AT 2008 Volume 28 Issue 1

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  • ItemOpen Access
    The double call for joy, "Rejoice and be blad" ( Matt. 5:12), as conclusion of the Matthean macarisms
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2008) Viljoen, F. P.
    English: In contrast to Luke, for whom joy and rejoicing are major motifs, Matthew rarely writes about them. This may reflect the antagonistic environment in which the Matthean community functioned. However, a few texts refer to joy: Matthew 2:10, 13:44 and, in parti cu lar, 5:12. This article explores the call for joy in Matthew 5:12 which takes up and interprets makarioi of the above beatitudes. Matthew 5:12 begins with a double call for joy: “Rejoice and be glad”, eliciting a liturgical response, such as “Hallelujah” or similar exclamations, and a life of faith from the audience or readers. This double call raises some questions. What is the relation between these two imperatives — are they more than mere duplication? What is the relation between this double call and the beatitude (macarism) of v. 11 and other beatitudes? Should vv. 11 and 12 be read as two beatitudes? How did beatitudes in general function as literary genre? What is the Sitz im Leben of Matthew’s beatitudes and what kind of response is required from the audience or readers? Does the response in Matthew reflect actual liturgical practice or is it merely a literary device? How can this call be applied to our present situation?
  • ItemOpen Access
    The role of religious values in extending social protection: a South African perspective
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2008) Mpedi, L. G.
    English: This article reflects critically on the role played by religious networks – in particular the African Independent Churches or African Initiated Churches (AICs) – in enhancing social protection by means of informal coping mechanisms in the South African context. It also examines various factors that contribute towards informal social security dependency in AICs, namely the influence of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, the limited scope of social security coverage, the restricted family concept (underlying much of the formal system which does not reflect the family context in South Africa), African traditional values, and Christian principles. In addition, the article investigates the nature of the relationship between informal coping mechanisms (such as those in AICs) and formal social security, i.e. whether informal social security strengthens or weakens formal social security. It finally explores ways and means of strengthening informal social security, in particular in the wake of challenges such as HIV/AIDS, urbanisation and migration.
  • ItemOpen Access
    'n Empiriese ondersoek na preekvoortelle oor ou-Testamentiese tekste in die leesrooster van 2005
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2008) Janse van Rensburg, J.
    English: After examining the basic principles for preaching from the Old Testament in a previous article, this article endeavours to investigate a sample of the current state of preaching from the Old Testament. A phenomenological assessment of sermons from the Lectionary of BUVTON (2005) serves as study example. The aim of the research is to determine whether sermons from the Old Testament deals responsibly with the many pitfalls explained in the first article and so often found in preaching from the Old Testament.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Eunug in die Antieke Nabye Ooste
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2008) Nel, M.
    English: The Bible uses the term “eunuch” several times. The question arises as to the meaning of this term. In this article Biblical and extra-Biblical data are considered. It is argued that the Hebrew word, syrs, refers to a castrated man, and that, in biblical usage, it refers to a castrated man in terms of Israel’s religion (Deut. 23:1; Is. 56:3). The term is used in a different sense when it refers to a foreign person, i.e. a person in an official capacity in a king’s court (as in Gen. 37), or a military commander (as in 1 Kings 22:9; 2 Kings 8:7; 23:12; 25;19; Jer. 52:25). The reference to the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8 is also discussed, and the conclusion is drawn that syrs refers to a foreign official visiting Jerusalem to worship, and not to a castrated man.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The eschatology of 1 Thessalonians in the light of its spirituality
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2008) De Villiers, P. G. R.
    English: This article investigates the eschatology of 1 Thessalonians from the perspective of its spirituality. It first analyses the way in which eschatology suits and reflects its Thessa lo nian context and the conversion of the Thessalonians. Secondly, it analyses how past events are presented in light of their final spiritual journey. Thirdly, it describes the present situation in Thessalonica and, fourthly, the future in terms of God’s ultimate soteriological and judicial actions for humanity. The article concludes with a discussion of the mystical nature of eschatology and the specific pronouncements about the future transformation of believers.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Psalm 51: "take not your Holy Spirit away from me"
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2008) Maré, L. P.
    English: Even a cursory reading of the New Testament makes one aware of numerous references to the Holy Spirit. The New Testament is thus normally the focus for studies on pneumatology. However, there are many references to jwr in the Old Testament of which 107 refer to God’s activities in nature and in the lives of human beings. In these passages jwr is translated as “spirit”, indicating the work of the Spirit of God. Pentecostals believe that the presence of the Spirit of God in the lives of believers during the Old Testament period was sporadic and temporary. It was only after the outpouring of God’s Spirit on the Day of Pentecost that the Spirit came to dwell permanently within believers. This article challenges that assumption by analysing Psalm 51. Such analysis reveals that the Spirit of God lived permanently in the life of an Old Testament believer, and ascertains the role of the Spirit of God in the life of the worshipper.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Appropriating the closure of Jesuit missions: Fritz Hochwälder's Das heilige Experiment
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2008) Hale, F
    English: Since the eighteenth century the history of the Jesuit missionary endeavours in South America, especially their forced closure in 1760s, has been used rhetorically by writers in several genres, providing them with historical evidence to support a variety of latter-day causes. During the Second World War the Viennese Jewish playwright Fritz Hochwälder, then living in exile in Switzerland, followed in this tradition when he wrote his tragedy, Das heilige Experiment. It was a timely plea for toleration and religious freedom. Though almost completely ignored in histories of the Society of Jesus, this work vividly illustrates how a dramatic event in the history of Christianity can speak to subsequent issues. Since the eighteenth century, Jesuit missions in South America, especially the model communities, or reducciónes, established amongst the Guaraní and their forced closure in the 1760s, have served as an arsenal in which writers in several genres have found evidentiary historical weapons for supporting their con temporary causes.1 As I have pointed out elsewhere, when Voltaire had reason to believe that representatives of the Society of Jesus on that continent as well as in Europe were abusing their power and treating people in a manner which violated his sense of dignity and his understanding of the rise of the human race from barbarism to a cultivated state, he pilloried them mercilessly in Candide (1759). On the other hand, when the Jesuits came under fire as the victims of authoritarianism and were banned from several European countries and their colonies overseas, Voltaire could just as readily dash to their defence and seek to call attention to the discrepancy between their accomplishments and the way in which both secular authorities and the Vatican were handling them.2 Much more recently, the renowned screenwriter Robert Bolt adapted his original script for the film The mission (1986) to bolster the defence of Latin American liberation theology.3 In the present article I shall examine how the renowned Austrian Jewish playwright Fritz Hochwälder, no less than other writers who have exploited the same theme, appropriated the closure of the Jesuit missions in his dramatised plea for toleration and religious freedom during the Second World War. His case adds a particularly significant dimension to the testing of this hypothesis because unlike most of the other littérateurs who have dealt with the Jesuits, he did not emerge from even a nominally Christian family, although as a child and young man in Vienna he unquestionably had considerable exposure to Roman Catho licism in a country where the ties between that ecclesiastical tradition and the state had been strong for many centuries. No less importantly, this author wrote in response to direct ethnic and religious oppression and may therefore have be lieved he could empathise, if only by analogy, with the Guaraní to some extent.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Koinonia (deelgenootskap): 'n gemis in ons 21ste eeuse kerkbegrip
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2008) De Wet, B. W.
    English: This article argues that in translating koinonia one should not use terms such as “fellowship”, as koinonia focuses on the idea of “sharing”, in particular within a dynamic relationship of active participation and shared interests. After showing how Paul succeeds in applying the koinonia dynamics when addressing some of the issues of the Corinthian church in, for instance, 1 Corinthians 8:1-11:1, it becomes clear that one should rather attempt to make koinonia part and parcel of our current church concept.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Bouwen aan morgen met het bouwmateriaal van gisteren: Tobit 7-8 over de rol van geliefeden als hoeders en verzorgers van elkanders psychische kwitsuren*
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2008) Veulemans, S.
    English: A painful past can spoil a person’s perspective on the future, which, in the case of a couple, can put pressure on their future together. For these people, as well as for all those who tackle this problematic in their research, the Tobit novella can provide some significant and fundamental insights. Sarah’s mysterious affliction, which symbolises all possible af flictions, is an unwelcome part of the couple’s relationship. Tobias, however, understands that loving one another implies not only that one is called to care about, be dedicated to, and take responsibility for one’s own behaviour, but also that one is subject to an appeal made by events from the other’s past, even if one was oneself not involved in these events. He realises that it will only be possible to share a future together if the chaos of Sarah’s past can be transformed, which begins when Tobias kills the voracious fish in the Tigris River, a symbolic representation of destructive chaos. Once this has been defeated, Tobias is also able to triumph over Asmodeus, the demon responsible for the misfortune Sarah has had in her relationships and who also personifies the dark forces of chaos. This adventure story gives metaphorical expression to the idea that partners can descend with each other into the chaos of the past in order to bring about a new order, through which the future is made possible. In this way, “to love” becomes synonymous with the generation of a future in which the ideal of Paradise is brought ever closer.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Die ontwikkeling van 'n strategiese gemeentilike ekklesiologie - op pad na 'n missionerende bedieningspraxis
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2008) Smit, G
    English: This article focuses on developing a theory of ministry praxis that moves from uniform practices to the reflecting of diversity in a time of paradigm shift to the postmodern pa radigm. Attention is paid to the ministry practices of the reformed tradition. A hermeneutic communicative ecclesiology of ministerial practices is used to describe the transfer from a single praxis to missionary ministry. The markers for this ecclesiology consist of Scripture metaphors referring to the church’s identity, her spiritual growth and her service in the Kingdom of God. In addition, these markers function on three levels: First, the level of God as the origin of the church; Secondly, the level of the church that recreates community with God through a life of gratitude and spiritual disciplines in the context of a family while functioning as a body of Christ; Thirdly, the level of the church’s relationship with God to the world by means of worship, gift-based ministry and testimony.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ritual as mechanism for securing life and averting evil among the Krobo
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2008) Ossom-Batsa, G; Ossom-Batsa, G.
    English: Ritual is one of the ways in which a group of people or a believing community expresses in concrete terms their faith in a deity(ies). Two of the many functions of rituals are to secure blessings from the deity or to ward off evil. This article studies four Krobo rituals to explore the ultimate meaning of life in Krobo worldview: material and spiritual wellbeing. The fight against sickness, misfortune, evil and other disasters provides the framework within which they express their dependence on their creator by means of rituals. To the Krobo life without the divinity cannot attain its fullness; hence the constant appeal to the divinities for protection and blessings.