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In: Conundrums in Practical Theology
In: Empirical Theology in Texts and Tables
Author: Jaco S. Dreyer

Abstract

The relationship between the researcher and the researched is one of the fundamental methodological issues which distinguish different approaches to empirical enquiry. Methodological debates on this issues usually contrast a detached observer (outsider or subject-to-object) perspective with an engaged participant (insider or subject-to-subject) perspective. There seems to be consensus among practical theologians that the observer and participant perspectives respectively correspond to quantitative and qualitative research approaches. The aim of this article is to explore an option that goes beyond the traditional dualism of the researcher's role, namely as detached observer or engaged participant. On the basis of Ricoeur's views on the dialectic between belonging and distanciation, it is suggested that the practical theological researcher embodies the dialectics of belonging (the insider perspective) and distanciation (the outsider perspective) in every research endeavour, whether quantitative or qualitative. The article ends with some methodological implications of this view of the relationship between the researcher and the researched.

In: Journal of Empirical Theology

Abstract

This article seeks to answer the following question: to what extent does the interpretation of violence as evil contribute – positively, negatively or not at all – to a human rights culture among some 2000 grade 11 students at private (Catholic and Anglican) schools and Afrikaans medium public schools in the Johannesburg/Pretoria region on the basis of surveys conducted in 1995/1996 and 2000/2001? The regression analyses show that on a number of population characteristics controlled hamartiological interpretations of violence as evil have a mainly positive effect, especially those couched in terms of the divine apocalypse, provided it is construed in its positive dimension ('the new Jerusalem') rather than its negative dimension ('the last judgment'); this also applies to interpretations couched in terms of the institutional transmission of evil contributing to the world of evil. The other interpretations have a predominantly or purely negative effect, especially those relating to a primordial dualistic struggle between good and evil forces, divine retribution and intergeneration transmission of evil. Some population characteristics appear to be more powerful than the hamartiological interpretations, especially gender (female students are more in favour of human rights) and political and cultural attitudes.

In: Religion and Theology
The Complex Relationship between Human Rights and Religion: A South African Case
This volume deals with historical, systematic and empirical questions with regard to the complex relationship between human rights and religion. It focuses on the place and function of human rights in democracies in modern society. Moreover it elaborates on the problems which are implied in the complex relationship between human rights and religion from the beginning. Lastly it investigates the positive, negative and ambivalent empirical effects of religious attitudes on human rights attitudes among some youth in South Africa.
In: Is there a God of Human Rights?
In: Is there a God of Human Rights?
In: Is there a God of Human Rights?
In: Is there a God of Human Rights?