This article is an investigation on how two theologians from the Early Church interpreted the withered fig tree, as narrated by the evangelist Matthew. The two theologians referred to are Origen of Alexandria, who belongs to the pre-Nicene era and represents the Alexandrian School, and Ps.-Chrysostom who belongs to the post-Nicene era, and represents the School of Antioch. Origen believed that when the fig tree withered, it referred to Israel’s withering. This interpretation of the narrative surrounding the withered fig tree (...) was very common in the Early Church. Ps.-Chrysostom makes it very clear that he cannot agree with this interpretation, which was quite common in the Early Church. He stated that it is wrong to liken the fig tree to the synagogue of the Jews. He argues that Jesus could not curse the synagogue, because he said that ‘The Son of Man did not come to destroy, but to seek and save the lost’. Moreover, if the synagogue withered, fruitful branches such as Paul, Stephen, Aquila and Priscilla could not have sprouted from the roots. These names are proof that God did not entirely reject the Jewish people. Ps.-Chrysostom then offers a different explanation to the question why the fig tree withered: He points out that Adam used the leaves of a fig tree to cover his nakedness. When Jesus caused the fig tree to wither, he wanted to show that he can give Adam a new garment of water and spirit that glistens like snow. Christ gave back to Adam what the serpent had robbed him of, namely ‘the angel-like life, the luxuriance of paradise, the garment of incorruptibility’.Contribution: The primary goal of this article is to explore the exegetical practices of two ancient theologians who came from two different schools and from two different eras. This study shows how they interpreted the account of the withered fig tree, based on their respective theological perspectives. (shrink)
In the book "When I needed a neighbour were you there? Christians and the Challenge of Poverty" I highlight the overwhelming evidence that involvement with poor people and the issues of poverty is a fundamental part of what it means to be Christian. The life and teaching of Jesus Christ suggest that all Christians should be seriously concerned about the plight of poor people. Why? Let me explain. Jesus is the foundation of the Christian faith and role model for Christian (...) behaviour in the world. In his life on earth he showed deep compassion for all people marginalized by society – for the poor, for widows, children, and the sick. Many of his stories and actions illustrate the extent to which he prioritized the relief of human suffering in his own ministry. The emphasis in the ministry of Jesus on compassion for marginalized people was nothing new in ancient Israel. A constant theme in the Old Testament was an imperative to show concern for marginalized people, especially widows, orphans, strangers, and poor people. As in the New Testament, caring for society’s vulnerable members was tied to the central religious obligations required of the ancient Israelites. I seek to uncover ethical values in the biblical texts that can enrich our understanding of how best to deal with poverty. This book is primarily directed at non-poor Christians to persuade them to take the plight of poor people more seriously. It also aims to present biblical perspectives on poverty that can be empowering to those who personally face the challenges of poverty. (shrink)
Poverty violates fundamental human values through its impact on individuals and on human environments, and it goes against the core values of democratic societies. Drawing on numerous scientific studies as well as his own experience witnessing the systematic poverty in his home country of South Africa, H. P. P. [Hennie] Lötter presents a holistic profile of poverty and its effects on human lives all the while accounting for the complexity of each individual case. He argues that shared ethical values (...) must guide the planning and distribution of aid and that our society must reevaluate our notions of justice and reimagine the role of the state in order to enable collective human responsibility for poverty’s successful eradication. (shrink)
In this essay I will attempt to explain the significance of Stephen Bantu Biko's life. This I will do in terms of his intellectual contribution to the liberation of black people from the radically unjust apartheid society in South Africa. Firstly, I will discuss his contribution to liberate blacks psychologically from the political system of apartheid, pointing out how he broke through the normative and pragmatic acceptance of the situation in the radically unjust apartheid society. He experienced black people as (...) being defeated people, and he wanted to direct their attention to the fact that the cause of their unjust situation was other human beings and thus they could change it. Secondly, I point out how he gave black people a new self-understanding and self worth. One way of doing this was by means of community projects which fostered self-reliance. For Biko it was important that black people should act autonomously, and not let other people make decisions on their behalf. They also had to re-evaluate their cultural heritage to discover the positive aspects thereof. Lastly, I focus on his views on his ideal for a future just South Africa and show how important he regarded dialogue as a political tool. (shrink)
Mit dem Terminus 'ursprünglicher Raum' wird der Raum bezeichnet, der Kant innerhalb der transzendentalen Ästhetik als reine subjektive Form der Anschauung des äußeren Sinnes bestimmt. Man könnte ihn auch den 'ästhetischen Raum' nennen. Auf jeden Fall muss er vom (proto-)geometrischen Raum unterschieden werden, da letzterer eine Einheit voraussetzt die auf einer Synthesis beruht, und dadurch – weil bei Kant alle Synthesis unter den Kategorien steht – weniger ursprünglich zum Anschauungsvermögen gehört. Es ist diese Unterscheidung zwischen dem ursprünglichen Raum, der „Form (...) der Anschauung“ ist, und dem (proto-)geometrischen Raum, der „formale Anschauung“ ist, auf die Kant in einer bekannten Fußnote im §26 der transzendentalen Deduktion der B-Auflage anspielt. -/- Die Bedeutung der Unterscheidung zwischen (proto-)geometrischem und ursprünglichem Raum liegt unter anderem darin, dass sie stipuliert, dass das ursprüngliche Wesen des Raumes vor und unabhängig von dem erreichbar ist, was durch jedwede Mathematik der Ausdehnung von ihm ausgesagt wird. Das bedeutet nun aber nicht, dass diese Unterscheidung uns zwingt, anzunehmen, dass das ursprüngliche Wesen des Raumes auch von uns erreichbar ist. Und nehmen wir mal an, dass wir tatsächlich über eine Art Zugang zu diesem Wesen verfügen, dann noch stellt sich überdies die Frage, ob ein solcher Zugang sich innerhalb der Sphäre der Erkenntnis befindet, mit anderen Worten: ob das ursprüngliche Wesen des Raumes vom Philosophen auch wirklich erkannt – das heißt: in Erkenntnisurteile gefasst und ausgedrückt – werden kann. (shrink)
In this article the event of preaching is explored by making use of both older and newer sources. Whilst taking cognisance of continuous contextual changes and developments within the discipline of Homiletics, core hermeneutical, theological and homiletical aspects of preaching are revisited. The aim of this exploration is to formulate a preliminary theory of preaching that can be revisited and revised as part of a larger empirical homiletical investigation which makes use of Grounded Theory.Contribution: This article adheres to the journal’s (...) scope and vision by its focus on a theoretical reflection on the practice of preaching at the intersection of theology, hermeneutics and homiletics. (shrink)
During 1909 and 1910, Max Weber planned a major study of the con temporary newspaper business. Although the project eventually col lapsed, he did draft an outline proposal which is here translated into English for the first time.
Autistic individuals have been observed to demonstrate high intelligence through musical communication, leading to many empirical studies on this topic. Absolute Pitch has been a captivating phenomenon for researchers, although there has been disagreement regarding AP percentages among the population and appropriate testing methods for AP. This study analyzed data collected from 118 people, using a pitch matching paradigm designed specifically to be inclusive of those who are likely to have note-naming difficulty due to communication challenges. Thirty-eight participants were autistic (...) individuals, 32% of which were considered to have severe language impairment. Twelve other participants had other developmental disorders. All but 1 of the 38 autistics demonstrated exceptional and instantaneous pitch matching abilities on piano. Ten of the 12 with other developmental disorders demonstrated this ability, and approximately half of neurotypicals were able to exhibit this ability. Our numbers indicate that with a more inclusive paradigm for assessing AP, it may be demonstratable in close to 50% of the population, and near 100% in the autistic population. This testing method represents a neurodiversity-friendly and fully inclusive, non-verbal paradigm for demonstrating AP. (shrink)
Readers should note that the paper below - penned by one of the journal's editorial panellists - is being published with the aim of stimulating debate around the issue of using a phenomenological research paradigm in the study of education leadership. This is especially important in view of the multiple methodologies that are prevalent within the broad scope of the social sciences and, equally important, the seemingly ever-changing methodological scenarios that do not necessarily usher in any paradigmatic changes. Reader response (...) is encouraged in the hope that a special issue dealing with Phenomenology in Education can be published in the short to medium term. [Editor's note] Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology , Volume 4, Edition 1 July 2004. (shrink)
In this article, I present a critical literature study of the theoretical approach of practical theologians in South Africa to our discipline, in honour of Yolanda Dreyer on her 60th birthday. Some of my colleagues' approaches at the universities of Stellenbosch, Free State, Pretoria, Unisa and NWU are discussed. All of them work with practical theological hermeneutics. The basic hermeneutic approach of Daniël Louw is widened with an integrated approach by Richard R. Osmer in which practical theology as a hermeneutic (...) discipline also includes the empirical aspect which the action theory approach has contributed to the discussion. After discussing Louw's basic hermeneutic approach, all the other colleagues who basically accepted Osmer's approach in their publications are discussed. Important and new ground is being broken by contemporary colleagues, including research in public practical theology, without neglecting the focus on Christian congregations, and new work is being done at the grass roots level of African issues in our country. (shrink)
Bron Taylor defines dark green religion as follows: '… a deep sense of belonging to and connectedness in nature, while perceiving the earth and its living systems to be sacred and interconnected'. Can Psalm 104, with its conspicuous focus on nature, also be described as an expression of dark green religion? Utilising especially the dark green values of belonging, interconnectedness and sacredness, it was found that the psalm aptly confirms Earth as home, illustrates a deep-seated kinship with other living creatures (...) and acknowledges nature as intrinsically worthy or sacred through its close association with God. Of the four kinds of dark green religion, Gaian Naturalism and Naturalistic Animism, Gaian Spirituality and Spiritual Animism, the psalm belongs to the last-mentioned, acknowledging Yahweh as upholding and 'permeating' the harmonious whole of creation. The poet is, however, also well informed of 'natural' knowledge of his environment. The psalm's joy, awe, astonishment, humility and fear, being almost overwhelmed by awesome nature, are emotions that can also be shared by adherers to the naturalist view, those who doubt if there is some spiritual world running parallel to the natural world. The religious-like experience of naturalists provides common ground with the religious and enhances a much-needed change of view of respect towards nature. (shrink)
This essay inquires into the need for and power of role models, and suggests some answers. The example it employs to study the issue is the contemporary Jewish feminist “role model,” Lilith, first wife of Adam. Various and opposite forms of the Lilith-and-Adam myth through the ages are given, including new contributions from a Lilith anthology in preparation by the author and others. Those needs of women and men that the mythical “role model” is constructed to satisfy are suggested.
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