South African Theological Seminary
Recent publications
Practical theology has evolved from emphasising pastoral ministry to addressing contemporary issues facing local churches so that they can bring about transformation within the communities in which they operate. In addition, efforts and proposals to support practical theology as interdisciplinary have progressed and are considered to be transformative. This article explores the Lekgotla and Magadi processes by leveraging the African Indigenous Knowledge System (AIKS), with the aim of presenting two Ubuntu-based research methods for practical theology to engage and contribute to the transformational agenda. It combines social constructivism and the Ubuntu worldview to propose the Lekgotla method and the Magadi methods.
Young people’s involvement in the church is pivotal to the development of the community. The youth of the church in the past are gone, leaving empty pews and the church in decline. This study examined the role of the Australian and North American African Diasporic youngsters in church management and growth by exploring two main objectives: the youths’ activities in the church and the importance of the youths’ actions in the church’s progress. The study used a systematic literature review that focused strictly on the youths’ role in the church structure. It revealed that the church’s youth activities included innovativeness; evangelism and church planting; music ministry; campus fellowship centres, and promoting formal Christian education. In addition, life-altering experiences, leadership development, and engagement in the social media formed the basis for the importance of the youths’ activities in the church’s progress. Thus, the youths’ involvement in the church ensures continuity, growth, and development.
This paper presents a critical review of the book titled An African Background to the Old Testament written by Rev. Dr. Isaac Boaheng. The purpose of this review is to assess how this book has achieved its objective of enhancing African readers’ contextual reading of the Old Testament(OT). From my perspective as a graduate student in Practical Theology, I am of the opinion that the book has achieved this purpose. Therefore, this review serves to sustain this assertion. The review starts by presenting the book’s overview commencing from the Foreword and ending with Chapter 7. I then conclude the review with a brief evaluation of the extent to which the book has achieved its stated and implied goal(s) followed by some recommendations.
Globally, the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) also known as Covid-19 affected every facet of human life. Everyone had to find new ways of doing things, as many nations introduced lockdown regulations as a means of curbing the spread of the corona virus that causes Covid-19. Included in the regulations was the closure of places of worship, which challenged the clergy from different denominations in South Africa to imagine how to do ministry in this new context called the "new normal". Not only that, African township Pentecostal-Charismatic pastors, like other members of the clergy, were also expected to guide and encourage church members in these times of uncertainty. In addition, they were also expected to care for church members, the community and for themselves and their families. This article reflects on how African township Pentecostal-Charismatic pastors may minister in the Covid-19 context by applying the modified theologies of Mashau and Kgatle's Ubuntology.
Religious pluralism has characterized societies since time immemorial and has been one of the sources of conflict in many societies. This article compares how religious pluralism was handled in intertestamental Palestine and the manner it is managed in post-apartheid South Africa. The study used academic literature which applied the Apocrypha to describe the religious context of Palestine between 336 BC and 63 BC. The themes that emerged from this analysis were then used to source academic literature that describes the religious context of South Africa from 1994 to 2021. This process led to the synthesis of the similarities and differences of the two contexts. The findings latently reveal the contribution of the Apocrypha to theological reflection while simultaneously showing that the Roman Empire’s violent attempts to undermine religious pluralism in intertestamental Palestine bred counterviolence. The paper further reveals that post-apartheid South Africa’s use of legal instruments to promote religious pluralism seems to contribute to the optimization of religious freedom and peaceful co-existence. These findings are likely to contribute to the discourse of religious pluralism, interfaith dialogue, and intercultural communication.
The promotion of religious freedom and the general pervasion of pluralism across the globe necessitate the need for Christians to review how they evangelize among people of other faiths and those of no faith. One of the mechanisms that has gained prominence in this regard is the promotion of the concept of interfaith dialogue. This article examines areas of convergence between this concept and evangelism through literature study. Following an interpretive approach, the study determined that both concepts have a distinctive but complementary relationship, both promote mutual respect and consider intercultural communication and contextualization. Written from the Christian faith perspective, the article argues that both evangelism and interfaith dialogue could be used by Christians to further God’s mission in contemporary society. As interfaith dialogue promotes neighborliness, the article recommends that it should be embraced by adherents of all faiths. As it has been written from the perspective of the Christian faith, it further recommends that while evangelical witness should be done with respect for other faiths, evangelizers should not neglect the worth of the commission received from Jesus Christ. These recommendations and those from empirical studies conducted on this topic should be tested through further studies in various contexts. This paper seeks to contribute to existing knowledge in interfaith dialogue and evangelism in the sub-discipline of missiology. Keywords: Evangelism, Interfaith Dialogue, Ecumenical Movement, Mission
The Gospel of John contains various memorable metaphors, drawing on the lived realities of its audience to encapsulate the depths of its Christology and central message. Seamlessly interwoven into the fabric of the gospel is the metaphor of (life-giving) water, offered by Jesus and ultimately provided by him. A related metaphor is that of new birth, signifying the changed allegiance and ethos of those who come to believe. Finally, the new creation imagery with its Edenic setting and Jesus breathing Spirit-life into his disciples illustrates something of the effect of an encounter with the life-giving God. Drawing on Cognitive Metaphor Theory, this paper demonstrates that imagery of birth, water, and new life can work together to create a metanarrative. The analysis follows the ramifications of this imagery in its literary context, its rhetorical function in the narrative, and the way in which the metaphors of birth, water, and life potentially work together to produce a larger picture that ministers to those who carry the realities of giving, nurturing, and sustaining life in their bodies. From the prologue and its birth-giving God, through the birth from above promised to Nicodemus, the living water promised to a Samaritan woman, and the Holy Spirit as living water flowing from the innermost being, the narrative flows seamlessly to the cross where the life�giving blood and water flow from the side of Jesus and into the resurrection dimension of a new creation
While the Hebrew word ָא ֵמן and its transliterated borrowing into Greek ἀμήν in the New Testament epistles generally signal agreement at the end of a prayer, doxology, or blessing, the “Amen (Amen), I say to you” formula in the gospels (with the repeated “amen” only in John) occurs clause-initially and serves to introduce certain direct quotes of our Savior. In the first part of this paper, we seek to confirm Clark’s 2004 and 2007 observations on the discourse and pragmatic functions of the “amen” formula signaling the beginning, end, and high points of a literary unit. We go on to complement these findings by noting that in the Gospel of John, the formula can also announce a coming theme, mark a climax, conclude a larger discourse unit, and occur in clusters, moving from neutral to more conflictual contexts. In the second part of the paper, we consider translations in a number of versions in English and a set of African languages, examining translation strategies which include more literal and more dynamic renderings. We ask if it is better to translate or transliterate the “amen” formula, render it consistently or not, and preserve the repetition of the formula in John’s Gospel. In at least some languages, insistence on the truth of a statement may indeed raise doubts as to its credibility. This study underlines the unending tension in translation between form and meaning, but also brings to light how John’s quotation of this Hebrew and/or Aramaic expression within a Greek text lends authenticity to this gospel. Finally, our observations lead us to ask: Is it time for translators to imitate the gospel writers’ attempts at preserving the flavor of Jesus’s speech in the gospels by opting for transliteration rather than translation?
Is open theological education reducing barriers and increasing access to theological training? Has the use of digital technologies in accessing theological training deviated from or complied with the training criteria? This paper highlights the seminarians' borderless access to theological education and its benefits. Several persons frowned on open education a few years ago, but from March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen many institutions adopting e-learning. Is it a wake-up call for theological education? The study discovered that theological education without barriers enhances theological training, research writing, scholarship, and academic honesty. The accreditation criteria for open theological learning does not alter contents but ensures that the greater populace can access a high standard of delivery of theological training equal to the on-campus programmes.
The purpose of this article is to put forward an acceptable scriptural stance with respect to an evolutionary worldview. The authors posit that a theologically orthodox position can best be substantiated when the moral ideal embodied in Christ is the starting point for all deliberations. In light of this premise, the authors consider the following topics: the great divide between science and religion; the various theoretical shifts taking place on both sides of the science and religion arena concerning the veracity of evolution a substantive consideration of Darwin’s evolutionary theory; the issue of whether Genesis is only a myth or a narration of literal, historical events and the profound implications of evolutionary theory for religious belief. The authors conclude that a choice does not have to be made between evolution and religion but between good and bad evolutionary theory and good and bad religious beliefs. Contribution: The article’s challenge is to not only show that science and theology are not in conflict, but also that ascribing to an evolutionary worldview when discussing God’s creative acts, is also not in conflict with God’s Word.
Various scholars have speculated about the possible link between the Fourth Gospel and drama. Such a connection, if valid, could potentially lead to the widening of hermeneutical lenses with which the Gospel is explored. While the exegetical field of biblical performance criticism has begun to break open the hermeneutical field by introducing performative and oral elements into the conversation, an attempt to formulate a methodology for a drama analysis of the text still needs to be made. This article evaluates the possibility of reading the Fourth Gospel through a drama lens in order to explore its possible performative impact on a first-time hypothetical audience. The article experiments with possible parameters of biblical drama criticism and how the translation of the text into stage-script format could be useful in academic and ecclesial spaces. Such a translation invites new experiences with the text and an expansion of the hermeneutical spectrum to include various non-textual elements like sound and sight. Moreover, it widens the hermeneutical scope to explore the audience’s own (vulnerable) journey with the performance by taking their possible struggle(s) with the drama seriously.
Since its inception, the Christian church has been involved in social transformation, especially when it has sided with the poor and the oppressed. Despite losing its focus from time to time, throughout church history, it has mostly managed to adhere to its missional responsibility. Given the increasing poverty, violence and injustices in today’s world, more than ever the Christian church is called upon to engage in and continue with its task of being an agent of social transformation. Its calling is to fulfil the biblical imperative to proclaim the kingdom of God and make disciples of all nations, which includes promoting social justice in the local community. The aim of this article is to ground and describe a sixfold biblical approach, which the Church can implement to promote social transformation in the local community in terms of the ELIJAH model, namely, the Equality Approach, the Legislative Approach, the Incarnation Approach, the Justice Approach, the Apportionment Approach and the Holistic Approach. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The research offers a biblical approach for consideration concerning social transformation and its implementation within the contemporary local congregation, namely, the ELIJAH model, resulting in a practical theological and sociological dialogue.
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52 members
Shaun Joynt
  • Faculty of Theology
William Domeris
  • Postgraduate
Robert Falconer
  • Systematic Theology
Cornelia van Deventer
  • Faculty of Theology
Ransford Awuku-Gyampoh
  • Practical Theology
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