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On-line version ISSN 2304-8557
Print version ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.75 n.4 Pretoria  2010


The Spirit and secularisation


Die Gees en sekularisasie



D.T. Williams

Department of Historical and Contextual Theology, University of Fort Hare, ALICE.




The existence of creation, especially of life, depends on the work of the third Person. In keeping with his nature as holy, the Spirit undergirds creation by providing separation and relatedness. This activity is, however, not of such a kind as to remove the measure of freedom that God gave through his self-limitation, and that is necessary for creation to occur. It is possible for individuals and society as a whole to ignore the Spirit, and for secularisation to occur. The action of the Spirit also underlies the new creation, which results in a distinctive society, the church, which is characterised by separation and relatedness. Through the church, the Spirit seeks to influence society as a whole by example without removing its freedom. To maintain the validity of this example, the Spirit also seeks to develop the church as a holy society, specifically counteracting the factors that produce secularisation in society.

Key concepts: holiness as relatedness, holiness as separation, Holy Spirit, secularisation, self-limitation


Die bestaan van die skepping, veral van lewe, hang van die werk van die derde Persoon af. Getrou aan sy heilige aard, onderskraag die Gees die skepping deur skeiding en verwantskap daar te stel. Hierdie werking is egter nie van so 'n aard dat die mate van vryheid, wat God deur sy selfbeperking gegee het, verwyder word nie, en dit is noodsaaklik dat skepping plaasvind. Dit is vir individue en die samelewing as geheel moontlik om die Gees te ignoreer sodat sekularisasie wel plaasvind. Die werking van die Gees lê ook ten grondslag van die nuwe skepping, wat uitloop op 'n eiesoortige gemeenskap, die kerk, wat deur skeiding en verwantskap gekenmerk word. Deur die kerk streef die Gees om die samelewing as geheel by wyse van voorbeeld te beïnvloed sonder om die vryheid daarvan weg te neem. Om die geldigheid van hierdie voorbeeld te handhaaf, streef die Gees om die kerk as 'n heilige gemeenskap te ontwikkel, terwyl dit spesifiek die faktore wat sekularisering in die samelewing veroorsaak, teenwerk.

Kernbegrippe: Heilige Gees, heiligheid as skeiding, heiligheid as verwantskap, sekularisasie, selfbeperking



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