Journal HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies-
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies, Volume 75; doi:10.4102/hts.v75i4.5245
Abstract:After decades of armed conflict in Colombia, how do those most affected by that conflict understand forgiveness? While others have researched Colombians’ views of forgiveness, this study is the first to do so through discussion of a narrative of forgiveness. Readings of the biblical narrative chosen for this study, the Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor (Mt 18:21–35), can enable North Atlantic scholars to discover dimensions of the parable revealed by those who live lives that mirror the realities of the parable, unlike such scholars. The study aims to understand how conflict survivors, especially internally displaced persons (IDPs), understand forgiveness and its relation to politics. The study also aims to identify how these women and men read Matthew 18:21–35 differently from academics. Groups in eight locations around Colombia discussed Matthew 18:21–35. Researchers led lectura popular de la Biblia [people’s readings of the Bible], inviting participants to say how the parable related to their lives and to discuss the political consequences that would come from imitating characters in the parable. Conflict survivors said that forgiving was essential if their communities were going to be communities at all, especially communities at peace, offering freedom and economic opportunity. Unlike commentators, they read Matthew 18:21–35 as enjoining forgiveness towards those beyond their local church and for wrongs involving money and violence. As Colombian churches seek to counter resentment with forgiveness, they should be aware of the power of lectura popular, especially of this parable, to create a safe environment where conflict survivors can speak candidly.
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies, Volume 75; doi:10.4102/hts.v75i2.4850
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies, Volume 75; doi:10.4102/hts.v75i4.5060
Abstract:This article aims to illustrate how racism could be addressed. Three pedagogies – a dangerous pedagogy as courageous dialogue, a pedagogy of discomfort and a critical pedagogy – are presented as examples to reframe the issue of racism. The contribution of James Cone is applied as a broad descriptive theoretical framework. Cone’s views in this article resonate with the history of contemporary racism in South Africa and will therefore be juxtaposed by the contribution of South African theologians. A fourth pedagogy, namely, a pedagogy of freedom and healing, is introduced to address gaps in the first three pedagogies. The objective is to realise freedom or healing between people of different races.
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies, Volume 75; doi:10.4102/hts.v75i3.5258
Abstract:Syncrisis as literary motif in the story about the grown-up child Jesus in the temple (Lk 2:41–52 and the Thomas tradition): The article explores hermeneutical solutions for the negative response from the child Jesus towards his biological parents in the Lukan temple story (Lk 2:41–52). The ‘wisdom’ of the child who acts in an ‘adult-like’ way is interpreted as a syncrisis. This literary motif is explained by an analysis of the contrasting positive and negative acts of the child Jesus towards teachers of the Torah in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas.
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies, Volume 75; doi:10.4102/hts.v75i3.5084
Abstract:Both Richard Dawkins’s book The God Delusion and Philip Kennedy’s book A Modern Introduction to Theology: New Questions for Old Beliefs were published in 2006. This article aims to compare the two books and to argue that Kennedy does not oppose Dawkins’s views but, in fact, debates along similar lines. Kennedy is adamant that the Augustinian paradigm of Christianity no longer makes sense, because it is based on an outdated cosmology and anthropology. He firmly maintains that Christianity requires a new paradigm, which is informed by our current knowledge and worldview. Thomas Kuhn’s ideas of paradigm and paradigm changes in the history of natural sciences are utilised in comparing the books, seeing that Dawkins accepts and works within the Darwinian paradigm of evolutionary biology, and Kennedy argues that Christians and Christian theologians adhere to the Augustinian paradigm of Fall-Redemption-Judgement. It is argued that Dawkins should have referred to the paradigm change in the study of the Bible, which occurred towards the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, and the plea of theologians, like Kennedy, for a paradigm change in theology. The article concludes that only a paradigm change in Christianity, which is in line with the modern worldview, will enable Christians to keep the tradition alive.
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies, Volume 75; doi:10.4102/hts.v75i1.5162
Abstract:The aim of this article is to study the general and contextual issues related to prayers for the departed with a focus on the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT). In 2012, the ELCT published a new hymnal, which included a number of prayers for those mourning their deceased friends and relatives, as well as prayers for the deceased individuals themselves. As a result of considerable criticism, this hymnal was replaced by a new edition in 2017, in which the prayers for the departed were omitted. The article further scrutinises the historical and theological aspects of praying for the departed in Lutheranism. It studies examples of prayers for the dead in Lutheran churches in two other countries, Finland and Sweden, and relates these to the situation in the ELCT.
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies, Volume 75; doi:10.4102/hts.v75i1.5180
Abstract:The issue of women in the ministry has been a vexed one historically. In many denominations, the ordination of women has been represented by some form of struggle, which culminated in the first ordinations of women during the second half of the 20th century. This article investigates the process towards the ordination of women in two Southern African Presbyterian denominations – the Bantu Presbyterian Church of South Africa (renamed the ‘Reformed Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa’ in 1979) and the Presbyterian Church of South Africa (renamed the ‘Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa’ in 1958), prior to their union in 1999 to form the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa. This article focusses on women in leadership in ministry, not exclusively on women ordained to the ministry of ruling or teaching elder (minister). It begins with an historical overview and proceeds to an investigation of developments in the two relevant denominations. The terms ‘leadership’ and ‘ministry’ are used separately and together and are considered to be synonymous. The article uses primary sources from the records of both denominations considered and suggests that the process was gradual and progressive as the worth of women in leadership was recognised following the general acceptance of the biblical and theological arguments.
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies, Volume 75; doi:10.4102/hts.v75i4.5164
Abstract:The future of labour appears as one of the crucial themes of the sociological and economic reflections. Sociologists and economists proclaim a shrinking scope of labour and, consequently, a certain elitism of jobs. In their opinion, professional work will be a privilege for those who are more skilled and better educated, and those who are able to face the challenges of the rapid technological progress. This will be causing an unknown future of the reality of both common unemployment and enforced idleness, and, consequently, a deep social transformation. Questions related to human labour from the very beginning are an important field of involvement for the ecumenical movement. Theologians and churchmen of different Christian confessions, while striving for unity, put the stress on the common reflection and activity in order to counteract poverty and unemployment. An example is a biblical economics developed in the ecumenical movement, an attempt to apply both some specific biblical economic ideas and biblical general model of economic relations to the contemporary economic systems, to make them more just and more ecological. This article presents the most important elements of the biblical economics and considers their relevance for the sphere of human labour in the perspective of the oncoming crisis. Research methods encompass analysis of the presentations developed within the World Council of Churches as well as some sociological diagnosis concerning professional and wage work.
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies, Volume 75; doi:10.4102/hts.v75i3.5157
Abstract:This study explores humans’ ecological responsibility, firstly from an evolutionary perspective and then by emphasising especially the order and creation theology in the Old Testament wisdom literature. Ultimately, these entities will be connected. The following aspects will be addressed: cosmology, ecology, evolutionary biology and order in the wisdom literature. These concepts are seen by many as exclusive towards each other, but this article will endeavour to portray them as interlocutors in dialogue with each other.
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies, Volume 75; doi:10.4102/hts.v75i1.5210