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Hendrik Vroom

Abstract

This critical question includes the ideas: 1) that the right understanding of the gospel is pure and should be without influence of other worldview traditions or cultures; 2) the rejection of all forms of syncretism as illegitimate; 3) that some have the authority to judge between good and wrong understandings of the gospel. The article rejects both the idea that only one interpretation of the gospel is legitimate, and the idea that it is impossible to apply criteria for good and wrong contextualization; and so develops an argument in favor of a 'weak' form of syncretism that is plausible in both the tradition and the context, and understandable by the hearers of the Word.

Hendrik Vroom

Abstract

This article discusses the brokenness of the world and roots of human wrongdoing. It argues that the acknowledgement of sin is a precondition for a humane society of compassion and solidarity. The ambiguity of laws is discussed: laws are necessary, but at the same time they lead us to think that we can improve ourselves. This way of thinking entails that, like the world, we can perfect ourselves. This article explores the consequences of wrong perceptions of human beings, brokenness and sin for individuals and society and points to the contribution that Christian public theology can make.

Hendrik Vroom

Abstract

This article introduces a valuable work of a thousand pages that describes and documents the implementation of Sharia law in twelve states in northern Nigeria. It describes the content of the volumes; it gives some examples of Sharia laws and where and how Sharia differs from the penal law of Nigeria; it discusses a number of aspects of two cases that resulted in the accused being sentenced to be stoned and considers the overturning of the verdicts in appeal proceedings. Hence, the article looks at the ‘hermeneutical space’ that judges have for leniency in applying the sometimes harsh rules, and it explores the question of whether freedom of religion also entails the freedom to establish religious laws or whether legal pluralism might put the freedom of religion at risk.

Series:

Hendrik M. Vroom

One question regarding the evil people do is: What is it about the constitution of human beings that they do what is wrong? A great deal of evil does, after all, have its source in human beings. This contribution deals with this anthropological question. The possibility of doing wrong and evil can be understood from the structure of the openness of human consciousness for other beings, and the need to overcome a private and egocentric perspective. The “I” has to establish realistic and genuine relationships with other people and ultimately with all people within a broader horizon. This contribution discusses these relationships between the I and the Other(s) and the need for such a horizon. It also provides some examples of worldview positions on this broader horizon and the way in which human beings are embedded in a larger whole. The article states that human finitude, the complexity of existence, and scarcity of resources make mistakes and moral failure inevitable.