STJ | Stellenbosch Theological Journal <p><em>Stellenbosch Theological Journal</em> – previously known as the <em>Dutch Reformed Theological Journal</em> (<a href="/index.php/ngtt/index">NGTT</a>) – is a South-African theological journal that hosts high-quality academic contributions. Authors are cordially invited to submit manuscripts for publication. <a href="/index.php/stj/about/editorialPolicies#focusAndScope" target="_blank"><em>Read more...</em></a></p><p><em>Stellenbosch Teologiese Joernaal </em>– voorheen bekend as <em>Nederduitse Gereformeerde Teologiese Tydskrif</em> (<a href="/index.php/ngtt/index" target="_blank">NGTT</a>) – is ’n Suid-Afrikaanse teologiese tydskrif wat 'n tuiste wil wees vir akademiese bydraes van hoogstaande gehalte. Outeurs word hartlik uitgenooi om manuskripte in te dien. <a href="/index.php/stj/about/editorialPolicies#focusAndScope" target="_blank"><em>Lees meer...</em></a></p> Pieter De Waal Neethling Trust en-US STJ | Stellenbosch Theological Journal 2413-9467 <p>Once an article is published in<em> Stellenbosch Theological Journal</em> (<em>STJ</em>)extends an exclusive license agreement, where authors have copyright but license exclusive rights in their article to the <em>Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust</em> (PDWN Trust). The PDWN Trust is a trust fund established in 1932. 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Such written permission must be submitted with the manuscript. Furthermore, all material used under copyright must be credited appropriately in the submitted manuscript.</li></ul> Editorial Robert Vosloo Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 7 7 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.e01 Redaksionele voorwoord Robert Vosloo Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 8 8 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.e02 Renewal, Renaissance, Reformation, or Revolution? Guiding concepts for social transformation in South Africa in the light of 16th century ecclesial reform and deform movements in Europe This contribution is based on what may be called a pedagogical experiment in a postgraduate course on the 16th century European Reformations that was offered at the University of the Western Cape in the first semester of 2017. On the basis of a close reading of selected literature on the reformation, this contribution highlights the legacy of 16th century ecclesial movements for Southern Africa. The point of departure is located in the context of a discussion on a range of guiding concepts for social transformation in the contemporary (South) African context. It is argued that the deepest diagnosis of current (South) African discourse may well point to a view that none of the options for a category that may be regarded as more ultimate than justice (as a ‘remedy’) is attractive enough to muster sufficient moral energy without endless further contestations. Without necessarily suggesting what that ultimate maybe, it is suggested that a lack of an appealing notion of what is truly ultimate can undermine any attempts to address inequality (as our diagnosis) in current discourse. This necessarily calls attention to the relationship between the penultimate and the ultimate, and indeed between justification and justice. Ernst M Conradie Teddy C Sakupapa Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 11–40 11–40 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a01 Bonhoeffer, <i>status confessionis</i>, and the Lutheran tradition It has frequently been suggested that Bonhoeffer’s resistance did not draw substantively from his own Lutheran theological tradition. Nonetheless, his reliance on the Lutheran tradition’s resistance resources is evident in his use of the phrase <i>status confessionis.</i> The phrase is a hallmark of the gnesio-Lutheran position in the sixteenth-century intra-Lutheran adiaphora controversy, the position authoritatively endorsed in the <i>Formula of Concord.</i> Bonhoeffer demonstrably knew this tradition of Lutheranism and in the early Church Struggle deployed the idea of <i>status confessionis</i> in a way that was faithful to it. Because <i>status confessionis</i> arguably more than any other term conveys the theological reasoning of his early resistance activity, this alone merits the conclusion that Bonhoeffer’s resistance drew substantively from the Lutheran tradition. Michael P DeJonge Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 41–60 41–60 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a02 Re-animating church as politics:South Africa commemorating the radical reformation in the hope of decolonizing local congregations An unlikely crosscurrent in the Reformation-schism was the violent reaction of both the Reformation and Roman Catholic establishments in the 1520s to Anabaptist Churches. What evoked this reaction was the Anabaptists’ recognizably distinct church polity, which the Radical Reformers understood to be directly continuous with the socially transformative politics of Jesus and of the first Christians of the Roman Empire. In a spirit of contrition for Christian disunity, this research is a commemoration that aims to identify prophetic aspects of early Anabaptist polity. Secondly, the essay demonstrates that the way the Radical Reformers practised church is pertinent for ecclesiology five centuries later – not least in contemporary South Africa and North America where church capture to neoliberal economic values and commitments prior to following Jesus, calls into question orthodox Christian witness and presence. Thirdly, the essay imagines a South African re-appropriation of the politics of Jesus as amplified in the Radical Reformation tradition, in a tentative, heuristic invitation to the Church in South Africa today, to become ‘God’s left wing’. Allen J Goddard Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 61–98 61–98 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a03 The reformed identity and mission from the margins This paper interrogates the reformed identity that has been bequeathed through the Reformation and appropriated by the contemporary church within the Global South, to determine the extent to which it affirms life for those that live on the margins. It postulates that the reformed identity as bequeathed by John Calvin and his school of thought, fashioned a reformed identify that was to a great extent, shaped through its missional engagement with people from the margins. Yet, within an era when European colonialism with reformed identity complicity expanded throughout the world, commoditizing, enslaving and de-humanizing lives, Calvin and his school failed to name and embrace the suffering of “the non-European others” as part of their reformed missional agenda. It argues also that in this postmodern era the reformed identity is experiencing “arrested missional development” because of its uncritical alliance with neoliberalism and neo-conservative socio-economic, political and theological discourses. Therefore, the notion that there can be a generic homogeneous reformed identity is questionable. The reality suggests contestations of multiple reformed identities. This has had far reaching consequences, especially for people who live on the margins who are experiencing many threats to life. Roderick Hewitt Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 99–122 99–122 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a04 Protestantism and economic ethics:An example for the interaction of faith and fabric? This text addresses a specific religious and ethical tradition, namely the protestant version of Christianity, and a specific field of what is currently referred to as ‘applied ethics,’ specifically economic ethics, in order to find out in which way this tradition and this field of applied ethics are interwoven and it does so in a situation in which both parts of this pair seem to be in trouble. Wolfgang Huber Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 123–143 123–143 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a05 Celebrating the Reformation as transformation to dignity South Africa is on an urgent journey of transformation toward a life of dignity for all. Dignity is at the heart of the South African Constitution of 1996. Some essential building-blocks of dignity are reconciling justice, responsible freedom, equality as equality of worth and equality as aequitas, equity and equilibrium. This paper will discuss how the theology of Reformers like Luther and Calvin informs our thinking about these central features of dignity. Calvin informs our thinking about justice and equality, and Luther informs our thinking about freedom. Donald J Katts Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 145–162 145–162 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a06 Commemoration, communion and courage, not celebration: Public prophetic theology 500 years after the Reformation Five hundred years after the Reformation, it is tempting to celebrate this influential and significant event. The Reformation, however, as an incident which also tore apart the Church, should be commemorated, but not celebrated. What can be commended, however, is the courage shown by those involved in the Reformation, especially as seen in the figure of Martin Luther. In this contribution, I will examine the courageous voices of the Reformers, who confronted the <i>status quo</i> of their day in order to also draw some guidelines for a similarly courageous and prophetic theology in the present day. The concept of community and Holy Communion will especially be stressed in this regard. Manitza Kotzé Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 163–180 163–180 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a07 Reforming <i>our</i> ‘Barth’? Against the backdrop of the Reformation as catalyst for many church and societal reforms, this article wants to reflect upon the transformation of the past 40 years of Barth studies in South Africa. Not only have we consciously read Barth in South Africa, but we also differed in the way we made Barth our own. Therefore, in reforming our ‘Barth’, we will look into particular trajectory of first discerning Willie Jonker’s Barth, followed by that of Dirkie Smit, and lastly proposing another emerging Barth for the way we read him in South Africa today. It is especially the role and significance of the prophetic office in Barth’s theology which will emerge in challenging ways. Martin Laubscher Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 181–198 181–198 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a08 Liberating reformed theology, social-embedded economics, and the white Afrikaans Reformed Churches In this article, the author used a social-embedded framework to analyse the current economic paradigms of the white Afrikaans Reformed Churches in South Africa. He concluded that the current conventional paradigm is problematic in the lack of engagement with both the poor and alternative economic paradigms. He suggested that the notions of covenant, sovereignty and providence could assist the churches to develop an economic paradigm that is informed by solidarity with the poor. For this to happen he concludes that the churches need to develop a liberating hermeneutic in which the Bible is read as a book for the poor, while the readers remain conscious of their privileged position. Johan Pieters Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 199–218 199–218 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a09 The Catholic Church’s perspective of human dignity as the basis of dialogue with the secular world The Catholic Church maintains that the <i>Imago Dei</i> is the ground for human dignity. The secular world, too, endorses human dignity as the foundation for human rights without referring to <i>Imago Dei.</i> The Catholic Church and the secular world both agree on the importance of human dignity, even though they differ on their views about the source of human dignity. In this paper, we shall examine if human dignity can be the basis of a fruitful dialogue between the Catholic Church and the secular world in order to make our world a better place to live. The primary resources for our study are the Church documents on human dignity, and the opinions of distinguished thinkers on the need to promote a culture of dialogue between religions and secular world. Reginald Alva Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 221–241 221–241 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a10 The ecclesiological significance of the ‘African kraal’ metaphor in a context of urban poverty in Zimbabwe The essay considers how the communal and empowering nature of the African kraal can be a metaphor of a liberating and empowering church in a context of urban poverty in Zimbabwe. Africans generally experience urban centres as foreign and hostile places where they ideally only live temporarily during seasons of urban employment. In Zimbabwe, poverty alleviation strategies that pay attention to the unique context of urban centres are few. This heightens the African experience of urban centres as foreign places. Urban churches often struggle to respond to urban poverty meaningfully. The African kraal, although a rural oriented metaphor, can direct the church in the city to meaningfully respond to urban poverty. Collium Banda IJ Van der Merwe Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 243–267 243–267 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a11 The letter to the Romans as Paul’s legacy to theology: Reception in exposition ‘The Romans Debate’ fills not only volumes, but nowadays a bookshelf. In this paper I will neither argue in favour nor against this verdict of Bornkamm on the setting of Romans. Approaching his idea of the letter to the Romans as Paul’s legacy from reception history, I want to argue that the letter to the Romans became Paul’s legacy to Christian theology. In fact, it <i>is </i>the legacy of Paul. What I mean is that the reception of Paul’s theology is intertwined with the ‘Wirkungsgeschichte’ of the letter to the Romans. Pauline theology had its impact through the letter to the Romans. Cilliers Breytenbach Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 269–297 269–297 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a12 The cinematic hidden Christ – His invisible divinity and his visible humanity If we want to reflect upon the impact of the many ‘hidden Christ’-images in modern films at a theologically responsible way, we need to incorporate that reflection into our doctrine of revelation. That will imply that we have to re-open the classical Gospel-Culture discussion. Especially in the United States we can recognize a lot of original approaches to this issue in Reformed circles (Wolterstorff, Dyrness, Begbie, Seidell, etc.). The main question to be put in this article will be: How can we develop criteria to assess the depiction of the divine in these films? Martien E Brinkman Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 299–317 299–317 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a13 Die aard van wet in die Pentateug: ’n Krities-kanoniese perspektief met Nuwe-Testamentiese implikasie <b>The nature of law in the Pentateuch: A critical-canonical perspective with New Testament implication</b><br />In this study, the question is asked whether the nature of law in the Pentateuch corresponds with the view of the nature of the law as expressed by the Westminster Confession of Faith. The article also explores whether Calvin’s view of the law, as sometimes emerged in his discussion of the guideline for the Christian’s life of gratitude, may not be more in line with it, especially when he sees Christ and the law as interchangeable when it comes to a guideline for Christian life. In the search for an answer to this question, the article looks at researchers’ critical investigation into the authority that legal material in the Pentateuch actually had in the practice of Israel and Judah, in conjunction with a canonical investigation into the nature of the legal material in the Pentateuch. After indication of an implication of this findings for the New Testament Christian, the article comes to the conclusion that Calvin was indeed at times closer to the nature of law in the Pentateuch than the Westminster Confession of Faith. Jacobus de Wit De Koning Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 319–388 319–388 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a14 Reading the Book of Revelation politically In this essay the political use of Revelation in the first five centuries will be analysed in greatest detail, with some references to other examples. Focus will be on two trajectories of interpretation: literalist, eschatological readings and symbolic, spiritualizing interpretations of the text. Whilst the first approach reads the book as predictions of future events, the second approach links the text with spiritual themes and contents that do not refer to outstanding events in time and history. The essay will argue that both of these trajectories are ultimately determined by political considerations. In a final section, a contemporary reading of Revelation will be analysed in order to illustrate the continuing and important presence of political readings in the reception history of Revelation, albeit in new, unique forms. Pieter GR De Villiers Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 339–360 339–360 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a15 Reading Revelation from the top or the underside I dedicate this article to Allan Boesak on the occasion of his 70th birthday in appreciation of his fearless struggle against racism, but also in gratitude for his many other writings in which he consistently promoted the cause of oppressed, vilified and abused groups in society in a truly compassionate and inspiring manner. This article also wishes to give recognition to his singular contribution to the study of Revelation, reflected in the many references to his commentary in scholarly works (cf. part 3 below). Pieter GR De Villiers Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 361–377 361–377 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a16 Evolusie, Christologie en spiritualiteite – ’n Tweede (post-)aksiale perspektief <b>Evolution, Christology and spirituality – a second (post-)axial perspective</b><br />How can theologians speak anew of Christ and our responsibility towards creation from an evolutionary perspective? It is a question that is embedded in the acknowledgement by scientists such as astro-physicists of the cosmos as mystery on its deepest level. It is a question that is prompted by the unmasking in the second axial period of the myth of autonomous man – a myth that led to the exploitation of the earth as part of a culture of consumerism. It is argued that the proposed answer to the question comes from evolutionary perspectives in which the human being has lost its place as being in the centrum of the cosmos. Instead, being human depends on everything else in the cosmos and is realised in interconnectivity. Making sense of the evolutionary unmasking from newly re-formulated theological perspectives lead to the acknowledgement of God as mystery that has been revealed in a unique way as the Logos in Jesus Christ. These theological perspectives on God find expression in ‘wider’ and ‘deeper’ understandings of Christ from what is called a second person approach. It is an approach that stands over against the objective-ontological third-person approach and the subjective experiential-expressive approach of the first person. The second-person approach is wide in a twofold sense, namely in being relational, and in communicating with human beings and the cosmos as a whole. It is also deep since from an understanding of ‘deep incarnation’ – and also ‘deep suffering’ – it reaches out to the roots (radixes) of creation. It ultimately finds expression in a cosmic Christology that demands of human beings responsibility for the cosmos as gift of God. Danie Dreyer Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 379–402 379–402 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a17 Forty years of theo-mission education in Eastern Africa: The case of St. Andrew’s Kabare, Kenya (1977–2017) The article seeks to explore the intrigues behind the establishment of St Andrew’s College of Theology and Development in Eastern Africa, at the Kabare Hill of Kenya, from May 1977. How does the legacy of the pioneer European missionaries to Eastern Africa (I refer to Krapf, Hannington, Tucker, Parker, McGregor, Crawford, Beecher among others) contribute to the current state of affairs in mission education and the establishment of St. Andrew’s College in particular? The materials in this article are largely gathered through extensive reading of relevant literature, face-to-face interviews, oral sources and archival sources. The article coincides with the 40th anniversary celebration of St Andrew’s College, Kabare – that began in 1977 as an institute for mission and evangelism. Through showcasing St Andrew’s, the article has methodologically revisited the 19th and 20th European missionary legacy that inspired the current growth of the church in Eastern Africa. In turn, it has established that despite the gains so far made, there is still room in authenticating theological education in Eastern Africa and the rest of the tropical Africa. Julius Gathogo Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 403–422 403–422 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a18 The growth of the holiness of Mary:From flat character to theological construct This article deals with how a flat character in a biblical narrative could grow and assume a life of its own that becomes the example par excellence of holiness for many believers throughout the ages. Inspired by the work of B. R. Gaventa and her narrative reading of the Gospel texts and exploration of the characterisation of Mary, I would like to explore the dynamic of reception history and the changing criteria for holiness. I will consider the phenomenon of characterisation in narratives, the blurring of lines in interpretation and how a character in a narrative, which is an artificial construct, is taken out of that context and placed in contexts determined, in a sense, by generations of ’new narrators’ with changing understandings of holiness. Lisel Joubert Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 423–437 423–437 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a19 Eucharistic symbols: Other emerging meanings in the Anglican Church of Kenya This article is set to argue that for a long time Eucharistic symbols have been interpreted in different contexts, with a universal understanding as the body and blood of Jesus Christ. However, recent studies in the Anglican Church of Kenya, diocese of Thika, reveal other emerging meanings of these symbols among Christians. Such meanings include foreign food product, prohibited product, symbol of modernity and finally symbol of neo-colonialism. This article is informed by qualitative data obtained from adherents in the diocese of Thika between 2013 and 2014. George Kiarie Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 439–456 439–456 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a20 Practical theology and narrative: Contours and markers There has been a definite turn in practical theology and theology at large in the last four decades. The inadequacies of the Enlightenment project to keep in tension the rational and non-rational traditions of interpretations, significance of the relative for universal moral appropriation, the importance of lived experiences for identity, the critical engagement of tradition and choice, and the widening gap between the finite and infinite are addressed within a narrative approach. Another voice is added to narrative approaches for the interpretation of person, the world and God. Narrative approach for meaning making of person, world and God through reasoning is embedded in experience.<br />A common thread of narrative theology is that persons can make sense of themselves, the world and God through stories. A narrative approach to theology is much more than a bridge between interpretation and first order language. It is the process, structure, and form of interpretation and reflection of the experience, activities, and communication of the Christian community through stories. An open ended narrative approach engages critically with constants such as reason, particularity, history, community and experience.<br />A brief overview of narrative within theology and within practical theology in particular is followed by a historical overview of the development of the use of narrative. An open ended narrative with specific characteristics makes up the main components of the article. John Klaasen Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 457–475 457–475 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a21 Understanding Draupadi as a paragon of gender and resistance In this article Draupadi will be presented not only as an unsung heroine in the Hindu epic Mahabharata but also as a paragon of gender and resistance in the wake of the injustices meted out on her. It is her ability to overcome adversity in a venerable manner that sets her apart from other women. As a result Draupadi becomes the most complex and controversial female character in the Hindu literature. On the one hand she could be womanly, compassionate and generous and on the other, she could wreak havoc on those who wronged her. She was never ready to compromise on either her rights as a daughter-in-law or even on the rights of the Pandavas, and remained ever ready to fight back or avenge with high handedness any injustices meted out to her. She can be termed a pioneer of feminism. The subversion theory will be employed to further the argument of the article. This article, will further illustrate how Draupadi in the midst of suffering managed to overcome the predicaments she faced and continue to strive where most women would have given up. Pulane Elizabeth Motswapong Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 477–492 477–492 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a22 Die stil stem van die vroue in die vroeë sendingwerk van “der Kaapsche Kerk” in Njassaland (1896–1906)Deel II: Die Afrika-sendingkonteks <b>The quiet voice of the women in the early missionary work of the Cape Church in Nyasaland (1896–1906)Part II: The Africa mission-context</b><br />Although by 1910 half of the staff of the ‘Kaapsche Kerk’ in Nyasaland was female, their stories have scarcely been told. In this second of two articles, the focus is on giving a voice to some of these early female missionaries by sharing their experiences of the African mission context. As primary source the newly retrieved diaries of Reverend Andrew George Murray, though written from a male perspective, offer an interesting depiction of the role and contribution of Tillie Murray, his wife, and other female co-workers. The second main source is the letters of Bessie Vlok (née Horne), who lived and worked with her husband <i>Eerwaarde</i> TCB Vlok for six months at Livlezi until the untimely death of their firstborn, and only a few days later, herself. Also included as primary sources, are a number of handwritten letters and ‘witnesses’ composed by various female missionaries. These offer earnest reflections on their confrontations, challenges and experiences: Andrew George Murray went to Nyassaland in April 1901; Tillie Theron arrived in June 1902; Bessie joined her husband, TCB Vlok, in Nyassaland in 1885 and died in 1896. Isabelle Murray Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 493–529 493–529 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a23 Challenging the <i>status quo</i> of an institutional culture in theological training Institutional culture is one of the most salient forces operating in higher education because it is a vehicle for implementing organizational and institutional change. This article reports on an ethnographic study that focused on the role of a theological institution’s culture and how the culture shaped diversity management, and ultimately student formation. This article highlights the saliency of the institutional culture in maintaining the <i>status quo</i> and not supporting the establishment of more equitable learning environments. Within theological education we need to dismantle beliefs and practices that shape and sustain social injustice and that will require some institution cultures to be challenged and changed. Being aware of the formative nature of the institutional culture provides critical insights into an institution’s change process and can help theological students and educators to find a common theological discourse. Marilyn Naidoo Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 531–546 531–546 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a24 Discussing publicness on the public square? In the wide-ranging and multifaceted discourses of public theologies within very different and pluralistic contexts, the strongest contemporary emphasis falls on their integrity and relevance in relating to their respective contexts and socio-political movements within those much globalised contexts. This emphasis is questioned, arguing that a more fundamental and critical question is at stake. Against the background of a short overview of different stories (self-understandings) of public theology, the critical question is put forward, namely whether the emphasis should fall on the public square after all, but much rather on the ‘publicness’ of rationality that precedes the different contexts (squares!). The focus is therefore on the publicness of rationality in pursuit of the old well-known but ever challenging question, namely ‘will the real public theology please stand up’. It is argued that the integrity and relevance that ‘public theologies’ strive for, are to be firstly sought and found in their models of rationality – as the ‘stuff’ of embodiment as sites of struggle and survival that they are woven from – and secondly contextually articulated and explicated in engagement and conversation with the very pluralism they hope to address in a constructive-realistic manner. Danie Veldsman Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 547–559 547–559 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a25 Decolonizing theology In this essay, the author aims to deal with two questions, namely (1) how decolonized is South African theology? And if there is a sense that South African theology needs to decolonized, then the second question is (2) how should this be done? The first is raised as an interrogative starting-point, and is therefore not conclusive, since the author is admittedly, not fully versed in South African theology. Thus, the main body of the work is concerned with the second question, and thus proposes a three-stage method for decolonizing theology in South Africa. The first involves ‘provincializing’ the Western context as a background for doing theology in the Global South. The second concerns the ‘translation’ of concepts into the differing contexts where theology is produced, and the third is related to the question of ‘affirmation’, in the sense of positively acknowledging culture as being reflective of the diversity of people groups. The author closes with some reflections on theological task today, specifically as this relates to mission, the definition of tradition, and its connection to the academy. Graham Ward Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 561–584 561–584 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a26 Die samestelling en gebruik van vraelyste in kerklike opnames met verwysings na die Ned Geref Kerk se <i>Kerkspieël</i>-vraelyste <b>The construction and usage of questionnaires in church surveys with references to the Dutch Reformed church’s ‘Kerkspieël’ questionnaires</b><br />This article works from the premise that practical theology interprets the functioning of the church. Therefore, practical theologians should also be knowledgeable about empirical approaches to investigate these matters. Surveys are an important tool in empirical investigations and questionnaire construction forms an integral part of this process to ensure collection of quality information. However, questionnaire construction can be challenging since it involves human communication and interpretation that is fluid and unique by nature, but attempts to generate from it standardised and controlled responses. Therefore, the quality of each item in a questionnaire must be examined thoroughly. As an example, this article identifies certain flaws in the Dutch Reformed Church’s ‘<i>Kerkspieël</i>’ surveys. These entail the following: double barrelled, ambiguous, unclear, general, abstract and emotionally-related wording, timeframe in questions, leading questions, and assumed knowledge. In practical theological research, these deficiencies can serve as examples urging researchers to be more focused when aiming to develop quality surveys. Johan Zaaiman Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 585–605 585–605 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a27 An investigation into the socio-historical influences overcoming ethnicity in the early New Testament Church <span>Ethnicity, tribalism and xenophobia could be found inside and outside church walls. Ethnicity and racism are natural, learned and nurtured in human beings. However, ethnic identity and relations exist whether the ethnic groups are competing or not. The first challenge of the early church in the New Testament Church was to overcome ethnicity and hostile divisions between Jews, Gentiles and Samaritans. This study aims at exploring how socio-historical influences and nature of the message of the New Testament managed to overcome ethnicity and ethnic divisions in the early New Testament Church. The study will also reflect on how the contemporary church could manage ethnicity within its structures and redefine its position on what it means to be one in Christ within the diverse church.</span> Humphreys Frackson Zgambo Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 607–625 607–625 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.a28 Die dood en die sin van die lewe <p><em>Die dood en die sin van die lewe</em> deur Van Niekerk, Anton A</p><p>2017, Tafelberg</p><p>ISBN 9780624075332</p> Frits de Lange Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch 2017-12-31 2017-12-31 3 2 627–630 627–630 10.17570/stj.2017.v3n2.br01