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Togetherness in South Africa

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ISBN: 9781928396239 Year: Pages: 338 DOI: 10.4102/aosis.2017.tsa49 Language: English
Publisher: AOSIS Grant: North West University; Pro-Reformando Trust
Subject: Religion
Added to DOAB on : 2017-11-30 11:01:54
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Race and inequality have always been sensitive topics in South African society due to its colonial past, diverse social composition and apartheid legacy of legal discrimination against people on the basis of their skin colour. Racial tensions seem to be escalating in South African society and disturbing racialised rhetoric and slogans are re-entering the political and social landscape. Another disturbing phenomenon has been violent incidents of xenophobia against African immigrants. The question probed by this book is: What perspectives can theology offer in addressing the roots of racism, inequality and xenophobia in South Africa and how can it and the church contribute to reconciliation and a sense of togetherness among South African citizens? Various methodologies and approaches are used to address this question. In chapter 1, Theuns Eloff employs a historical and socio-analytical approach to describe the social context that has given rise, and is still giving impetus to racism and other forms of intolerance in South African society. Nico Vorster approaches the issue of distorted racial identity constructions from a theological-anthropological perspective. Utilising various empirical studies, he attempts to provide conceptual clarity to the concepts of racism, nationalism, ethnocentrism and xenophobia, and maps the various racisms that we find in South Africa. His contribution concludes with a theological-anthropological discussion on ways in which theology can deconstruct distorted identities and contribute to the development of authentic identities. Koos Vorster provides a theological-ethical perspective on social stratification in South Africa. He identifies the patterns inherent to the institutionalisation of racist social structures and argues that many of these patterns are still present, albeit in a new disguise, in the South African social order. Jan du Rand provides in chapter 4 a semantic discussion of the notions of race and xenophobia. He argues that racist ideologies are not constructed on a factual basis, but that racial ideologies use semantic notions to construct social myths that enable them to attain power and justify the exploitation and oppression of the other. Du Rand’s second contribution in chapter 5 provides Reformed exegetical and hermeneutic perspectives on various passages and themes in the Bible that relate to anthropology, xenophobia and the imperative to xenophilia [love of the stranger]. Dirk Van der Merwe’s contribution analyses, evaluates, and compares both contemporary literature and ancient texts of the Bible to develop a model that can enable churches to promote reconciliation in society, while Ferdi Kruger investigates the various ways in which language can be used as a tool to disseminate hate speech. He offers an analytical description of hate language, provides normative perspectives on the duty to counter hate speech through truth speaking and phronesis (wisdom) and concludes with practical-theological perspectives that might enable us to address problematic praxis. Reggie Nel explores the Confessions of Belhar and the Declaration of Accra as theological lenses to provide markers for public witness in a postcolonial South African setting. The volume concludes with Riaan Rheeder’s Christian bioethical perspective on inequality in the health sector of sub-Sahara Africa. This book contains original research. No part was plagiarised or published elsewhere. The target audience are theologians, ministers and the Christian community, but social activists, social scientists, politicians, political theorists, sociologists and psychologists might also find the book applicable to their fields.

Keywords

human --- white --- apartheid --- racial --- christian --- life --- god --- social --- africa --- racism --- people --- black --- fights --- economic --- equality --- church --- hate --- xenophobia --- racist --- context --- global --- identity

Reformed theology today

Authors: ---
ISBN: 9781928396307 Year: Pages: 241 DOI: 10.4102/aosis.2017.rtt47 Language: English
Publisher: AOSIS Grant: North-West University; Pro-Reformando Trust
Subject: Religion
Added to DOAB on : 2017-11-30 11:02:29
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This book is unique and of great importance for theologians from diverse traditions but who all share the relevance of the academic Reformed discourse. The book focuses on, and forms part of celebrating 500 years since the start of the Reformation during the 16th century. Its purpose is to commemorate the quincentenary anniversary of the Reformation in Europe and to indicate the way in which the rich legacy of this important period in the history of the church and society still influences globally the theological landscape in the fields of Practical Theology, Missiology and Ethics. Specific attention is given to the manner in which the core principles of the Reformation can be utilised for these disciplines and applied in a contemporary context. The Reformation changed the ecclesiastical landscape of the day and still provides the benchmark for theological principles and praxis in many Protestant denominations. This book illustrates and underscores the practical-theological legacy and importance of the Reformation for church and society. The collected works by various theologians reflect on the impact of Reformed Theology on their respective fields of expertise. The original research is based on literature studies and has not been published previously in any form. Its aim is to stimulate discourse in Theology and related disciplines. Although the chapters represent different perspectives, the collective aim is to propose the vast impact of the Reformational views as they relate to the current context. The target audience is Reformed theologians. This book focuses on ways in which the legacy of the Reformation addresses practical and relevant issues for 21st-century believers, scholars and churches. It explores inter alia important homiletical and liturgical aspects of the Reformation and contemplates the importance of continual reformation in this regard. Furthermore, it discusses a Reformed approach to apologetics, evaluates the driving forces behind the Reformation of the 16th century and its relevance to missions today as well as examines the sola Scriptura principle of the Reformation and provides a critical perspective on Prosperity Theology. Several pastoral themes take centre stage before various aspects of xenophobia and civil prejudice are being investigated – both being very relevant topics throughout the world today. The book also focuses on hermeneutics and ethics in a quest for a biblical ethical approach as well as congregational hymns in the Reformed churches of South Africa today. The research outcomes are relevant not only for the South African context, but also globally.

Keywords

scripture --- human --- theology --- christian --- life --- spirit --- africa --- preaching --- word --- theory --- pastoral --- theological --- practical --- church --- time --- bible --- world --- african --- care --- biblical --- christ --- luther --- reformed --- reformation --- liturgy --- calvin

The legacies of Albert Schweitzer reconsidered

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ISBN: 9781928396031 Year: DOI: 10.4102/aosis.2016.tlasr11 Language: English
Publisher: AOSIS Grant: University of South Africa
Subject: Education --- Philosophy --- Religion
Added to DOAB on : 2017-03-10 11:01:18
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This book on the legacy of Albert Schweitzer contextualises this remarkable intellectualist, humanist, medicine-man, theologian and Nobel Prize winner. This collected work is aimed at specialists in the humanities, social sciences, education, and religious studies. The authors embrace philanthropic values to benefit Africa and the world at large. The publication engages with peers on the relevance of Schweitzer’s work for humanitarian values in Africa. The essays in the book stimulate further research in the various fields in which Schweitzer excelled. Its academic contribution is its focus on the post-colonial discourse in contemporary discussions both in South Africa and Africa at large. The book emphasises Schweitzer’s reverence for life philosophy and demonstrates how this impacts on moral values. However, the book also points to the possibility that Schweitzer’s reverence for life philosophy is embedded in a typically European appreciation of ‘mysticism’ that is not commensurate with African indigenous religious values. From an African academic perspective, the book advocates the view that Schweitzer’s concept of the reverence for life supports not only the Biblical notion of imago Dei but also the African humanist values of the preservation and protection of life, criticising the exploitation of the environment by warring factions and large companies, especially in oil-producing African countries. It also argues that Schweitzer’s disposition on ethics was influenced by the Second World War, his sentiments against nuclear weapons and his resistance to the Enlightenment view of ‘civilisation’. With regard to Jesus studies the book elucidates values promoted by Schweitzer by following in Jesus’ steps and portraying Jesus’ message within a modern world view. Taken over from Schweitzer, the book argues that Jesus’ moral authority resides in his display of love and his interaction with the poor and marginalised. The book demonstrates Schweitzer’s understanding of Jesus as the one who sacrifices his own life to bring the Kingdom of God to realisation in this world. The book commends Schweitzer’s insight that we know Jesus through his toils on the one hand, and through our own experiences on the other. It is in a mixture between the two that the hermeneutical gap between then and now is bridged. It is precisely in bridging this gap that Schweitzer sees himself as an instrument of God’s healing. It defines Schweitzer as the embodiment of being a healer, educationalist and herald of the greening of Christianity. His philosophy on the reverence for life prepares a foundation for Christians to think ‘green’ about human life within a greater environment. He advocates aspects of education such as lifelong learning, holistic education and a problem-based approach to education. Finally, the book analyses both critically and appreciatively Albert Schweitzer’s contribution to the concepts of religious healing prevalent in African Christianity today.

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