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HTS Theological Studies
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.448
Number of Followers: 9  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 0259-9422 - ISSN (Online) 2072-8050
Published by SciELO Homepage  [672 journals]
  • Theological education, spiritual formation and leadership development in
           Africa: What does God have to do with it'

    • Abstract: Theological education, spiritual formation and leadership are all contested issues in the Church, especially within the African context. Although these topics are thoroughly discussed, the relation and the interdependence are not always clear. This article discusses these topics in relation to each other and in relation to the One who calls servant leaders to guide his church for her service in the world. The importance of the local church as missional church is emphasised in the article. Thus, what the faith community believes and teaches about God determines our ecclesiology, theological education and leadership. What does God have to do with theological education, spiritual formation and leadership development in Africa' The answer is everything! The article used a literary study to research the relationship between the different topics and the church and concluded that dependence exists between them. CONTRIBUTION: Much is written on theological education in Africa. However, students come into theological education with an already established spirituality formed by other agents. The article contributes to the discussion about the relation between formal theological, spiritual formation and leadership. It emphasises the relation between the theological institution and the local church
  • The dynamic process of syncretism: Datuk Gong worship in Malaysia

    • Abstract: The Datuk Gong worship in Malaysia is a fusion of Malay keramat and Chinese Tudi Shen, hence easy to be labelled 'syncretism'. Nevertheless, the rich dynamism of syncretism as a process in Datuk Gong worship is still underexplored. Through the combination of historical documentary method and anthropological multi-sited field work, this article examines the three stages in the syncretic process of Datuk Gong worship: syncretic amity, syncretic encompassment and synthesis, as well as diverse strategies Chinese devotees adopted in each stage. Compared with other worship of non-Chinese deities in Southeast Asia, the peculiarity of Datuk Gong worship in West Malaysia is that it has reached a high level of synthesis, hence its own independence. CONTRIBUTION: Through the examination of Datuk Gong worship in Malaysia, a syncretism of Chinese Religion, local animism and Islam, the study provides a rare and excellent example to mirror the rich dynamism of syncretism as a process in Southeast Asia, a meeting point of different civilisations
  • Hybrid Sufism for enhancing quality of life: Ethnographic perspective
           in Indonesia

    • Abstract: Sufism has two main dimensions: vertical (God's pleasure) and horizontal (harmony with nature, society and local wisdom). In reality, many Sufis are considered less concerned about the balancing between vertical and horizontal dimensions. The research explores the concepts and practices of hybrid Sufism undertaken by Kyais (religious leaders) and their followers in improving quality of life. Ethnography was used for exploring the mindset and activities of Kyai and his followers. This study involved four Kyais in Java and Kalimantan, Indonesia. Research data were obtained through participant observations, in-depth interviews and documentation. The data were analysed by Spadley's ethnographic steps as follows: (1) domain analysis, (2) taxonomy analysis, (3) componential analysis and (4) cultural-thematic analysis. The results showed that hybrid Sufism could improve quality of life. Hybrid Sufism can better appreciate and interpret local wisdom with an attitude of preserving nature and a positive understanding of worldly wealth, increasing the hard work ethos to achieve material-spiritual qualities. CONTRIBUTION: This article shows that hybrid Sufism encourages the life of Sufis in harmony between vertical and horizontal aspects. This understanding and lifestyle give rise to respect for others, being friendly to the environment and interpreting life and local wisdom
  • The effect of religiosity on life satisfaction: A meta-analysis

    • Abstract: This article intends to synthesise the results of various studies related to the influence of religiosity on life satisfaction, with the aim of mapping how religiosity variables influence people's life satisfaction in multiple countries. Additionally, this study seeks to identify the development of research issues regarding religiosity and life satisfaction. For this reason, a meta-analysis approach was applied to synthesise 21 articles quantitatively, and the systematic literature review (SLR) approach was used to narrate the development of issues concerning religiosity and life satisfaction in 40 articles. In general, this study succeeds in demonstrating that the influence of the religiosity variable on life satisfaction in various study samples is linear and has a positive effect. CONTRIBUTION: The dimensions of religiosity and life satisfaction are still very limited to the characteristics of disciplines attached to researchers. This resulted in the dimension being repeatedly used (redundancy) in various studies, resulting in the second dimension of the issue (i.e., religiosity and life satisfaction) being less developed. Therefore, it contributes to the issues as a foundation of new directions, i.e., emic perspectives, in understanding the relationship between religiosity and life satisfaction
  • Redefining status through burqa: Religious transformation and body
           politics of Indonesia's woman migrant workers

    • Abstract: Apart from being commonly understood as a symbol of religious identity, full-face veils (burqa) are also a process through which women redefine their bodies and social status. This article investigates Indonesian women's commitment to wearing burqa after their work migration in Taiwan and Hong Kong. It focuses on the signification and the redefinition of the body through hijrah (transformation). In-depth interviews conducted with nine Indonesian women migrant workers (WMWs) revealed that this hijrah process characterised by the wearing of the burqa is not always motivated by a religiously radical mindset but more likely by practical considerations aiming to create a sense of security and comfort while working overseas. The burqa is perceived as a symbolic shift in body definition: from being a source of harm, to piety and privilege, paving the way for women to join an emerging elite community, rendering them a new noble and influential social status through socio-religious activities. This study recommends that further research on WMWs in the Middle East needs to acquire a more comprehensive picture taking into account its complexity. CONTRIBUTION: Beyond the symbolic religious identity, burqa wearing is also a form of political participation. It illustrates women's agency and transformation in redefining their bodies, public space, authority and public recognition
  • Dealing with Islamophobia: Expanding religious engagement to civic
           engagement among the Indonesian Muslim community in Australia

    • Abstract: The increasing Islamophobia in the Western world is worsened not only by global political issues but also by the stance of Muslims, who are perceived as exclusive and ethnocentric, particularly in the Australian context. This article outlines the strategies used by Indonesian Muslims in Australia to deal with the Islamophobic discourse, namely enhancing religious engagement to enhance solidarity and social cohesion between them and increasing civic engagement as an assimilation attempt with Australians. Religious engagement is carried out through enhancing Islamic lecture activities to promote a more moderate and open understanding of Islam. Meanwhile, civic engagement activities included increasing social involvement as a form of community service, collaborating more with other communities as a form of collective action, jointly proposing political policies as a form of political involvement, and working with Australians to create a better future as manifestations of civic engagement in the context of social change. CONTRIBUTION: Although Islamophobia is mostly a political issue, the Indonesian Muslim community in Australia views it as a chance to open up and demonstrate to the Australian community that they can work together in a broader kind of civic engagement
  • Religious aberration in Nigerian contemporary society: A critique

    • Abstract: Religion has been a part of sociopolitical movements from the dawn of history. With a strong emphasis on morality, religion and religious people were expected to live an exemplary life in society. Thus, religion is a veritable tool for shaping and stirring of the human society. However, religion has placed immense stress on public discourse as the literature on the manipulation of religion by religious leaders for their personal gain and aggrandisement is scanty. This research intends to fill this gap. The theoretical framework of this study is functionalism. It adopts a qualitative research approach. The data was derived mainly from primary and secondary sources. The discussions in this article expose the religious impropriety in Nigerian society, which includes intolerance, hypocrisy, commercialisation of religion, manipulation and exploitation of the adherents, subjecting them to laziness, frustration, desperation and poverty. This alters individual rights and personal development, which are deterrents to progress and oppose the religious tenets of holiness, truthfulness and sacredness. This article advocates good religious values for good behaviour to enhance the social structure and boost societal development. CONTRIBUTION: This contemporary time in Nigeria is the era of religious explosion, where there are uncountable new religious faiths and groups. Religious practices in Nigeria are commercialised. Church leaders have abandoned the precepts on which the Church and other religious practices are founded to pursue economic or commercial-oriented interests and tendencies
  • Sanctuary schematics and temple ideology in the Hebrew Bible and Dead Sea
           Scrolls: The import of Numbers

    • Abstract: The temple schematics in the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS), that is, New Jerusalem and Temple Scroll, has often been comparatively examined with the sanctuary structures in the Hebrew Bible (HB) (Ezk 40-48 and Num 2). Typically, in scholarship, the irreconcilable differences between all accounts (regarding the size, shape, name-gate ordering, etc.) is underscored, thus rendering a literary conundrum. This article argues that New Jerusalem and Temple Scroll drew from both Ezekiel 40-48 and Numbers 2 in different ways, purporting the sect(s)'s theologies and ideologies which accords, further, with the life setting of the Qumran communities; the influence of Numbers in the DSS is underscored. These aspects include (1) the eastern orientation of sacred structures and the compound at Khirbet Qumran, (2) the precise locale of the communities at the Dead Sea vis-à-vis Ezekiel 47 and (3) the desert encampment configuration together with its militaristic overtones in Numbers, which corresponds to the DSS sect(s)'s apocalyptic expectations as indicated in the War Scroll. Consequently, the Qumran sect(s) truly saw itself as an alternative priesthood of the forthcoming restored temple of God, even as in the interim they functioned as an alternative sanctuary (4QFlor; 4QMMT; 1QS). The import of Numbers upon the DSS sect(s)'s temple ideologies and priestly theologies is, therefore, equivalent to that of Ezekiel. CONTRIBUTION: This article traces theological themes of temple and priestly ideologies between and among the Qumran literature and Hebrew Scriptures; both the respective library or canon and methodological approach are core to the historical thought's aim and scope of HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies
  • Interreligious relation: Position of women in strengthening Christian
           and Muslim bonds

    • Abstract: Strengthening Muslim-Christian relations is very important for a nation such as Indonesia that has plurality in terms of tribes, ethnicity and religion. This study aims to analyse the role of Muslim women who live in a pluralistic socio-religious situation. This is a qualitative research that uses purposive sampling to determine the informants. The approach used by the Discovering Cultural Themes model is to understand the symptoms of the many themes, cultures, values and cultural symbols. Data analysis was conducted by using software for qualitative research, which is needed in managing data found from the field, in this case, nVivo Basic 12.00 for Windows. The results show that Muslim women translate justice, empathy and rationality in religion by building relationships with other religions. This attitude is part of Islamic teachings that contain moderate, accommodating and tolerant aspects. In addition, culture has encouraged women to blend in and form egalitarian equality in the social and cultural realm. The culture of generosity and mutual help has become a tradition both in religious and customary activities. CONTRIBUTION: This article provides an insight into the contribution of Muslim women in strengthening Muslim-Christian relations. This agenda is very important because Islam and Christianity have the largest adherents in Indonesia. This contribution is very important and crucial in the midst of radicalism issues in Indonesia lately
  • Leadership development: Effective tool for urban Christian missions in the
           21st century in Nigeria

    • Abstract: Urban Christian missions battle with many challenges in this 21st century, such that there is a need for a strategic plan to do missions in the cities. Over the years, missions' emphasis has focused on village missions and underdeveloped places. However, there is a clarion call to shift attention to urban Christian missions in recent times because the world is witnessing a massive migration of people from villages to cities for greener pastures. Christian missions' opportunities are evident in the cities because the cities attract all kinds of people. Urban Christian missions involve assembling converts and nurturing them to maturity, enabling them to teach others about Christ, and to do likewise to ensure that the Christian faith continues. The article employed a descriptive research method, and it investigated the task of developing leaders for active Christian missions in urban areas of Nigeria because of insufficient leaders who could adequately handle Christian mission work. CONTRIBUTION: This article is in line with the focus and scope of HTS Theological Studies in the sense that the journal is an acclaimed Open Access journal with broad coverage that promotes multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary religious aspects of studies in the international theological arena and the journal's publication criteria are based on rigorous research, accountable methodologies and novel findings based on sound ethical standards. Also, the research reveals that leadership training must be Bible-based and the Bible is the basis for Theological Studies
  • Islam Nusantara: An integration opportunity between Christianity and
           culture in Indonesia

    • Abstract: The integration or inculturation of religion and culture has been massively and controversially discussed despite being successfully presented by Islam Nusantara. Therefore, this study attempts to delve into the possibilities of integrating Christianity into the culture of Indonesia by seeking the Islam Nusantara experience. The study employed a qualitative method, using literature, articles, books and related references, and attempted to reconstruct the Islamic dimension concerning inculturation. Subsequently, the opportunity for Christianity will be displayed and formulated to establish a hospitable religion. This will offer a chance to improve and develop its identity regarding integration into the local culture by respecting without destroying, contextualising without syncretising and negotiating without compromising. CONTRIBUTION: This article contributes to the ongoing debates on culture and Christianity in Indonesia. Islam Nusantara offers an opportunity and example of how religion and culture should collaborate. The expectation is that the collaboration will display a solid formation to other contexts in Asia or Africa that could arrange a fruitful conversation between culture and Christianity
  • Hair matters: The psychoanalytical significance of the virtual absence of
           hair in the Book of Job in an African context

    • Abstract: Compared with other biblical books that are named after its main protagonist, Job mentions many (at least 72) body parts. Yet hair is explicitly referred to only once, even when it plays a relatively significant role in other books in the Hebrew Bible. This virtual absence of hair in the book can at first glance be explained by the shaving of Job's 'head' as early as 1:20, using a different verb, •••, from the one in Leviticus 13:33 and 14:8.9, •–•, where the context is that of —’—’–’—, wrongly translated as 'leprosy', but probably referring to the same skin problem from which Job is suffering. This connection to the skin is important, because the two body parts seem to be almost mutually exclusive, as also suggested by 1:21 immediately after the aforementioned shaving, where Job considers himself to be essentially –’—’– [naked]. This means that hair has, amongst other functions, also a clothing-like role in the book of Job. Three questions will hence be explored: how 'absence' is to be psychoanalytically interpreted and more specifically, what consequences all of this has on the virtual absence of hair in the Book of Job and, finally, what relevance this absence has for the South African context. CONTRIBUTION: Applying a psychoanalytical perspective to both the body and to absence, the biblical text is contextualised on a broader horizon than what the purely historical-critical approach can render. The additional African context widens the relevance of the ancient book even further
  • Understanding Islamic law in the context of vaccination: Reducing the
           doubt cast on COVID-19 vaccines

    • Abstract: One solution to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is getting vaccinated. The promotion of vaccines through religion helps to control the pandemic. One of the causes of doubts about vaccination in society is religious understanding. Vaccination has an important correlation with Islamic law or Islamic jurisprudence. This research aims to analyse the effect of understanding Islamic law on doubts about vaccination. This research used quantitative pre-experimental designs. The research sample consisted of 160 people who were not vaccinated. The sampling technique involved a non-random sampling method. The data analysis is descriptive and inferential. The results of this research showed the following: (1) the understanding of Islamic law related to the status of halal and haram has a positive influence on the Muslim community's willingness to vaccinate, (2) the understanding of the emergency concept can increase confidence in vaccines and (3) the education related to understanding Islamic law can effectively reduce doubts about vaccination. CONTRIBUTION: This research provides knowledge about the COVID-19 vaccine from the perspective of Islamic law. This research provides a new strategy to reduce public doubts about vaccination
  • The impact of Islamic work ethics on organisational culture among
           Muslim staff

    • Abstract: Muslim scholars have defined ethics as enduring traits and characteristics in the individual that cause actions appropriate to those traits to be issued spontaneously without the need for human thought and reflection. Islamic ethics state the rightness or wrongness of these attributes within the framework of Islamic concepts, while the concepts of Islamic work ethics deal with the functioning of the framework of Islamic concepts in the form of human work activities in various organisations. Furthermore, work ethics can be effective in the organisation when it can shape the culture of the organisation. Research shows that Islamic work ethics have a significant relationship with various individual, professional and organisational factors. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between Islamic work ethics and organisational culture. The statistical population of this research consists of 1500 Muslim staff of 30 service organisations (financial, educational, medical and hotel organisations) in Moscow, Russia, in 2021, of which 306 people have been selected as statistical samples using Krejcie and Morgan's sample size table. Data analyses were performed by statistical software, Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The results of this study confirm the significant and positive relationship between Islamic work ethics and organisational culture among the Muslim Russian staff (β = 0.53; T = −8.65). CONTRIBUTION: This study examines the relationship between Islamic work ethics and organisational culture in Russia and has expanded the results of previous studies conducted in other contexts
  • Analysing the relationship between ethical leadership and the voice of
           Malaysian Muslim employees

    • Abstract: Ethical behaviour, in its simplest terms, means knowing and doing what is right. Nevertheless, the main difficulty is how to define the word 'right'. For this purpose, various individuals, cultures and religions have thus far portrayed it in different ways. The present study reflected on the Islamic society, wherein ethical leadership has been one of the most effective factors in its continuation of life and success, with a vital role in its growth, development and progress. Accordingly, the relationship between ethical leadership and the voice of Muslim employees in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2021, as the statistical population (n = 2500) was analysed. For this purpose, a standard questionnaire was used to collect the necessary data, whose validity was confirmed by the construct validity in the Linear Structural Relations (LISREL) software and its reliability was checked via the Cronbach's alpha in the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software. Besides, path analysis was utilised to test the research hypothesis. Confirmatory factor analysis was correspondingly implemented to examine the data. Ultimately, the study results revealed a significant positive relationship between ethical leadership and the voice of Malaysian Muslim employees (p = 0.80; t = 5.02). CONTRIBUTION: Based on the literature review and the results of this study, ethical leadership can motivate Muslim citizens to participate in decision-making processes and even allows them to express their creative ideas in organisations and society
  • Sêrat Bayanullah: A study of Raden Panji Natarata's thoughts on Javanese
           Sufism through classical Javanese literature

    • Abstract: This study describes Raden Panji Natarata's thoughts as a humanist, poet and religious scholar who thinks that the concepts of Javanese Sufism and Islamic Sufism are two contradictory ideas. Raden Panji Natarata describes his ideas through the medium of têmbang macapat (Javanese song) in a classic Javanese literature entitled Sêrat Bayanullah. Sêrat Bayanullah, which is used as a source of data for this research, is a collection of the Pura Mangkunegaran library, Surakarta, with catalogue number A-393. The scope of this study focuses on Raden Panji Natarata's thoughts on the nature of life, which include the concepts of human creation, human death, and the after-death union of the servant with God. To obtain objective and comprehensive research results, the researchers used a qualitative descriptive research paradigm by applying hermeneutic theory. The results showed that Raden Panji Natarata's thoughts about the nature of life did not go beyond the limits of monotheism, while other poets tended to acculturate Javanese Sufism thoughts, which sometimes were not in line with the teachings of monotheism. CONTRIBUTION: As an academic contribution, this research is expected to enrich and preserve the repertoire of local research literature with Sufism nuances and their relationship with the thoughts of Sufi experts. Differences in perspective is natural, and the most important thing is mutual respect for differing opinions for the sake of creating harmony in life
  • Hifz Al-Din (maintaining religion) and Hifz Al-Ummah (developing national
           integration): Resistance of Muslim youth to non-Muslim leader candidates
           in election

    • Abstract: Resistance towards non-Muslim leaders emerged when the case of blasphemy against Islam was brought against Basuki Tjahya Purnama, known as Ahok, as the governor of DKI Jakarta at that time (DKI Jakarta is mostly inhabited by Muslims). The case of blasphemy committed by Ahok has triggered the resistance of Muslims towards non-Muslim candidates for the regional leader election. This study uses a cross-sectional design conducted by interviewing 1121 Muslim youths who participated in regional head elections in North Sumatra. Multivariate analysis in this study used a logistic regression test with JAPS 16 software. The results of this study indicate that Muslim youth in North Sumatra province have high resistance to non-Muslim candidates for regional heads (governor and mayor). Hifz Al-Din [maintaining religion] (p < 0.001; Exp [β] = 2.505) is seen to affect the resistance of Muslim youth to non-Muslim governor candidates; Hifz Al-Din (p < 0.001; Exp [β] = 2.053) is seen to affect the resistance of Muslim youth to non-Muslim mayoral candidates; Hifz Al-Ummah [developing national integration] (p = 0.001; [β] = 2.194) is seen to have influenced the resistance of Muslim youth to non-Muslim governor candidates; Hifz Al-Ummah (p = 0.011; Exp [β] = 1.800) affects the resistance of Muslim youth to non-Muslim mayoral candidates. Muslim youth have high resistance to non-Muslim leaders when participating in elections. Muslim youth are afraid that prospective non-Muslim leaders will make various policies that will make it difficult for Muslims to carry out various kinds of worship performed by Muslims. CONTRIBUTION: This study is expected to provide information for non-Muslim leader candidates about the fear of Muslim youth against non-Muslim candidates for the regional leader election, especially regarding the policies to carry out worship for Muslims and to maintain the unity of the Ummah
  • Dialectical views on metaphysics in Islam: Thoughts of Ibn Rushd and

    • Abstract: This paper discusses the dialectical thoughts of Ibn Rushd and theologians on divine metaphysics. The discussion is based on the study of criticisms and dialogues on the theologians' view on metaphysics. Three important points emerge: firstly, how Ibn Rushd presented the basis of his critical arguments; secondly, the process of Ibn Rushd's methods of criticism on the theologians' metaphysical reasons and lastly, the content of Ibn Rushd's criticisms of the theologians' metaphysical reason. This paper provides a detailed description of the themes as accurate and comprehensive ways to provide a basis of Ibn Rushd's criticism. CONTRIBUTION: This study contributes to encouraging and changing the views of scholars of Islamic theology that Ibn Rushd, apart from being a philosopher, is also a critical thinker in the field of Islamic theology
  • Begging enterprise: A growing trend among Igbo Christians in Nsukka

    • Abstract: It is obvious that the practice of begging is growing exponentially and changing into various forms mostly among the Christians in the Nsukka area. Although begging has long been in existence in the Nsukka area, it has never been encouraged. Financial assistance from family and relatives usually prevents an indigent person from begging in the street. Giving alms to the poor is regarded as a religious duty by many people. But, some beggars take advantage of people's sympathy and thus the practice of begging is encouraged. Many scholars have written about the increase in the number of beggars in Igboland and attributed it to a number of factors such as poverty and ill health. Some see it as an indictment on government. However, this present study attributes the increase in the number of beggars in Nsukka's cultural area to religion, laziness as against hard work, individualism as against communalism, social disorganisation because of urbanisation. These beggars who do nothing other than to beg are less productive, and consequently contribute nothing to the nation's economy. They are a nuisance in the society, as some engage in all kinds of immoral activities that degrade human society. This study therefore attempts to explore the growing trend of begging among Igbo Christians in Nsukka Urban. It aims to identify the different dimensions of begging and the reasons behind this practice. A qualitative phenomenological method was employed in this study. CONTRIBUTION: The findings of this study revealed that poverty is not the cause of begging among Christians in Nsukka but rather laziness, individualism, and religious mendicancy, among others. It recommends that the Igbo people should go back to the values that bind them together
  • Exegetical study of John 16:25-33 and the Church in persecution in

    • Abstract: Currently, there is a high rate of persecution unleashed on Christians worldwide with a special reference to Nigeria. Globally, Nigeria accounts for more than 70% of Christians being killed because of their identification with the Christian faith. This makes Nigeria one of the most dangerous countries for Christians. Employing the redaction method of doing biblical exegesis, this study explores and interprets the context of John 16:25-33 and applies its theological findings to the similar reality of Nigerian Christians being confronted with severe persecutions. This study argues that the lessons drawn from John 16:25-33 can equip Nigerian Christians to have the peace Jesus promised consolidated in their hearts as they are being persecuted because of their faith in him. CONTRIBUTION: This study addressed the issue of the high rate of persecution being unleashed on the Church in Nigeria from the theological stance of John 16:25-33. The study recommends that the lessons drawn from John 16:25-33 can equip the persecuted Church in Nigeria to enjoy the peace Jesus promised the Church
  • A critical analysis of the impact of religion on the Nigerian struggle
           for nationhood

    • Abstract: Religion plays a vital role in the formation of conscience and therefore is very important in determining how people co-exist in a society. Nigerian citizens live in regions other than their ethnic geographical areas, but they are not recognised as people of the same destiny and subjects of equal rights. The long period of military dictatorship that truncated the country's democracy since the civil war gave Nigerians a constitution which adopted the Sharia legal system within a purported secular state. This encouraged a wide range of religious fanaticism and led to various demands for human rights, which has become a worrisome issue to concerned Nigerians. This article used secondary sources of data, such as newspaper publications and journal articles to examine the impact of religion on the state of the Nigerian nation today. The article calls for the harmonisation of Christianity and Islamic teachings in line with the secularity of the Nigerian state in order to reduce the increasing tensions in the country and make the journey to nationhood more realistic. CONTRIBUTION: This article proposes that the secularity of the Nigerian state has to be maintained by political and religious leaders in order to attain purposeful nationhood and achieve sustainable and genuine development of the country
  • A realistic reading as a feminist tool: The Prodigal Son as a case

    • Abstract: The parables of Jesus have historically been attributed with a plethora of interpretations. The first hearers of the parables of Jesus had native (emic) knowledge of the social realities embedded in the parables told by Jesus, that is, cultural scripts present in the parables that might not be apparent to modern readers. Because of this, the modern reader of a parable might not be aware of all the different cultural scripts in a given parable, especially if these scripts are not specifically mentioned or explained by the gospel narrators. Using the parable of the Prodigal Son as an example, this study argues that there are voices in the parable most probably heard by its first hearers that modern hearers might not be aware of. These 'muted' voices not heard by modern readers of the parables often include the voices of women and other minority figures. In this study, a case is made for the possible value that a 'realistic reading' of familial parables could bring to the interpretation of the parables. CONTRIBUTION: It is suggested that this reading can contribute to feminist biblical scholarship's deconstruction and reconstruction of gender paradigms of Christian theology if the voices of women are 'exhumed' from or 'unhidden' within, patriarchal and androcentric texts
  • Herman Jean de Vleeschauwer's (1899-1986) interpretation of Medieval
           philosophy at UNISA (1951-1964)

    • Abstract: This article presents the interpretation of Herman Jean de Vleeschauwer (1899-1986) of Medieval philosophy during his career as a lecturer and professor of philosophy at the University of South Africa (UNISA) from 1951 to 1964. The study is done regarding De Vleeschauwer's publications and unpublished manuscripts relating to Medieval philosophy, as filed in Archive MSS Acc 32 at the UNISA Institutional Repository. Essentially, De Vleeschauwer was one of only two South African university lecturers in the 20th century who consistently included the Middle Ages in the philosophy curriculum (the other was Martin Versfeld at the University of Cape Town, from 1937 to 1972). When précising his work in Medieval philosophy at UNISA for the designated period, it becomes clear that De Vleeschauwer's nuanced defence of Thomism was the matrix of his interpretation. This cornerstone, and his numerous other published and unpublished texts relating to the Middle Ages, show that De Vleeschauwer was an erudite commentator, competent lecturer and skilled specialist researcher in Medieval philosophy, as he was in early modern and modern philosophy (especially on Kant and Geulincx). As a scholar of Medieval philosophy, in particular, De Vleeschauwer had no equal in the 20th century South African context. CONTRIBUTION: This article contributes to the ongoing assessment of the characteristic and curious inattention to Medieval philosophy at South African (especially the historical Afrikaans) universities during the course of the 20th century
  • Diagnosing and dismantling South African whiteness: 'white work' in the
           Dutch Reformed Church

    • Abstract: In this article, we reflect on our lived experience as co-facilitators of a promising intragroup anti-racism process within the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) in South Africa. Firstly, we describe how this emergent process, referred to as 'white work', has developed since 2018 to include three focal areas: facilitation and training, research and the development of resources for faith leaders. Secondly, in the interest of localised, embodied diagnostic work, we mention relatively neglected strands of South African whiteness that have arisen through this process of 'white work'. We argue that this DRC 'white work' contributes to a more intersectional approach to dismantling whiteness. Finally, we propose that the dismantling potential of this 'white work' rests on three dimensions - raising consciousness, cultivating capacity and forming community - while stressing some of the challenges and limitations we have encountered in our process thus far. CONTRIBUTION: This article contributes to both the diagnosis and dismantling of South African whiteness by presenting a narrative reflection on an emergent process among members of the DRC in South Africa
  • Rediscovering the way of Islamic propagation by continuing the tradition
           of religion-based agriculture

    • Abstract: This study examines farming communities in Muslim villages that carry out one of the religious rituals in their agricultural cycle, namely tandur [planting rice seeds]. The study was then analysed with a theological analysis, namely Islamic theology, as the religion embraced by the community. The research method was carried out as follows: the researcher observed the research object in the Tanggulun Village of Subang Regency of West Java of Indonesia, where the case study was located. Researchers stayed at the research location and conducted interviews, supported by a voice recorder. The findings revealed that religious rituals performed by the farming community in the Muslim village, particularly during the agricultural cycle of planting rice seeds, gave rise to two types of tandur mantra. Such a religion-based culture does not conflict with the teachings of Islam as the religion of the farmers. The ritual represents local wisdom that the farming community can maintain and preserve theological and humanitarian elements inherited by Islamic da'wah [propagation] in the area. This study can show contemporary farmers the meaning of the mantra their parents used to chant. They can adapt whilst still honouring their religious heritage, even though the existing agricultural tools are relatively new. CONTRIBUTION: This dissecting study of cultural narratives with theological studies can show that society still has traditions that can be maintained even in current conditions. Also, it opens the possibility of revealing local values in modern languages, so that there is a connection between past and present traditions. Disclosure of these values can be seen in the remaining culture, which is still practiced now, to enrich the study of ethnography, especially Sundanese ethnography. This is part of cultural science, which in this case is religious culture
  • Investigating the effect of Islamic values on citizenship behaviours of
           Muslim citizens

    • Abstract: Islamic values are among the topics that are considered by people in an Islamic society in human and organisational life and paying attention to them can have positive consequences for the individual and the organisation. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of Islamic values on citizenship behaviours of Muslim citizens. The research is applied in terms of purpose and descriptive-survey in terms of nature and method. The statistical population of this research includes 2600 Muslim employees of 45 manufacturing Indonesian organisations in 2021. The sample size was estimated to be 335 by simple random sampling. The data collection tool of this study is a questionnaire. The validity of questionnaire was confirmed by confirmatory factor analysis and reliability by Cronbach's alpha coefficient; further, data analysis was performed using linear structural relationships (LISREL) software. The results of structural equations modeling showed that Islamic values have a positive and significant effect on citizenship behaviours of Muslim citizens (p = 0.78; T-Value= 8.62). CONTRIBUTION: The results showed that paying attention to Islamic values in the organisation contributes to citizenship behaviours of people. Therefore, it is suggested that Islamic values be the basis of staff activities and employees who are more committed to these values in the organisation should be encouraged by the management of organisations
  • Cultural myth of eclipse in a Central Javanese village: Between Islamic
           identity and local tradition

    • Abstract: This article examines the relationship between religion, tradition and identity as seen from the myth about eclipses in a village in Central Java. Javanese people in rural areas still hold beliefs passed down from their ancestors about eclipses, both lunar and solar eclipses. Using a qualitative approach, the results of the study showed that the villagers believe that eclipses occur because of evil giants called buto named Batara Kala who try to devour the sun or the moon. This natural phenomenon is believed to bring disaster to pregnant women and livestock. To fight the disaster, they must perform certain ceremonies or rituals. Based on ethnographic studies, this research provides an overview of eclipse mythology for Javanese locals and analyses it from identity theory. This shows that mythical rituals reflect a continuous identity formation. Although the traditions associated with these myths to some extent transcend the boundaries of the Islamic religion, they remain unchallenged. CONTRIBUTION: This research suggests that myths play an important role in the life and identity of the people who believe in them and perform the rituals associated with them
  • Investigating the relationship between religious lifestyle and social
           health among Muslim teachers

    • Abstract: Lifestyles are evidence for the influence of systems, cultures and civilisations within various societies. In view of that, all systems of thought aim to maintain certain ways of living in citizens to implement their ideals. Furthermore, if societies do not accept the lifestyles introduced by such systems, their intellectual foundations and values are rejected. In this regard, the Islamic lifestyle does not imply giving up all pleasures and blessings, but it takes on a divine colour to all pleasures. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between religious lifestyle and social health among 1000 Muslim teachers working in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, over a period of six months, in 2020-21. Utilising the simple random sampling method, 278 teachers were thus selected as the statistical sample and then completed some questionnaires on Islamic lifestyle and social health. Data analysis was also performed using the structural equation modeling (SEM) in the Linear Structural Relations (LISREL) statistical software package. The results demonstrated a significant positive correlation between Islamic lifestyle and social health (p = 0.58, t = 6.84). CONTRIBUTION: The study results showed the importance of Islamic lifestyle in improving teachers' social health.
  • Transforming preman to radical Islamic Laskar in Solo, Central

    • Abstract: The development of radical Islamic understanding amongst abangan society is a paradox because there is a dichotomy between santri and abangan. This study aims to describe and analyse the transformation of preman or thugs into members of the radical Islamic army in Solo, Central Java. This research reveals why Solo is the base of a radical Islamic Laskar, how premans are predisposed to become members of the Islamic Laskar, and the types of radical Islam of this former preman. This type of research uses qualitative methods and a descriptive phenomenology approach with the social construction theory from Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann. The results reveal that the rise of radical Islamic Laskar organisations is because of the local conditions of the community life in Solo. They are the leaders of Islamic troops, as an essential role of agents is to lead the social construction of preman to become members of the Laskar. Meanwhile, the type of Islamic radicalism of the preman was categorised as pseudoradicalism and fake radicalism. CONTRIBUTION: This research contributes to the study of radicalism formed by religious organisations. This study describes and analyses in depth the transformation of the preman into members of the radical Islamic army in the city of Solo and the base of the radical Islamic Laskar. The most important finding of this article is the Islamic radicalism of the preman, which is categorised as pseudoradicalism and fake radicalism
  • 'For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner, eats and drinks
           judgment to himself': Interpreting 1 Corinthians 11:27-30 in light of the
           denial and avoidance of the Holy Communion in some churches in Nigeria

    • Abstract: Christians all over the world celebrate the Eucharist as an important aspect of their faith. Arising from Paul's warning in 1 Corinthians 11:27-30 that persons who eat the Lord's Supper unworthily bring judgment upon themselves, some churches in Nigeria restrict the Communion to supposedly holy members. This article examined the text with a view to appraising this attitude towards the Communion. It applied the historical exegesis and the analytical approach. The article found that the restriction of the Eucharist to selected members of the congregation is counter-productive and self-defeating in that many Christians are denied the opportunity to partake of it. Paul's view of judgment upon participants derived from his Jewish perception in which affliction was always seen as divine punishment. Furthermore, at its inception the celebration of the Communion does not reflect the idea that it was meant for only holy people. In view of this, and the fact that the Jewish perception need not apply in the modern and scientific world, the work concluded that the mainline churches in Nigeria have to review their attitude towards the Communion such that all Christians are encouraged to participate in it. While laying emphasis on reverent and loving behaviour at the Lord's Table, the idea of the Communion causing illness and death should be completely jettisoned. CONTRIBUTION: This article is a contribution to New Testament Theology and Christian ethics. The proposal to make the Eucharist more accommodating is significant for congregational harmony in the church in Nigeria.
  • Beyond tithes and offerings: Revolutionising the economics of Pentecostal
           churches in Zimbabwe

    • Abstract: The Zimbabwean economic crisis has exposed the unsustainability of traditional sources of Church finances. Churches that depend on tithes, freewill offerings and donations have been facing incapacitation, a disturbing predicament that has been further worsened by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the context of abject poverty and perennial price hikes of basic commodities. While attention has been given to the exploitative commercialisation of the gospel by charismatic churches, scholarship on the economics of classical Pentecostal churches is scanty. Observing fluctuating, unsustainable and unreliable incomes, this study explored the vulnerability of operating without diversified revenue and fundamentality of economising ecclesiology. Applying a theonomic reciprocity concept and using a literature-based approach, this article overviewed the nexus between ecclesiology and economics, reviewed and problematised traditional sources of ecclesial finances. Resultantly, it proposed diversification of revenue through business, interrogated problems and panaceas of doing business as churches. Conclusively, the study argued that when churches establish investments, they will not only sustain themselves, but also missionise their businesses and advance the gospel in the marketplace, hence the rationality of revolutionising their economics. CONTRIBUTION: This article debunks the interplay of ecclesiology and economics by reviewing contextual realities and financial sources of classical Pentecostal churches in Zimbabwe. It calls for scholarly and clerical attention to a theology of stewardship and investment towards economic sustainability, effective operationalisation and realisation of missio Ecclesiae in volatile contexts
  • The ministry of presence in absence: Pastoring online in Zimbabwe during
           the COVID-19 pandemic

    • Abstract: Since time immemorial, pastoral ministry has been physically present in church buildings, homes and public places, providing face-to-face care and reassurance of God's love and accompaniment. The tragic outbreak and speedy spread of COVID-19 from China triggered unprecedented challenges, dramatically led to restrictive national lockdowns, closure of physical meetings, fundamentally unsettled routine ways of doing ministry and demanded total digitalisation of the gospel, which eventually rendered the ministry of physical presence absent. While doing ministry online seemed to have been working well in other countries, it has been a uniquely different trajectory in Zimbabwe predominantly because of financial, material, human incapacitation as well as cultural and other contextual factors. Scholarly research on online pastoral praxis in Zimbabwe is scanty. Applying Osmer's methodology, this study reviewed lived experiences and challenges of pastors in ministering virtually since the beginning of lockdowns early 2020 hitherto late 2021. It interrogated the ministry of presence and understanding of digitalisation. Amidst a plethora of social, political and economic drawbacks, this article unearthed erratic capability, affordability, availability, connectivity and feasibility of digitalised shepherding. Taking physical presence as incarnation of the triune God, demonstration of love, care and accompaniment as indispensable in pastoral ministry, this article stressed the significance of physical presence. However, considering the prevailing COVID-19 and contextual constrictions, it recommended that pastors should appreciate and submit their congregants to the ubiquitous and indispensable spiritual presence of God while redoubling efforts in ministering through contextually feasible ways until lockdowns end. CONTRIBUTION: This article provides a critical biblical and scholarly review and analysis of the ministry of presence during the COVID-19 pandemic in Zimbabwe. This will provoke pastors, churches and church bodies to rethink and reconsider progressive strategies towards contextually effective pastoral theology, ministry and ecclesiology in times of pandemics in the context of economic volatility
  • Exploring the impact of COVID-19 on church ministries in Africa: A
           literature analysis focusing on South Africa

    • Abstract: This article argues that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which emerged in 2019, has had a negative impact on all institutions and spheres of life, including churches. Scholars and religious practitioners concur that the pandemic has negatively affected the church in various ways such as in church worship, fellowship, finance, interrelationships and various other ministries and programmes. Despite a reference to challenges posed by COVID-19 on the churches' ministries, there are very few academic articles based on literature scoping on the subject, particularly its impact on churches in Africa with a particular focus on South Africa. A study of that nature is important as it provides an insight into practical church ministries during the COVID-19 pandemic. This article presents the findings of a scoping study conducted to inform a broader empirical study on churches and COVID-19 in South Africa and Africa. The article concludes by recommending an empirical qualitative study to explore in-depth issues on COVID-19 and the church to generate academic articles in order to overcome the prevailing gap, whereby the bulk of the information on the subject is popular in sources such as blogs. CONTRIBUTION: This article is a study that scopes literature published on the impact of COVID-19 on churches and provides a detailed understanding of the phenomenon. It contributes to understanding how COVID-19 particularly affected church ministries in Africa and South Africa and proposes areas requiring empirical studies on COVID-19 and churches
  • A fatherless South Africa: The importance of missional parenting and
           the role of the church

    • Abstract: This article employs descriptive and explorative methods concerning father absence and missional parenting. It identifies numerous ramifications caused by father absence and the failing role of men. Father absence has been a serious social issue in South Africa, which has become more tenacious in post-colonial South Africa because of economic reasons, untold fatherhood, refused fatherhood, fatherhood accountability, divorce and dissolution of households. This social issue influenced and affected both family and society dysfunction and created a vicious cycle of poverty in many South African homes. This article aimed to lessen the predicament of fatherlessness by considering the role of missional parenting where the father and mother form a partnership and collaborate for the family's progress and actualise God's pre-eminent plan for families in South Africa. The literature review and methodology provided rich insights and considerable knowledge to help support families who do not have a father figure and men in their fatherly role. Missional parenting is gospel-centred and can be a detriment to father absence. Parents follow the example of Jesus Christ as saviour in missional parenting. CONTRIBUTION: This article employed a descriptive and explorative modus operandi and explored a respective method to effectuate family disharmony in the context of South Africa. It endorses the journal's focus on church and family in the field of Missiology and Practical Theology. A fatherless South Africa because of the social ill of father absence is a concerning issue
  • Pentecostal theology's problem (Pt 1 2:2): Ma š i ke phepa ke le nosi,
           selabe se tla le motsaya kgamelo - a Setswana proverb

    • Abstract: Decolonisation of theology can be undertaken by engaging African proverbs and idioms. Pentecostalism, although the African Christian phenomenon is exploding, also needs to be decolonised in order to break itself of the western shackles of stereotyping Christianity as a western civilisation. The historical development of Pentecostalism, highlighting the heresies that invaded it, is examined, expanded and explained to support the notion that, indeed, the Setswana proverb: Maši ke phepa ke le nosi, selabe se tla le motsaya kgamelo, is a powerful tool to show that Pentecostal faith in its original form was unadulterated, but that the misunderstandings were brought along by certain Pentecostal teachers. The hermeneutical principle of inculturation is referred to as a way of justifying the usage of African proverbs in order to express and simplify theological concepts. Exegesis of 1 Peter 2:2 is undertaken to make an appeal that Pentecostal theology cannot be thrown out as it is a pure milk to be desired for spiritual maturity. This Petrine text is referred to as a basis that doctrinal purity within Pentecostalism should be a goal to be desired. The original Pentecostal initiative has been historically invaded and tinted by dissenting voices promoting some questionable beliefs and practices; however, its originality remains evangelically and fundamentally oriented. CONTRIBUTION: This article contributes towards the journal's vision of multidisciplinary theological perspective using hermeneutical studies and the literature to express the truth experienced in a context but embedded within a text. The article also contributes to the ongoing discourse on decolonisation of theology, especially within the Pentecostal Christianity
  • Cultivating the worshipful self in an algorithmic age: Reflections on
           an Asadian conclusion

    • Abstract: In a recent book, Secular Translations: Nation State, Modern State and Calculative Reason, Talal Asad is concerned with how the language of calculation and abstraction, inaugurated by modernity and accelerated by our current algorithmic reality, erodes the language of cultivated embodiment typical of religious worldviews and the virtues that such embodiment seeks to develop. These languages are predicated upon and cultivate different types of selves that are fundamentally at variance with each other. It is not that that one cannot cultivate the worshipful, virtuous self in our algorithmic reality, but Asad's pessimistic conclusion is that the conditions for such cultivation are being made increasingly difficult as we seemingly hasten towards a posthuman future. Asad here echoes thinkers such as Leon Kass and Michael Sandel who have also expressed disquiet about the loss of cultivated embodiment in such a future, but in an important meta sense, he goes beyond them by interrogating the underlying language we use to frame our discussions in this area. The purpose of this article is to bring an awareness to this Asadian argument, which, I believe, should at the very least give us some pause for thought as technology plunges us into new and unknowing horizons. CONTRIBUTION: Despite the many laudable accomplishments of modernity in the techno-scientific sphere, vital questions remain about its ability to bring about overall human flourishing. Among others, the thought of Talal Asad provides a way to think about why the promised potential of modernity in this regard has not been realised and, concomitantly, why traditional, embodied teachings of religion continue to be critical in thinking about the future
  • The 'confessions of the flesh' in the central Middle Ages: An expansion of

    • Abstract: This article expands Michel Foucault's (1926-1984) reading of the 'confessions of the flesh' in handbooks of penance written during the central Middle Ages in the first volume La volonté de savoir of his (current) four-volume series Histoire de la sexualité. After the posthumous publication of the fourth volume Les aveux de la chair (2018), in which Foucault takes his analysis of the historical foundations of confessional practices in the late 12th century to the first half of the 14th century even further back, to the 'confessions of the flesh' in the patristics of the 3rd to the 5th centuries, it has become sensible to illuminate Foucault's condensed reading of confessional scripts in La volonté de savoir itself. This exposition pertinently applies to Foucault's correct conclusion that sex was prioritised above all other 'sins', 'vices', and 'transgressions' in central Medieval confessional scripts; therefore, as he famously noted, becoming a 'seismograph of subjectivity in Christian cultures'. Against this backdrop, it is considered how thinkers from the central Middle Ages themselves reflected on the sacramentalisation of confession after the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215 - since Foucault himself did not substantially elaborate on it. The reflections of three philosophers from the central Middle Ages on the relation between sex, confession and absolution are subsequently presented as an expansion of Foucault's reading in La volonté de savoir. Firstly, Alan of Lille's (d.1203) interpretation of the Summae confessorum in his Liber poenitentialis is revisited, concluding that Lille's perspective was 'hermeneutical', in terms of his insistence that the confessor should adjust his interrogations according to seven Aristotelian topoi or detailed questions, designate the context in which the transgression occurred very thoroughly and 'actively participate' in the confessional act, rather than simply recording it. Lille's 'hermeneutical' approach to confession is also reflected in Robert Grosseteste's (ca.1168-1253) De modo confitendi et paenitentias iniungendi, in which a moderate phronetic approach allows for the full discretion of the confessor, rather than following the rigid prescriptions of the Summae confessorum only. Secondly, William of Auvergne's (ca.1180-1249) contribution to the interpretation of the Summae confessorum in his Poenitentia is indicated in his utilitarian ethics, in which the interests of the ethical 'other' is related to the confessing 'self': even though matrimony is for Auvergne the only realm where the other's interests are not necessarily compromised by sexual contact, several considerations regarding 'improper sex', precisely within matrimony, apply according to the relevant penitential guidelines. Thirdly, Paul of Hungary's (ca.1180-1241) De confessione is considered in terms of his reflections on 'paying sexual debt', and on the relation between regulated sexual release and the legitimacy of sexual gratification, again within the context of matrimony. CONTRIBUTION: This article contributes to Foucault-scholarship by elucidating and expanding Foucault's condensed reading of 13th-century confessional scripts in La volonté de savoir, with reference to the relevant texts of Alan of Lille (d.1203), William of Auvergne (ca.1180-1249) and Paul of Hungary (ca.1180-1241)
  • Jesus: The apex of biblical canons

    • Abstract: This article aims at showing how Jesus is the apex of biblical canons, the authority that grants the status of sacredness to Christian, canonical and biblical books. It uses an intercultural approach involving three cultural frames of reference whereby the Protestant Church leadership will represent a contemporary culture, while the Roman Catholic Church stands for traditional church culture, and Jesus' authority reflects an original biblical culture. Consequently, the article consists of three parts: the impact of Scripture on the contemporary Protestant Church in Africa, the authority of biblical canon in the Roman Catholic Church and Jesus' authority in original biblical cultures. CONTRIBUTION: The article has established that in the biblical cultures, Jesus' authority is recognised in canonical gospels and in extra canonical writings. In the Catholic Church, this authority is celebrated in the liturgy, expanded from the canonical biblical books and translated into the canon law. In the current Protestant Church in Africa, Jesus' authority empowers the ministers to significantly impact their audiences
  • The Küng is dead, long live the Küng: The value of Hans
           Küng's theology

    • Abstract: Hans Küng's influence on the church and its theology in the 20th-century theology has been immense. It has also not been without controversy, from his role at Vatican II to the loss of his teaching licence and his often-combative relationship with Benedict XVI. In 2021 Hans Küng died at the age of 93. This article offers an autoethnographic response to his work experienced over roughly two decades, from my early days as a theology student, struggles with Church authority, to personal illness. Küng's work provided a reference point for many of the challenges faced in 'being a Christian'. The first part of the article establishes an autoethnographic methodological approach, leading to the exploration of four key texts from Küng, highlighting their general value while also noting their connection to my own theological journey. By examining Küng's work in connection with my own life, I hope to make an argument for the continued relevance of his core ideas, while also introducing his life and work more broadly to those unfamiliar with Küng and his contribution. CONTRIBUTION: This article offers key insights into the theology and relevance of Hans Küng's work from an autoethnographic perspective. It engages with some of the key texts in Küng's oeuvre, with the goal of personal and societal changes in mind. It has been written in light of Küng's recent death in 2021
  • Reading the Good Samaritan (Lk 10: 25-37) through the lenses of
           introverted intuition and extraverted intuition: Perceiving text

    • Abstract: Working within the sensing, intuition, feeling, thinking (SIFT) approach to biblical hermeneutics, the present study focuses attention on the distinctive voices of introverted intuition and extraverted intuition, by analysing the way in which two small groups, one comprising dominant introverted intuitive types and the other comprising dominant extraverted intuitive types, explored and reflected on the Lucan narrative of the Good Samaritan, a passage rich in material to stimulate the perceiving process. Two distinctive voices emerged from these two groups. CONTRIBUTION: Situated within the reader perspective approach to biblical hermeneutics, the SIFT method is concerned with identifying the influence of the psychological type of the reader in shaping the interpretation of text. The foundations of the SIFT approach distinguish among the four functions of sensing, intuition, feeling, and thinking. The present study builds on this foundation by developing the nuance of the orientation in which the function is expressed, in this case focusing specifically on the comparison between introverted intuition and extraverted intuition
  • Hiring labourers for the vineyard and making sense of God's grace at work:
           An empirical investigation in hermeneutical theory and ordinary theology

    • Abstract: The Matthean parable of the labourers in the vineyard is open to multiple interpretations. For some, the parable may speak of God's unlimited grace and generosity; for others the parable may speak of God's unfairness. The present study is set within the context of an emerging interest in the concept of grace as a topic for empirical enquiry. The study draws on the theoretical framework provided by the notion of ordinary theology and employs the sensing, intuition, feeling and thinking (SIFT) approach to biblical hermeneutics, which is rooted in Jungian psychological type theory. Data were drawn from two one-day workshops with Church of England Readers (lay ministers). On each occasion the participants were divided into three separate groups according to their preferences for thinking or feeling (the two judging functions proposed by psychological type theory) and within these groups they were invited to explore the messages about grace in Matthew 20:1-15 (Jesus' parable of the labourers in the vineyard). The rich data gathered from these workshops generated insights into contemporary theologies of grace and also confirmed the hypothesis that a biblical interpretation of grace is shaped by the reader's psychological type preference for thinking or feeling. While feeling types tended to empathise, thinking types pondered motives and unfairness. CONTRIBUTION: Situated within the reader perspective approach to biblical hermeneutics, the SIFT method is concerned with identifying the influence of the psychological type of the reader in shaping the interpretation of sacred text. Employing this method, the present study contributes to three fields of scholarship: to the field of homiletics and hermeneutics, to the field of ordinary theology and to the emerging field concerned with the concept of grace as a topic for empirical enquiry
  • Rethinking of contemporary Islamic law methodology: Critical study of
           Muhammad Shahr ū r's thinking on Islamic law sources

    • Abstract: This study examined the contemporary ijtihād paradigm, especially in understanding the Islamic law sources, according to Muḥammad Shaḥrūr. This study focused on answering two things, namely Shaḥrūr's thinking in understanding the sources of contemporary Islamic law and compared it with the opinions of 'ulamā (Muslim scholars in Islamic law). An explorative method was used to explore the Shaḥrūr's thinking in understanding the contemporary Islamic law sources, and a comparative method was used to analyse it using 'ulamā's methodology. This research study used an Islamic law methodology (uṣūl al-fiqh) approach. This study concluded that the Shaḥrūr's thinking in understanding the sources of contemporary Islamic law is not comprehensive and less of combination among sources and propositions used by 'ulamā. Etymology understanding is most dominant in his methodology. In addition, there are some misunderstandings on Islamic law concepts raised by 'ulamā. CONTRIBUTION: This research enriched the study of contemporary Islamic law in responding to challenges of different times. Shaḥrūr offered a new paradigm that in al-Quran, the laws have certain limits and they should not be violated. The sunnah was divided into two parts, the changing and the unchanging. Qiyas is an analogy with the problems that happen now with those that happened in the past. And ijma is an agreement from people who have authority in certain matters.
  • Some homiletical perspectives for the Netherdutch Reformed Church of

    • Abstract: This article explores Professor T.F.J. Dreyer's definition for preaching that he developed for preaching in the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa (NRCA) three decades ago. Dreyer's own homiletical perspective towards preaching developed continuously through numerous philosophical paradigm shifts since 1989. His basis theory plays an important role in the theological training of the church's students today. The aim of the research is to reflect on the changes, following Dreyer's homiletical development over three decades. The research discovers a strong prophetical character in the homiletical approach of Dreyer and concludes by asking how a kairos moment of prophetical speech can benefit the NRCA. CONTRIBUTION: This research hopes to contribute to the existing research that was done in the homiletical field of traditional Afrikaans-speaking churches in South Africa. The research also contributes by identifying some homiletical perspectives that can help the church to proclaim the gospel in times of transition
  • Pandemic ecclesiology: Church re-actualisation during the pandemic

    • Abstract: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has brought significant changes to the life of the Christian church in Indonesia. Such changes can degrade the essence of the fellowship of believers. The reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, which became the church's starting point, has triggered a change in the pattern of carrying out its duties and services to the people and their environment. The church can adapt and transform its ministry innovations as a living organisation. The church needs to reinterpret the effectiveness of its presence through adapting new service patterns, namely onsite services to virtual services or hybrid services, to remain relevant to every dimension of rapid change in all aspects. This research study analyses the actualisation of church ecclesiology in the midst and after the pandemic. Using descriptive qualitative methods with interactive data analysis from Miles and Huberman, the following points have been found: (1) virtual ministry as a church reality, (2) a pneumatic encounter spirituality characterises the church, (3) ecclesiology in the context of universal communion and (4) the sacrament as a means of manifesting divine power. CONTRIBUTION: This study provides the concept of collaboration between ecclesiology as a principle and technology as a method. Ecclesiology and technology can realise the ministry of church unity. Collaboration between principles and methods in the church will build a flexible church in all conditions. However, the principles and duties of the church vocation are not neglected
  • Islamic boarding schools (pesantren), Sufism and environmental
           conservation practices in Indonesia

    • Abstract: This article is concerned with the environmental conservation efforts that respond to the human race's ecological crisis. It does this by looking at Sufistic-based environmental conservation at the pesantren of ath-Taariq in West Java, Indonesia. Data were obtained through interviews, observation and documentation using qualitative methods. Two findings were yielded; firstly, environmental conservation practices taught to students include ecology teaching, producing plant seeds and recycling waste into organic fertiliser. Secondly, significant steps have been taken by the establishment for reforestation and nature conservation motivated by Sufi values and doctrines, including the concept of zuhud [asceticism] and gratitude, kinship and mutual assistance, love and blessing, as well as tafakkur [contemplation]. CONTRIBUTION: This article helps develop studies of Sufism and environmental conservation. It offers a new direction for the teaching and learning of contemporary Sufism that all Islamic educational institutions could adopt
  • Wesleyan Trinitarian theology and pneumatology: God's performative

    • Abstract: This article examines the Wesleyan Trinitarian theology and pneumatology as God's performative actions through insight into the speech act theory. Wesley's understanding of the Holy Spirit in the Trinitarianism, which reveals God's salvation performance, has not been studied relatively much in Wesleyan Trinitarianism. Also, in modern theology, Trinitarianism is being interpreted newly along with various disciplines through interdisciplinary dialogue. Therefore, this article attempted to re-examine Wesley's Trinitarianism and Holy Spirit theory with the speech act theory in the philosophy of language. These quests allow us to explain that the salvation of the triune God is revealed in the believers. CONTRIBUTION: This article engages the traditional Wesleyan Trinitarian theology and pneumatology as God's performative actions for the salvations to reconsider it in the speech act theory. It can explain what God's performative action of salvation achieves in the lives of believers and how it transforms their lives
  • Violence in the Bible and the Apocalypse of John: A critical reading of
           J.D. Crossan's How to Read the Bible and Still Be a Christian

    • Abstract: This critical reading/dialogue follows a straightforward structure. Firstly, it presents some of the major insights in J.D. Crossan's book, attending to its inner logic on his critique on the violence which little by little creeps into the biblical texts. Secondly, it engages in a critique of his reading of Revelation, which is Crossan's starting point for his discussion on violence. He observes here a direct contradiction with the Jesus of history, centre of interpretation for Scripture. This article points to certain lacunae in his reading of Revelation and, finally, moves to a conclusion offering new ways to interpret and question Revelation's violent imagery within its own literary context. CONTRIBUTION: This article is a critical dialogue with one of J.D. Crossan's latest books: How to Read the Bible and Still Be a Christian: Struggling with Divine Violence From Genesis Through Revelation. This is a vibrant and insightful book about how violence ultimately crept into the canonical texts, tainting even its 'good news'. Crossan's concern with this crude violence surfaces as he teaches different groups and he is asked why the Bible ends in Revelation on such a violent note, essentially with 'a war to end all wars', somehow buttressing the 'myth of redemptive violence'. The special focus of this article resides thus on a nuanced reading of Revelation which tries to understand, in context, the function of such violent images
  • The Inedita Homily In transfigurationem Domini (BHGn 1980a): A compilation
           using Proclus of Constantinople

    • Abstract: In his inventory of the manuscript tradition of the homilies on the Transfiguration, Maurice Sachot stated that folios 46r-55r of the codex Parisinus graecus 1611 contain the homily In transfigurationem Domini (BHGn 1980a). He also stated that this text is unedited and that it is most probably a recension of the homily In transfigurationem Domini (CPG 5807; BHG 1980) attributed to Proclus of Constantinople. To date, however, this homily has remained unpublished and unstudied. After a brief presentation of the codex Parisinus graecus 1611, this article brings to light a surprise that emerges from examining folios 46r-55r of the Parisian manuscript. CONTRIBUTION: The article proves that the homily In transfigurationem Domini (BHGn 1980a) is not a recension of the homily on the Transfiguration (CPG 5807; BHG 1980), but a compilation for which the beginning of the homily on the Transfiguration attributed to Proclus of Constantinople was used
  • Human rights: The convergence of the second sila of Pancasila and Hans
           Kung's global ethics in Indonesia

    • Abstract: The objective of this research is to find the meeting point between the second precept of Pancasila and the global ethics of Kung. The article also discusses the value of the second precept of Pancasila as found in the global ethics. This research is intended to recognise human rights as the convergence of the second sila (principle) of Pancasila, namely, 'a just and civilised humanity' with Hans Kung's global ethics. The method used in this research is a literature study containing relevant theories. The second principle of Pancasila, Kemanusiaan yang Adil dan Beradab, is the basis for understanding the life of humanity, unity and justice in Indonesia and becomes the basis for humans to understand themselves and others. CONTRIBUTION: This research offers significant insights into the value of human rights as a meeting point between the second sila of Pancasila and Hans Kung's global ethics. The second sila of Pancasila and Hans Kung's global ethics emphasise that everyone has rights. Human rights do not contradict with the typical Indonesian culture of deliberation and mutual cooperation, because the second principle of Pancasila, namely, a just and civilised humanity, is the basis for ensuring human rights. The Constitution of Indonesia of 1945, article 27 paragraph 1 also guarantees human rights. Human rights do not encourage individualism; instead, they protect individuals and groups. Human rights are not meant to promote egoism, but they help to maintain solidarity among people and ensure the well-being of society. They are a means to respect human dignity and protect the weak.
  • Exomologesis as an absolute form of standing in inter-religious

    • Abstract: The present study intends to offer another perspective over the inter-religious dialogue emphasising the spiritual state of exomologesis as an essential means of accomplishing a better and real understanding of a participant in dialogue. It makes some short analysis of penitential confession as homologation with the Logos, of the prayer as inner dialogue or confession or exomologesis with the Logos and of the confessions as a literary style, which all engages the deep, spiritual dimensions of communion with the Logos and finally analyses and exemplifies the ecstatic and existential spiritual dimensions of the exomologesis as an absolute form of standing in dialogue. CONTRIBUTION: The study offers the necessary spiritual understanding and impulse for a more efficient inter-confessional and inter-religious dialogue, promoting HTS Journal as a herald of this dialogue essential and indispensable for the life of the world
  • COVID-19 vaccines, public health goods and Catholic social teaching: Why
           justice must prevail over charity in the global vaccine distribution

    • Abstract: Applying the Roman Catholic Church's set of moral principles on social concerns called Catholic social teaching (CST) on charity, distributive justice, private property and the common good, and utilising some secondary data and scientific literature, this article argues that establishing distributive justice for the global distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines must be a priority than donating millions of doses in the name of charity to address vaccine scarcity. Catholic social teaching teaches that the right to private property is a basic right but has moral limits and is subordinated to the moral principles on the universal destination of earth's goods and the common good. CONTRIBUTION: The current COVID-19 vaccines are developed by people and organisations outside the pharmaceutical companies and largely funded using taxpayers' money. Thus, by virtue of justice, these vaccines must belong to all nations as global public health goods. Patents are to be suspended to allow poor countries to reproduce the popular vaccines and address the current vaccine shortage
  • Normal, post-normal and new normal: A theology of hope in John

    • Abstract: This article re-reads John 20:1-29 to foreground the normal, the post-normal and the new normal realities within the Johannine resurrection narrative. The narrator of John demonstrates the normal situational aspects by taking into consideration the setting, characterisation, thematic development, point of view and plot development of the story in closer relationship with the temporal and spatial mechanisms. The ordinary, local and existent realities are expressed to reveal the colourless human experiences in relation to the divine aspects within the narrative framework. The resurrection of Jesus introduces a post-normal situation within the Sitz im Leben Jesu and the Sitz im Leben Kirche. The post-normal situation was introduced by placing the story of Lazarus at a strategic place (Jn 11:1-45) and thereafter by unfolding the essentials such as speed, scope, scale and spontaneity. The unfolding of the divine within the existential human realities created a post-normal situation where the Johannine community had to undergo expulsion and persecution from the side of the dominant structures. The narrator gives the reader a hope about a new normal situation above and beyond the existent struggles of the Johannine community. CONTRIBUTION: This article presents a new perspective concerning the normal, the post-normal and the new normal realities and dynamism within John 20:1-29 and suggests a new way forward in interpreting the Fourth Gospel by taking into consideration the existential aspects of the COVID-19 and Omicron pandemic situations. As a contextual and theological interpretation of the Fourth Gospel, this article fits well within the scope of HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies.
  • Sharia housing and millennials in Indonesia: Between religious and
           economic motives

    • Abstract: This article aims to discover why young people in Indonesia choose Islamic faith-based (sharia) housing that is more homogeneous than conventional housing. This is important because the growth of sharia housing in Indonesia has experienced a significant increase in the last five years. Sharia housing requires residents to be of the same religion, comply with the rules of purchase and follow the payment scheme according to Islamic law. In fact, in the last two years, this homogeneous housing has seen increasing demand among Muslim youth in Indonesia. Through in-depth interviews with 10 sharia housing buyers, this study explores the reasons behind young peoples' preference for sharia housing, which are not monolithic, that is, they are not solely made for ideological reasons, but are often made for economic reasons. Exploration of the various reasons for millennials choosing sharia housing is essential to understand the tendency of young people to prefer such exclusive residential complexes. CONTRIBUTION: This study reveals young Muslims' motivations in Indonesia to choose religious identity-based housing. It aims to contribute to the actual debates on the dynamics of young Muslims in Indonesia and their current trends in consuming Islamic faith-based products
  • Pauline and Johannine Theosis

    • Abstract: This article looks at Colossians 2-3:17 and John 17:13-26 as the base texts to see the commonalities between Johannine and Pauline conceptions of Theosis. First, the article looks at indwelling and participation as the methods of Theosis in the two traditions. Second, the role of mimesis is seen to be integral in these texts' concepts of Theosis. Third, the article looks at hope and glory that believers have and look forward to as indicative of their deification. The study begins by defining the term Theosis and its cognate terms - deification and divinisation - properly, within an Orthodox Christian context. CONTRIBUTION: The goal is to see and detail the concept of Theosis in Pauline and Johannine literature, looking at Colossians 2-3:17 and John 17:13-26 specifically. As such, the present study will broaden the discussion the doctrine of Theosis as it appears in the Christian scriptures
  • Theological debate among Buddhist sects in Indonesia

    • Abstract: Indonesian Buddhism has many sects such as Theravada, Mahayana, Buddhayana, Tantrayana, Maitreya, Tridharma, Kasogatan, Nichiren and so on. These sects historically come from the same source, the Buddha's teachings, but now they have differences in terms of doctrines and practices. This article analyses the differences with regard to their doctrines and beliefs in relation to the concept of God as required by the Indonesian Constitution. The discussion focuses on the debate among three sects, namely, Buddhayana, Theravada and Mahayana, about the name and nature of God and sources of doctrines on which they rely. The research was conducted in Jakarta and Bogor which focused mainly on the organisation of Nichiren Shoshu Indonesia (NSI). The data were collected through book and document study, observations and interviews with NSI followers. Additional data was performed in Bandung in 2019 by interviewing Buddhayana and Theravada adherents. The research finds that Buddhayana was successful in formulating the concept of God based on an old manuscript, Sang Hyang Kamahayanikan, so that Buddhism has met constitutional requirements and eventually has been accommodated as one of the official religions. However, it has been challenged by both Theravada and Nichiren, which rely on other sources of doctrines. CONTRIBUTION: This article contributes to the theological discourse among Buddhist sects, which are rarely discussed by Buddhist scholars. Buddhist adherents in Indonesia not only have political responsibility as required by the Constitution, but also have a socio-ethical responsibility in terms of religious tolerance both within and outside other religions
  • Inaccurate volume values in the discussion of Solomon's sea in
           Yerushalmi Eruvin 1:5

    • Abstract: Solomon's sea (a brass basin used in the First Temple) was discussed in the Yerushalmi Talmud Eruvin 1:5 (as well as in BT Eruvin 14a-b), and it revolved around the shape of Solomon's sea. However, inaccurate volume values of the basin were cited in the Yerushalmi. The aim of this article was to offer a new explanation for one problem arising in connection with these values. The setting of this study was the inaccurate volume values of the basin appearing in the Yerushalmi. The background of the issue at stake is the fact that Jewish scholars cannot accept that Scripture contains discrepancies (cf. BerR. 4:6). Our methods were to review the different explanations given by different commentators and to introduce a discussion by R. Avraham Ben Hiyya ha-Nassi and the Book of Tashbetz dealing with an explanation of verses related to the basin's shape. We suggested a new idea based on the above-mentioned discussion: by reducing the basin's width by one handbreadth as the verse states, one could reach exactly the values appearing in the Yerushalmi for the volumes of a squared basin and a circular basin. Based on our suggestion, one could settle the volume values appearing in the Yerushalmi without correcting them. CONTRIBUTION: The key insight was that one could settle the volume values appearing in the Yerushalmi without correcting them. This insight was connected with the textual history of the Rabbinic literature, which exactly fit HTS's scope
  • Tolerance between religions through the role of local wisdom and
           religious moderation

    • Abstract: Religion and culture play a central role in building harmonious relations between followers of different religions, both within the nuclear family and in the extended family. This study examines the revitalisation of religious moderation with a cultural approach in strengthening tolerance. Data was obtained qualitatively from in-depth interviews and observations of families of different religions, religious leaders, traditional leaders, and other relevant informants. The research findings show that the family institution is the most crucial place in carrying out moderate religious culturalisation through the local wisdom values of kasiuluran [kinship], tengko situru [togetherness], and karapasan [tenacity]. Institutionally, traditional leaders, religious leaders, and clans in Tongkonan encourage peace in society, both in traditional and religious activities. Meanwhile, religious celebrations, traditional ceremonies, and community activities are occasions to socialise and interact by placing a firm tolerance for religious differences. CONTRIBUTION: This study contributes to the realisation of tolerance through the application of moderate religious values and local wisdom that the world needs today. Strengthening inter-religious relations is very important because the position of religion is complex and sensitive. This contribution is crucial in the midst of the rampant issue of radicalism in Indonesia lately
  • Managing education during the pandemic in the Netherlands and South
           Africa: A comparative study

    • Abstract: Optimism has reigned supreme for a long time regarding the potential of education (schooling) to address the many societal ailments that humankind has had to deal with. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 shifted all such aspirations to the back-burner. Now, after just more than a year after the initial outbreak of the pandemic, the question can be raised whether those who managed the pandemic in the educational context followed the correct policies and instituted the correct (ethical, moral) measures in combatting the pandemic. This comparison between the situation in the Netherlands and South Africa reveals that although the role-players in both countries had a good understanding of the situation and of their duties in such conditions, they tended to treat education as just another facet of society, thereby demonstrating a lack of empathy with the unique demands of education (schooling). CONTRIBUTION: In this article, the authors investigate the governance performance of two different countries during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic concerning education and judge that performance based on a Biblically driven ethical-moral-pedagogical framework
  • Politics as a vocation in the African context' An African theological
           engagement with Max Weber

    • Abstract: The German sociologist, Max Weber, argued that politics has to be taken as a vocation just like other fields of academic and professional engagements. He did this by reconsidering his earlier view on ethics of conviction, which he thought does not hold sufficient promise to address the political atmosphere of his day. To consolidate this proposal, Weber proposed an ethic of responsibility which, for him, carries some great promise to advance politics as a vocation. In this article, however, I engage with these thoughts and proposals by Weber in order to deduce some lessons on how politics could be considered as vocation. This was thought to carry some promise in the African context of political engagement in reducing misappropriation, mismanagement, and wastefulness of both human and material resources. This article concludes that taking politics as a vocation would enhance the placement of value on human lives over things as it is the case in the African context. CONTRIBUTION: This contribution would ensure that individuals intending to take politics as a vocation have a different view of politics other than amassing wealth, but to render service to humanity
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
Email: journaltocs@hw.ac.uk
Tel: +00 44 (0)131 4513762

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