gardner, Csikszentmihalyi and Damon point out that in every historical period, there has been an emphasis on the performance of good work.
Volf (1991:3), amongst others, pointed out that, as a result of the totalitarian power and influence of capitalism, supported by a protestant work ethic, "[w]ork has come to pervade and rule the lives of men and women".
As each person would be able to confirm, from the context of his or her working space, the centrality of work is thus not only a given factor in human existence; it also often threatens to define a total existence, with little or no place for any other life accents. It is therefore understandable that work is, and remains, an important medium, through which a human being gives expression to a meaningful existence.
The extensive influence of work on individuals, families and communities is therefore also an important field of investigation, with challenging aspects such as, inter alia, the possible search for a balance between work and family life (Edwards & Wajcman 2005:44).
It is against the background of this intensified focus on work that - owing to the contextual nature of a practical theology in search of social embodiment, and on the basis of the interdisciplinary dialogue with futures studies - this work environment, and particularly a possible future domain of work (Ransome 1999), is of importance for the purposes of an orientation. These characteristics of the changing world of work, perceptible even in a developing country such as South Africa, but also embedded in a globalised world, are accentuated because
we are living in a post-industrial, information, or knowledge economy, with manufacturing and factory production being displaced by information- and knowledge-based work (Edwards & Wajcman 2005:27).
In this description of the individual - whose historical course of existence spans a period extending from the days when papyrus was used for writing, to the present day, which is characterised by the world-wide use of the Internet (Jordaan 2008:1) - it is pointed out that this age of information is facilitating a new epoch of human experience in which future work scenarios predict, inter alia, a movement away from routine activities towards more creative, problem-solving and people-centred occupations (Edwards & Wajcman 2005:27). In terms of a systemic interpretation, however, the meaning of this changing world of work can only be understood in terms of the extent and significance of globalisation (Reader 2008:102-103), and as "an economy of above, i.e. an economy determined by big companies and the web of telecommunication systems" (Louw 2000:38).
In the further delineation of this context, and with a view to the embodiment of the research design, a terrain is mapped out within which the right problem(s) and question(s) for further consideration and research can be drafted. A further demarcation contributing to the development of the design can be made, on the basis of existing indications in the literature, in view of the fact that theological science and, in particular, so-called public theology - often, and with good reason(s) - enter into this economic dialogue by focusing on questions that are problematically driven; for example, the question as to how the global market economies could address the plight of billions of people who are trapped in poverty (Newlands 2006:415), or that of how an alternative to the consumer culture could be created (Conradie 2009).
I wish to emphasise, once again, that although these ways of taking up a position in the dialogue with economic science and so-called macro-theories do have value, they do not, in my opinion, accommodate all the possibilities that arise from, inter alia, the interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and futures studies. One such possibility with potential significance might be found in a positive negotiated discourse in respect of globalisation and creative aspects of the business world. In my opinion, it is indeed possible that an important alternative understanding could be reached on the basis of such a negotiated discourse (Miller 2007:99).
Within the proposed development of this alternative space, and in the exploration of possible new spaces within the research design, however, there is a particular focus on the dialogue between the personal and the general, and between the individual and the systemic, as exemplified, inter alia, in the interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and, in particular, pastoral care and futures studies. It is precisely in this regard that the emphasis on the so-called "soul at work" is encountered. In contrast to previous approaches which envisaged the development of, inter alia, kerygmatic ministries to "industrialised humanity" (De Klerk 1979:160-183), for example, through so-called "bedrijfpastores" (Verkuyl 1979:224), in which a particular endeavour was traditionally made to reach people outside of the church (Reader 2008:101), what is at issue in this case is the exploration of the future workplace, on the one hand, and the possible mapping of informative perspectives from the proposed interdisciplinary dialogue, on the other. Proceeding from the assumption that "deep and continuing Christian involvement with issues of work and employment both pastorally and in terms of social justice" (Reader 2008:101) will always be important, the focus in the research design does not fall primarily on the development of a so-called "labour-ministry model", so much as on the mapping out of innovative and - hopefully - meaningful perspectives from the interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and futures studies for the future workplace. In particular, a quest will be undertaken in search of a contribution that is not only informed by the futures study, but which also displays a distinctly pastoral character.
1.3.iii The right space?
Eight possible paradigms in terms of which practical theology has traditionally been interpreted, namely faith in search of understanding, expression, action, hope, ideation, visualisation, embodiment and social manifestation (or social embodiment), are identified (Cilliers 2009a:626). For the purposes of the research, I will adhere to the foregoing classification, reflecting Cilliers's choice of paradigms, with special reference to practical theology as social embodiment. Cilliers (2009a:629) points out that:
The paradigm of society (societas) could serve as an integration of the other mentioned practical theological paradigms ... and the objective would then be, precisely, to propose a practical theological paradigm that is directed towards the outside, that is, towards society - without sacrificing the other paradigms. [Own translation]
This accent, which points away from a paradigm directed towards the inside, has the development of a practical theological paradigm in view, pointing to "[t]heologies of reconstruction (which) are geared toward restructuring the social structures that determine the well-being of people" (Louw 2008:29). In this accent pertaining to the significance of the creation of "theologies of reconstruction", there are clear similarities in relation to the positive and strategic value and meaning that the scientific field of futures studies aims to offer. In this regard, a relevant emphasis is also placed on the meaning of context in the formulation of a "lived religion".
In the quest for the formulation of a practical theology of social embodiment, and for the purposes of the focus of this research and the envisaged construction, the outcome of this observation is actualised in Miller's (2007:79-81) critique regarding the absence of the church in the economic sphere. Miller points out that, as a result of this absence,
there is a gaping chasm between what is heard on Sunday in one's place of worship and what is experienced on Monday in one's place of work.
This Sunday-Monday gap is discernible, inter alia, in the different profiles of preachers and businesspersons, as well as the differences between congregational life and business life, and between worship and work; and has indeed already been scientifically documented (Miller 2007:79-81).
In the above critique, my intuitive perception, to which I referred earlier in this chapter, confirms that there is a gap between the concrete embodiments of faith within specific contexts. Therefore, an important focus or emphasis - or an important question that is being posed to the research design - is indicated in the above quotation. In accordance herewith, the domain within which the research question is contextualised, is designated as that of the present-day and the future workplace; and the way in which faith and spirituality are embodied therein, as an expression of "lived religion", is also indicated. In the "tracks" left behind (Ganzevoort 2009b:1) by this question, the three domains within which the field of study of practical theology currently functions, namely, firstly the transformation of society, secondly the church and its officials, and thirdly, the domain of empirical and methodological investigation (Ganzevoort 2007:24), are embodied. In the contextualisation and concretisation of perspectives from the research, these three domains of inquiry are also constantly represented in the design.
1.3.iv In search of an answer
In the embodiment of a planned methodology for the evolutionary design of the proposed interdisciplinary dialogue, I will attempt to work in accordance with qualitative research methods from the field of futures studies, in a manner that is consistent with the hermeneutic tradition of practical theology, with the emphasis on the meaning of the narrative and metaphor, inter alia. In this regard, an interdisciplinary dialogue is already postulated, in which an effort is made
to bring together disciplines or reasoning strategies that may have widely different points of reference, different epistemological foci, and different experiential resources (Van Huyssteen 2009:51).
In this assimilation of accents from different research methods, in a process of so-called "fitting together" (Van Huyssteen 2006:9), challenges are posed to the use and meaning of language, in particular (Giri 2002:106; Van Huyssteen 2009:50).
The particular language that is put forward in the design articulates narrative and metaphorical meaning. Müller, Human and Van Deventer (2001:76-96) have already meaningfully indicated how the formulation of questions with reference to specific paradigmatic points of departure, and as part of narrative research aimed at the expression of a specific epistemological choice for the purposes of social constructionism, displays a character that encourages and enhances the narration of stories, and in which "as a hermeneutic mode of inquiry ... the process of inquiry flows from the question" (Josselson 1999:x). Indeed, the words of Freedman and Combs (1996:113), advocating a narratively informed method, are meaningful in this regard:
The biggest difference is that we ask questions to generate experience rather than to gather information. When they generate experience of preferred realities, questions can be therapeutic in and of themselves.
In order to embody these theoretical perspectives - with the emphasis on the social constructionist nature of knowledge (Gergen 1994:62-63) - in a specific research design in which the right questions are posed, on the one hand, and in which perspectives are formulated on the basis of the answers to these questions, on the other, specific methodological accents are important. In the quest for the embodiment of these theoretical perspectives, the fundamental principles of the so-called Delphi method are used. This method is commonly followed within the domain of the economic and management sciences as an indicator of the future (Gordon & Pease 2006:321; Wilson & Keating 2007:17-18). In the use of the concerned instrument, which is derived from another scientific orientation, accents from the interdisciplinary dialogue are already embodied. The Delphi method was developed by the Rand Corporation during the period between the 1940s and the 1970s, and derives its name "from Greek mythology, from the ancient story of the oracle of Delphi" (Du Plessis & Human 2007:14). My choice of the Delphi method is motivated by the observation that this method is particularly suitable "when tackling significant decision-making that will set future directions for organizations" (Loo 2002:762).
With a view to the further enhancement and development of the pragmatic model in which "[q]ualitative researchers are creative about method" (Josselson 1999:x), I have made use of accents from a narratively informed research methodology, such as participatory action research and evaluative research, in the process of formulating questions, as well as in the administration thereof. Participatory action research comprises the style of writing through which the dialogue of different, interwoven voices, as heard in the research, is given utterance in the best possible manner. In this research, the focus falls on the involvement and participation of all the role-players in the concerned research project (Strydom 2002:419). The advantages of opting in favour of principles that are fundamental to participatory action are, firstly, that the participating voices immediately assume practical value; secondly, that these principles promote the dialogical character of the research; and thirdly, that accents in different narratives are thereby articulated, in a respectful manner, as new perspectives (Uzzell 1995:311). In terms of the accent of an appreciative inquiry, it is assumed that questions
must evoke a real personal experience and narrative story that help the participants to identify and draw on their best learning from the past,
and that "the question allows the interviewer to go beyond the past to envision the best possibilities of the future" (Reed 2007:35-36). From the construed methodology, an experimental and unique design is postulated, on the one hand, which aims to address the different dimensions of the problem by means of different perspectives from the interdisciplinary dialogue, on the other. In accordance herewith, it can be argued that the instrument can thus render an important contribution as an indicator of the future in the construction zone for practical theological perspectives relating to "lived religion" in the workplace, inter alia.
1.3.v The right question, correctly asked?
In the determination of the most suitable method with a view to solving the right problem in the most effective way, Mitroff points out that critical thinking is indeed important, since
critical thinkers first attempt to ensure that they are working on the right problem before they attempt to solve it in detail (Mitroff 1998:18).
The critical thinking that is being pursued ties in well with the character of practical theology which, as a critical science, aims to further promote the complexity of situations in the description thereof (Swinton & Mowat 2006:13). It is assumed, inter alia, that in the designing process, a quest will be undertaken for a widening of the boundaries of the terrain embodying the proposed area of investigation.
With this assumption as a point of departure, and in order to enter the challenging and rapidly-developing terrain of the workplace as a "dynamic and ever-changing liquid landscape" (Keel 2007:251), approximately ten qualified professional persons with a strong theological grounding, on the one hand (all of the participants have postgraduate qualifications in theology), and who currently occupy senior positions in various business sectors (ranging from directors at business schools to directors of multinational companies), on the other hand, were identified on a countrywide basis (referred to herein as "Group 1"). At the same time, a number of Christian businesspersons serving in executive posts in a wide variety of industries, but who had no formal theological qualifications, were also identified (referred to here as "Group 2"). In this construing of the two groups, expression is given to a specific contextual sensitivity, which, however, also includes an openness at street level and in the context of the broader human existence "that others have called the church outside the church" (Astley 2002:161).
I must point out that I am aware of the implicit shortcoming in the naming of the two groups as "Group 1" and "Group 2" respectively. Naturally, these designations only provide a means of differentiation, and are not meant to indicate a qualification or reflection of any nature whatsoever. This way of designating the respective groups is also not aimed at bringing about or postulating any specific empirical scientific connotations relating to the functioning of control groups, inter alia.
The formulation of the questions is the outcome of various personal discussions that I held beforehand with some of the participants in the process. Today, looking back and reflecting on these dialogues that were initially conducted without an active research agenda, I am sure that the perspectives of believers who are seeking for the relevance of faith in the workplace comprised the initial stimuli for the later research. It is precisely such observations that represent the praxis, and which call for involvement. Thus, for example, it appeared, on the basis of the discussions, that a concept such as "spirituality" has a specific meaning for those who are versed in theology, but that believers who were generally involved in the workplace experienced specific problems with the definition of this concept. Consequently, in view of the pragmatic nature of the research, I firstly decided, for the purposes of the overall question pertaining to the realisation of "lived religion" in the workplace, to alternate the use of the concepts of spirituality and faith in the formulation of the questions to the two respective groups (as is henceforth also constantly indicated in this design). Secondly, it should also be noted that the same questions were not sent to both of the groups. The different nuances in the questions, as well as differences pertaining to the number of questions that were sent to the participants in the two groups, are thus a direct outcome of the prior discussions that I held with members of the respective groups. In the formulation of the questions, as well as in the sending out of these questions, I also offered the participants an opportunity, on two occasions, to add improvements to the questions, and/or to add other, more relevant questions.
In the administration of the modus operandi that is fundamental to the Delphi research method, the recognised procedure was followed, entailing the involvement of a panel of experts in the research process. The process was administered to the participants by means of electronic mail, with an assurance of anonymity. A covering letter was sent to all the participants, along with an attachment comprising a number of questions, to which they were asked to respond before an indicated deadline (Landeta 2006:477). As soon as the participants' responses had been received, and without revealing the identity of any participant, the responses were processed by the researcher into a central answer under each question, through the use of the participants' own words. Thereafter, the answers were once again forwarded to all the respondents, with a view to reaching general consensus amongst the participants.
For the sake of convenient arrangement pertaining to the process, an example of a covering letter is included here, followed by an example of the questions that were sent to the respective groups:
I trust that you are keeping well?
I am currently engaged in an exploratory investigation into the possible significance of spirituality in the workplace. I have identified ten professional persons who have a formal qualification in theology, on the one hand, and who currently occupy senior posts in various business sectors, on the other. Could I please approach you, as one of the concerned specialists, for your opinions in this regard?
Attached, you will find a number of questions for your attention. I would like to request you to answer these questions as soon as possible, and also as briefly as possible. (If I could have them back by this coming Friday, 5 February 2010, I would appreciate it very much!) Afterwards, in accordance with the fundamental principles of the so-called Delphi research method (which is more frequently used in the Economic Sciences as an indicator of the future), I will take all the responses to these questions, as provided by specialists such as yourself, and, without revealing the identity of participants, I will then process them into a central answer pertaining to each question. After this, I will resend the questions and answers to all the participants with a view to arriving at a general consensus.
Thank you very much in anticipation for your willingness to assist me in this regard. I sincerely appreciate it!
I hope that, in facilitating this dialogue, I will possibly be able to make a contribution relating to this important issue.
All the best with regard to your work!
Questions - Group 1:
1. Is there a place for spirituality and/or religion in the South African 1. workplace and, if so, what examples can you mention on the basis of your own situation?
2. In your opinion, and on the basis of your own experience, are there any specific domains in the workplace (for example, in the establishment of well-founded ethical decision-making processes; the establishment of resilience; the facilitation of meaning) in which faith/spirituality could play an important role?
3. Should spirituality merely be acknowledged as a given in the workplace, or would you say that it should be actively managed, for example as part of a personnel wellness programme?
4. If you are of the opinion that the spiritual dimension should be actively managed, for example as a component of a Company's wellness programme, what would you consider to be the best vehicle in order to achieve this? For example, should such active management be individually facilitated at various levels of the company (for example, by making use of so-called executive business coaches at senior management level), or should it rather be facilitated in a group context in terms of voluntary association and participation; or should both approaches possibly be used?
5. Does the Church (understood in the broadest sense of the term, and including its Academic arm, as represented by, inter alia, Theological Faculties) have a contribution to make in the facilitation of spirituality in the workplace and, if so, in what way?
6. What place does the Christian faith have, alongside of other religions, in the South African workplace of the 21st century?
7. In your opinion, what future does spirituality and/or religion have in the workplace?
8. Do the above comprise the relevant questions that need to be asked in an investigation of the point of intersection between spirituality and/or religion, and the workplace? Are there any other questions you would like to include, or any additional remarks that you would like to make in this regard?
Questions - Group 2:
1. Is there a place for religious faith in the South African workplace and, if so, what examples from your own situation can you mention?
2. In your opinion, and on the basis of your own experience, are there any specific areas in the workplace (for example, in the establishment of well-founded ethical decision-making processes; the establishment of resilience; the facilitation of meaning) in which religious faith could play an important role?
3. Should religious faith merely be acknowledged as a given in the workplace, or would you say that it should be actively managed, for example as part of a personnel wellness programme?
4. What particular current (and future) needs (if any) require attention, in your opinion, in terms of religious faith in the workplace?
5. Do the above comprise the relevant questions that need to be asked in an investigation of the point of intersection between spirituality and/or religion, and the workplace? Are there any other questions you would like to include, or any additional remarks that you would like to make in this regard?
The participants offered the following perspectives with regard to the relevance of the questions that were set. All of the participants indicated that the questions offered relevant accents as an expression of the meaning of spirituality/faith within the workplace, as an exemplification of so-called "lived religion". In the reporting on the perspectives of the participants, it is important to note, at this point, that the questions and answers will not necessarily be documented in the same sequence as the one in which they have initially been presented here. The questions, and the answers of co-researchers, will be incorporated in the documentation of the research proposal in an ad hoc manner, as part of the narrative character of the research. The reason for this can be found - from the vantage point of a postmodern methodology - in the influence of an (auto)biographical approach, in terms of which the format in which the research is presented is derived from various genres, and which is strongly informed by a narrative style of writing.
I will first present the perspectives obtained from Group 1, followed by those of Group 2, by means of a brief written reflection, or reflection rubric, which is - naturally - informed by personal perspectives. In each of the reflection rubrics that will be presented in the course of the design, elements of social constructionism will be embodied, in view of the fact that the perspectives of participants, as well as my own perspectives, will be represented therein. I will indicate the accents of participants in bold, italic script, in order to give expression to this process:
• Group 1: Do the above comprise the relevant questions that currently need to be asked in an investigation of the point of intersection between spirituality and/or religion, and the workplace? Are there any other questions you would like to include, or any additional remarks that you would like to make in this regard?
In the opinion of the participants, the questions and research are relevant, measured in terms of the following criteria: 1) the discourse regarding a sustainable society; 2) the impact of globalisation on the management of diversity (including religious diversity); 3) the possibility that religious conflict could once again become one of the main historical drivers in the future; 4) the crisis relating to values in our own society, particularly under the current potentates of business and politics. For further research, it is recommended: 1) that a thorough conceptualisation should be undertaken; 2) that the role of different personality types and spirituality, and the significance thereof for the workplace, should be investigated; 3) that, together with spirituality, the relationship with "ethos" could also be reconsidered; 4) that it should be acknowledged that the most fundamental question relates to the nature of religious faith and (as a second-order question) the nature of theology/religion. It is in this area that the core decisions, which have an impact on the practice, are taken; 5) that the dialogue and perspectives could be enhanced by entering into discussions with managers and workers. The formulation of questions also warrants further attention; and caution should be exercised regarding the inclusion of more than one concept per question, while the formulation of leading questions should be avoided. Three participants also pointed out that the urgency accorded to the accommodation of spirituality/ religious faith at the workplace should not be the result of the "drawing power" of employees/companies, but rather of the dynamics and momentum of the church and its members, with a view to ensuring that the members' faith is always visible everywhere, and that they are always willing to serve.
• Group 2: Do the above comprise the relevant questions that currently need to be asked in an investigation of the point of intersection between faith and the workplace? Are there any other questions you would like to see included, or any additional comments that you would like to make in this regard?
Participants agreed that the above-mentioned questions are the relevant ones that currently call for answers. Several participants pointed out that the quest for the accommodation of faith in the workplace is now more important than ever, and that it should be made as accessible as possible to everyone - from senior management level right down to the employee working at the most basic level. Some of the participants wondered about the meaning and role of faith in combating corruption, amongst other aspects. The suggestions made by some of the participants included the proposal that it might possibly be of value to identify employees in order to make enquiries as to what they expect of the management of an enterprise in order to enable them to actively live out their faith within the workplace, and also to consolidate it amongst the other employees. The management of diversity in cases where not all employees are adherents of the same faith should also be further investigated, according to the participants.
Participants confirmed that the theme of the investigation is indeed relevant and topical. I must concede, at this point, that so many perspectives arose from the Reflection relating to the so-called professional group, that they could not be accommodated within the scope of a single design. Thus, in order to adhere to the basic approach to the design, I will summarise the perspectives thematically. Accordingly, the relevance of current issues at this juncture calls for the focusing of attention on aspects such as, inter alia, sustainability, globalisation, the crisis of values that is currently being experienced, and the possibility that religious conflicts could become one of the main driving forces for future conflicts. These accents indeed overlap, in some significant ways, with the so-called "15 Global Challenges" that were mentioned earlier on, and also with an immediate awareness of the relevance, as well as the urgency of the research. What is noteworthy and significant is that both of the discussion groups emphatically agreed that the dialogue should indeed be continued, with the inclusion of all employers and employees. The integrity of the research is further emphasised by the fact that participants in Group 1 expressed a specific concern with regard to conceptualisation and methods of inquiry, inter alia. This reflection on the views of participants, together with possible further themes of development, will be addressed once again at the end of the design in chapter 4, where possible future research perspectives are construed.
1.3.vi Limitations of this construction
The integrity of any design is increased if critical reflection on the proposed design is conducted from a perspective proceeding from within. Bearing in mind that the design - as already indicated earlier on - does not have the capacity to accommodate all of the available perspectives, owing to the fact that the terrain extends over so many professional fields, I will identify the following possible limitations that are inherent in the proposed construction.
Firstly, a certain amount of academic depth is lost, owing to the fact that conceptualisation is not the sole focus point. In a methodology that is primarily pragmatically oriented, pre-eminence is accorded to an eclectic model within which principles that are fundamental to a variety of qualitative research methods are accommodated. Thus, a certain amount of academic integrity may naturally be sacrificed; but I am nevertheless convinced that, on the other hand, the construction is, in fact, successful in terms of its potential to be more useful within the workplace, measured against the theme and scope of a "lived religion".
Secondly, the participants in the research could undoubtedly have been even more representative in respect of language, ethnicity and religious affiliation. Although the participants in the groups were representative of diversity in terms of demography, gender, age and qualifications, the participation of co-researchers from different ethnic groupings, linguistic groupings and religious orientations would have further enhanced the scope of the research. However, the practical aspects of such participation, for instance in terms of the administration of the Delphi research method, inter alia, would have made particular technical demands on the research, which would not have been practically feasible. A decision was also made to adhere to the original research design, in order to meaningfully express the complexity of experiences that are linked to spirituality, in a single language. This limitation could possibly be addressed in further research.
A third possible shortcoming can be pointed out with regard to the methodology, in terms of which I myself was responsible for the compilation of answers. A possible point of criticism that could be raised against this method is that it indeed results in the articulation of an excessively subjective perspective - which, moreover, is then followed by a reflection by the author of the research. In mitigation of this potential criticism, it can be argued that before my compilation of the answers was incorporated into the text of the final design, it was first sent to all the participants to enable them to make any necessary changes or additions relating to the contents, as well as editorial amendments. From the viewpoint of a modernistic scientific ideal, the possible criticism relating to the absence of objectively valid indicators is naturally justified; but from the chosen postmodern framework, in which prominence is accorded to a position of subjective integrity, an (auto)biographical perspective that is scientifically justifiable has indeed been articulated by means of the chosen method.
1.3.vii Step 1
The perspectives that have been articulated in the foregoing chapter presuppose a dynamic, interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and futures studies, which gives rise to an (auto)biographical reading of texts. Denzin (1989:26) associates the process with the writing of a biography:
When a writer writes a biography, he or she writes him- or herself into the life of the subject written about. When the reader reads a biographical text, that text is read through the life of the reader. Hence, writers and readers conspire to create the lives they write and read about. Along the way, the produced text is cluttered by the traces of the life of the 'real' person being written about.
The first chapter of this biography is concluded with the construction of a step. A step in an architectonic design presupposes and facilitates differences relating to levels. I would like to regard the step as an indication - within the broader model of the interdisciplinary dialogue, as suggested in this chapter by means of the metaphor of architecture - of a guided movement towards a higher level. It thus indicates that the research design of the concerned chapter in which the terrain has been charted, now displays a circular motion towards the movement of path, as articulated in chapter 2. By the time he or she reaches the end of the documentation of the design, on the basis of the four movements, as described in the chapters, the reader should thus have encountered four developing steps that represent the winding motion of a spiral staircase leading through the research.
The terrain and existing constructions play an important role in any design. Relief, contours, topography and existing structures influence any design and should therefore be taken into account. In the following movement, which resorts under the centre of the research, in chapters 2 and 3, accents are placed on, inter alia, the manner in which the question(s)/need(s) that must direct the design, are formulated, according to the methodology relating to the facilitation of multidisciplinary participation in the design.
CHAPTER 2 - PATH
In the act of embarking on the path towards design and construction, movement is architectonically embodied, in the sense that "the path is that which we follow" (Norberg-Schulz 2000:144). A stop is made at the first station, namely that of the gallery, for the purpose of exploring the different research paths that have been made possible by, inter alia, practical theology and futures studies. The second station to be visited is that of the corridor, which, just like the architectonic design, displays signs along the way that emphasise an underlying connectedness which can be mapped out between the two disciplines. The last station is that of the thoroughfare, which postulates the emergence from the interdisciplinary dialogue into subsequent spaces. Together with the threshold (chapter 3), these three stations - comprising the path - represent the centre of the research. Through the indication of the centre, a specific emphasis is placed on the central position occupied by the respective two chapters in the research.
At the first station on the path of the research, the gallery unfolds as a design portfolio, with the emphasis on a historical overview of former and existing designs in the addressing of specific spatial challenges. In the same way that a person pages through a portfolio, or wanders through an art gallery, the accents from practical theology and futures studies represent sketches outlining the history of already-existing designs. In order to accommodate as much as possible of this background in the portfolio, together with as many of the most recent designs as possible, an endeavour will firstly be made to scan the international arena, after which local South African accents will be considered.
2.1.i A practical theological portfolio
Metaphors with architectonic undertones have already been employed in the past in order to portray the character of practical theology. Thus, Viau (1999:ix) tells of a visit to Paris, where a sculpture, depicting an enormous Assyrian bull with five legs, stimulated his imagination and reminded him of "discourses generated by Practical theology." In his appraisal of this building terrain, Reader (2008:4) also points to the manifold, and sometimes even contrasting, discourses that are accommodated within the field of practical theology, adding that
[it] would not overstate the case to say that this is a contested area where one encounters a wide variety of interpretations and views.
In the discussion regarding already-established building styles, on the one hand, and possible future projects, on the other, an overview of historically developing accents within the field of practical theology is provided.
In his book, Praktische teologie (1993), Heitink contributes literally and figuratively to the construction of a practical theological cathedral (Vos 1995:105). Heitink (1993:22-25) uses the metaphor of a cathedral in a masterly fashion, in order to symbolise the development of practical theology. This building consists of three parts, which represent three different stages in this development. Central to the development of practical theology is the scientific theoretical perspective, which is supplemented by the historical interpretative and the practical theoretical perspectives.
For the sake of the completeness of the study, and with a view to the chronological portrayal of the course of the development of practical theology, it is necessary to provide a brief overview of each of the perspectives. For the purposes of the study, I have chosen to begin with the historical interpretative perspective, since "[d]e ontstaansgeschiedenis van het vak is een verstaansgeschiedenis" (Heitink 1993:27). By firstly focusing attention on this perspective, not only will a chronological historical overview be presented, but it will also be possible to identify specific developmental tendencies; and factors that gave rise to the development of practical theology will be formulated.
The elucidation of the subject, the modernisation of society, specific social issues, a modern pluralism in the church and in theology, as well as the history of so-called "pastoral theology" as the precursor of practical theology, are identified by Heitink (1993:27-30) as particular core moments in the historical development of practical theology.
The origin of practical theology as an academic discipline can be traced back to the Enlightenment (Van der Ven 1994:30). Along with that period, the age of modernism also placed the emphasis on continual change (Rossouw 1995:4). As part of the modern paradigm, practical theology was also the subject of continual renewal and changes; and the status of practical theology as a mere contributory component of the training of priests was expanded as a result of, inter alia, the philosophical contribution of Kant and, in particular, the theological contribution of Schleiermacher, who is generally regarded as the father of modern practical theology (Heitink 1993:31; Louw 1993:70). In the period following the nineteenth century, during which the natural scientific paradigm was predominant, various direction-giving theories, such as Popper's critical rationalism (Pieterse 1993:62-66) and Kuhn's paradigm theory (Pieterse 1993:66-71; Dill & Kotzé 1997:6-7), contributed to the shift away from the scientific theory of logical positivism, according to which knowledge can be objectively acquired through systematic empirical observation and the detection of specific laws with a scientific basis (Pieterse 1993:56). These theories, in turn, paved the way for the later theories of Husserl, Gadamer, Ricoeur and Habermas, which would change the approach to science for ever. It was Rolf Zerfass who, in 1974, specifically announced that a change of direction had occurred in the paradigm and methodology of practical theology, in terms of which the original logical scientific theory had been developed into a communicative action theory (Pieterse 1993:1).
Although several different theories were closely examined, consensus was reached regarding the conclusion that practical theology should be interpreted as a theological theory of action (Heitink 1993:105; Vos 1995:106). This development led to what Heitink calls the scientific theoretical perspective, which comprises the central component of Heitink's description of the development of practical theology. The crux of this perspective is the development of a practical theological theory of action, with two core moments, namely practical theology as "theological science"; and practical theology as "action science" (i.e., as a "theory of action"), respectively (Heitink 1993:105-106).
It was from the point of departure of these standpoints regarding practical theology as a theory of action, that Heitink formulated a practical theological inquiry, which "op een bepaald punt de spanning van traditie en ervaring thematiseert" (Heitink 1993:106). Heitink formulated this inquiry on the basis of three perspectives, namely the hermeneutic, empirical and strategic perspectives. The hermeneutic theory of action proceeds from the assumption that, in order to understand an action, research should be carried out regarding what motivates people to act in a particular way (Heitink 1993:174). In the empirical action theory, the focus falls on the possible measuring of different activities in order to determine their significance for practical theology; and finally, the strategic action theory focuses on change - and specifically, the way in which it is embodied in the changing of people, as well as in community contexts (Heitink 1993:195-196). It was within the domain of the strategic action theory that the so-called systems theory developed. As one of the outcomes of this theory, the field of practical theology was broadened through the inclusion of an ecosystemic perspective; and it was linked to a holistic view of the whole (De Jong van Arkel 1991:61-75).
The last main perspective in the description of practical theology is the practical theoretical perspective. In terms thereof, the different domains of action in practical theology are elucidated on the basis of the foregoing theoretical perspectives. In the development of practical theology as a theological theory of action, it is important to bear in mind that this subject, or branch of study, was not only aimed at proclaiming God's salvation; it was also meant to be concerned with the concrete reality of the world of everyday living. Pieterse (1993:9) points out that practical theology, interpreted as a theological theory of action, cannot do otherwise than to investigate the concrete, current reality. Taking this given factor into account, therefore, it is clear that the praxis terrain is of particular importance to practical theology, and that it attests to the conduction of a search aimed at "tracing the sacred" of the "hermeneutics of lived religion" (Ganzevoort 2009b:1).
The design and effectiveness of Heitink's practical theological building were addressed, a few years later, in the Foreword to the English edition of his book, through the accents of the foremost international practical theologians, who pointed out that:
In many countries around the world practical theology is gaining a new shape. It is stepping out of the shadow of being viewed only as the application of findings and guidelines ... Rather, the new practical theology is reminding all of theology of its practical nature (Browning, Fowler, Schweitzer & Van der Ven 1999:xv).
Some of the latest accents emanating from Heitink's original architecture of practical theological construction can be found in the further construction of the hermeneutic action theory, which links up well, in its turn, with Heitink's innovative development of three methodological moments for practical theology, namely the hermeneutical, the strategic and the empirical perspectives (Vos 1995:108).
These perspectives are also confirmed from an American point of view: Osmer (2006:328) points out that, since the 1960s, a new understanding and development have become discernible in practical theology:
Practical theology constructs action-guiding theories of Christian praxis in particular social contexts based on four interrelated forms of research and scholarship - the descriptive-empirical, the interpretive, the normative, and the pragmatic (Osmer 2006:328).
In his latest book, Practical theology. An introduction, Osmer (2008:4) points out that the basic structure of practical theological interpretation is comprised of the following four core tasks: the descriptive empirical; the interpretive; the normative, and the pragmatic tasks. For Osmer (2008:4), the descriptive empirical task entails the collection of information in order to construe specific patterns, situations and contexts. In the so-called interpretive task, theories from other sciences are deployed in order to arrive at a fuller description and explanation as to why certain patterns and dynamics occur. Regarding the normative task, Osmer (2008:4) points out that theological concepts are used "to interpret particular episodes, situations, or contexts, constructing ethical norms to guide our responses and learning from 'good practices'." The last movement is found in the pragmatic task, in which decisions are made in favour of particular strategies which will influence the situations that have been described, and which will facilitate a reflective dialogue in the context of this involvement. Naturally, in the context of the model and task of the study, I find personal meaning in the pragmatic aspect as
the construction of models of Christian practice and rules of art ... (where) practical theologians seek to offer guidance to individuals and communities in how they might carry out certain activities or practices (Osmer 2006:329).
In order to sum up the standpoint adopted by Osmer (2006; 2008), it can be pointed out that
... the primary subject matter of practical theology is some form of contemporary Christian praxis. It investigates this praxis empirically, interprets it to better understand and explain its patterns, constructs a theological framework with which it can be assessed critically, and provides models of practice and rules of art for its future conduct and reform (Osmer 2006:329).
Arising from this development of the hermeneutic emphasis in practical theology (Ganzevoort 2009b:4-5), as outlined above, the emphasis - in the South African context - is placed on the hermeneutic aspect, on the one hand, and on the meaning and significance of context, on the other. Typical examples in this regard include Julian Müller's (1996:5) interpretation of practical theology as "the systematically structured, ongoing hermeneutic process", as well as Daniël Louw's (2008:17) assertion that practical theology
reflects on and deals with the praxis of God as related to the praxis of faith within a vivid social, cultural and contextual encounter between God and human beings.
The accentuation of the fact that, within a South African context, too, the emphasis on the contextual aspect is a given - and that practical theology indeed also endeavours to exploit the potential of this emphasis (Vos 1995:108) - is also encountered, inter alia, in the later development of Müller's "postfoundational practical theology" (2005), in which transversal rationality is accommodated as an embodiment of an interdisciplinary way of thinking and action that is "always concrete, local, and contextual", but which, nevertheless, also "reaches beyond local contexts to transdisciplinary concerns" (Müller 2009:205).
Along with the introductory perspectives regarding the construction of a practical theological involvement, it is also necessary, at this point, to visit and accommodate perspectives from the growing field of futures studies, as part of the design and with a view to the further facilitation of an interdisciplinary discussion.
2.1.ii A portfolio of the future
It is a given that concepts relating to time, including the future, exist in every community (Rowe 2008:electronic source). Human beings have a common ability to approach the future - which includes specific alternatives and choices, and which is formed by, inter alia, structures, perceptions and forces - in a strategic and effective manner (Slaughter 2001:2; Lombardo 2008:15-16).
It is within the context of this assumption that Bell (2008) points out that:
A new field of social inquiry has been created whose purpose is the systematic study of the future. It is sometimes called 'future studies', the 'futures field', 'futures research', 'futuristics', 'prospectives', or 'prognostics', and its practitioners are known as 'futurists'.
The modern history of futures studies was already clearly discernible in the early 1960s (Bell 2008:electronic source), and was defined by, inter alia, the seminal work of Betrand de Jouvenel, The art of conjecture (1967). In chapter 4 of this book, entitled "The project", De Jouvenel makes an observation which has a bearing on the (auto)biographical emphasis in the study, by pointing to the way in which personal experiences are linked, and the contextual link with the future that is constructed by means of these links, as reflected in concepts such as design, projection and intention, amongst others (De Jouvenel 1967:25-30). De Jouvenel later follows up this description with a question that is strongly reminiscent of the movement from the personal towards the more general which is present in the design:
We have said enough about particular projects formed by an individual and about the knowledge of the future assumed in their formation; now we must ask ourselves whether men have always behaved as if society were animated by an obscure general wish to give itself a sufficiently known future (De Jouvenel 1967:45).
The consideration of this question posed by De Jouvenel, and the recognition and admission of the fact that the future presupposes complexity, are linked to the development of various research centres on a worldwide basis; for example, the World Future Society and the World Futures Studies Orientation (Bell 2008). A South African perspective is offered at the Unit for Futures Research, which was originally founded in 1974, at the University of Stellenbosch, as a
long arm of economic forecasting - more in particular, as a Unit for Futures Research (UFR) of the University of Stellenbosch's Bureau for Economic Research (Spies 1999:5).
The focus of this Unit did not fall only on the study of economic cycles, but also on the broad processes of change in South Africa. The Unit's activities ultimately led to the establishment of the fully-fledged Institute for Futures Research in 1984 (Spies 1999:5). The objective of the activities of this Institute is the management of knowledge, as well as strategic management; and the focus falls on the following six areas of specialisation:
• Business futuristics and the systems approach to transformation management
• Long-term economic structure studies
• Applied demographics
• Technology foresight
• Socio-political studies
• Energy futures (Institute for Futures Research 2010).
Of importance for the present design is the fact that futures studies are very suitably positioned for the accommodation of an interdisciplinary dialogue, since
[a] broad platform of divergent ideas has been mainly derived from a variety of cultural perspectives as well as other disciplines (Chen 2005:119).
However, there is also a further motivation for the interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and futures studies, which lies in the strategic and pragmatic characteristics of these disciplines, both of which do not only investigate the shortcomings in a specific analysis, but also facilitate the creation of alternative worlds - inter alia through the use of metaphors (Inayatullah 2008).
Naturally, there are important accents inherent in the above-mentioned concepts, which can be further considered and turned to account in the ongoing interdisciplinary dialogue. What is of importance for the study, however - and indeed, also for practical theology - is the fact that the task of the futurist is "to bring the decision-maker's world of perceptions towards the world of reality" - which, as Spies warns, "is well-nigh impossible if you cannot escape from your 'reality' - from the system that is to be studied" (Spies 1999:7). Consequently, in terms of a perspective derived from futures studies, an inquiry will be conducted in order to determine the degree to which perception and reality are congruent in the functioning of a so-called "lived religion" in the workplace, since the field of futures studies presupposes "a way of life" and "a way of thinking" (Hines 2002:343).
2.1.iii The future of spirituality/faith in the workplace - an (auto)biographical perspective
The domain within which the interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and futures studies takes place, is that of "lived religion", as embodied in the future workplace. In this regard, implicit assumptions are associated with the agenda of futures studies for the 21st century, in which the releasing and development of human potential and the discovery of new meaning, as well as the attribution of meaning, inter alia, are investigated (Slaughter 2008).
In the sketching of an (auto)biographical perspective, a dialogue with co-researchers is embarked upon in the proposed manner. This dialogue is followed by a reflection construed by the researcher. A pivotal question that was put to Group 1, pertained to the future role of spirituality in the workplace. The group's response to the question was as follows:
• What, in your opinion, is the future of spirituality and/or religious faith in the workplace?
Participants unanimously agreed that the future role of spirituality in the workplace would increase in prominence. In the midst of debates regarding the future of the planet, values are being reconsidered, with questions being asked concerning the meaning of life and work; the creation of a meaningful and sustainable future; business motives that are more sober and realistic with regard to profit; as well as the social and ecological dimensions. Spirituality and religion are fundamental to this new discourse. Spirituality is therefore fundamental to the special virtues that are necessary in the workplace during such a time as this - wisdom; justice; courage; sympathy; temperance; an appreciation of the aesthetic. Therefore, spirituality is perceived as indispensable for the future facilitation of a holistic view of employers and employees. However, participants were in agreement that religious wars on the factory floor are not desirable or permissible. Thus, what is required is not the defence of the Gospel, but rather an authentic evangelical lifestyle.
From the perspectives of the participating professional group, it becomes clear why the design can easily be placed within the disciplinary dialogue between practical theology and futures studies. It was confirmed by the dialogue partners that spirituality (and the practice of religion) is indeed fundamental to the new discourse regarding the future of the planet, in which values are being reconsidere d, with questions being asked about the meaning of life and work; about the creation of a meaningful and sustainable future; about business motives that are more sober and realistic regarding profit; and also about the social and ecological dimensions. Participants advocated a holistic view that calls for an authentic evangelical lifestyle - without allowing religious wars to start being waged on the factory floor.
True to the narrative character of the research, in terms of a certain reluctance to resort to abstractions, I am cognisant of the possible risk of falling into generalisations. However - without alleging that this description applies to the experience of all businesspersons - the prominence of spirituality in the workplace is clearly indicated on the basis of the composite answer compiled from the responses of the more than ten participants. It is clear that the prominence of spirituality in the workplace should increase in the future, and that it is indispensable for the future facilitation of a holistic view of employers and employees. However, although this is acknowledged as a future development, it is necessary, in the evaluation of the existing construction, to investigate the effectiveness of the designs. This aspect will subsequently be addressed under the movement referred to as the corridor.
Architectonically, the movement accent in a corridor is expressed as "a continuative passage" (Norberg-Schulz 2000:144). Therefore, in order to accommodate this accent in the research design, it is necessary, at this point, to focus attention on the consideration and description of related dimensions that are associated with the investigation, and which could possibly contribute to the further development of the design.
2.2.i Voices from the rooms
Personally, I associate a corridor with the link that binds the different dimensions of a household or organisation to one another. By walking down the corridor, the observer obtains a glimpse of what is happening in each of the rooms; and though each room has its own identity, the corridor binds all the rooms together into a structural unity. The metaphorical architectonic value of the corridor will now be articulated - firstly, by means of an overview of the different voices that are audible from the respective rooms of Groups 1 and 2, followed by a reflection offered by the researcher. Further accents will then enquire into, inter alia, the possibility of a reconstruction arising from the interdisciplinary debate between practical theology and futures studies. These perspectives offer a path to the following movement that falls under the centre of the research, namely that of the threshold. I will now report, firstly, on the accents of Group 1, and secondly, on perspectives offered by Group 2; after which the usual reflection will be put forward:
• Group 1: Is there a place for spirituality and/or religion in the South African workplace and, if so, what examples from your own situation can you mention?
Respondents agreed that there is a place for spirituality (provided that it is not fundamentalist in nature) - which should preferably be spontaneous in character. Such spirituality has a strong narrative, rather than a dogmatic character. Accents in terms of which the workplace is assumed to be an open space, where everyone who plays a part therein should be free, were put forward. One participant stated that the workplace is spiritual. As an example hereof, he mentioned that staff often share their experiences within the framework of a common (e.g. Christian) faith, as well as in an inter-religious context (e.g. Christians sharing their experiences with Muslims, and vice versa). In contrast to this, a number of the respondents expressed caution regarding the use of the concept "religion". Respondents also indicated that it would be important, in further research, to ensure that conceptualisations were thoroughly formulated, on the one hand, and to differentiate between the various concepts, on the other. This sensitivity with regard to the concept of "religion", according to participants, is related to strong cultural nuances that are associated with dogmatic accents. Some participants pointed out that these accents could give rise to exclusion and a display of power. It is also for this reason that participants indicated that, although religious practices may be encountered from time to time in the workplace, such practices should still be less prominent than spirituality in the workplace. Participants differentiated between two levels that can be discerned in the functioning of spirituality, as exemplified by the following people: (1) People who speak openly about their faith and who wish to bring their work into line with that faith; and (2) people who do not discuss their faith, but who, on the basis of the faith that they practise, endeavour to live out a particular value system/conviction. All of the participants personally agreed that it is appropriate to bring one's own spirituality into line with business challenges. The value of this approach lies in the ethical conduction of each day's programme, as well as in the creation of a milieu within which relationships between people can develop, grow and flourish. Some of the participants also indicated that the expression of spirituality is linked to specific geographical distributions in South Africa, and that in certain centres, the functioning of spirituality displays more spontaneity than in the case of other centres.
• Group 2: Is there a place for religious faith in your own workplace in terms of your current experience and, if so, what examples from your own situation can you mention?
Participants wholeheartedly agreed that there is a specific place for religious faith in the workplace. They also acknowledged that, in cases where directors and employees are adherents of the same religious orientation, this has a strengthening effect on the facilitation and functioning of faith in the workplace. Although some of the participants expressed an awareness of the challenges associated with a multi-religious workplace, numerous examples were cited regarding the way in which religious faith functions in the workplace. Such examples included, inter alia, monthly meetings of the board of directors, operational meetings, morning meetings and end-of-year functions that are opened with a Scripture reading and prayer, as well as interpersonal discussions regarding religious faith. Participants reported that the manifestation of faith not only displays an institutional character, but that it is informed by a personal relationship based on faith. The value of faith in the workplace was emphasised on two levels by participants, namely, in terms of an improved relationship, firstly between staff and their colleagues, and, secondly, with clients. One participant pointed out that a common basis of faith becomes the foundation on which a relationship is built up, and in terms of which potentially difficult situations can be broken down into basic elements, and then be resolved from a particular point of reference.
It is clear that both groups are in agreement that there is room - or "space" - for the facilitation of spirituality in the workplace, and that this is indeed a space that calls for further exploration and development. However, it is also clear that both of the groups expressed accents of caution in respect of religious practices that could bring about inter-religious and denominational tension. The respective participants also confirmed that - apart from personal/pastoral aspects, such as the attribution of meaning - practices aimed at the facilitation of spirituality also contribute to the establishment of healthy mutual relationships between employers and employees. However, it is notable that participants in both groups indicated that some of these practices are already in place, in a meaningful way. In my opinion, however, there is currently still room - both nationally and internationally - for the further development of empirical research in the description of this phenomenon. This could thus comprise an important future accent in the designing of a structure with a view to the investigation of so-called "lived religion", as manifested in the workplace.
2.2.ii A practical theological restoration?
By way of introduction, and as part of the background to the research design, existing constructs were visited; and, in keeping with the nature of practical theology as "a critical discipline which is prepared to challenge accepted assumptions and practises" (Swinton & Mowat 2006:6-7), the effectiveness of these respective constructions will subsequently be investigated. This search ultimately leads to accents from the literature study, pointing to a possible new domain of investigation.
Jones (2008:196) envisions a practical theological construction as follows:
It's as if orange warning cones and yellow tape presently encircle our collective thoughts about practical theology and its relation to other fields, under a sign that reads: 'Caution: Construction Work Zone - Enter at Your Own Risk'.
Practical theology represents an evolutionary building process that extends from the original work of Friedrich Schleiermacher (Heitink 1999:24), and which continually enters into the interplay of a number of domains of action and the associated tension (Cilliers 2009a:626-627). Measured against the fact that life is multicoloured and multidimensional, a practical theological reconstruction presupposes life in all its facets. Therefore, a relevant practical theology presupposes a "type (publieke) praktische teologie, dat de nadruk legt op de geleefde religie in al haar verschijningsvormen ... met het oog op onderling verstaan en beter samenleven" (Ganzevoort 2006:151).
In the description of a "lived religion" (Ganzevoort 2006:151), pre-eminence is accorded to a tentative practical theological reconstruction which is encountered at grassroots level, in order to embody a "fides quaerens societatem" (faith in search of social embodiment) (Cilliers 2009a:634). In accordance with the current tendency in practical theology, the foundations for this construction are found on the street, in the methodological crossing of traditional boundaries, in terms of which the emphasis is placed on the discourse within an interdisciplinary domain of study (Immink 2005:266; Osmer 2008:163; Müller 2009:199-228) in order to facilitate "plausible forms of interdisciplinary dialogue" (Demasure & Müller 2006:418).
In my opinion, it is only within this dialogical process that a relevant practical theological reconstruction can address the challenge put forward by Miller (2007:101), who points out that
with a few notable exceptions, most theologians do not develop interdisciplinary competence nor seek to understand the complexities of modern global economies and develop a constructive theology of work.
It is thus clear, on the basis of the responses of the participants in the study, as well as the above quotations from recent works that were consulted during the literature study, that the manifestation of a so-called "lived religion" in the world of work has not received the attention that it warrants, and that it should indeed be regarded as an important future development within the field of practical theology.
2.2.iii A practical theological reconstruction
Recent perspectives put forward by eminent practical theologians in the international arena demonstrate that the existing dimensions of traditional categories of interpretation have become too restrictive, owing to various factors such as the extent of globalisation, inter alia. In his evaluation of this problem, Reader (2008:1) points to the significance and implications of so-called "zombie categories" as worn-out and outmoded concepts which, despite the fact that they are still in circulation, can no longer fulfil their supposed functions in a changing world. Osmer (2008:235) illustrates the significance of this factor by pointing to the example of theological schools that are organised according to the old encyclopaedic paradigm, and which are at risk of becoming so-called "shell institutions" which have the same appearance, and seem to fulfil the same functions, as they did in the past, but which, internally,
are no longer capable of carrying out the work that they need to perform ... The shell remains, but the internal organization is not up to the challenges of a new context.
At an earlier stage, Browning (1991:281-282) already pointed out that such institutions (intellectual frameworks?) could become obsolete, for two reasons:
They may be inadequate normatively: They may be theologically and philosophically skewed or deficient when tested against the classics of tradition and the demands of experience. They may also be inadequate in a second sense: The individuals or groups may not be deeply socialized into these structures. They may be held superficially.
On the basis of the above-mentioned reasons put forward by Browning to explain the existence and functioning of institutions and ways of thinking that have become outdated, it is clear that there are particular levels of tension between, inter alia, tradition and recent experience, as a result of the fact that tradition no longer has a bearing on the needs and expectations of individuals. Precisely for this reason, Moltmann (2008:103) points out that
hope for an alternative future brings us into contradiction with the existing present and puts us against the people who cling to it.
In my opinion, a good illustration of the above-mentioned perspectives - reflecting a specific (auto)biographical accent, as well as a sensitivity to the future dimension that is central to this design - is found in the existing category of pastoral therapy in the context of pastoral care and, in particular, the way in which such therapy functions within a South African context. Although it is clear that the South African community has a great need for the services of pastoral therapists, on the one hand, and that there is also a great need for members of the public to be trained as pastoral therapists, on the other, there are specific challenges that need to be negotiated with a view to the future.
Currently, no statutory recognition is accorded to pastoral therapists in South Africa, and this can naturally be regarded as an unfavourable factor, which has an inhibitive effect on the further development of, inter alia, academic pastoral therapy programmes. This problematic aspect was further underlined towards the end of 2007, when concern arose, on a countrywide basis, with regard to the future statutory position of pastoral therapy after the promulgation of legislation regarding the exclusive right of psychological therapy (Government Gazette, 19 October 2007, no. 30374 9). The professional domain that comes into question here pertains to
the issue of the professionalization of pastoral counselling ... which places pastoral counselling in the public sphere where other health professionals also operate (Van Arkel 1999:89).
In the identification of this challenge, and as part of research conducted for an assignment in the Master's-degree programme in Futures Studies, I initiated an investigation into the statutory recognition and functioning of the pastoral therapy qualification at South African universities (Van den Berg 2008b:1-36).
A panel of approximately seven professional persons who were directly involved as lecturers in pastoral therapy programmes on a countrywide basis, at the Universities of the Free State, Stellenbosch and Pretoria, as well as the University of the North West and Unisa, comprised part of the investigation that was administrated on the basis of the Delphi research method.
Participants unanimously agreed that although the qualification was still popular, and although many individuals took the relevant courses for the purpose of personal enrichment, while being fully aware that they would not receive statutory recognition as pastoral therapists, concern still prevailed about the fact that, should there be no change in the official status of the qualification, the danger might arise that pastoral therapy would only be practised for the sake of self-development and possible service to one's closest fellow human beings. Although the possibility exists that pastoral therapists could practise privately, they are vulnerable, and have no legal recourse; and expenditure also cannot be recovered from medical funds. If the qualification in pastoral therapy were to be statutorily recognised, a meaningful contribution could be rendered in the public market, for example in the educational context and in the domain of human resource management. To this end, the qualification would have to be repositioned in the midst of the multiple and diverse "counselling" services that are currently available and popular. In order to achieve this, a multi-departmental and faculty-based approach would have to be followed.
Naturally, these perspectives are important in terms of the negotiability of the existing functioning of the programme, as well as possible further developments. Participants pointed out, inter alia, that a large hiatus exists between what happens in practice and the needs of communities, on the one hand, and the legal provisions that do not recognise pastoral therapists, while recognising traditional healers, on the other hand. The SAAP (Southern African Association of Pastoral Counselling) undertook an enormous task in terms of setting standards, and in acting as a kind of "watchdog" in this regard, and should be congratulated for this endeavour; but there are currently no discernible results as yet, in respect of the efforts to achieve statutory recognition. Considered in the context of the strategic, pragmatic and visionary character of the dialogue between the scientific fields of future studies and practical theology, it thus appears that the positive definition and accommodation of this given factor - which offers a statistical description for the further statutory development of pastoral therapy - in a possible new design, presents a challenge.
Therefore, in order to explore potential spaces for the possible further development of such a functional design, it is necessary, in my opinion - with a view to effecting a possible entrance into these spaces - to once again consider the concerned perspectives of co-researchers in the mapping out of specific needs. In the identification of needs in the workplace, the following perspectives from Group 2 (senior management members without any formal theological qualifications) will be put forward, and will then be followed by the usual reflection:
• Group 2: In your opinion, and on the basis of your own experience, are there any specific areas in the workplace (for example, in the establishment of well-founded ethical decision-making processes; the establishment of resilience among employees; the facilitation of sense and meaning) in which religious faith could play an important role?
All of the participants confirmed that religious faith plays an important role in the workplace. However, the work-related circumstances of participants tended to determine the way in which the role of faith was described. Participants from larger companies reported practices ranging from structured religious activities on the factory floor, to the outlining and implementation of values from top-management level to the level of labourers in the concerned company. In one particular instance, mention was also made of a fraud committee that encouraged ethical decision-making processes. A participant employed in the financial sector mentioned the importance of ethical processes and the facilitation of transparent processes, and how religious faith can play a role in this regard. Some participants confirmed the centrality of faith in the taking of decisions, and indicated, inter alia, that at management level, decision-making is based on Christian principles; and that these principles are manifested in daily decision-making processes, for example the act of praying before an appointment to a post is made. Several of the participants also drew attention to the fact that faith plays an important role in the establishment of the necessary support and interest which go hand-in-hand with integrity, as exemplified in the support of staff and clients.
From the reflections of the participants, it is clear that spirituality plays an important role. The facilitation thereof within the work environment should take place spontaneously; and the general sentiment is that fundamentalist accents are not helpful in this regard. There are also important indications that the acknowledgement of spirituality/faith in the workplace facilitates important and positive consequences within the workplace. The establishment of well-founded ethical processes and the development of personal resilience are among the postulated outcomes of healthy spirituality.
Central thematic markers that can be discerned in the respective perspectives of the participants will subsequently be put forward with a view to the further theoretical development of the concerned perspectives. This movement and development will also contribute to the architectonic development of the thoroughfare, which will bring the design to a central moment of threshold in chapter 3.
The concept of a thoroughfare refers to the way, or point of access, which is offered by the architectonic space in order to reach another space. This postulated space in the research design is the interdisciplinary dialogue between, inter alia, practical theology and futures studies. In the quest for the construction of an "ordinary theology", with the relevant accent pertaining to that which holds "significance for people in so far as it is 'meaningful' to them" (Astley 2002:68-69), an effective design (or designs) is (or are) facilitated and reflected by "changes of discourse and changes of perception" (Reader 2008:1). The development of this discourse is measured against the beacons of the contextual, instrumental and pragmatic (Viau 1999:116). In the development of the pragmatic discourse - in order to find spaces that resonate with the interdisciplinary space - I will initially make use of two central thematic markers that function as dominant factors in the answers of the participants in the project, namely the broader significance of work and the economy in the first instance, and spirituality/faith, in the second instance, as well as the possible relationship between these two concepts in terms of the meaning and significance thereof.
2.3.i Work and economy
In order to map out the terrain within which the work is to be carried out, as well as to speculate about the future nature of the workplace from the perspective of futures theory, it is important, for the purpose of clear differentiation, to describe three domains within which the economy, business and/or work take shape (Rossouw & Van Vuuren 2009:3-4): Firstly, there is the so-called macro- or systemic dimension, which points to the larger economic framework that is usually influenced, at international and national level, by political decision-making processes. Secondly, there is the so-called organisational dimension that refers, in particular, to the concerned company that functions at international or national level. Thirdly, the so-called micro- or individual dimension can be distinguished. This domain refers mainly to a concerned individual who, in a variety of ways, has a particular standing in relation to a specific company.
Measured against the emphasis on the individual biography, which is already present in the title of the research design, as well as the further emphasis that is subsequently focused on, inter alia, the meaning and significance of pastoral care, spaces are explored that are linked, in particular, to the third of the above-mentioned domains relating to the meaning of the economy/business/work, with the focus on the individual dimension. However, this choice cannot be discussed in an accountable manner if the relevant dimension is not also viewed in terms of a systemic relationship to the other meaning-related dimensions of the economy.
It is precisely in the negotiated discourse relating to the foregoing that cognisance is taken, in terms of an overview, of the meaning and significance of the so-called new economy. This "new economy" developed during the last quarter of the twentieth century, on a worldwide basis. Core concepts in the context of this economy include, inter alia, information, globalisation and networks (Reader 2008:103; Castells 2000:77). Reader (2008:103-104) expounds his understanding and interpretation of the new economy on the basis of the following three characteristics:
First it is informational in that the productivity and competitiveness of all agents in the economy (firms, regions or nations) depend upon their capacity to generate, process and apply knowledge-based information. Secondly, it is global as the core activities of production and consumption, as well as their components (capital, labour, technology, markets, etc.), are organized on a global scale. Finally it is networked because it is through networks that competition is played out on the global stage.
However, the meaning and significance of the negotiated discourse in respect of the new economy leads to the actualisation of the link between the new economy and the changing nature of work (Reader 2008:113-116). As already indicated in chapter 1, it is a given that "[w]ork, in all its forms, lies at the foundation of this concept of human existence" (Anderson 2005:13). In the accommodation of an interdisciplinary dialogue within a practical theological reconstruction in which accents from the scientific field of futures studies are important, Manuel Castells' observation is significant: "Work is, and will be for the foreseeable future, the nucleus of people's life" (Castells 2000:468).
In the endeavour to trace the "sacred" in the hermeneutics of a "lived religion" (Ganzevoort 2009b:1) in which the terrain of praxis is given pre-eminence, the challenge for this research design, in my opinion, relates to the way in which access can be secured to the current, as well as the future world of work. The domain for the possible interaction in this regard is delineated by Reader (2008:99), who points out that
[t]he boundaries between politics, economics, social and cultural values are inevitably blurred and it is only within that complexity that religious insights and critiques can play a role in the debate (Reader 2008:99).
Although Marty (2003:31) refers to the indissoluble link between the religious/spiritual nature of the human being's existence, and his or her work, Anderson (2005:11) points out that in a globalised world, "[t]he economic meaning of work becomes increasingly distant from its spiritual meaning".
In the exploration of possible spaces in the design, the objective is, precisely, to visit various possibilities ranging from the experience and expression of spirituality/faith in the workplace, to the meaning and significance thereof for the future workplace. However, there is also a need to further concretise these broad perspectives in order to also take account of the personal aspect, for example by investigating the validity of a traditional and static interpretation of one's vocation (Volf 1991:vii), within the contours of the new economy in which individuals often practise more than one profession in a lifetime (Davis & Blass 2007:39).
2.3.ii Work and spirituality
For the professional architect, there are a number of principles that play an important role in design. Principles such as orientation, topography, circulation, climate and building regulations, inter alia, play a decisive role in the design. After the visit to the terrain and the critical evaluative dialogue relating to the already-existing practical theological construction, it is important to determine the orientation of the proposed reconstruction. With this object in mind, the following story told by Ted Benson, the owner of Benson Woodworking in Alstead, New Hampshire, is significant:
On one day in October of 1988, I had an epiphany. I was standing inside our shop at about 8:15 in the morning ... I was getting a little bit heated, because some people were coming in late. Well, pretty soon there came in one fellow, and I looked at him, but I couldn't say anything. I saw ... I saw death of the human spirit on his face. The passion was gone ... It meant nothing (Anderson 2005:i).
Although, at that stage, Ted's business was prospering, he realised that the workplace had lost its meaning for him and for his employees. Pivotal to the design, and with reference to the previous chapter, the argument will be put forward that
one way to enhance the spiritual dimension of the workplace would be to nurture an attitude closer to ... approaching work itself as a way of manifesting meaning in our lives (Anderson 2005:iii).
In the exploration of the meaning of "spirituality" - a term originally derived from the Latin, "spiritus", with the emphasis on that which gives life - the following perspective of Schneiders (2005:26) is relevant:
[S]pirituality is an anthropological constant, a constitutive dimension of the humanum. Human beings are characterized by a capacity for self-transcendence toward ultimate value, whether or not they nurture this capacity or do so in religious or non-religious ways.
The design thus proceeds from the assumption that spirituality is a given that must be accounted for in the anthropological and contextual consideration of the human being. Thus, the design does not aim to theoretically explore the concept of spirituality, but rather to investigate the place and role of spirituality in the workplace, in a pragmatic manner that is in keeping with the nature of the research. It is precisely in the context of the manifestation of a "lived religion" that the occurrence of spirituality in the workplace is being investigated.
Therefore, during the literature study, I took particular note of indicators which have already provided signals, from an economic environment, articulating the meaning and role of spirituality. The meaning of spirituality can be mapped out according to the following perspectives, most of which are derived from research that was conducted as part of various MBA studies:
In respect of the already-acknowledged given factor that spirituality addresses, in particular, the holistic well-being of the individual, Honiball (2008:15) points out that "[s]pirituality is associated with general well-being including life satisfaction". In the semantic co-ordinates in terms of which spirituality is viewed as a deeply human constant which "encompass[es] questions about life's purpose, humanity's hopes and fears" (Coetzee, 2008:3), spirituality is mapped out as "that inner desire or ability of everyone to seek, know and respond to the Transcendent" (Lakey 2007:18). In his interpretation of spirituality, Honiball (2008:11), in turn, emphasises the engagement with the self and with the world, and highlights the way in which spirituality facilitates the "finding [of] a higher purpose or meaning in life". It is precisely in terms of this given factor that the emphasis on spirituality confirms that it offers a specific substructure to the life of the individual, from which positive values develop for various circumstances (Lakey 2007:49).
From the literature study, the following indicators of a contemporary spirituality within the work environment are identified in synoptic fashion by Fernando (2007:10): The denial of the proposition that rationality is the only source of knowledge; the emphasis on subjectivity and interpretation; a highly pluralistic character; the emphasis on a personal God and individualised and eclectic worship practices, as distinct from institutionalised religious practices. This individualised approach finds expression in a personal journey that is lived out on a daily basis, through the integration of world views and epistemologies that were formerly in opposition to one another.
In this investigation of how the concept of spirituality functions pragmatically within the business environment, two aspects came prominently to the fore: firstly, a distinctive description of spirituality which, in typical postmodern fashion, renounces dogmatic truths and is more interested in the facilitation of meaning; and secondly, the general recognition of the meaning and value of spirituality in the workplace.
The fact that the spiritual is a constant anthropological given, on the one hand, together with the significance thereof for the workplace, on the other, determines the agenda for the further design. Biberman and Whitty (1997:135) already pointed out, a decade ago, that:
In the postmodern future, humankind's eternal search for meaning will require not only reinventing work and the workplace but also a renewed sense of the deepest intentions behind human activity.
In terms of the assumption that in
the increased interest in the intersection between spirituality and work ... a new emerging paradigm in thinking about the world and work (Coetzee 2008:6)
is being constituted, this factor is noted, for the purposes of the design, as a future global development; and provision will naturally be made accordingly, with a view to the continuation of the interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and futures studies. In confirmation of the emphasis in the research design, Nel (2008:1) points out that
[s]pirituality in the workplace is more than just a new or passing trend to increase profits. It is fundamentally changing the nature of work.
Janse van Rensburg (2000:1-2) uses the metaphor of a painting to indicate that, in order to be feasible, paradigm, epistemology and methodology should display congruency. In the proposed interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and futures studies, with the aim of establishing the design of a reconstruction, a new paradigm of interpretation, a new epistemology of investigation and a new methodology of procedure are mapped out with accents of architectonic symmetry.
It is a given that inquiry is important, on the one hand, and that such inquiry displays a direct relationship with the choice of a paradigm, on the other hand. The contents and nature of the research question indeed determine how the search for the answer(s) will be conducted, and also how the answer(s) will be formulated. I will sketch some of the first "sounds" of the resonant formulation by focusing, inter alia, on capital and the possible multilayered interpretation of this concept, as expressed in the metaphorical notion of spiritual capital.
The contemporary interpretation of the concept "capital" can be traced back to Karl Marx's monumental, three-volume work on the political economy of the period between 1867 and 1894 (Guest 2007:183). The metaphor "capital" evokes associative networks of meaning (Judge 2008), with strong, dominant accents of financial portent (Odendal et al. 1994:494). However, as Guest (2007:183) points out, it is important to take note that
capital is not merely defined by the material in which it is embodied (for example money or commodities); rather, it has value by virtue of the fact that it is involved in a particular process, the process of producing surplus value.
The intrinsic meaning of the metaphor, "capital", is therefore important in the ultimate disclosure of the contents of the concept of "spiritual capital", and implies, inter alia, "surplus value" emanating from particular social processes.
This concept of "spiritual capital" developed from recent research on social capital (Metanexus 2008), which displays strong associative links with - and developed from - the concept of "human capital", which was already used in 1961, in the American Economic Review, by the winner of the Nobel Prize in the Economics category, Theodore W. Schultz (Malloch 2003:3). Subsequently, the concept of "social capital" has been further developed by various theoreticians during the past 50 years, such as Bourdieu and Coleman, amongst others. Currently, the name that is, in all probability, most strongly associated with the interpretation of social capital is that of Robert Putman (Guest 2007:184-185). In the exploration and unfolding of the meaning of social capital, Zohar and Marshall (2004:39) offer a meaningful perspective for the relevant design, as follows:
As opposed to mere material worth, social capital also measures the raised quality of life in a society. In the corporate world, social capital has come to mean specifically the wealth accrued by the quality of the relationships in an organization - how well people communicate, how much they trust each other and their senior executives, how they function as teams, whether the emotional intelligence of the group is high, whether there are effective networks of acquaintance and cooperation, and the like.
Wepener and Cilliers (2006:787) point out, inter alia, that despite the various existing definitions for social capital, researchers unanimously agree that the horizontal or so-called "bonding" dimension, which postulates associations between people, social networks and associated norms, must be complemented by a vertical or so-called "bridging" component that encompasses the spiritual and religious, amongst other aspects. Linked to the metaphor of economic capital that contains a strong accent on profit, however, is the assumption that, in the establishment of this creative domain of tension between profit and the spiritual, the understanding and interpretation of spiritual capital is about much more than mere economic profit. Zohar and Marshall (2004:31) are thus correct in their understanding of spiritual capital as:
... not monetary wealth, but it argues the possibility of making a profit - perhaps even more profit - by doing business in a wider context of meaning and value. It can generate profit that both draws on and adds to the wealth of the human spirit and to the general human well-being.
Precisely for this reason, the act of taking cognisance of, and further exploring, this concept of spiritual capital is an integral part of the language of the discipline of futures studies. In taking the pivotal significance of the spiritual for futures studies (Ziegler 2008:electronic source) as my point of departure, the research will thus be directed by the further investigation into the meaning of the concept of spiritual capital and the facilitation thereof for the purpose of, inter alia, seeking and finding meaning in the workplace. In this regard, I proceed from the premise that:
The study of ethical foundations of future studies includes the many empirical studies of the goals and values people hold, from leaders and experts to ordinary citizens ... It includes the construction and justification of some objective standards of value judgements by which values and goals can themselves be evaluated (Bell 1997:5).
Through the acknowledgement and consideration of the fact "that obtaining material goods only goes so far in meeting one's needs", it is clear that the quest for the meaning and facilitation of spirituality lies "beyond income for human fulfilment, meaning and purpose" (Hicks 2003:38). Added to this is the given factor that the workplace - owing to a variety of reasons, including the amount of time that people spend there, as well as the influence of the workplace on the individual's daily existence - has understandably become "the location where most people now find meaning" (Honiball 2008:3). In his study, Honiball (2008:25) goes on to point out that this search for meaning in the workplace displays a link with the rising interest in spirituality. In the concerned field of research, the focus falls on the possible meaning of spirituality, particularly in the workplace. De Witt (2005:117) points out that spirituality is a growing phenomenon, particularly in the developing world, owing to the fact that it
provides a sense of meaning and purpose in the lives of individuals experiencing alienation or an existential vacuum in an otherwise insecure world.
2.3.iv A spiritual recapitalisation?
Firstly, on the basis of the Reflection compiled from the answers of the co-researchers, it is clear, on the one hand, that spirituality (and not so much religion, as such) is a given that must be taken into account in the workplace; and on the other hand, that spirituality can also facilitate the attribution of meaning, as well as the development and establishment of ethical decision-making. These perspectives are indeed also confirmed by accents from the literature study. Thus, Hicks (2003:62) points out, inter alia, that "more work is needed to develop the parameters for inclusion of spirituality ... in the workplace".
Secondly, in the accommodation and facilitation of spirituality in the workplace, it also appears, from the perspectives of the participants, that the nature of the workplace has changed dramatically. In the so-called new economy (Reader 2008:103-104), the focus falls, in particular, on the addressing of a holistic understanding of the individual in a globalised system or network(s) of life (Louw 2000:46; Taylor 2008:77; Niemandt 2009:627-628). On the basis of this weighing up and reviewing of the meaning of the so-called new economy, Osmer (2008:17) points out that, since practical theological interpretation is contextual in nature, it "thinks in terms of interconnections, relationships, and systems."
The co-participants also indicated, thirdly, that ethically empowered individuals and organisations are being earnestly sought after. Ironically enough, this quest is the outflow of a market-driven capitalistic economy in which, despite financial success,
there is a decrease of loyalty to the business, a loss of informal trust (social capital) between the staff, and indeed a weakening of the institutional knowledge ... This may have a direct impact upon the well being of the employees (Reader 2008:107).
The addressing and handling of this challenge will indeed require further attention, particularly in view of the fact that "[a]nother concept that is closely intertwined with spirituality is ethics" (Honiball 2008:13). Indeed, this ties in well with one of the "15 Global Challenges" identified as part of the Millennium Project, namely: "How can the capacity to decide be improved as the nature of work and institutions change (sic)?" (Glenn, Gordon & Florescu 2008:12-41). In the quest for perspectives relating to these challenges, a "practical theological hermeneutics of meaning interpretation" (cf. Cilliers 2009a:635) is given utterance.
As part of the indicated research agenda, it is anticipated that it will be possible to carry out further construction on these threefold, but interwoven, aspects - with a certain amount of diffidence - within an interdisciplinary dialogue, in order to arrive at a possible spiritual recapitalisation of the workplace. The emphasis falls on a modest and tentative approach, bearing the stamp of Ganzevoort's assertion that:
Mijn opvatting van praktische teologie als hermeneutiek van de geleefde religie heeft een zekere bescheidenheid in zich. Ik geef namelijk voorrang aan de praxis zelf en aan de kennis over God die daar ontwikkeld, gevonden en geleefde wordt (Ganzevoort 2006:161-162).
It is precisely in the context of this praxis of the workplace that, for the purposes of the article, I now refer to the metaphor of recapitalisation, as put forward by Taylor (2008). In his elucidation of the meaning of the concept, recapitalisation - a term originally coined by Douglas Rushkoff (1996:221-240) - the following important factor is emphasised by Taylor (2008:185-186):
Recapitalisation, however, is neither the abandonment of orthodoxy nor the rejection of a heritage with its classic expressions of faith. It is not even a denial of the accomplishments and expansions of the church in modernity. Rather, it is the seeking of a return of the gospel in the new situation.
Recapitalisation thus presupposes that a previous interpretation of capital has become outdated, but that the relevant interpretation can be imbued with new content accents. By way of background information, and also in further motivation of the consideration of the concept of recapitalisation as a suitable metaphor for the reconstruction of relevant practical theological perspectives for the workplace, the research agenda is further expanded through a consideration of the contents, role and significance of the shaping of human values and objectives, as articulated, inter alia, in the concept of "spiritual capital" (Zohar & Marshall 2004:31; Guest 2007:181). In the associated domain of meaning that is construed by the metaphor, "capital" (Guest 2007:183-184), a terrain is portrayed in which business is conducted "in a wider context of meaning and value", and where such an approach to business
can generate profit that both draws on and adds to the wealth of the human spirit and to the general human well-being (Zohar & Marshall 2004:31).
Thus, in the metaphor of recapitalisation, some of these newer accents are nuanced for the workplace, on the one hand - especially when these accents are considered in terms of the recovery from a recent world-wide economic crisis and the concomitant questions regarding the deficiencies of a capitalist system. On the other hand, the concept of recapitalisation indeed points to the reconstruction of specific practical theological co-ordinates for the workplace, in terms of which
[d]oing theology in the present situation means recapitulating the radical break ... with the emergence of the post-modern, and the facilitation of the return of God (Taylor 2008:193).
It has been argued that, in order to achieve this, it is not necessarily imperative to take leave of the clerical and ecclesiological contexts and backgrounds that inform practical theology; but that it is, in fact, necessary to reconstitute these contexts with a view to the needs of society (Cilliers 2009a:635). Miller's (2007:12) challenge, namely to offer a space within which - in view of the growing influence of the economic sphere on human beings - the quest of employers and employees for a relevant spirituality in the workplace can be realised, is then addressed in the development and description of a "lived religion". In order to sound out the foregoing theoretical perspectives against the insights of co-researchers from the respective discussion groups, the following perspectives from Groups 1 and 2 are put forward:
• Group 1: Should religious faith merely be acknowledged as a given in the workplace, or would you say that it should be actively managed, for example as part of a personnel wellness programme?
Participants pointed out that the answer to this question would be influenced by the nature of the concerned enterprise, amongst other factors. However, all of the participants confirmed the importance of the availability, either of spiritual guidance to colleagues and/or employees, and/or of opportunities for the presentation of spiritual gatherings. Nevertheless, participants also emphasised that the utilisation of such opportunities for guidance, and the attendance of such meetings, should take place on a voluntary basis, and that the management of different religious orientations in the workplace poses significant challenges to a particular personnel wellness programme. However, participants also stressed that such programmes should not be artificially contrived, and that the character thereof should be visibly reflected in everyday management. One participant also placed a premium on the need to ensure that the accommodation of such programmes would not have a detrimental effect on the work ethos of the enterprise.
• Group 2: Should spirituality merely be acknowledged as a given in the workplace, or would you say that it should be actively managed, for example as part of a personnel wellness programme?
Participants agreed that a fundamentalist and/or rigid type of spirituality would not be likely to be promoted. Rather, what is envisaged is a more spontaneous facilitation of spirituality, where the focus falls on one's approach to life and to one's work. Some of the participants pointed out that, in such a case, spontaneous development would possibly occur within this space, in which individuals would be able to organise themselves in accordance with specific activities. Some participants were of the opinion that the question contained an unnecessary assumption that spirituality should be included in a peripheral context in a wellness programme. Personnel managers and persons who deal with the welfare of staff should rather be trained to appreciate the importance of spirituality in people's lives, and to facilitate a space within which people can lead integral lives - including in the workplace. What should then be managed and facilitated, is not the experience of meaning, but rather, opportunities for bringing meaning back to the workplace. If it is appropriate, the inclusion of spirituality as part of an overall wellness programme is not problematical, according to participants. In conclusion, one of the participants asked the following pertinent question: Since gymnasiums are built for physical health in the workplace, why not also create spaces for meditation, with a view to spiritual health?
It would appear that the co-researchers unanimously agree that the facilitation of spirituality/religious faith in the workplace should display a spontaneous character that is confirmed by the integrity of the concerned practice. Thus, it is not the experience of meaning that should be managed and facilitated, but rather, opportunities to bring meaning back to the workplace. The accommodation of these activities can be developed on a non-coercive basis, and with a view to the further support of the particular character of the concerned organisation.
2.3.v Step 2
From the foregoing perspective, it can be inferred that a need exists for a design that addresses the development of the facilitation of spirituality in the modern-day workplace - but also in the workplace of the future. The challenge, then, is to ensure that the space that facilitates the design will answer to this need. Therefore, in this research design, and in taking account of the meaning and role of spirituality in the workplace of the present day, but also that of the future, I propose the concept of a recapitalisation of the workplace. The subsequent threshold movement in chapter 3, as the last moment resorting under the centre of the research, is placed within the domain of transversality, with further indications as to how it can be facilitated for the benefit of the field of study.
CHAPTER 3 - THRESHOLD
From an architectonic perspective, a threshold facilitates an important transition. Norberg-Schulz (2000:144) defines a threshold as "that which we cross", and as "a separatory transition". The threshold, as a metaphor of liminality - denoting "a highly creative phase or space, where the combination of new forms and relations is possible" (Cilliers 2009b:169) - comprises part of the development of the space for the interdisciplinary dialogue, and is located at the centre thereof. This facilitation entails the differentiation and acknowledgement of different spaces, in which the crossing over and entry into a new dimension also takes place. The underlying premise and meaning of all this, for the purposes of this design, is that, on the one hand, traditional boundaries have become blurred as a result of, inter alia, the influence of postmodernity and globalisation; and on the other, that the entry into the new space can be linked to the construction of a relevant and meaningful identity (Reader 2008:24). In the construction of this space, the continual circular movement between the personal and the general is discovered, in which, through the meaning and significance of liminality, arising from "newly fused horizons of understanding" (Gerkin 1986:101), a domain of experience is created, which "bridges the internal, subjective world of an individual with reality as it is experienced by the external, objective community" (Griffith & Griffith 2002:25).
Hames (2007:303) points out, however, that
for this to be a realistic proposition, new mental models must be created to enable the possibility of transformation. This requires processes that are able to challenge the status quo, transform current thinking and practices, and legitimise new paradigms.
In the concerned chapter, this action takes shape on the basis of three movements comprising, firstly, contrast; secondly, connection; and thirdly, transition. In view of the fact that the meaning of the central two chapters is intrinsic to the core of meaning of the research, the chapters in question resort under the centre, and serve the purpose of the further development of the proposed interdisciplinary model.
Even in the art of architecture, there are two extreme ways in which encounter takes place: through dialogue or through confrontation (Day 2004:83). The design that is embodied in the research comprises an argument in favour of the creation of spaces for dialogue, even although the liminality that is created by the "threshold" metaphor reflects experiences of emptiness and fullness; of absence and presence (Cilliers 2009b:169). However, this embracing of the complexity of paradox comprises, precisely, a part of the delineation of the research design. In the positive negotiated discourse that is conducted in this regard - which also includes an embracing of the complexity of the future (Hames 2007) - space is left open for the "power of positive uncertainty" (Gelatt 1993), which is indeed also mapped out as a characteristic of the future workplace (Davis & Blass 2007:39). The character of both practical theology and futures studies offers space for the accommodation of this perspective, thereby affirming a disposition that "seeks critically to complexify and explore situations" (Swinton & Mowat 2006:13).
It is, ironically enough, in the embracing of seemingly paradoxical contrasts with an attitude of "positive uncertainty", that new potential spaces can be entered. It is a given that new and deeper meaning can often be found in contrast. Therefore, spatiality is distinguished on the basis of, inter alia, borders and boundaries that presuppose a specific contrast. On the basis of the respective categories of darkness and light, I will now proceed to contrast specific accents, in order to further increase the spatiality of the interdisciplinary design. Regarding the choice and pointing out of particular contrasts, I have recourse to the designated domain of work, as well as dialogue partners in the research; and I will therefore follow the funnel-like motion of a general orientation in practical theology and futures studies, in the quest for meaning in terms of what is most personal.
Thus far, the lines of the design that have been mapped out in the research, in the description of the individual and the world, have been inspired by the dominant influence of the workplace. Not only does this testify to an economic dispensation, but the world of work also proportionally represents the largest component of the average person's day and life. The fact that work exercises a totalitarian power over multitudes of individuals is confirmed by Reader (2008:13), who points out that large numbers of people are trapped in a system of work in which increasing pressure is placed on them to meet all the demands made on them, often at the expense of their families - not to mention the cost in terms of a possible decreased involvement in church activities. Reader (2008:14) rightfully observes that:
Even the lives of the relatively affluent are determined by the requirements of the market: there are mortgages to be paid and children to be sent to the best schools so that they have a competitive edge in a hostile employment market determined by global economics.
In my view, therefore, the pressing need for an inquiry into the relationship between work, the economy and human well-being is self-evident. However, it is important to point out, at this juncture, that - in contrast to the customary focus of a practical theological involvement (Ganzevoort 2009b:9) - the domain of the study does not lie in obvious negative symptoms of economic systems such as, for example, child labour, unemployment and other such factors (in respect of which practical theology does, indeed, also have a contribution to make). Rather, the focus falls more particularly on investigating the link between the possible positive value of the world of work within a particular economic system, and the way in which it could contribute to the general well-being of humanity.
For some time now, research has indicated that the economy - which is defined in broad terms as the system(s) according to which production, trade and business are operated and controlled, inter alia (Odendaal et al. 1994:189) - has a direct influence on the well-being of the human psyche (Cushman 1990; Koslowski 2006). However, it is striking - and also enlightening - that research also indicates that, although "[o]ur economic welfare is forever rising ... we are not happier as a result"; and that "there is no relationship between personal wealth and happiness" (Furnham 2003:259). It is indeed disturbing that research results quoted by Seligman (2002:117) confirm that although a rise in material prosperity has occurred during the past 40 years, "in every wealthy country on the globe, there has been a startling increase in depression" (Seligman 2002:117).
It is thus clear, on the basis of recognised research, that despite a forward-moving, progressive and energetic economy, personal happiness and welfare are not guaranteed. A significant factor in the description of an economy of unhappiness is the syndrome of the so-called "empty self" - a term coined by Cushman (1990:604). According to Cushman, possible different "packagings" or "wrappers" encasing the "empty self" are manifested in various ways. Of these,
chronic consumerism (the compulsion to fill the emptiness with consumer items and the experience of 'receiving' something from the world)", and "an absence of personal meaning, [which] can manifest as a hunger for spiritual guidance, which sometimes takes the form of a wish to be filled up by the spirit of God" (Cushman 1990:604),
comprise the most important markers for the purposes of the design.
Research suggests that the "empty self", as a product of the present-day economy, which is "rapidly changing from a money economy to a satisfaction economy ... in favour of personal satisfaction" (Seligman 2002:165), has traditionally been approached and handled in different ways. It is clear that the by-products that have developed from the construing of the "empty self" have led to a relatively negative description of human behaviour, which is embodied, inter alia, in the distinction between that which is normal and that which is abnormal. Typical of the use of such negative language and descriptions, is the traditional DSM model (Sadock & Sadock 2003), which "shaped psychiatry, clinical psychology and social work by providing a way to speak about the negative" (Peterson & Seligman 2004:5), in the standardisation of a number of "operational definitions of a handful of psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia and manic depression" (Peterson & Seligman 2004:8).
Even in the pastoral context, it is notable that the way in which pastoral care is designed is closely linked to three problematic areas of human existence, which presuppose a specific anthropology with distinctly negative accents, namely (i) human anxiety relating to isolation, rejection and death; (ii) the struggle involved in dealing with guilt and guilt feelings; and (iii) the experience of despair and meaninglessness (Louw 1999a:2). As already confirmed - inter alia, by research - it is indeed of vital importance that these perspectives should still be accommodated, on a constant basis, within specific spaces. However, the research also aims to put forward the perspective that, on the one hand, other accents can indeed also be formulated, which were not so clearly emphasised in the past; and that in the further development of these perspectives, new spaces for meaning can be created, on the other hand. In the articulation hereof, and in contrast to the perspective of darkness, I make use of the metaphor of light.
If it is argued that both practical theology and futures studies are aimed at the salvation and well-being of humankind, in the broadest terms, then it is a given that, in order to engage in a well-founded negotiated discourse in respect of the foregoing factors, further research is necessary.
In the search for alternatives during the research, the focus subsequently fell on the traditional way in which the so-called "empty self" was handled, followed by - as an alternative - a focus on the discovery of the so-called 65% barrier, and the exploration of possible ways to break this barrier. Despite the valid and generally acceptable "lenses" that have been applied in the endeavour to address the problem of the "empty self", research has shown that psychotherapy and biological psychiatry - despite the administration of medication - only display a success rate of 65% (Seligman 2006:231). In addition to this, if it is taken into consideration that the focus often falls on the minimisation technique, namely "to dispense drugs or psychological interventions which make people less anxious, less angry, or less depressed" (Seligman 2006:231), it becomes clear that the cost of the traditional methods of offering assistance in this regard is calculated in terms of a relatively negative view of human nature, with a strong focus on pathology. If it is further taken into account that the most important research findings of the last quarter of the 20th century confirm that most personality traits are highly genetic and hereditary, it is obvious why the "65% barrier" is a reality. Seligman rightly asks, in this regard:
So what posture follows from this, which is one of the causes of the 65% barrier, from the likelihood that depression, anxiety, and anger stem from heritable personality traits that can only be ameliorated but not wholly eliminated? (Seligman 2006:231).
Indeed, to sum up, it can thus be said that although certain mechanisms exist within the economy of human action, such as, inter alia, specific scientifically motivated criteria and language, which are aimed at answering the question as to what is wrong with people, the success rate displays only a 65% barrier in the handling and treatment of the problems that are identified by means of these mechanisms. The challenge pertaining to the development of a so-called economy of happiness thus lies in the pursuit of empirical research in order to arrive at a possible description of what is right with people, with a view to the possible breaking of the 65% barrier. Therefore, the focus shifts from the description and measurement of what is wrong with people, to a scientific inquiry aimed at establishing "what is right with people". The benefit of the research in the domain of practical theology and futures studies would then lie, inter alia, in overcoming the problem of the so-called "zombie categories". This term is used "as a way of pointing to the continued employment of concepts that no longer do justice to the world we experience" (Reader 2008:1). Overcoming this problem would help to facilitate new vistas of meaning for, inter alia, spirituality and its relevance for the workplace and the individual. It is precisely in the facilitation thereof that the possibility arises for the construction of new relevant spaces for the expression of a "lived religion".
During the course of the research, I realised that the dialogical group that I had identified at the beginning of the research, which was comprised respectively of Group 1 (professionally qualified theologians who are currently serving in managerial posts in a business environment), and Group 2 (believers occupying executive posts in the business world), could be further augmented by a third group of voices. In the period during which I was engaged in the research, I came into contact with a so-called "life coach". This person had a professional theological qualification, but no longer operated within the traditional work domain that is usually associated with a minister of religion. His work domain had been mapped out within the Monday-to-Friday work environment, in which he offered guidance for everyday living to executive officials of different companies, in a professional environment. After several discussions with this person, during which he explained his work to me, and I, in turn, told him about my own research, he assisted me in the compilation of a number of questions, and also furnished me with the names of other life coaches who, like himself, had formerly been full-time ministers, but were currently serving as life coaches in various parts of South Africa. On the grounds of the evolutionary and open-ended character of the design, as explained earlier on in the research, I resolved to once again make use of the work method involving the sending out of e-mail communications, with a view to the further consolidation of the method. Accordingly, specific questions arising from the original personal dialogues, along with the usual covering letter, were sent out to the identified participants. For the sake of the completeness of the process, the questions that were sent to these new participants are listed below:
Questions to Group 3
1. What made you decide to become a life coach? What kind of life coaching are you currently involved in?
2. What aspects of the model of coaching initially made an impression on you?
3. How does coaching differ from the traditional pastoral model in terms of which you received your training?
4. What contribution does positive psychology make to life coaching, in your opinion?
5. What role do you think life coaches could play in respect of the facilitation of spirituality in the workplace?
6. Do you have any suggestions, based on your current practice, for the training of theological students?
7. Do you think that the foregoing questions are the relevant ones that need to be asked at this point in time? Are there any questions which, in your opinion, should be asked as part of the dialogue, and if so, what would you say the answers to those questions would be, and/or what perspective(s) would you like to put forward in respect thereof?
As in the case of the earlier administration of the questions to the other participants, the completed answers that were received back from the participants, on or before the deadline, were anonymously processed and compiled by myself into composite answers, which were then sent back to the participants for any changes or additions. As in the case of the other two participating groups, the answer confirming that these questions, as originally construed during a personal dialogue, are indeed the relevant ones, is presented first, as follows:
• Do you think that these are the relevant questions that currently need to be asked, at this point in time, in respect of the theme? Are there any questions which, in your opinion, should be asked as part of the dialogue, and if so, what would you say the answers to these questions would be, and/or what perspectives would you like to put forward in respect thereof?
From their perspective, participants agreed that the questions are indeed relevant. One participant posed the following question: How can the church, at the forefront of recent developments such as life coaching, make a contribution to the dialogue, and derive value from new developments? The concerned participant formulated a perspective on this question, as follows: New developments usually address neglected needs. The question as to what these needs are, could culminate in answers that might enable the community of believers to address the needs of members in a unique manner.
There is a strong accent pertaining to the need for new, relevant and positive development. This perspective articulates well with the theoretical perspectives from the interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and futures studies that have been put forward, up to this point. To sum up, the following question posed by a participant can be considered: How can the church, at the forefront of recent developments such as life coaching, make a contribution to the dialogue and derive benefit from new developments? There is an inbuilt sensitivity in this question, which can be neatly aligned with a particular perspective from the field of futures studies, namely that an ever-present danger indeed lies in the fact that new developments usually address (neglected) needs. In order to avoid this identified danger, it is essential, in my opinion, to enter into dialogue with precisely such a discussion group as that of the life coaches, in order to take cognisance of possible alternative perspectives.
Indeed, from the comments made by the co-researchers from Group 3, it appeared that the inquiry was highly appropriate within the spaces of the design, in which the focus falls on meaningful new developments that facilitate sustainability, from the respective perspectives of practical theology and futures studies. As indicated earlier on, the addition of voices has not been incorporated chronologically into the documentation of the research. Rather, these voices are included, in an interwoven form, as part of the narrative genre of presentation. On the basis of the search for future(s) perspectives, I will now once again call upon Group 3 (the life coaches) to speak:
• How does life coaching differ from the traditional pastoral model in terms of which you received your training?
Participants indicated that during their professional training, their exposure to pastoral models was based on so-called kerygmatic perspectives with a strongly confrontational character, on the one hand, and therapeutic perspectives, on the other. In contrast, the life coaching model is facilitative in nature, and the focus thus falls on developmental aspects, as well as on the realisation of potential.
Although I myself received my own undergraduate, as well as postgraduate pastoral theological training within the hermeneutical model, with a strong emphasis on the narrative approach, and although I currently also teach students within the framework of this model, I still find it problematical when I see how difficult it is for students and colleagues to move away from the kerygmatic model towards the hermeneutic model, and how this often leads to distinctly confrontational accents with little or no meaning for the workplace. Van Huyssteen (2009:54) rightly points out that
all our radically contextual experiences have a deep hermeneutical dimension precisely because we relate cognitively to the world, and to one another, in terms of interpreted experience.
Indeed, the essential issue and challenge in this regard are reflected in the question as to how the development of this "deep hermeneutical dimension" should be facilitated, in order to avoid falling into so-called "zombie categories", and to focus, instead, on development and the realisation of potential.
During the twentieth century, pastoral care displayed certain evolutionary developments. A kerygmatic phase, a therapeutic phase and - as from the seventies - a new, hermeneutical phase, with theology and therapy exhibiting a bipolar relationship to one another, can be distinguished (Foskett & Lyall 1988:49-50; Scholtz 2005:141). In this development in the formulation of pastoral theory, various paradigmatic movements can be discerned (Müller 1996:7-17; Louw 1999a:23-29; Louw 2005b:7-9). Firstly, there was a movement away from a one-sided model focusing on the proclamation of the gospel, towards a participatory pastoral model in terms of which the pastor is instrumental in guiding people towards the discovery of God's involvement in their lives. The consideration of context, and a shifting away from the one-sided professional approach, towards the mutual endeavour of caring for believers, were reflected in this movement. A subsequent movement entailed a shift from a therapeutic to a hermeneutically oriented pastoral model, with the emphasis on
the endeavour to read, understand and interpret texts within contexts. Hermeneutics underlined anew the importance of our human quest for meaning ... (and) the importance of compassion: the dimension of pathos in theology (Louw 2003:54).
In the therapeutic approach to pastoral care, a great deal of emphasis was placed on insights from psychology, whereas the hermeneutical pastoral approach focuses less on finding explanations for problems, and more on understanding and elucidating these problems. For example, the narrative pastoral approach seeks for signs of God's presence in the narratives of human beings.
However, further to the theme of the spiritual, and on the basis of an ongoing literature study during which it became clear, inter alia, that "more work is needed to develop the parameters for inclusion of spirituality and religion in the workplace" (Hicks 2003:62), it would appear that apart from a few theological inquiries, not very much research has been conducted in respect of the negotiated discourse concerning pastoral care, in terms of the meaning of spirituality for a positive orientation to the workplace.
It has been pointed out that the quest for financial success as an outcome of economic activity does not comprise a guarantee of happiness. On the contrary, and in the light of the unfavourable economic climate in which the world currently finds itself, as well as the concomitant high incidence of economic crime, amongst other factors, it often leads to a problem-driven description of the individual and the company. In emphasising the fact that futures studies are aimed at rendering an innovative and new contribution to the positive development of the world, it has been pointed out how the so-called transcendent or spiritual aspects of human existence within the study domain can make a contribution in this regard. Proceeding from the given factor that the scientific domain of futures studies takes account of the fact that
[t]ransformation and evolution efforts can contribute to the challenge of developing new economic practices that will make living possible for all - including future generations (Prinsloo 2002:118),
the challenge for a relevant practical theology indeed lies in arriving at a description and definition of this (future) "lived religion".
The architectonic accent of connection suggests that a threshold not only implies a distinction and contrast, but that it also facilitates connection. I will now illustrate this connection by referring, precisely, to the concept of transversality as a proposed interdisciplinary space within which the construction of the dialogue between practical theology and futures studies, inter alia, takes shape. It is also in this very search for connection that - in the discovery of the architectonic principle that "[t]he simplest conversation between windows and ceiling shape is when they reflect each other's shape" (Day 2004:100) - the construction of a possible theologia habitus proceeds.
3.2.i Models for interdisciplinary dialogue in practical theology ... with futures studies?
In the shift towards a more localised and concrete description of possible ways in which this work method, involving transversal rationality, can be embodied, with particular significance for the concerned research design, various possible models for the facilitation of the interdisciplinary dialogue in practical theology are taken into account.
In the mapping out and discussion of possible models - or, in terms of the pivotal metaphor of architecture, possible styles - for interdisciplinary dialogue, I will now refer to Osmer's (2006:339-342) exposition of this subject, according to which three possible models for interdisciplinary dialogue in practical theology are distinguished, namely the correlational approach, the transformational approach and the transversal approach.
In the correlational approach, which features in the work of Browning, Van der Ven and Fowler, amongst others, theology is viewed as "standing in a mutually influential relationship to the intellectual resources and/or emancipatory praxis of culture" (Osmer 2006:339). One example of this can be seen when practical theologians make use of the insights and methodologies of the human sciences.
According to the so-called transformation model, of which Hunsinger and Loder, amongst others, are exponents, the practical theologian
must thus become bilingual (or perhaps multilingual if engaging psychology, social science, biology, neuroscience, physics, and so forth), allowing the social sciences to have their say about social reality while retaining the distinctive language and disciplinary perspective of theology (Osmer 2006:340).
The person and capacity of the practical theologian play an important role in the accommodation and facilitation of the relevant perspectives.
The third possible model for the accommodation of the interdisciplinary dialogue is found within the transversal approach, in which generalised statements regarding the relationship between theology and science, inter alia, are avoided. In their place is
a more local or concrete account of the ways particular perspectives and persons intersect one another, overlapping in some ways and diverging in others (Osmer 2006:341).
It is clear that, measured against the contents of this design, the third possibility of interdisciplinary dialogue would be likely to accommodate the discourse between practical theology and futures studies in the best possible manner. In order to provide an indication of how the model of transversal rationality accommodates the perspectives of the design, a more detailed description of this model will now be provided.
3.2.ii Transversal rationality
In the research, I subscribe to "a postfoundational practical theological" interpretation, as described by Müller (2005:72-88), following the example of Wentzel J van Huyssteen (1998; 1999; 2006) and Calvin O Schrag (1992; 1997). A "postfoundational" practical theological interpretation is characterised by a movement away from either a rigid "foundationalist" stance, or a relative, "anti-foundationalist" stance, towards a "post-foundationalist" standpoint, with the focus on, inter alia, "plausible forms of interdisciplinary dialogue" (Demasure & Müller 2006:418). One of the advantages of this approach is the respect that it displays for the essential relationship between science and theology. It is important to point out that this dialogue, which has been presented in an expanded form in the design, through the particular emphasis on the dialogue between practical theology and the scientific field of futures studies, is conducted between equal partners on a dialogical basis. Naturally, this calls for reflection on the work method in terms of which the perspectives will come into their own.
With regard to a possible methodology for such a study, so-called "transversal rationality" - as described by Schrag (1997:134) and Van Huyssteen (1999:135-136), amongst others - indeed offers possibilities relating to the construing of such a dialogue. In fact, this methodology can be described as an epistemological adventure. Stone (2006:1146) explains the meaning of "transversal rationality" as follows:
Transversality is a mathematical metaphor. A transverse line cuts across two or more geometric figures. It is to be thought of as between the universality of an infinite line and the specific location of a line segment. The metaphor refers to a specific conversation between disciplines, in between universal rationality and incommensurability. It is a reaction against both methodological imperialism and isolated language games and does this by resting on overlapping concerns.
In the first movement of "transversal rationality", namely "evaluative critique", the importance of exercising "critical discernment" is emphasised, and the activity of "separating, sorting out, distinguishing, contrasting, weighing, and assessing ... our different options" (Van Huyssteen 1999:137) is conducted. Up to this point in the research, an accent has been articulated in order to point out the danger that a dominant emphasis may be placed on the pathological aspect within isolated contexts, with a consequent underestimation of possible positive semantic accents - not only in respect of the personal, but also of the general aspect, as embodied in the workplace, inter alia.
In the visiting of the respective scientific fields of practical theology and futures studies, together with accents from the (auto)biographical domain that are reflected in the design, spaces were mapped out in order to accommodate various possibilities.
In the second movement of "transversal rationality", the emphasis falls on "engaged articulation", in which rationality is directly linked to the act of listening to various discourses, "rendering an account, giving the best possible reasons and ... articulating sense [and] meaning" (Van Huyssteen 1999:137). Up to this point, the sketching of the interdisciplinary dialogue has developed on the basis of the evolutionary meaning and significance of the metaphor of architecture, with the four postulated movements that are respectively referred to as the terrain, path, threshold and arrival.
The third movement of "transversal rationality" is found in the moment of "(incursive) disclosure", which can be explained as "a postulate of reference, a claim for reality that brings us out of the 'closure' of the isolated subject" (Van Huyssteen 1999:138). The research that is constructed in the design is aimed, precisely, at crossing existing thresholds of meaning and, consequently, at construing new spaces and dimensions of meaning. The new meaning is demonstrated, for example, in the accentuation of a more positive emphasis, which is further developed in chapter 4 in the discussion of the movement of destination, in which the concept of a memory for the future is mapped out, inter alia.
This epistemological and methodological emphasis of "transversal rationality", as described above, is embodied in an ongoing process, in which a movement of action and reflection on action takes place (Foskett & Lyall 1988:8; Ward 2005:3), in order to facilitate a "thick description ... when various perspectives are entertained" (Demasure & Müller 2006:418). The movement of practice-theory-practice, as an illustration of this process, is not strange or unusual in the context of, inter alia, accents in hermeneutical development in practical theology (Browning 1991:34; Gerkin 1986:54; Müller 1996:4-5; Viau 1999:86-89). It is within this movement that "transversal/postfoundationalist rationality" thus
enables us to shuttle in the space between modernity and postmodernity: the space of interpreted experience and communicative praxis which enables praxial critique, articulation, and disclosure (Van Huyssteen 1999:139).
This proposed construction offers vistas within which it becomes possible, "[r]ather than talk about 'theology and science' in a generic, abstract sense", to "focus on the merits of a concrete interdisciplinary problem in terms of specific sciences and specific theological writers and issues" (Stone 2006:1146).
It is thus clear that, on the basis of this work method, an expectation indeed arises that a specific matter or topic may be identified within a particular contextual indication, with which it will be possible to enter into a dialogue arising from the interdisciplinary discourse.
In the last chapter of the research design, the focus will fall, inter alia, on how a movement can be effectuated from the proposed interdisciplinary dialogue towards a space offering
a more local or concrete account of the ways particular perspectives and persons intersect one another, overlapping in some ways and diverging in others (Osmer 2006:341).
In order to facilitate a transition, it is necessary to reflect on the possible development of a theologia habitus, in terms of the central significance of the concept of a "lived religion" for the meaning of religious faith/spirituality in the workplace. In the development of a theologia habitus, the ongoing search is embodied in such a way that the design will not merely remain an academic exercise, but will contribute to the establishment of positive and accountable practices relating to one's faith.
The construing and description of the discourse between practical theology and futures studies in search of a visionary social embodiment will subsequently be described, as a theologia habitus for the future workplace. The perspectives that have thus far been mapped out in the research design are, in many respects - both implicitly and explicitly - fundamental to the proposal of a theologia habitus.
3.3.i Atheologia habitus?
In the development of a theology that takes the Scriptures and the tradition seriously, but which is also sensitive to the meaning of the context, it is important to remember that "[t]heology is not a noun; it is a verb" (Hendriks 2004:24). This interpretation of theology does not imply, in the first instance, something that requires theorisation, but rather something that calls for embodiment. The application of such a theology requires a praxis that is actually put into practice or exercised, and which does not simply remain in suspension as a mere theory, but which is embodied in the lives of people (Kellerman 2000:27). In this regard, Groome (1994:224) writes:
A praxis epistemology and approach to doing theology is emerging as what may prove to be a new paradigm in theological method ... The key point here is that theology is primarily something that is done. It is Christian praxis first and then the articulation of the consciousness that arises from this praxis is theology.
In the development of a "doing theology", the changing postmodern situation calls for, on the one hand, a reduced emphasis on the importance of methodology, and on the other, the formulation of guidelines for the accountable and meaningful use of the concerned methodology (Striver 2003:171). The concept of involvement plays an important role in the development of this theology.
The emphasis on involvement not only reflects a theological truth, but also paves the way for a methodological development of a so-called "doing theology". The concept of participation adds a methodological emphasis in terms of which "depth through togetherness" (Pembroke 2002:14) is postulated. Decades ago already, the philosopher Gabriel Marcel helped to explore the richness of the concept, "involvement", by contrasting it with the notion of an "onlooker" or "spectator" (Marcel 1963:23). In terms of Marcel's philosophy, the discovery is made that:
What one brings to a genuine encounter is not first and foremost an ensemble of communication techniques but one's self and, to be more precise, the depth one has to share. The depth in oneself develops through a whole-hearted engagement with others, with life, with God (Pembroke 2002:13).
In the articulation of the meaning of participation or involvement for Christian theology, what is implied, inter alia, is that the cross is the image f/she belongs to Christ; but it also constitutes the foundation of the Christian's involvement with human beings in distress. The challenge thus lies in manifesting this new relationship that has been created through the cross of Christ, in the exercising and actualisation of one's own theological practice. Thus, the realisation of this objective in the methodology and outcomes of theological training is evidently important.
In his article, "Waarheen met de praktische theologie?", Ganzevoort (2007:20) inquires into the nature and future of the subject as a "theory born of crisis", or "crisis discipline", as it is referred to by Heitink and others. Ganzevoort uses this term to highlight the nature of the subject, which reflects on the crisis of the church in modern times, while also confirming the fact that the subject itself plays an important role in the crisis. The designation, "practical theology", indeed contributes to the reflection on the character, nature and meaning of this subject. Thus, for example, Pattison and Woodward (2000:1) point out that "[p]astoral theology is an older term than practical theology".
Further to the above, and in the South African contextual framework, Dreyer (2010:1) recently conducted an inquiry focusing on the destination of practical theologians in South Africa, not only in terms of their own identity, but also with specific reference to the question as to whether practical theologians fulfil a meaningful role in society.
In respect of the crisis, Osmer (2006:327) points out (and I agree, on the basis of the design) that this crisis has arisen from the context of the modern research university which, in terms of the encyclopaedic model of theology, has allocated to practical theology the specific task of
forming 'theories of practice' which [include] 'rules of art' (open-ended guidelines about how to carry out some form of teaching, preaching, or care).
Gradually, however - as already indicated in this design - the paradigm of interpretation began to display particular developments, with the result that accents other than those relating to the praxis of the clergy (clerical paradigm) or the congregational praxis (ecclesiological paradigm) are now included, such as the study of religious praxis in the community, resulting in the establishment of a social paradigm (Dreyer 2007:45). As pointed out, it is precisely with a view to mapping out the domain of the social manifestation of faith in the workplace, that the meaning of practical theology carries special significance. This orientation ties in well with Dreyer's reference to the development of a so-called "public practical theology" which postulates, inter alia,
that practical theologians engage with other academic disciplines in order to understand the psychological, social, cultural, economic, legal and political factors at work in religious praxis (Dreyer 2007:46-47).
The concept of that which is public is further developed through a reference to the meaning of the concept, "habitus", as the way of life of a human being, as well as the contents of that life. In order to meet the challenge, and on the grounds of the meaning and importance of a more comprehensive and integrated transversal rationality, as already explained above, an architectonic balance may possibly be found in the indicated fact that research in this context, as a form of practical wisdom in which the stories of people and communities are cherished, is doing away with clinical hypotheses, in favour of an approach that is more interested in "firstly understand[ing] the habitus, which refers to a kind of practical knowledge within which human social action ... constructs culture - a synthesis of structure and agency" (Müller, Van Deventer & Human 2001:76-96). It is under these conditions that, in collaboration with co-researchers, it becomes possible - within the existing workplace, as well as the future workplace - to proceed with the construction of a new habitus which is theologically interpreted in order to
transform a homogeneous interpretation of common humanity and fellow-feeling (in a globalised world) ... into a redistribution of the unique otherness and potential of human beings. This redistribution of the uniqueness of humankind, focusing particularly on issues such as human dignity, identity and the experience of meaning, is then viewed as a new form of spirituality which poses a challenge to practical theology (cf. Louw 1998:19-20).
Further to the above, Astley (2002:54) refers to the meaning of theologia as a form of theology which is
not abstracted from its concrete setting, but understood as personal knowledge of God's 'direct cognitive vision'. It was a theology concerned with and developing within the believer's ways of existing in the world before God.
Thus, if the concept of a theologia habitus is understood as a unit, it is indeed indicative of
an orientation towards God that involves, and is an expression of, learning how to live before God - and, in this sense, to live theologically (Astley 2002:55).
The emphasis in this particular viewpoint naturally links up with Ganzevoort's (2006; 2007; 2009b) conception of the phenomenon for which he coined the term "lived religion", along with a further elaboration and alternative proposal, namely that of a theologia habitus. The assumption that priority should be accorded to the praxis and "de kennis over God die daar ontwikkeld, gevonden, en geleefd wordt" (Ganzevoort 2006:161), however, constantly remains the same. A certain personal and contextual orientation is also articulated in this context, with the emphasis on the meaning of the praxis and the detection of signs of God's presence, which can be found therein.
Indeed, bearing the focus of the design in mind, the effectiveness of the construction of practical theology can be queried. Could one not ask the critical question as to whether the designation, practical theology, does not perhaps contribute, precisely, towards maintaining the distinction that is present in the dated encyclopaedic interpretation of theology? Osmer (2006:328) rightfully points out that
the encyclopedic paradigma of theology has been called into question on many fronts in our postmodern intellectual context. One of the most important questions raised of this paradigm is the way it divides theology into relatively autonomous, specialized disciplines which work in relative isolation from one another and from other fields.
This warning regarding the fragmentation that has resulted from the traditional encyclopaedic model of the practice of theology, was later reiterated by Osmer (2008:234) in more comprehensive terms. In this instance, he elucidated the above-mentioned outdated interpretation on the basis of the architectonic design and functionality of silos:
... each theological discipline is specialized and relatively autonomous, uses the methods of cognate fields, focuses on the production of new knowledge, and relates to ecclesial practice indirectly, leaving this to practical theology. Over time this paradigm gave rise to a "silo-mentality" in schools of theology. Just as farmers store grain and corn in independent silos, so too each field and department maintained the harvest of its specialized research in its own disciplinary research. The interconnection of the fields of theology and of subdisciplines within these fields became more and more tenuous. While this pattern was an important way of coping with the challenges of the modern research university, it is questionable whether it is adequate to the challenges of our postmodern context (Osmer 2008:234).
This is precisely the type of design that an interdisciplinary dialogue aims to avoid. Cilliers (2009a:629) therefore rightly points out that in the practical theological paradigm of society (societas) - which could serve as an integration of the other mentioned practical theological paradigms, and which is directed outward, towards society - there is thus no longer such a marked distinction between practical theology and theology, since both should be aimed at society in a transformative way, providing direction and guidance with regard to the attribution of meaning. In this regard, Moldenhauer (2002:electronic source) rightfully points out that the phrase, "Theologia est habitus practicus", serves to remind us that theology and life cannot be separated from one another, but that theology indeed also manifests an interest in people's faith and the actions that arise from it. Precisely for this reason, the character and purpose of theology are practical in nature; and I have proposed, in this design, that the designation "theologia habitus" should be used - with a view to, inter alia, overcoming the impasse created by the old encyclopaedic theological paradigm. A further embodiment of the meaning of futures studies is also found herein, owing to the fact that new meaning is ascribed to existing contexts.
In the embodiment of the theologia habitus for the purposes of the design, a search is implied, inter alia, as well as a broadening of pastoral care, moving away from the individual private "counselling model" towards a public systems model (Louw 1998:23). For this very reason, it can be said that a theologia habitus that is embodied in the future workplace
should move from the more individualistic and often privatized so-called 'client-professional' paradigm towards a more cultured and so-called 'systems-paradigm'. The human person is embedded within a global network which is determining our understanding of the 'human soul' anew (Louw 2000:33).
This presents the opportunity, inter alia, to begin mapping out an answer which could serve as a response to Louw's (2002:339) question:
How should pastoral ministry understand the care of human souls within the demands set by the main role-players in postmodernity - economy, technology and telecommunications?
This answer will be developed more fully in due course, in chapter 4.
This interdisciplinary dialogue in pursuit of relevant meaning is facilitated, in this design, through the continuing and circular movement between practice and theory, in which the voices of co-participants, in particular, play an important role. In this regard, I found it striking that - without being directly questioned on this topic - those groups of participants in this design who had formal qualifications in theology, displayed an intuitive sensitivity to, and an aspiration towards, a relevant spirituality. Ironically enough, in the formulation of both of the relevant questions, a strong future dimension is present, which indeed construes a quest for a so-called "preferred reality", and which, in itself, in turn presupposes the dialogue between practical theology and futures studies. I will now present the two questions that were posed respectively to Group 1 (persons with a formal academic background in theology who are currently serving in senior management posts in various business organisations) and Group 3 (former ministers who are currently involved as life coaches within a business environment), followed by a short reflective rubric compiled by myself:
• Group 1: Does the Church (understood in the broadest sense, and including its Academic component, as represented by Theological Faculties, inter alia) have a contribution to make in this regard and, if so, in what way?
According to all the participants, academic theology - provided that it is dynamic enough - has a contribution to make in the development of perspectives for the workplace, with the focus on the meaning and significance of spirituality. With regard to the Church, some participants expressed their awareness of the fact that the focus would not fall on the minor devotional particularities of separate, individual churches; and some even felt that the Church could not, and should not, direct this process, as postulated in the questions. Participants pointed out that although the institutional church and academic institutions (with provision being made for reflections on a theology of work, as well as programmes in which students of theology are present in the workplace in a practical context) can and should play an important role in equipping and supporting those concerned, the Church is currently not properly geared towards conducting this facilitation itself, in practice, within the precincts of a business organisation. For this reason, there is a need for active reflection, within the current emphasis on missionary theology and ministry, and also for the development of programmes relating to a public theology for church members. One participant pointed out that the two elements that need to be reconciled are that of "believing" (what - and how - do I believe?) and that of "beliving" (how do I live according to what I believe?).
• Group 3: Are there any suggestions, on the basis of your current practice, which - measured against the accents contained in the foregoing questions - can be regarded as important in the training of theological students?
The participants pointed out that theology and the institutional church often create taboos through black-and-white thinking, with baneful consequences for the functioning of individuals. This brings about a false dualism between faith and the working world in the mind of the individual. A process-related approach, during which various facets of the truth could work together synergically, should be facilitated by means of training. A lack of emphasis on development causes the church to be perceived, in a one-sided manner, as a hospital, with the result that the equipment aspect ("gymnasium") is neglected. For this reason, participants proposed that students should be introduced to different therapeutic models, and that they could then exercise a choice to specialise in life coaching, should they wish to do so. Some of the participants even expressed their willingness to become involved in such a process!
It is clear from the respective perspectives of both Group 1 (professionally qualified theologians who currently occupy senior business management posts) and Group 3 (the so-called life coaching group) that there is currently a strong aspiration towards the embodiment of "believing" (what - and how - do I believe?) and "beliving" (how do I live according to what I believe?). There appears to be an intuitive perception that "zombie" structures often do not have the capacity to facilitate the fulfilment of this aspiration, and that a false dualism has arisen between religious faith and the working world, in the life of the individual. Accents arising from the foregoing, which warrant attention, include the fact that, in the facilitation of this aspiration, perspectives relating to the distinctive nature of the workplace should be taken into account in a dynamic way; and also the fact that training models should be presented, on the basis of which this facilitation can take place.
3.3.ii Step 3
It is within the functional context of systemic ways of thinking, with the emphasis on the functioning of narrative epistemology, that the threshold of a theologia habitus for the future workplace is crossed, at the centre of the design. This entry, in turn, offers a transition to the foreground of the design, in which a space is mapped out for a particular destination. In order to give expression to the accents of the interdisciplinary dialogue, I will thus proceed, at this point, to place myself within the design of a theologia habitus. This orientation is indeed also highlighted in the title of the research design, as the expression of an attempt at creative, but also - in particular - relevant thinking. It is, precisely, in the context of this search that expression is given to the spiritual quest and comments of one of the co-researchers, who pointed out that in order to embody spirituality in the future workplace, "believing" (what - and how - do I believe?) and "beliving" (how do I live according to what I believe?) should be clearly defined and delineated, and brought into alignment.
CHAPTER 4 - DESTINATION
Thematically, and in resonance with the central metaphor of architecture, the last chapter resorts under the design index of destination. In architectonic science, the concept, destination, is defined as "that which we reach", and implies "the centre of gravity that assembles" (Norberg Schulz 2000:144). Within this broad category of destination, three accents are distinguished in chapter 4, namely orientation, identification and memory. The use of these three concepts is directly linked to the explanation put forward by Norberg-Schultz (2000:45) in respect of an architectonic correspondence, which is aligned with this proposed design:
In considering the various moments of use, we have seen that they include precise architectural typologies, such as street, square, facade, and interiors, and that all of these features establish reciprocal relationships. We have also suggested that the aspects have their architectural correspondence. Orientation, in fact, refers to space, identification refers to concrete forms of the environment, and memory refers to the emblematic images of which it is composed. The aspects and the moments are both existential and local structures and, paraphrasing the unity of life and place, they join the individual with his or her environment, not in [a] symbolic and semiotic sense, but as parts of an original unity.
In the architecture of the design, these three proposed concepts of orientation, identification and memory also resonate, in turn, with the contents of the threefold movement of the interdisciplinary methodology, as proposed in chapter 3, comprising "evaluative critique"; "engaged articulation" and "incursive disclosure". This chapter is mirrored against the last main movement of the study, namely that of the foreground, and calls for specific action to be taken, arising from the ongoing practice-theory-practice dynamics that is present throughout the study. This chapter thus represents a specific moment in the research which hinges on that which has already been pointed out in the previous three chapters, on the one hand, while opening the door to new perspectives and possibilities, on the other hand.
As already indicated in the introductory section of chapter 4, a clear image of space is present in the use of the concept orientation. In the entering of this space, in the third and last phase of the research design, namely that of the foreground, there is an indication that the journey through the design has reached a specific point. However, this destination does not necessarily imply the end of the journey; and, in congruence with the dynamics of narrative research, new vistas, giving glimpses of new meaning, are already present here. However, this space may also be an indication of a pause before the journey is continued. Both of these accents of meaning are emphasised, in the last chapter of the study, by activities in which the weighing and sorting of information leads to a specific orientation (Van Huyssteen 1999:137). In order to define the orientation of space that is applicable to the concerned design, reference is made to three distinctive dimensions, namely time, place and person. In these respective dimensions of orientation, further value-accentuations with a view to the accommodation of the interdisciplinary dialogue are also presented, since a
transcendental perspective makes us aware of the contingent nature of our locations ... it requires the art of establishing connection among different contingent locations (Giri 2002:107).
In the orientation in respect of time, within the metaphorical space of an architectonic design, and in the context of an associative network of meaning, I make use of the image of a museum. This museum image was facilitated in my mind by the words of Lukken (2002:17), who writes that:
In onze tijd doet zich het merkwaardige verschijnsel voor dat de deelname aan de christelijke rituelen afneemt en dat tegelijkertijd de monumentale kerken overbevolkt worden door toeristen.
In the quest to find the meaning of these words for a theologia habitus, and with reference to "the art of authentic embeddedness" as a value (which was already indicated earlier on) for the nurturing of the interdisciplinary dialogue, the identity of one's own discipline is confirmed; and thus, it can be said that "transcendence does not mean cutting of from the ground where one stands but widening one's horizons" (Giri 2002:108). Precisely for this reason, I approach this orientation towards time from a practical theological standpoint, with the emphasis on the image of the church as a museum; but it is also in terms of this very image that I aspire towards the broadening of this traditional interpretation - and also with a view to the integration thereof with the meaning of futures perspectives - by referring, inter alia, to recent embodiments of spirituality, as expressed in film and music, for example. In motivation hereof, and in pointing out a new form of religious spirituality, Louw (2008:398) rightly observes that:
Spirituality has become an important aspect of many texts (written and visual) in secular society. Even if it is not articulated as such, spirituality has become an indirect ingredient in the attempts of postmodernity to link our being human to our human quest for meaning ... A new kind of religious spirituality is emerging through the media and the Internet that differs from traditional religious spirituality.
For example, in films - which comprise one of "culture's major storytelling and myth-producing medium[s]" (Johnston 2007:16) - important paradigmatic developments are displayed. Cilliers (2007:10), in concurrence with the French philosopher, Debray, describes the development of the paradigms within which culture was communicated through history, on the basis of three eras or spheres of communication, namely the logo-sphere (oral tradition), the grapho-sphere (the printed media) and the video-sphere (transmission of images through electronic communication). Several researchers have already meaningfully pointed out the possibility of considering the use of films as a prominent medium for the embodiment of a "lived religion" or theologia habitus, outside of the museum (Ganzevoort 2006; Taylor 2007; Doubell 2008; Van den Berg & Pudule 2009).
As an idiom of a newer interpretation of the architectonic meaning of time, as well as the significance thereof for the mapping out of a relevant spirituality outside of the museum, the world-famous rock group, U2, is cited as an example. In the broader background of the study, which is mirrored against the meaning of the "lived religion" - or, in other words, the proposed theologia habitus in the modern-day and future workplace - the use of this group as an example holds special significance. Benefiel (2005:17) makes the following meaningful comments in this regard:
U2 (the band and the larger U2 community) is not your typical organization, but it clearly manifests the hallmarks of 'soul at work'. Behind the Grammy awards, the concerts, and the music, its members manage to create an identity that transcends the individual and supports the greater mission.
It is for this reason that, in entering this praxis, and in the orientation in respect thereof - and also measured against the already-established significance of a group such as U2 for the interpretation of spirituality in an organisational context, and in an attempt to overcome the static connotations associated with a museum - I take cognisance of the words of the leader and main singer of the group, Bono, as quoted by Scharen (2006:9):
There are cathedrals and the alleyways in our music. I think the alleyway is usually on the way to the cathedral, where you can hear your own footsteps and you're slightly nervous and looking over your shoulder and wondering if there's somebody following you. And then you get there and you realize there was somebody following you: it's God (Bono, Lead vocalist of U2).
In the orientation in respect of time, therefore, it is important to navigate between the "cathedrals", on the one hand, and the "alleyways", on the other. I will map out the navigation by pointing out at least two movements that facilitate the space between the "cathedral" and the "street" and then illustrating them on the basis of examples from the U2 portfolio.
The first movement is the shift from a Christian-oriented society to a post-Christian-oriented society. The second movement is mapped out in the replacement of a modern world view with accents of postmodernity.
Gibbs and Bolger (2005:17-18) point out that since the 1950s, at least two important transitions have occurred, or have been in the process of occurring, particularly in the West. The first shift - although it has already been further embodied in pluralism and relativism - admittedly signifies a movement away from the Church, but not necessarily a movement away from faith. A typical illustration of this can be found in the following words of Bono of U2:
I'm not often so comfortable in church. It feels pious and so unlike the Christ that I read about in the Scriptures" (Stockman 2005:204);
Religion to me is almost like when God leaves and people devise a set of rules to fill the space (Stockman 2005:18).
The second transition that took place in large parts of the Western world, can be seen and heard in the cracks that manifested themselves in the three pillars of modernism, namely technique, ethics and politics (Van der Merwe 2002:153). The tent-pegs of postmodernity, namely the meaning of subjectivity, the limited nature of language, the understanding and interpretation of mystery and the relevance of the context, map out new spaces of fragmentary and intertextual interpretation (Van den Berg 2006:164-181). In these spaces, intertextuality is expressed as
the result of the collision and influence of everything we have ever heard, read and experienced. Every text is a mosaic or tissue of quotations (Whiteley 2003:162-163).
These are the very same multi-faceted interpretational and semantic possibilities (Scharen 2006:49) that are reflected in most of the lyrics of U2's music. If one grasps something of these multilayered semantic possibilities, then the fact that fans of U2 - as well as the members of U2 themselves - refer to their concerts as "going to church" (Scharen 2006:188), acquires new significance. It is in this space - or these spaces - that U2's lyrics and music articulate the passages and pathways of a new era for pilgrims, where "mystery and confusion ... sit alongside faith" (Stockman 2005:134).
With regard to the significance of the movements, it is indeed true that, in many parts of the world, the institutional church has lost its former position of privilege, and is often encountered in a marginalised position on the fringes of society (Van der Walt 2009:253). These perspectives naturally also fit in well, on the one hand, within the contours of the nascent movement of the "Emerging Churches" that "remove modern practices of Christianity, not the faith itself" (Gibbs & Bolger 2005:29). On the other hand, the close link between religion and art is also addressed through these perspectives, since both religion and culture "reach for the frontier of the imaginable; both entail an intensification of familiar things; both are risk-filled undertakings" (Hughes 2003:274). The reason for this is, naturally, that
[n]o one makes meaning in a vacuum. Meanings which are available to one generation are no longer so in the next, and vice versa (Hughes 2003:43).
Of significance for this research design, and in the quest to bridge the so-called "Sunday-Monday-gap", the transition between the Sunday worship service and the "worship service" of life, for example, is eloquently expressed in the following account by Howison (2003:36) regarding the experience of a U2 concert:
Bono engaged the audience in singing with the refrain. As we sang, one by one the band members left the stage. Seventeen thousand voices accompanied by guitar, bass and drums; then by bass and drums; by drums alone; and finally we sang a capella until the house lights came up and we knew the evening had drawn to its close.
By means of the above accents, I would like to indicate that time and the contents thereof pose specific challenges to a valid orientation for a relevant practical theology, and that spirituality - along with the packaging thereof within particular contexts - displays different designs. In order to determine the possible significance thereof, with a view to the facilitation of spirituality in the world of work, I will now enter into the space of place.
In describing the meaning of place and space, Reader (2008:32-33) provides a comprehensive discussion of, inter alia, the way in which globalisation influences and also informs identity. This is naturally of importance to the research design; and therefore, up to this point, I have also indicated, in some detail, that within the newer developments relating to practical theology, as manifested in, inter alia, a "postfoundational practical theology", and as construed from the standpoint of an epistemology of transversal rationality, a way of acting is implied which places emphasis on aspects of the "concrete, local, and contextual, but at the same time reaches beyond local contexts to transdisciplinary concerns" (Müller 2009:205).
Precisely for this reason, up to this point in the course of the research design, it has been emphasised that, within this space of an interdisciplinary dialogue between, inter alia, practical theology and futures studies, as facilitated on the basis of a transversal methodology, acknowledgement is accorded to the fact that all approaches are contextually situated (Inayatulla 2002:479).
In this research, it has already been pointed out that an important beacon in the contextual orientation of place is found, precisely, in the pivotal significance of work in human existence, in which "our human quest for meaning, freedom, the pursuit [of] happiness and the search for a better life" is embodied, and in which what is basically at stake is "life and livelihood" (Louw 2000:35). Therefore, various dimensions of human existence are accommodated within the workplace. Not only does the work-space take up an important dimension of human existence in terms of the amount of time that is spent at work, but it has also already been indicated that the workplace has an important contribution to make in the creation and facilitation of meaning in human life. Even with regard to the economic domain, it has been demonstrated that in the striving after capital growth, "it is human capital that creates financial capital, not the reverse" (Rossouw & Van Vuuren 2009:123).
In the acknowledgement of this factor, important accents are already present, inter alia, in the proposed formulation of newer theories relating to pastoral care; and these accents are already accommodated as such in the proposed design. Orientation in respect of the contextual interpretation of human beings in a systemic context is also thereby confirmed, inter alia, along with certain anthropological nuances in terms of which a human being is perceived as an embodied soul within a specific context. Precisely in this regard, it is indicated that the world of work also presupposes a specific anthropology, and that the taking into account of this factor is "essentially a hermeneutical problem" (Louw 1999b:157). Watson (2004:175) rightly points out that through work, the individual gives expression to, inter alia, a "traditional work ethic combined with a concern with self-fulfilment". The indication of this factor is naturally of importance for a pastoral anthropology, since it is, precisely, an interpretation of the individual human being in terms of his/her recovery (therapy) that is at issue here, as well as the guidance and accompaniment of that person in his/her search for meaning in life (Louw 1999b:156). It is clear that, if the initial interpretation of the traditional dichotomy between body and soul is followed, the implication that is thereby established - namely that "we are essentially disembodied Souls not of this world ... focused on transcending all the things of the world" (Lakoff & Johnson 1999:564) - indeed has no relevant meaning within the workplace. Precisely in this regard, an innovative pastoral anthropology could play an important role, if it is interpreted as a newer way of mapping out a theological anthropology in which the human being is regarded, in the work context, as "an embodied soul and an animated body" (cf. Louw 2005a:16). Considered in terms of their significance in the context of pastoral care within the workplace, the perspectives concerning an "embodied soul" could thus be interpreted as emphasising, inter alia, that my identity should be understood, in terms of my body, as a so-called "bodily identity" (Murphy 2006:141), with "een positieve waardering of beleving van het lichaam" (Ganzevoort & Veerman 2000:90). In order to investigate this accent, the meaning of work as "one of those things in our daily life whose meaning is hidden in the mystery of their familiarity" (Volf 1991:8) will have to be taken into account.
However, despite the numerous possibilities that these perspectives offer for the development of a relevant practical theology that will contribute towards, and facilitate a positive "lived religion" - or, the proposed theologia habitus - in the workplace, there is currently a scarcity of documented research in this regard. Within the domain of practical theology in search of social embodiment, this factor thus calls for further research, reflection and implementation.
Therefore, the challenge naturally lies in determining how the orientation between the cathedral and the market square should be facilitated, bearing in mind that not only co-ordinates that have a bearing on the workplace of today should be included, but also co-ordinates with relevant significance for the workplace of the future. Precisely in terms of this stated ideal, the meaning of the dividends arising from the interdisciplinary dialogue between, inter alia, practical theology and futures studies is mapped out; and a hermeneutics of critical involvement is sought, in place of a hermeneutics of suspicion (Louw 2000:34). In my opinion, Nash's (2003:73) observation in this regard points the way in the endeavour to bridge the dualistic gulf between business and religious faith, in the embodiment of a theologia habitus, as expressed in terms of narratives and metaphors. In order to give shape to the theologia habitus, Nash points out that "the language of poetry and use of biographical narrative will be more powerful than the language of theology", with the emphasis on the "personally accessible, and strongly weighted toward the empowering and the therapeutic".
In terms of this perspective, the meaning of metaphorical concepts is embodied in the workplace, not only with a view to the therapeutic aspect, inter alia, but also for the facilitation of the meaning of the interdisciplinary dialogue in the workplace. On the one hand, important points of departure in respect of orientation of place (context) can thus be found, according to the previous quotation, in a positive theological appraisal of the workplace within the broad systematic context of the new economy, where religious faith and work are not construed as antitheses to one another. On the other hand, there are also the semantic possibilities that are intrinsic to the facilitation of a relevant spirituality, through the use of, inter alia, accessible (auto)biographical accents, as embodied in metaphors and narratives. It is in this regard that the words of Swinton and Mowat (2006:5) pose a specific challenge which warrants being mapped out in a meaningful way: "Human experience is a 'place' (my emphasis) where the gospel is grounded, embodied, interpreted and lived out".
Thus, in the development of such an (auto)biographical practical theology, the emphasis naturally falls on the description of the "lived religion" - or theologia habitus - within the context of a so-called "doing theology", in terms of which theology (and faith) is not interpreted as a noun, but rather as a verb, with the objective of finding
a way of doing theology in which we can disengage the old orders and paradigms and engage a contextual point of view (Hendriks 2004:20).
It is precisely in the quest to find the meaning of this "lived religion" within the work environment, and in the determination of possible future meaning in this regard, that - within an interdisciplinary scientific design and domain of transversal rationality - the orientation of place is found at the point of intersection between, inter alia, the perspectives from future studies and pastoral care, in which newer accents from positive psychology can even be accommodated as well. In this way, a place of encounters is facilitated which, as pointed out by Linley and Joseph (2004:4), is
unique in the ways that it transcends traditional dichotomies and divisions ... and offers ways of working that are genuinely integrative and applicable across settings.
This design thus aims to enlarge the co-ordinates of the design for the interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and futures studies even further, by accommodating several disciplines therein - in view of "the multiplicity, abundance and completeness of human experience", as a result of which "our different discourses do continually intersect with one another at many points" (Van Huyssteen 2009:51).
Dimensions of time and place were already construed in the description of orientation in respect of the stated destination. The way in which these perspectives are accommodated in the meaning of person will now be pointed out.
The personal plays an important role in an orientation. (Auto)biographical research thus challenges the perspective "that 'works' can be distinguished from lives" (Roberts 2002:92). I have already indicated that, from the framework of postmodernity, the acknowledgement of my own subjective integrity influences the interpretation and meaning of different texts, in my opinion. For this reason - and also for the sake of the integrity of this project - the personal is indispensable in aspects of orientation, in the broadest sense. Without allowing my own voice to carry too much weight, it is nevertheless important to indicate that the practice and theory of the study are strongly influenced by accents from (auto)biographical research, with a distinct emphasis on the construction of "real life", in which the researcher himself is also involved (Roberts 2002:77). In the design, execution and documentation of the research, my own voice was continually audible to me in the form of accents; and it was also visible in the form of written characters and symbols. The acknowledgement of this factor comprises part of a hermeneutical process, in which I, as the researcher, acknowledge my own subjectivity, and take account of its influence on the process of interpretation in an overt manner, with the establishment of a subjective integrity as the outcome thereof. I visit the existing structures, therefore, on the basis of the assumption that the modernistic ideal of objectivity (Hemming 2001:449; Strauss 2002:586) is not attainable. In the acknowledgement of my own subjectivity (Jonker 1998:1; Nel 2001:10; Buitendag 2002:953; Müller 2002:1), and also of the given factor that it plays an important role in my own theological design, a subjective integrity becomes possible. The term "subjective integrity" not only emphasises that objectivity is a myth; it also accentuates the fact that I acknowledge my own subjectivity. However, I do not only open up the horizon of my subjective understanding to the design accents of others, but also to the possibility that these accents may inform - and even amend - my own interpretation and design (Gadamer 1975:397-447; Lester 1995:104; Müller 2005:86). Currently, emphases of postmodernity, the consideration of the mystery of understanding, the acknowledgement of the limitations of language, and the special meaning of a particular context, comprise important accents for me, in my own professional theological portfolio.
Therefore, during the past few years, I have systematically begun to shed the obsession of modern scientific practice with the acquisition of power by means of knowledge acquired through the fragmentation of information into small and clearly analysable and describable components, in the language of rationality. This monovalent formulation is corrected in my portfolio by means of the framework of postmodernity, which leaves room for the meaning of mystery (Van Niekerk 2005:64). In the place of pedantry, a space for humility and diffidence has developed - a diffidence that is embodied, for example, in a statement that was once made by Van Wyk Louw: "I hardly dare to speak of God," he said, "since I have so little knowledge of Him" (Spies 2004:1076-1077). The landscape of the terrain now has far more to offer, in terms of its contents and accessories, than the kind of phenomena that can be explored in a normative fashion by the limited senses, and which can only be observed and described empirically (Buitendag 2002:949). Ironically enough, this stance of diffidence resulted in the attainment of an architectonic balance which is aptly portrayed by the words of Smit (2002b:135), who states that this vocation (a deeply-rooted inclination towards contextuality within reformed circles) beckons towards a world in which the Bible and the newspaper are read together, and in which
the surprising words of the Wholly Other can be heard, precisely, in the midst of the deep complexities and contrariness of the whole of life itself (cf. Smit (2002b:135).
It is precisely the creation of meaning within specific contexts that currently poses serious - and often (or so it seems to me) insurmountable - design-related challenges in terms of personality and identity. For as long as I can remember, I was convinced that I should become a minister. The vocational discourse, inter alia, was reinforced and legitimised in a variety of ways. In taking account of the influence of a changing and secularised world, in which belief in God is sometimes merely regarded as one option amongst many (Ganzevoort 2009a:6), the designing and mapping out of a functional terrain plan challenges me, both on a personal level and with regard to my task. In the consideration of this factor, the following fragment from my own personal journal is relevant: Having sufficient insight into the architecture of my personality type to realise that relevance and broader contexts and meaning carry accents that are important to me, I often ask myself certain questions, such as: Why am I involved in, inter alia, the training of theological students, when the institutionalised church is becoming increasingly smaller? Along these lines, the contours followed by the discourse include a tendency, on my part, to wonder whether there are not other, even better ways in which I, and others, could live out what we believe in. In such moments, I argue that I, and others, devote so many hours, for example, to the training and preparation of students in order to enable them to preach - but what about the fact that the number of people who listen to sermons is constantly diminishing? Naturally, I am aware of the classical theological answers to such questions - for example, that the important issue does not revolve around numbers; or that the architecture of the Church of the Lord differs from that of the world and its way of thinking; and so on. Naturally, these answers are meaningful; and therefore, I rest assured within myself that the work must still go on; and that I will continue to attempt, albeit with diffidence, to make a contribution in this regard. Nevertheless, I continue to wonder about the proverbial 65% barrier to which I referred earlier on. Are there not also other perspectives that ought to be developed - also with a view to the future? Could the development of a theologia habitus for the future workplace possibly render a contribution in this regard?
In order to place the fragment quoted above in context, and to gauge and weigh up the meaning thereof for a possible orientation, it is important to take account of Ganzevoort's (2006:161) "opvatting van praktische teologie als hermeneutiek van de geleefde religie heeft", in which "voorrang aan de praxis zelf en aan de kennis over God die daar ontwikkeld, gevonden, en geleefd wordt". A specific personal orientation can be found herein, with the emphasis on the meaning of the praxis and the search for signs of God's presence which can be discerned therein.
The following movement entails proceeding onwards, from these orientation-markers, towards the design and construction of a space, within which the praxis of the future workplace can be accommodated on the basis of the proposed interdisciplinary dialogue. This will be facilitated by focusing on a possible design with specific spatial accents.
In terms of the movement of identification, Norberg-Schulz (2000:45) refers to "concrete forms of the environment". In the spontaneous development of, and course followed by, the chosen metaphor of architecture within which the interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and futures studies is embodied, the following concrete manifestations, or embodiments, are observed and identified in the process of the description and facilitation of a so-called "lived religion" or theologia habitus. In the identification of these embodiments, the concrete needs pointed out by Group 2 (believers without formal theological qualifications who are currently serving in senior management positions) play an important role. By focusing, in particular, on these perspectives from the group, I attempt to enter the praxis of the workplace, and to listen, "at grassroots level," to recent expectations, but also projected expectations regarding the future, in order to map them out:
• What present (and future) needs (if any) can you identify, in terms of religious faith in the workplace?
Basically, three needs were identified by participants:
i. The need that was most clearly indicated by participants pertained to the fact that colleagues and employees - owing to difficult financial circumstances, inter alia - have a need for the facilitation of courage and hope, with a strong and positive religious focus.
ii. Secondly, it was pointed out that senior management members, in particular, have a need for pastoral care. One participant pertinently stated that it would mean a great deal if a minister of religion were to consider visiting senior management members at the workplace.
iii. The third need that was identified is related to the quest for relevant programmes that could be actively managed in order to empower employees and employers to "change Sunday worship to everyday worship", in the words of one of the participants.
Dialogue partners, as research partners in a concrete work situation, indicated that colleagues and employees - owing to difficult financial circumstances, amongst other factors - have a need for thefacilitation of courage and hope, with a strong and positive religious focus. Participants also spontaneously pointed out the need for personal pastoral contact, which could take various forms, but which should display a strong emphasis on relevance. The expression that was used was that "Sunday worship should become everyday worship". It is clear that this formulation of the relevant needs reflects an earnest quest that has not really been properly addressed until now, and that the addressing of the needs in question reflects not only a current, but also a future dimension.
In the development and shaping of a possible framework of interpretation for the facilitation of spirituality in the workplace, I will now refer to Miller's (2007:126) proposal concerning a shared framework with regard to language and values. As far as language is concerned, a search has already been facilitated in the design - but it is a search which is naturally also of importance for future designs, and in which the observation that "[t]he way that language functions is of considerable interest in the study of ordinary theology" (Astley 2002:105) is identified as an important premise. Miller develops this framework on the basis of his research regarding the so-called "Faith at Work" movement in America, in which various individuals and groups are involved. The aim of the development of this framework is to arrive at "a good conceptual framework in which to locate this dialogue", and in which "the Four E's under the categories of ethics, evangelism, experience, and enrichment" (Miller 2007:126) can be accommodated.
Through this proposed design, Miller presents a development of a conceptual interpretation which, in my opinion, can be used as a basis in order to map out possible accents of spirituality in the workplace from the interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and futures studies, and to orientate them within this context. Thus, in the creation of a possible design, I strongly endorse the categories proposed by Miller, while further extending them through the inclusion of perspectives from Volf's (1991) theology for work, along with perspectives from my own research, in an effort to contribute to an effective design. In this description, I repeatedly draw on Miller's original explanation, with a view to the effective further development thereof by means of possible further enriching perspectives arising from the interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and futures studies.
In my opinion, the architectonic image of windows offers the best expression of the movement of, on the one hand, being present in the "room" in which the interdisciplinary dialogue is being conducted; and, on the other, of looking outside, from the vantage point of this room, and identifying specific aspects for the functioning of a theologia habitus. In the choice of this metaphor of windows, a specific systemic interpretation that is fundamental to the design is also presupposed. I thus delineate, and align, the development of an effective design in order to give shape to possible accents of spirituality in the workplace, as well as the future workplace, by making use of the metaphor of windows that offer the following view(s):
4.2.i Window 1 - Ethics
The point of departure in terms of the view afforded by this window is that "[e]thics concerns itself with what is good or right in human interaction", with the focus - particularly within the business world - on the "values and standards that determine the interaction between business and its stakeholders" (Rossouw & Van Vuuren 2010:4-5). In the weighing up of "billions of choices and exchanges that take place daily" in a globalised world - a factor "that tends to make ethical business decisions even more complex and at times ambiguous" (Ahner 2007:191) - this view through the window of ethics is focused on the occurrence of economic crime, in order to illustrate the effectiveness of the research design.
In an authoritative review of the incidence of economic crime - comprising part of the findings of the 4th Biennial Global Economic Crime Survey (2007) issued by PriceWaterhouseCoopers - entitled "Economic crime: People, culture and controls", the following alarming factors are pointed out: It appears that fraud is one of the most problematic aspects of business on a worldwide basis, regardless of the country of origin of the particular company, the sector within which the company operates, or the size of the company. Of the 5 428 companies in the 40 countries that took part in the research, 43% indicated that during the previous two years, extensive economic crime had been experienced (PriceWaterhouseCoopers: Economic crime: People, culture and controls 2007:4).
In the consideration of these disturbing data, it is significant that the first window of identification opens, precisely, onto the ethical. According to Miller (2007:129), persons and groups of the "Ethical Type" comprise those whose
primary mode of integrating faith at work is through attention to personal virtue, business ethics, and to broader questions of social and economic justice (Miller 2007:129).
Thus, the emphasis indeed falls on the way in which faith and spirituality contribute towards the establishment of an ethical orientation in the workplace. This accentuation of the ethical is, in fact, also embodied in transversal space, which is facilitated in the dialogue between practical theology and futures studies. For example, in Louw's (1998:268) allusion to the ethical development of character, as manifested in the quality of accountable decision-making processes, a direct link is drawn with, inter alia, one of the pivotal questions and challenges arising from the UN's Millennium Project that was mentioned earlier, with reference to the "Global Challenges" that comprise some of the most important questions for the following decade. One of the questions for consideration that are pinpointed in this document is: "How can the capacity to decide be improved as the nature of work and institutions change (sic)?" (Glenn, Gordon & Florescu 2008:12-41). This is an example of the challenge which, on the one hand, the research design aims to point out - but which, on the other, it also aims to address by means of the proposal of specific designs.
As an example, and in terms of a more dogmatological interpretation, Volf (1991:83) already pointed out specific co-ordinates within which a possible involvement of this nature could be embodied in the development of a relevant theology of work:
Since a theology of work has normative ethical implications, its task is not merely to interpret the world of work in a particular way, but to lead the present world of work 'towards the promised and the hoped-for transformation' in the new creation. To be sure theological interpretations of work are not pointless; even less should they be simply denounced as a devious attempt to 'befog the brain with supernatural, transcendent doctrines'. But a theological interpretation of work is valid only if it facilitates transformation of work toward ever-greater correspondence with the coming new creation.
These observations by Volf contribute towards the broadening of the terrain, as proposed in the design, with a view to the construction of a theologia habitus, since they focus on positive developments within the future workplace, not only by means of dogmatic formulations, but - especially - through the realisation of the contextualisation thereof.
I would like to argue, by means of the contours of this design, that the development of a theologia habitus for the future workplace can indeed render a relevant and meaningful contribution in this regard. As already pointed out from the vantage point of the developing field of pastoral care, with specific reference to the meaning of positive psychology, this quest for an ethical orientation would indeed tie in well with the newer framework of "positive organizational behaviour", in which the focus falls on the "morally sound approaches to ethical performance at the self/individual, group/team and organisational levels" (Rossouw & Van Vuuren 2009:129), and in which the objectives and values of the organisation are congruent with those of the individual, with a view to the alignment and internalisation of frameworks of belief (Dehler & Welsh 2003:116). In this possible outlook on the construction of the meaning of a theologia habitus for the future workplace, new semantic accents are naturally mapped out, which are also linked to one of the core ideals of futures studies, namely the formulation of "the goals and values people hold, from leaders and experts to ordinary citizens", in order to give shape to the so-called "good society" (Bell 1997:5).
In terms of the understanding that futures studies are aimed at the facilitation of "a new way of thinking" (Giri 2002:103), and that a theologia habitus is developing from a practical theological orientation, it is important to take cognisance of Rossouw and Van Vuuren's (2009:129) observation that people in the workplace could thus be regarded as so-called "positive ethical capital", which naturally articulates, in turn, with the emphasis on spiritual capital and the recapitalisation of the workplace. Indeed, within this accent of so-called positive ethical capital and the domain of meaning that is thereby being unfolded, there are significant unchartered spaces to which practical theology and futures studies could make a contribution.
In this rebuilding or reconstruction process, practical theology could indeed make a contribution to a spiritual recapitalisation of the workplace. However, further research is required for this purpose, in order to address the challenge that Miller (2007:79) poses by pointing out that:
It would seem that the church would be interested in providing theological reflection and ethical guidance to laypeople on all topics of social importance, including life in the marketplace and the nature and purpose of work.
This challenge indeed fits into the traditional spaces within which practical theological activities are mapped out nowadays, with the emphasis naturally falling on new empirical investigation in the addressing thereof (Ganzevoort 2007:24), and in determining how this normative ethical orientation could facilitate the transformation of the workplace. In the last movement of chapter 4, designated as memory, specific proposals are made as to how this aspect could be further developed.
4.2.ii Window 2 - Evangelisation
With reference to the broad religious groupings in the workplace, which are comprised of, inter alia, Christian and Moslem believers, Miller points to the traditionally important role and meaning of evangelisation. Although Miller refers to a variety of models in terms of which evangelisation can take place in the workplace, the primary focus in the Christian tradition places
a high premium on the importance of introducing others to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and helping others to develop a personal relationship with Jesus (Miller 2007:132).
Although the research design confirms that spirituality is an important given factor in the workplace, and although this is also confirmed by the literature and co-researchers, there are certain reservations in this regard. These reservations have a bearing, in particular, on fundamentalist religious expansionism, which is often presented and operated in an authoritarian and imperious manner. Participants pointed out that if this orientation were to be accommodated in the workplace, it could potentially give rise to conflict within an inter-religious environment, in which space should rather be created for "a communal spirituality" to be "constituted and invited into the workplace" (Prinsloo 2002:21).
Personally - precisely for this reason - I am hesitant to only use the concept of a "lived religion" in the formulation of perspectives for the development and facilitation of spirituality in the workplace, owing to the strong accents of religion and the manifestation thereof.
Research which has already been conducted in the work environment regarding, inter alia, pastoral involvement in a multi-religious community, points (in terms of a narrative-systemic interpretation) to the importance of values, for example the principle that individuals should respect each other's religious orientations within dialogues of pastoral involvement, in order to be able to jointly construe new horizons of understanding (Van den Berg & Smit 2006:1081-1093).
However, as part of my own identity, and within the scope of an (auto)biographical emphasis, the accentuation and development of spirituality in the work environment means that I can acknowledge my own identity as a Christian believer. For my own part, and that of co-researchers who all follow a Christian orientation and who have a particular sensitivity to the inter-religious dialogue in South Africa and in the world, the following perspectives, measured against this dialogue, can be articulated within the proposed framework of a theologia habitus: Firstly, "what 'the Bible' is" and "what 'the Bible' says", depends, to a large extent, on who reads "the Bible" and how this reading construes their interpretation, as pointed out by Smit (1991:183). This leads to a cognisance of the danger that the Bible could be reduced to a mere manual of my own personally constructed image of God, and the "truths" that may be inferred on the basis thereof. In the constant realisation that my concepts about God are continually vacillating, and that God alone is trustworthy, the uniqueness of faith, as against every form of knowledge, is manifested (Lombaard 2006:6). Secondly: When a willingness to realise and be aware of the above-mentioned factor develops, along with the necessary insight in respect thereof, the dialogue partners - in a possible blending of their own horizons of understanding - can arrive at new meaning (Smit 1991:183), in which the Christian narrative does not have to be put forward as the absolute and complete truth - not because it is not so, but because it is necessary to come to the realisation that the power and value of the Christian narrative is inherent in the Word itself. This precludes the use of the Bible as a mere modernistic verbal weapon (Geyser 2003:229).
Rather, from this perspective, I am convinced that, in the development of a theologia habitus for the future workplace, a change will need to take place in the manner in which the gospel is proclaimed, in terms of which attention will need to be focused on "the project of making the triune God more spiritually rather than doctrinally or dogmatically relevant to believers" (Van der Walt 2009:263). A typical example in this regard, which also gives expression to the (auto)biographical accent in the design, is the following account by Dr Arnold Smit (Van den Berg & Smit 2006:1088):
As I am currently working, as a theologian, in the private sector, surrounded by the cultural and religious diversity of the South African society, I am often forced to reflect on my theological roots. I was taught to articulate and defend the Christian faith, to witness of that in which I believe. Also, I taught others this way while I was still a minister and was preaching. Now I am in that context about which I had so much advice for others (read Christians) and I realise that it deals with something totally different, namely, to minister mercy to others. This is the test for the question whether others will invite me to listen to their travelling journals. I suspect that I am not being consulted by 'others' because I know 'the Way', but because I try to be a merciful travelling partner.
4.2.iii Window 3 - Experience
Researchers differentiate between three types of orientation regarding the meaning of work for individuals. For some people, the profession that they practise is just a job and nothing more; others regard their work as a career; while still others perceive their profession as a calling or vocation (Seligman 2002:168). In the rapidly-changing world of work (Pembroke 2008:242), however, the fact of the matter is that "dynamic society requires a dynamic understanding of work" (Volf 1991:vii). It is precisely in this rapidly-changing environment, in which individuals often practise more than one, and sometimes even up to three or more different professions, that the traditional interpretation of a vocation will have to be evaluated anew. In accentuating this factor, with particular significance for the sketching of the future workplace, Davis and Blass (2007:39) point out that "career is no longer hierarchical in a single organisation, but rather concerned with milestones related to enhanced competency", and that in this context, "the individual's focus shifts to self-employment and/or careers spanning many organisations and a variety of job types".
In terms of the third proposed category, identified as that of the "Experience Type", it is assumed that the basic spaces within which spirituality can be integrated in the workplace, are to be found, precisely, in the facilitation of questions regarding one's vocation, as well as questions relating to meaning. Miller (2007:135) sums up the possible meaning of this work method as follows:
[The] primary means of integrating faith and work involves questions of vocation, calling, meaning, and purposes in and through their marketplace professions.
In terms of this interpretation, the point of departure that is followed is that work has an intrinsic theological meaning and value, which is also embodied in the outcome thereof. Among the critical questions that can be facilitated within this space of experience, the following observation, which was made by Volf (1991:vii) in 1991 already, is significant:
As I reflected on the problem of work over the years I became increasingly dissatisfied with the vocational understanding of work still dominant in Protestant circles. The vocational understanding of work was developed and refined in the context of fairly static feudalist and early capitalist societies on the basis of a static theological concept of vocation.
Only if ways can be found to facilitate these questions in the workplace, on the one hand, and only if dialogical processes can be created in the construing of answers, on the other, will it be possible to further develop this window of meaning-attribution, through the experience of work. If these conditions are realised, then - as Volf (1991:197) puts it -
[the] more people experience work as an end in itself, the more humane it will be. If work is to have full human dignity, it must be significant for people as work, not merely as a necessary instrument of earning or of socializing; and they must enjoy work (Volf 1991:197).
In the development of memory as the third and last movement of chapter 4, particular attention will be focused on possible proposals in order to make spaces available within which the experience of the workplace can be facilitated. This quest spontaneously aligns itself, in architectonic terms, with the focus of the design, in which - from the vantage point of a transversal dialogue between practical theology and futures studies - a "[caring] for life" and an "enhancement of the quality of life" (Louw 2008:268) are embodied. The following accent put forward by Dehler & Welsh (2003:116) is of significance for the investigation into the so-called new workplace, as defined within the contours of the new economy:
The new workplace then becomes a place where people not only do work, but create an experience in the context of their work. It is a site for personal experience and fulfilment. When we bring our interior life to work, it changes us. The experience itself provides meaning and purpose - in short, the energy to pursue personal growth. In essence, this is the spirit of the new workplace - the opportunity to transcend the physical and cognitive demands into the world of emotional connection: doing inspired work.
4.2.iv Window 4 - Development
The positive development of human beings indeed plays an important role in the orientation of the design. As a matter of fact, Volf (1991:129) points out that
[i]ncreasingly, people think that the work place should not only be a place where profits thrive but also where people flourish.
In the last category proposed by Miller, which is indicated as Window 4, perspectives will initially be opened up onto the personal domain; and later, in the further elaboration thereof, also onto the general domain. In the focus on the so-called "Enrichment Type", it is postulated that:
... people located in this type [are] often personal and inward in nature, focusing on issues like healing, prayer, meditation, consciousness, transformation, and self-actualization ... understanding of faith accents, the restorative nature of God's power as a source for healing, spiritual nurturance, and personal transformation. Their view of work is often dialectical, seeing it in black or white terms, as good or bad, as [a] source of personal benefit and reward, or as a place of suffering and pain (Miller 2007:137).
Accents within this domain include, inter alia, this personal development and facilitation towards meaningful transformation. In order to develop these accents within the proposed theologia habitus which is taking shape, Volf (1991:83) suggests that the transformation of work should not only entail a careful reading of sources within the tradition (such as the Bible), but that the contemporary world of work should also be explored. In line with the design orientation, the critical reflection on the praxis as it is currently perceived and experienced also continually becomes part of this process.
Although this work method proposed by Volf reflects specific meaningful accents, such as, inter alia, the negotiated discourse on the meaning of the contemporary work situation in the light of Biblical accents relating to work, the proposed interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and futures studies calls for an even more integrated methodology. Precisely in order to accommodate the foregoing perspectives within this proposed methodology, relevant perspectives will now be mapped out, in the last movement of memory. In the mapping out of these perspectives, the three identified domains of practical theological activities, as indicated earlier on - namely those of ecclesiastical, community-related and academic involvement - will be reflected (Ganzevoort 2007:24), and infused with accents for further consideration in the future.
Although the view from any - or even all - of the windows only offers a glimpse of a specific aspect of the development of a theologia habitus for the future workplace, it still comprises
a useful first step toward the development of a scholarly framework and language to help theorize about, analyze, and discuss (Miller 2007:140).
It is precisely in terms of this assumption that the design is mapped out against existing forms in which the four categories, as defined above by Miller, are encountered in the South African milieu. In my opinion, if this proves to be a feasible exercise, it will contribute, precisely, to the development and embodiment of one of the central aspects of futures studies, in which
[t]he concept of betterment or 'development' is based on the hope that people everywhere will attain an improved standard of living (Malloch 2003:4-5).
Under the movement of memory, and within the philosophical framework of meaning that is offered by the metaphor of architecture, the perspective of Norberg-Schultz (2000:45), namely that "memory refers to the emblematic images of which it is composed", is relevant. Naturally, the concept of memory resonates well with the stated concept from futures studies, namely that of a memory of the future, in which the emphasis on the importance of that which lies in the future determines the inspiration of this research design.
In considering the character and meaning of futures studies, the concept of memory for the future - for this study, too - is important. After all, the aim of this research is to create new designs of meaning, in the light of the central metaphor of architecture. Arie De Geus, as a strategist for Royal Dutch Shell, coined this concept of memory for the future. In his book, The living company (1997), this concept is defined on the basis of "an innate ability to exploit these crises and turn them into new business" (De Geus 1997:31). Lombardo (2008:2) recently developed this concept further by means of his description of a so-called "future consciousness" as
the human capacity to be conscious of the future, to create ideas, images, goals, and plans about the future, to think about these mental creations and use them in directing one's action and one's life.
It is thus self-evident that an important contribution from the field of futures studies lies, precisely, in so-called "prospective thinking", according to which
futurists aim to contribute to the well-being both of now-living people and of the as-yet voiceless people of future generations.
To this end, futurists "explore alternative futures - the possible, the probable, and the preferable" (Bell 1997:42). For this very reason, so-called "Futuring" comprises one of five Literacy Types for "Global Leadership" (Hames 2007:183). An example hereof is the well-known Bill Clinton principle, which focuses on so-called "future preference", in terms of which the individual enters into a commitment to guide today's choices and actions for the benefit of tomorrow (Newsweek 2010). This leads, inter alia, to the conviction that people who are consistently involved in "vistas of hope" are the creators of their own future, since "[t]he future is waiting for our making, not our taking" (Spies 1999:18).
Moreover, Lombardo (2008:29) points out that although memory creates an important foundation for the development of a memory for the future,
... future consciousness often extends beyond memory and the past. In fact, to believe that the future will be like the past is to remain stuck in the past. Experiences from the past, such as traumas and frustrations, can inhibit any new thinking about the future. Yet, one thing we learn from history is that there is always novelty and change; history does not entirely repeat itself. The future will not be the same as the past ... individuals at times will abandon, reject, or ignore the past in attempting to create a new and different reality for themselves in the future.
The development of a memory for the future thus calls for a creative and innovative approach to the future, in full awareness of the fact that patterns that were present in the past will not necessarily be repeated. Therefore, measured against the indicated danger of so-called "zombie" categories, which are present in the form of recognised structures, but which, owing to a changing world, amongst other factors, no longer fully or partially serve their purpose, it is necessary, in the quest for a theologia habitus, to look into possibilities concerning the mediation thereof in the new workplace. In the mapping out of these possible research co-ordinates, with a view to the further development of a memory for the future for this theologia habitus, an important description has been put forward by Miller (2007:153), visualising a positive task and development for the role of the church and theological academy. This description also articulates with the identified fields of work relating to practical theology:
The church and the academy can offer theological resources and practical tools to equip those whose calling is to serve in and through the marketplace. For the church to do anything less is to abandon millions of Christians for five-sevenths of their week, and to abdicate responsibility for and influence over the important sphere of society. Indeed, active participation in the transformation of individual employees, their workplaces, and the overall marketplace may be one of the most powerful means to help feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and welcome the stranger.
This emphasis indeed contains a meaningful link with the tripartition that has featured continually in the study design, and in which the task of practical theology - together with a theologia habitus - is also bound up, namely: firstly, the transformation of society; secondly, the church and its officials; and thirdly, the need for empirical investigation and methodology (Ganzevoort 2007:24). The development of a memory for the future, with a view to the embodiment of a theologia habitus in the new workplace, thus calls for the accommodation of all three of these perspectives.
Therefore, it is clear that the documentation of the research does not, in fact, indicate the completion of a process, so much as the beginning thereof. The nature of narrative research, as indicated by Müller, Van Deventer and Human (2001:76-96), is thereby indicated and confirmed. It is precisely in this circular process involving an end, but also a beginning, that attention is focused on the development of a reconstruction of a theologia habitus that is meaningful for the future workplace. After all, this process is crucial to the character of the research design of this study. For this very reason, the aim of the presentation of this design is not necessarily to offer a particular "solution" or "model", but rather to offer a perspective (or perspectives) for further reflection, within the ongoing context of the uncertainty and change that characterise the future workplace (Davis & Blass 2007:38). This spatiality can also easily be mapped out within the space of postmodernity.
In order to develop and embody this principle of "remembering to remember" - in terms of a memory for the future - in a theologia habitus for the future workplace, reference will be made to the four movements identified by De Geus (1997:32) with a view to the development of a memory for the future, namely: (i) adaptability to the external environment (teachability); (ii) character and identity (persona); (iii) internal and external relationships with people and institutions (ecology); and, lastly, (iv) the development thereof over time (evolution). The proposal is that, on the basis of the interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and futures studies, these movements, which are naturally also systemically bound and interwoven, should be used in the facilitation of a design for a theologia habitus for the future workplace. In confirmation of this proposal, the following observation by Spies (1999:12) is relevant:
People who are acting purposefully in terms of their 'projects' (or visions) are participating in the creation of a more desirable future.
In terms of the concept of teachability, De Geus (1997:32) indicates that, with a view to the development of a memory for the future, a certain adaptability to the external environment, or teachability, is important. This disposition or attitude of teachability entails moments of "bearing or attitude" which, as Keel (2007:225-227) points out, "are not primarily aimed at application but rather implication".
In order to give shape to this quest for teachability, and with reference to a practical theological reconstruction in search of a social embodiment, as expressed in an (auto)biographical theologia habitus, a choice is made in favour of the epistemological accentuations of a social constructionist work method (Gergen 2002:283), with the emphasis on the positive accents that arise and develop as a result thereof, and which have already been referred to in the research design (Orem, Binkert & Clancy 2007:40). In the acknowledgment and development of the meaning of the interdisciplinary dialogue between the construction terrains of practical theology and futures studies, the social constructionist perspective, which postulates that knowledge is born as part of the dialogue, is of particular importance. Practical theologians point out that practical theology "engages in cross-disciplinary thinking" (Osmer 2008:241), and that in this "interdisciplinary domain of study ... we are in constant dialogue with nontheological reflection on religious praxism" (Immink 2005:266). The advantage of the intended building project has therefore already been noted in the drawing-office. As Van Huyssteen (2009:50) points out: "It is often at the boundaries between disciplines that new and exciting discoveries may take place". Some of the possible discoveries that may arise from such a work method have been pointed out by Müller (2009), amongst others, in the formulation of a "postfoundational practical theology" in which transversal rationality offers the necessary space for interdisciplinary work.
In order to achieve this ideal, a stereoscopic perspective is required, with the focus on personal and community well-being, as embodied in a life of faith (Bass & Dykstra 2008:13). It has been pointed out in the research that this stereoscopic focus is informed by a narrative interpretation of reality. In this choice in favour of the narrative approach, expression is given to the postmodernistic "quest for 'wholeness'" (Louw 2008:236), which indeed resonates, in a positive manner, with an interdisciplinary work method. In my view, the significance hereof for the empirical and methodological character of the practice of practical theology lies in the further accentuation of the meaning of narrative structure in the facilitation of the interdisciplinary dialogue. Examples of centres where some of these very possibilities are already being exploited include, inter alia, the Princeton University's "Faith and Work Initiative" (Faith and Work Initiative 2010), as well as the Centre for Ethical and Religious Values, which has its headquarters at the University of Notre Dame (Williams 2003:1).
In the visualisation of the meaning of this possible space for the research design, the following perspectives from Group 3 (life coaches) are of particular interest:
• What aspect(s) of the model of coaching made the greatest impression on you?
Participants - all of whom regarded their new work as part of their original vocation - offered various perspectives on, inter alia, the fact that coaching facilitates the inherent potential in people, as well as the fact that the model is scientifically integrated with training and accreditation, which takes place in accordance with fixed criteria and an established methodology.
It is clear from the responses of the participants that their involvement with people in the workplace comprises a continuation of their vocation, but that this involvement is also a reflection of their passion. Participants emphasised the fact that the coaching model focuses, in particular, on the development of potential in people. It is also important to take note of the fact that the coaching model is scientifically integrated with training and accreditation, which occurs in accordance with fixed criteria and an established methodology.
In the development of a memory for the future, in order to contribute to the facilitation of a theologia habitus for the future workplace, the challenge thus lies in reflecting anew on constructions within which the quest for teachability can be embodied. In this regard, Miller's (1997:153) exhortation is also taken into account - namely, that the degree to which
[t]he church and the academy can offer theological resources and practical tools to equip those whose calling is to serve in and through the marketplace,
should also be considered. If this teachability could be successfully facilitated in individuals, it would be systemically congruent with the new accent of the workplace, in which the transformation of "growing numbers of companies into 'knowledge' or 'learning' organisations and their employees into 'knowledge workers'" (Hyman & Marks 2008:192) could take place.
In the mediation which is aimed at achieving the above-mentioned objective, and further to De Geus's (1987) structure for the development of a memory for the future, reference will now be made to the role of the so-called persona, and how the academy and the church could possibly make a meaningful contribution in this regard, with a view to the future.
The term persona is used by De Geus (1997:32) to refer to the character and identity of persons as bearers of the memory for the future. It is a given that - in contrast to Karel Schoeman's (1995:21) recollections in his novel, Die uur van die engel - ministers can no longer be described as persons who are clad in black, with the solemn and rigid bearing of a marble column. During a time when reflection on the person, identity and office of the minister of religion is important, particularly in the light of the emphasis on the traditional division of the field of work of practical theology, with the focus on the work of the church and its officials, the quest to determine the role of the so-called "redundant profession" (cf. Heitink 2001:255) in the future workplace is important. It is clear from the answers of co-researchers that there is still a need for the role of a spiritual professional; but it is doubtful whether this role should be marginalised to that of a person who merely leads prayer meetings at work in terms of the kerygmatic model, seeing that:
Het lijkt er op dat het niet meer aan de gelegitimeerde vertegenwoordigers van de religieuze traditie voorbehouden is om het spreken over God te bepalen (Ganzevoort 2006:34).
In the exploration and consideration of a work method aimed at the embodiment of a more positive and relevant theologia habitus within the postulated co-ordinates from the interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and futures studies, with relevance for the workplace, an endeavour is made in terms of the hermeneutics of the "lived religion" to arrive at an understanding of how people and groups, "in their concrete situations", conduct themselves in a manner that "communicates affirmation, preserves the cohesion of selves and identities, and builds on strengths" (Browning 1991:284). This quest is closely linked to the quest for the facilitation of optimal functioning in individuals and within organisations (Linley & Joseph 2004:4).
In this regard, various models have been developed in the recent past, which have a bearing on the further development of the relevant hermeneutical character of pastoral care, as embodied in the workplace. A good, recent example of such a model, which also falls within the environmental context and experience of most of the participants in the study, is the development of so-called life coaches. As already indicated, this development is also embodied in the perspectives of Group 3 (life coaches). The following perspective was put forward by this group:
• What made you decide to become a life coach? In what type of coaching are you currently involved?
Participants indicated that being involved with people through coaching is part of their vocation, and that it offers a model within which they can live out their passion for working with people, within a business environment. Through this involvement with people by means of coaching, people are assisted, in a holistically integrated manner, to live out their humanity, thus confirming the insight that human beings are the determinative factor in the business environment. Participants are involved in various coaching models, including:
* Life coaching (Relationships; spiritual guidance or "consciousness" counselling; or personal leadership, etc.)
* Business coaching (Leadership and career integration)
* Executive coaching
* Team coaching
* Participants are also accredited with various professional bodies.
The reflection relating to the responses of the co-researchers from the group of life coaches points to important perspectives in terms of which participants confirm that coaching - which is also perceived by the group as a vocation - can assist people, in a holistically integrated manner, to live out their humanity; and this also confirms the insight that people are the determinative factor in the business environment. Life coaching is conducted in a structured manner; and different embodiments thereof are encountered within the domain.
In the weighing up and further development of the domain of the new, evolving field of life coaching, by means of a relevant pastoral orientation, it is clear that not only could this profession undergo further development; but it could, in fact, also make an important further contribution to the development of a memory for the future. Measured against the particular impasse in which pastoral therapy currently finds itself in South Africa, as referred to earlier in the study, this development would indeed open up new vistas of possibilities.
Therefore - on the basis of the perspectives of the co-researchers - the designated persona for the development of a memory for the future for the proposed theologia habitus of the future workplace, is not necessarily identifiable in terms of the office of a minister of religion. Rather, models reflecting the new development, involving the training of life coaches, should be further exploited, if the objective of entering the future domain of the new workplace is really to be attained in practice. If these persons are perceived as the facilitators who encourage other individuals to manage their own learning and development in order to become more self-confident in respect of the acquisition of new knowledge, skills and abilities (Klasen & Clutterbuck 2002; De Haan 2008), the necessary space within which individuals can be exposed to a theologia habitus for the future workplace, can be sketched. Even the further development of so-called executive coaching, for example (Chapman, Best & Van Casteren 2003), as referred to by the co-researchers, could then be regarded, in terms of a future development, as "a service provided to those in business who want individual assistance to enhance their performance, skills, and achievement" (Kauffman & Scoular 2004:288-289), and to which practical theology and, in particular, newer developments in pastoral care, could make a specific contribution.
In order to weigh up newly-chartered semantic moments from positive psychology, inter alia - along with methodological developments as embodied in, for example, appreciative inquiry (Reed 2007) - within this category of persona in the development of a memory for the future, the accommodation thereof in the academic curriculum of practical theology warrants earnest attention.
In my opinion, it is only in the careful consideration and weighing up of the above-mentioned factors that the possibility arises for the development of a relevant theologia habitus for the future workplace. This proposed future development of life coaching ties in well with, inter alia, existing narrative work methods in pastoral care, in which there is an inherent potential for the opening up of new horizons through the use of, inter alia, journal entries (Janse van Rensburg 2009:222), as well as film and music (Cooper 2009:226). Apart from the further academic development and accommodation of these perspectives within a practical theological domain, there are also possibilities for the overcoming of the statutory impasse pertaining to pastoral therapy in South Africa, which was pointed out earlier on. Currently, there are no formal statutory directives, on a worldwide basis, for the functioning of life coaches; and by means of involvement in the developing dialogues in this regard in South Africa, amongst other countries (www.comensa.co.za), practical theology could indeed render a pro-active contribution to the future, in which
[t]he dual accountability towards church and state must be properly negotiated to ensure that we do not lose our distinctive identity, but are able to respond to the needs in the society (Van Arkel 1999:107),
and in which this dual accountability is mapped out.
The concept of ecology as a prerequisite in the development of a memory for the future, is used by De Geus (1997:32) to refer to internal and external relationships with people and institutions (ecology). The interpretation of these relationships entails an emphasis on systems theory, which in turn can be mapped out within the domain of futures studies. In this regard, Spies (1999:12) points out that "[c]hange is systemic, therefore systems thinking should form an integral part of all futures research programmes" (Spies 1999:12).
The epistemology that can be discerned in the design should thus be interpreted, precisely, against the background of the following perspectives that give rise to a systemic interpretation: Newton already introduced a linear epistemology to the world during the 16th and 17th centuries. According to this epistemology, reality is atomistically fragmented; and a linear cause-effect scheme is endorsed (Müller 1994:25; Gouws 1995:7). The origin of the later systems theory can be traced back to the reaction against the Newtonian paradigm of linear causality. Du Plooy (1995:29) writes that at the beginning of the twentieth century, Max Planck, Albert Einstein and Heisenberg pointed out that wholeness, patterns and relationships between parts are important. Concepts such as holistic and ecology were used for the first time. As a result, the father of General Systems Theory, Viennese biologist Ludwig van Bertalanffy, developed and formulated the insight that the whole of the system is more than the sum of its parts (Müller 1991:93; Senge et al 1999:138). General Systems Theory grew, in opposition to the Newtonian paradigm, from a holistic approach in which the starting point is not the parts or components, but the whole (Müller 1994:25). Cybernetic epistemology (Keeney 1983:16), in a further development, comprised a reflection on General Systems Theory. However, cybernetics aims to draw the focus away from the different objects, in order to place the emphasis on patterns between the various parts, resulting in, inter alia, "a network-centric view of life" (Stalder 2007:172). Senge (2006:73) therefore rightfully indicates that
Eventually, systems thinking form a rich language for describing a vast array of interrelationships and patterns of change. Ultimately, it simplifies life by helping us see the deeper patterns lying behind the events and the details.
In the further development of the architecture of the design, it appears that this systemic interpretation plays a determinative role in, inter alia, the perception of globalisation as
the increasing interwovenness of political, economic and social forces that determine people's lives on the planet in a decisive manner (cf. Louw 1998:19).
A further development is found, inter alia, in the ability to establish links between hermeneutics and systems thinking - an ability which has been augmented, in particular, during recent years. Jürgen Habermas's communicative action theory is an example of a theory in which an attempt is made to effectuate a link between hermeneutics and systems theory (Müller 1996:13). Over the course of time, social constructionism was developed, placing emphasis on the construction of meaning through language - which indeed resonates, in turn, with later perspectives from an (auto)biographical accent, pointing to, inter alia, the limited nature of language. In this regard, the concept of "architectonic competence" is used to express the principle that in a professional design, the latest well-founded techniques, on the one hand, and the reflection of an own personal accent, on the other, should be present. It is precisely in terms of this interpretation, with the emphasis on the relationship between, inter alia, systems thinking and hermeneutics, that the necessary space is created for the weighing up and negotiation of the meaning of a narrative interpretation in the development of an (auto)biographical theologia habitus for the future workplace.
It has already been pointed out, earlier on in the research, that the absence of a comprehensive theology of work characterises the challenge of creating a theologia habitus for the future workplace. Volf (1991:25), who advocates the development of such a theory, points out that "the first step in developing a theology of work must be to study the present reality of human work". In view thereof, and against the background of the discourse of the interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and futures studies that has been embodied in the design, I will restrict myself by referring only to technological development, as one aspect of an ecology that needs to be taken into account in the embodiment of a theologia habitus for the future workplace.
This development and change, which is presupposed by the so-called technological revolution, is facilitated by
... five enabling technologies and slowed by an enabling issue. The enabling technologies are those of computer technology; communication technology; materials technology; energy technology; and biotechnology ... The enabling issue is environmentalism, which is acting as a constraint on some areas of technological development (Reader, Executive Summary 2008:3-4).
From the foregoing, it is thus also clear that an understanding of technology entails much more than, for example, mere knowledge regarding technological development in the field of information and communication technology, as observed, for example, in the use of cellular technology. In the quest for a generic description of what is meant by the term technology, I subscribe to the definition provided in the Executive Summary of the Master's Programme in Futures Studies (Reader 2008:4-3), which indicates that:
Technology encompasses the creation of capabilities by the systematic application of knowledge, through a process of invention, innovation and diffusion.
In his well-known book, Flat world, Friedman (2006:8) writes that the architecture of the world has changed in the wake of, inter alia, the significant developments brought about by various kinds of communication technology, as a result of which more and more people are now able to come into contact with other people across the world.
Niemandt (2009:625) refers to this factor as the "Globalization 3.0" phenomenon, in terms of which individuals and groups can be linked, integrated and empowered in networks, from the basis of a "flat-world platform". The significance of this for the architecture of human existence is naturally far-reaching - not only for individuals, but also for large organisations and the church. Castells (2006:381) sums up the situation by referring to
the new social structure of the Information Age, which I call the network society because it is made up of networks of production, power, and experience, which construct a culture of virtuality in the global flows that transcend time and space.
In the foregoing description of the influence and significance of technology in the informalisation of society, resulting in the formation of the "network society" in which participation is no longer determined solely by membership or physical presence, "maar door entree (inloggen) en communicatie" (Ganzevoort 2006:34), the nature of relationships is being defined anew. Naturally, further spatial adjustments thereof are also possible, with the focus on, inter alia, the economic aspects. Stilwell (1994:2), for example, refers to the "systematic application of knowledge to resources to produce goods or services." It is self-evident, however, that this view of technology presupposes a specific focus, which is challenged by Cooper (1995:12), for example, who writes that:
If technology helps to narrow our conception of mind so, according to a related charge, does it serve to narrow, to the point of exclusion, our perspectives on the world about us.
Schuurman (2003:13) therefore rightfully warns that, whereas modern-day society is regarded as being technologically advanced, it should also be regarded as a secularised society, which indicates that
the prevalent spirit in our culture is technicistic, which is to say that the spirit of technology pervades the whole of culture,
and that it even exerts an influence over the church, to which people are only committed on a temporary basis (Ganzevoort 2006:34). This influence is not only encountered at the institutional level; but the significance of this technological development has also left its mark on the design of the private-life domain.
In order to articulate this warning in a concrete manner, Cooper (1995:18) points out, for example, that intimate personal human relationships become eroded in a technological society, in cases where the selection of a friend or partner is left solely to the choice made by a computer - thus becoming, at most, an expression of clinical information-processing.
Not only does this technological development lead to the erosion and disintegration of personal relationships and intimacy, but a spiritual vacuum simultaneously arises, in which human beings
experience the great benefits of science and modern technology and marvel at their accomplishments while at the same time questioning the presence of God in this world (Schuurman 2003:9).
Spirituality, which is inherently linked to the investigation of the above-mentioned questions, presupposes a "dynamic view of God's purposeful action in evolution", which "resonates with our lived spiritual experience of God's continuing and purpose-filled influence in our lives" (Russel 2005:337). Within this dynamic design and development of a theologia habitus, questions which also correspond with the indicated challenges of the Millennium Project can be accommodated. Questions such as the one put forward by Louw (2002:348) - i.e., "How does technology and telecommunication preserve the earth and safeguard it against violent exploitation?" - articulate with some of the "15 Global Challenges", in which the following questions, inter alia, are posed: "How can sustainable development be achieved for all while addressing global climate change?" and "How can policymaking be made more sensitive to global long-term perspectives?" (Glenn, Gordon & Florescu 2008:12-41).
In all honesty, from the perspective of my own position and work, and although my day's work is defined by the use of e-mail, answering my cellphone, and sending text messages (SMSs), the contents thereof do not reflect sounds or tones that directly address the challenges mentioned above. Could this - I wonder - be ascribed to the fact that, for large portions of my day and my work, I am engaged in solving the wrong problems in just the right way? Is this not, precisely, part of the problem contributing to the Sunday-Monday "gap"? The truth must be faced; and even though I am engaged in dialogues with co-workers in the workplace, as embodied in the document, I actually don't know all that much about this particular world. Therefore, this design should indeed offer suggestions as to how, in the development of a theologia habitus, space and volume could be provided, with a view to offering a further description of, and involvement in, a future workplace.
It is within this domain, and in the embodiment of the interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and futures studies, that methodological challenges map out new semantic possibilities (Osmer 2006:343). An example hereof, which also serves to illustrate the meaning of ecology in the construction of a memory of the future, is the design proposal that is found in the futures-study method of the so-called "Real-Time Delphi" (Glenn, Gordon & Florescu 2008:55). According to this methodology, it is possible to design and present principles that are fundamental to a qualitative work method, in such a way that concepts such as "spirituality", "faith" and "workplace", which feature in the present design, could be considered anew by participants within the domain of "real-time" technology, as a further embodiment of the interdisciplinary dialogue between theology and futures studies. In accordance herewith, participants could take part by filling in an online questionnaire relating to the theme(s) under investigation. The answers could be upgraded - both numerically and qualitatively - on a "real-time" basis, as participants provide answers. Participants could be further encouraged to revisit the questionnaire as often as possible. During each visit, participants would receive the opportunity to inspect their own answers, as well as the updated and processed answers. It would also be possible for each participant to apply a further revision thereof (Glenn, Gordon & Florescu 2008:55).
The accents of the interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and futures studies are strongly articulated within this domain of technology, and access to new vistas is effectuated. Without alleging that the "Real-Time Delphi" model would be the only way in which the proposed interdisciplinary dialogue could be continued in the construction of a theologia habitus for the future workplace, it does, in my opinion, offer perspectives for a creative and evolutionary development in terms of methodology. It is, precisely, the exploration and embodiment of this dynamic and evolutionary development in methodology that positively informs the manner in which the praxis in practical theology is visited, by means of specific perspectives from the scientific field of futures studies.
The importance of the negotiation of these factors for the future workplace is accentuated in the following comments put forward by co-researchers from Group 1, comprised of professionally qualified theologians:
• What place does the Christian faith occupy, together with other religions, in the South African workplace of the 21st century?
The secularisation hypothesis is dead. There is just no way in which the workplace and religious faith could be separated. The question is, what would be the nature of this faith, and what impact would it have on the workplace? (Sometimes this impact can be very direct in character, such as in the case of Islamite banks or Christian Unit Trusts.) In this regard, the Christian faith must guard against fundamentalism and the absolutisation of personal preconceptions. The Christian faith must also learn to reach out and co-operate on the basis of values that it has in common with other religions. Instead of an offensive or defensive strategy, this faith should learn to develop a spontaneous delight in the values of the Christian gospel and to live out this gospel freely in the workplace, while preserving a respect for other religious traditions. What is necessary, is that the Christian faith should contribute to the attribution of meaning in the workplace. From the vantage point of a Christian ethos, faith assists in facilitating a particular approach to the workplace. It is in this way that hope, ethics and value can be offered to people in the work environment.
Looking back, it is striking that, in the formulation of the question to the so-called professional group, I inadvertently placed spirituality and faith side by side as synonyms, without this factor being noticed by myself, or by any of the ten participants. However, it is clear from the Reflection that the workplace and faith cannot be separated; and this confirms the centrality of the meaning of the research aimed at the embodiment of a theologia habitus for the future workplace. The outward manifestation of the living out of spirituality/faith in the workplace should not be embodied in an offensive or defensive strategy, but should be developed through a spontaneous delight in the values of the Christian gospel, so that this gospel can be freely lived out and put into effect in the workplace, while retaining respect for other religious traditions. Specific possibilities for the facilitation of the attribution of meaning in the workplace can be found in this approach, in which hope, ethics and value can be offered to people in the work environment.
The last movement identified by De Geus (1997:32) as a prerequisite for the development of a memory for the future, is that of evolution or development. In this regard, the evolutionary and innovative character of the research design that is in search of new and untapped space, is also accentuated.
Possibilities relating to the development of the design were sought in the meaning of the interdisciplinary domains of study, from the overlapping co-ordinates of, inter alia, practical theology and futures studies. In this regard, the quest for the facilitation of the most positive and sustainable outcome is understood in the broadest possible terms. Pivotally, and also as an expression of this quest, with a view to the development of a theologia habitus, Louw's (1999a:2) definition of pastoral care is endorsed:
Pastoral care refers to that approach which aims to address these important issues of life in a meaningful way from the perspective of the Christian faith. Pastoral care aims to assist people and to offer them hope on the basis of the conviction that God's faithfulness comprises the content of faith, and that God has fulfilled his promises relating to the salvation of mankind in Christ's crucifixion and resurrection (the eschatological perspective), as well as the conviction that life is lived in the presence of God. Pastoral care aims to interpret God's will in terms of the question regarding the meaning of life, and vice versa, so that people can live in joy and hope (own emphasis) (own translation).
The quest of pastoral care for growth and salvation, and the new, developing field of positive psychology that has a bearing on this quest, are of particular significance in this regard. From the envisaged outcome of pastoral care, namely "that people can live in joy and hope" (cf. Louw 1999a:2), as well as that of applied positive psychology, which is described as "the application of positive psychology research to the facilitation of optimal functioning" (Linley & Joseph 2004:4), new spaces of action are mapped out.
By way of illustration of the meaning of the foregoing, the focus falls on the significance of the narrative approach for, inter alia, pastoral care as a subdiscipline in practical theology. In the accessing thereof, further links with the field of futures studies are postulated, and the further development of the design is mapped out.
In the endeavour to arrive at an understanding of the narratives of others, First-Order Cybernetics comprised a revolutionary development, which was a reflection of the change in the philosophy of science, in which a systemic interpretation was already present. However, it was only during the early to mid-eighties that therapists began to work within the context of Second-Order Cybernetics (Müller 1996:80). According to Zimmerman and Dickerson (1994:234), Second-Order Cybernetics entails, inter alia, a purposeful movement away from any causality and positivistic explanations, towards a position in which not only the therapist's inputs, but also those of the client, are regarded as being of value; and the therapeutic point of departure entails working with that which is presented by the client. Third-Order Cybernetics comprises a further elaboration of the foregoing, placing the emphasis on the "inter-subjective and consensual nature of knowledge" (cf. Müller 1996:81). Language fulfilled a key function in the development of Second- and Third-Order Cybernetics, particularly as articulated in the narrative (Zimmerman & Dickerson 1994:234). Müller rightly points out: "The modern approach had to make way for the postmodern, and the cybernetic for the narrative" (cf. Müller 1996:80).
For the purposes of the design, it is important to realise that the narrative approach has an empowering and enabling effect in terms of listening, the absorption of information, understanding, comprehension, interpretation, as well as the integration of information on more than one level through the use of both the conscious and the subconscious mind (Pearce 1996:xi). Thus, Stroup (1981:79) points out that a story is a description and explanation of life, and that we "live through stories" (Freedman & Combs 1996:32).
A further way in which the narrative approach can be turned to account, lies in the fact that it offers individuals the opportunity to "rehearse potential solutions until they achieve insight and new direction" (Pearce 1996:xiii). Change takes place when a story is reconstructed, through retelling and re-interpretation, until it opens the way for new insights that are followed by change (Müller 1996:102). The story itself is thus the agent of change that "allows people to bridge the gap between what is and what should be" (Pearce 1996:xiii).
In deploying the meaning of human experience as a direction-indicator on the narrative path, it is important to take cognisance of the meaning of the narrative for human identity, and of the structure that is offered by the narrative with a view to understanding human actions. In the fusion of different narratives, the objective is not merely to effectuate a meeting between various narratives, but also to display an involvement in, and openness towards the life stories that participants reveal to one another. In my opinion, these perspectives are indeed accommodated in the methodology of (auto)biographical research that is mapped out in the design.
With regard to the possible meaning of this construction of perspectives in relation to the development of a theologia habitus for the workplace, therefore, it is a good idea to make an exploratory inquiry into the possible significance of the narrative accent for the field of future studies, with a view to the furtherance of the interdisciplinary dialogue, in which the vantage points of the various disciplines stand in a complementary relationship to one another.
In this regard, the aspects that were emphasised by Group 3 (comprised of the so-called life coaches) in their responses to the following question, are of significance:
• What possible role do you think coaches could play in respect of the facilitation of spirituality within the workplace?
Participants were all in agreement that, according to their own experience, coaches can play a very important role in the facilitation of spirituality in the workplace. Participants expressed the opinion that sessions during which individuals are assisted to discover their highest motivations and aspirations are - precisely - spiritual in nature. For this very reason, life coaching can create an awareness of the presence of spirituality in the everyday, mundane aspects of life, thus corroborating Maslow's notion that self-actualising individuals sanctify life. Apart from this individual emphasis, coaching also plays a positive role in the organisation, as well as in the different systems within which the workers function.
Spirituality is regarded by the participants as an important given factor in the facilitation of the highest motivations in individuals. It is striking that the notion of an actualised theologia habitus is concretised in the perspective of the life coaches, who pointed out that, by means of life coaching, an awareness of spirituality in the mundane is created, and that self-actualising individuals sanctify life.
• In your opinion, what contribution to coaching is made by the new, developing field of positive psychology, inter alia?
Positive psychology's focus on finding "happiness", "meaning" and "optimal functioning", rather than only on pathology (in contrast to the dominant perspectives in psychology), has a clear influence on life coaching. Moreover, the new domain of positive psychology offers empirically-based research results that are significant for the new field and profession of coaching.
In the potential semantic contributions of positive psychology, I perceived new possibilities that articulated and resonated with an accent of my own, in my own personal life. In the careful consideration of the developing domain of positive psychology, I observed aspects that displayed similarities with the quest for a transformational model, as embodied in the social manifestation of practical theology - but also with the scientific orientation in the field of futures studies, in the pursuit of the best possible alternatives, with "happiness", "meaning" and "optimal functioning" as important markers. I was also freed from the perception that this was merely another variation of Norman Vincent Peale's "positive thinking" that became popular during the sixties; and I saw that the perspectives in this regard were indeed being built on strong empirical foundations.
In turning these perspectives of the life coaches, as co-researchers, to account, there seems to be a strong connection between, inter alia, the domain of the transcendental, and the developmental perspective of positive psychology. As indicated, the development of so-called strengths in the personality contrasts with the minimising approach of traditional psychology.
In the facilitation of positive psychology, three pillars are distinguished, on the basis of which the theory of positive psychology is built up (Hackey 2007:213): The first pillar is shaped by the positive subjective experience of the past, present and future. The second pillar comprises the investigation of individual and positive characteristics as expressed in terms of, inter alia, so-called virtues and strengths. The third pillar has its roots in the investigation of positive institutions and communities.
For the purposes of the research, reference is made to these three pillars, in particular, on the basis of which the study of positive psychology is construed. Naturally, there is an emphasis on a specific individual facilitation of the individual's experience, perceptions and strengths within such a proposed model of positive psychology; but it is embedded within the broader, positive systemic interpretation of organisational culture (third pillar).
In the presentation of perspectives on how spirituality could be concretely facilitated within the workplace, some of the perspectives from Group 1 (persons with professional theological qualifications who are currently serving in senior management positions outside of the church) can be put forward in terms of the following framework:
• If you are of the opinion that the spiritual dimension should be actively managed, for example as a component of a company's wellness programme, what would be the best vehicle for this purpose? For example, should spirituality be facilitated on an individual basis at various levels of the company (for instance, by making use of the services of so-called executive coaches at senior management level), or should it rather be facilitated in a group context entailing voluntary association and participation - or should both approaches perhaps be used?
Participants agreed that the following principles are important markers in the negotiation of spirituality: 1) acknowledge the need of people to anchor their work in spirituality in an authentic manner; 2) leave room for spontaneous sympathy within relationships (this process should comprise part of the culture and the manner of working of the people who are employed in the organisation, and, preferably, need not be conducted by persons from outside the organisation); 3) leave it to coaches to assist staff members to integrate what is important to them in their lives and work in terms of religious faith and spirituality. In a group context, the challenge may lie in not allowing the dialogue, in a democratically constituted group, to lapse into a mere shallow discussion of ethical guidelines. In terms of a starting point for the process, many of the participants indicated that their preference in this regard would be to start with executive/senior managers and groups. However, the point of departure should, at all times, be the accommodation of, and respect for, the spirituality of workers, and not the active management thereof.
It is clear that co-researchers, from their position as professional, theologically qualified persons, on the one hand, and as persons currently occupying executive posts in various companies and organisations outside of the church, on the other, place emphasis on the facilitation of an authentic spirituality (which does not merely entail, for example, the presentation of ethical guidelines), which is facilitated within relationships in a spontaneous manner. A possible work method that was indicated with a view to accommodating such a process, would be to start off at the level of executive/senior managers, where so-called executive coaches could provide guidance to individuals in this regard. It should be noted that this reflection is based on the responses of executive coaches who are personally involved, in a subjective manner, in the concerned professional category.
In the development and description of positive psychology, "happiness" is interpreted as an expression and product of a positive definition of life in one of three possible ways (Seligman 2006:233-235): Firstly, in the so-called "Pleasant Life", which presupposes the Hollywood interpretation of happiness, the quantification of sensory happiness is implied. Secondly, in the so-called "Engaged Life", the focus falls on the identification and deployment of specific strengths in the individual. Thirdly, there is the "Meaningful Life", which "consists of identifying your signature strengths and then using them to belong to and in service of something that you believe is larger than you are" (Seligman 2006:235). However, it is clear that the focus on happiness, with reference to the second and third definitions mapped out above, does not imply a hedonistic interpretation (Hackey 2007:212), but rather "a complete human life at its best" (MacIntyre 1984:149). In this regard, Peterson (2004:4) rightfully points out that:
We write from the perspective of positive psychology, which means that we are as focused on strengths as on weakness, as interested in building the best things in life as in repairing the worst, and as concerned with fulfilling the lives of normal people as with healing the wounds of the distressed.
For perspectives relating to the proposed research design, with a view to the facilitation of a memory for the future as an important aspect of the development of a theologia habitus for the future workplace, it is important that the development of positive psychology, as embodied at the individual level, but also with a bearing on a broad systemic interpretation of the workplace, should be accommodated. A futurological perspective (Louw 2008:31), which is central to the redefinition of existing constructions, and in terms of which positive values and accents are emphasised, is thereby accommodated and embodied. In the development of positive psychology, important principles that are fundamental to newer qualitative research are indeed present. Thus, for example, it is precisely the principles that underlie positive psychology that make a contribution to the establishment of the "Appreciative Inquiry" method (Reed 2007), in terms of which perspectives (windows) for the facilitation of spirituality, in their turn, come into play, and fulfil a complementary role in relation to the life coaching model. In this regard, an important movement away from the pathological model - a movement which is pivotal to the quest that is undertaken in the research design - is mapped out, in which
[t]he emphasis on strength is intended to encourage a move away from the paradigm of pathogenic thinking and to link health to a sense of coherence, personality hardness, inner potency, stamina or learned resourcefulness (Louw 2008:31).
It is in this vista or outlook which is being fashioned through the development of a memory for the future, that the exhortation of Henk de Melker, the main character in 30 Nagte in Amsterdam, finds embodiment:
Keep yesterday behind glass. Today is an hourglass; take it one grain at a time. If you do so, you can control time ... and yourself, within that time. As for tomorrow, and the day after - don't trouble yourself about that. The vistas of an unrealised future ... (cf. Van Heerden 2009:121).
4.3.v Step 4
By opening up perspectives during the entrance into the chamber, not only is a new space accessed, but windows onto new perspectives are also opened up. It is then that the ideal that was set at the beginning of the design is realised, in the attainment of an understanding of "[t]he coexistence of architecture and life" (Norberg-Schulz 2000:45). In the development of a memory for the future, a theologia habitus can be facilitated, with a view to the facilitation of a spiritual recapitalisation in the future workplace. It is then that the design makes space available for a theologia habitus in the future workplace.
The foregoing research design was presented on the basis of associative networks of meaning derived from the metaphor of architecture. By making use of concepts associated with this metaphor, the domain for the interdisciplinary dialogue between practical theology and future studies was traced out from the very first page.
Concepts such as construction and reconstruction were put forward in the research, in order to create a possible model of a theologia habitus for the future workplace. In these accents, and in the proposal of a specific design, I am cognisant of the accents and semantic content of the reconstruction metaphor, in which there is an inherent implication that existing constructions are no longer effective, and should be replaced in their entirety. In my view, such an approach - even from a postmodern perspective - would be too deconstructive, erroneously portraying a terrain in which bulldozers are in the process of annihilating previous constructions. However, to narrow the current design down to a mere extension of the existing construction would, in my opinion, amount to a downplaying of the evolutionary and experimental nature of this design. The fact still remains that existing designs, which are at risk of falling away and being relegated to the so-called "zombie" categories, need to be considered anew, in order to fulfil the well-known architectonic principle which stipulates that "form follows function" (Sebestyen 2003:87).
In my view, the demands relating to the so-called "15 Global Challenges" of the Millennium Project of the UN, which were referred to at the beginning of the study (Glenn, Gordon & Florescu 2008:12-41), comprise an indication of the needs that should be accommodated within a new design of this nature. However, it is true that - as Volf (1991:viii) rightly points out - a proposed design, particularly one that has a distinctly experimental character, calls for criticism, and even runs the risk of not being accepted, and of ending up in the "waste-paper basket" of science. Before this eventuality conceivably becomes a reality, however, I would like to point out the advantages which, in my humble opinion, are offered by this design:
Firstly, in my view, this design - in the context of the experimental and developing nature of the qualitative model of (auto)biographical research that is used - contributes towards the articulation of what is most personal in such a way that it indeed has general meaning and significance. It is precisely in the resonation of accents in this research design with the accents of potential readers, that the validity of (auto)biographical research is confirmed. This contribution towards the possible reformulation, as well as new articulations, of the language of faith, constitutes a search for relevant accents for the future workplace. Confirmation of this attunement to, and quest for a relevant and contextual interpretation, is put forward by Van der Walt (2009:267) from a Reformed perspective:
Either continue with the current religious teachings and practices and haemorrhage to death through the constant loss of members searching for deeper spiritual meaning in their lives, or adopt a somewhat different approach that would bring members in touch with the quintessential spirituality of the Christian faith.
Secondly, in my opinion - and arising from the need for a relevant spirituality for the future workplace - this design makes a contribution in terms of the development of a relevant and pragmatic theologia habitus, with the articulation of specific practical theological accents, as well as perspectives for an accountable future. Mitroff (1998:151) corroborates the importance of this objective by pointing out that "[s]pirituality is an integral part, if not the very essence, of management." However, it is important, in further reflections on - and in the possible further development of - this proposal, to guard against the danger of deploying spirituality as if it were just another commodity, in order "to support ... corporate interests and working practices" (Carrette & King 2005:171).
Thirdly, the design facilitates the necessary contours for an accountable interdisciplinary discourse, with the discovery of new spaces - and space - in the mapping out of the respective disciplines. In the dialogue of involvement that took shape between, inter alia, practical theology and futures studies, not only was a motivation provided as to why certain interdisciplinary partners were chosen (Osmer 2006:343); but the meaning of the newly integrated perspectives for a particular context was also indicated. An important and innovative contribution to the further development of a strategic investigation has thereby been made, with the emphasis on possible experimental alternatives (Ganzevoort 2006:159).
The context that was indicated on a continual basis during the course of the research, was that of the new workplace, as embodied in a dynamic new economy. In contrast to the initial character of practical theology - entailing a defensive, and even an offensive stance, in terms of which
[b]usiness was generally portrayed as a source of oppression and inequality; [and] critiques included sweeping generalizations about, for example, the negative aspects of globalization (Miller 2007:99)
- particular attention was focused, during the research, on the semantic moments of "creative and positive potentialities of the marketplace" (Miller 2007:99) - comprising a fourth advantage of this design. This positive, innovative accent indeed gives utterance to the premise that "[p]ractical theology always reflects the angle of vision from which it is done" (Browning 1991:250).
The fifth advantage can be found in important accents of meaning from the field of futures studies, in terms of which, in the development of the concept of a memory for the future, dimensions of the present are taken into account, with a view to their significance for the future. Precisely in the consideration of these dimensions, not only does the functionality of existing constructions become the subject of reflection, but perspectives on, and proposals for the creative and evolutionary development of a theologia habitus for the future workplace are created.
This design indeed presupposes that practical theology - informed by futures studies, as indicated by the design - will always remain a building site, with a notice reading: "Enter at your own risk!". In this research adventure, Taylor's (2008:204) comments relating to the meaning of a relevant and contextual practical theology are confirmed:
... and for me practical theology is all about risk. Practical theology, in my mind, is daring to believe that life and not theory is where the theological enterprise begins ... The only potential for the future of Christian faith lies in the doing, the going, the practice. A practical theology is not the taking of theology and applying it to a certain situation, but rather it is a beginning ...
However, if this undertaking is regarded as a theological project which, alongside of the people in a society, is in search of meaning, it offers the potential for meaningful transformation in the academic context, as well as in the church and in the world. Therefore - also on the basis of the execution of this research design - a further notice could be put up, bearing the words: "Be prepared to be rebuilt" (cf. Cilliers 2009a:637).
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Supplementa reeds gepubliseer
1. Kaleidoskoop 2000, Artikels oor Teologie. Gedenkuitgawe Fakulteit Teologie, UOVS 1980-2000 - D.F. Tolmie (Red.) (2000) (Uit druk/Out of print)
2. Contemporary translation studies and Bible translation: A South African perspective - J.A. Naudé & C.H.J. van der Merwe (Eds.) (2002)
3. Essentialia et hodierna - Oblata P.C. Potgieter - D.F. Tolmie (Ed.) (2002) (Uit druk/Out of print)
4. Narrative Preaching: Theory and praxis of a new way of preaching - J. Janse van Rensburg (2003)
5. Ad fontes - teologiese, historiese en wetenskaps-filosofiese studies binne reformatoriese kader - Festschrift vir Ludi F. Schulze - Victor E. d'Assonville, jr. & Erik A. de Boer (Reds.) (2004) (Uit druk/Out of print)
6. Die Woord verwoord, Artikels oor die Teologie. Eeufeesviering: Universiteit van die Vrystaat - D.F. Tolmie (Red.) (2004) (Uit druk/Out of print)
7. Health and Healing, Disease and Death in the Graeco-Roman World - François P. Retief and Louise Cilliers (2005) (Uit druk/Out of print)
8. The Spirit that moves - P.G.R. de Villiers, C.E.T. Kourie & C. Lombaard (Eds.) (2006)
9. Exploring new rhetorical approaches to Galatians - D.F. Tolmie (Ed.) (2007)
10. Prompte et sincere - Bereidwillig en opreg - Johannes Calvyn en die uitleg van die Woord van God/John Calvin and the exposition of the Word of God - Victor E. d'Assonville & R.M. Britz (Reds.) (2008)
11. The Spirit that empowers: Perspectives on spirituality - P.G.R. de Villiers, C.E.T. Kourie & C. Lombaard (Eds.) (2008)
12. The Bible and its translations: Colonial and postcolonial encounters with the indigenous - J.A. Naudé (Ed.) (2009)
Supplementa 7 and following are available at http://www.uovs.ac.za/ActaTheologica