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In: Journal of Empirical Theology
In: Conundrums in Practical Theology
In: Empirical Theology in Texts and Tables

Abstract

In the previous article we asked the question of to what extent a group of 538 Grade 11 students from Anglican and Catholic church-affiliated schools in the Johannesburg/Pretoria region show transformative orientations in the fields of ecology, economics and politics. In this article we deal with the question of what the social location of these transformative orientations is. The more transformatively oriented students are to be found among female, ANCoriented, transethnically directed, postmaterialistic, self-controlling, non-religious, and sometimes Anglican (in each case non-Catholic) students who regard work as something interesting, participate in political communication and consensus building, and see politics and study as a value. Students who favour socio-economic equality more specifically are to be found among the more religiously inspired and motivated students.

In: Religion and Theology

Abstract

In this article we investigate the interreligious orientations of a sample of 538 students from Standard 9 (Grade 11) who attended Anglican and Catholic schools in the Johannesburg/Pretoria region during 1995. In the first part of the article we describe the religious diversity of South Africa. This religious diversity was neglected in the past, but due to the establishment of the first democratically elected parliament and the adoption of a new constitution, we have entered a new situation in South Africa. Despite these changes, we still face the challenge to realise the democratic vision. Against this background, we direct our attention to two questions: What are the interreligious orientations of the South African youth, and how do they evaluate these interreligious orientations? Based on theological models of the meeting between religions we conceptualised four interreligious orientations: exclusivistic, inclusivistic, relativistic and dialogic. The relativistic orientation receives empirical support, but these students do not distinguish between exclusivistic and inclusivistic interreligious orientations. An unexpected finding is the distinction between subjective and objective dialogic orientations. These students are negative towards an absolutistic (exclusivistic and inclusivistic) orientation, and favour a relativistic interreligious orientation.

In: Religion and Theology

Abstract

In this article we ask the question of to what extent a group of 538 Grade 11 students from Anglican and Catholic church-affiliated schools in the Johannesburg/Pretoria region show transformative orientations in the fields of ecology, economics and politics, and which population characteristics mark the more transformative students among them. The frame of reference is taken from Habermas's colonisation theory and the critical comment on it from the so-called culturalisation perspective. The students appear to be transformatively oriented in the ecological and economic domain, whereas their attitude towards politics is more or less ambivalent. The question of where the more transformatively oriented students may be found, what their characteristic are, and whether religion plays any role in that will be developed in the next article.

In: Religion and Theology
In: Journal of Empirical Theology

Abstract

Generally speaking, nature is supposed to have disappeared from theology when the natural sciences emerged after the beginning of modernity. The gap between these sciences became wider and wider, with the effect of lacking almost all contact. Several factors played a role in the rejection of theology in general of philosophical-theological attempts in which themes such as nature and creation could flourish. In practical theology it is possible to broaden our theology of communicative action in such a way that our communication with nature and about nature can also be taken into account. Then we have to take both divine gift and divine challenge in nature seriously, with 'gift' and 'challenge' being communicative terms, and make a distinction between nature's divine gift and nature's divine challenge. Theology speaks of two books where we can find knowledge about God: the book of nature and the book of the Word of God. A hermeneutically mediated experience of God happens when the revelation in nature is inscribed into the texts of the Bible, and the texts of the Bible are inscribed into the book of nature. Our traditional speaking about God should therefore be complemented by both aniconic and nonanthropomorphic speaking about him, because it implies a way to experiencing God in nature - especially for those who are unchurched, and among the unchurched especially for those who define themselves as 'enlightened' and 'modern' people inclined to free, abstract thinking and cherishing their autonomy.

In: Religion and Theology

Abstract

In this article we examine the attitudes towards human rights of a group of 538 Grade 11 students from Anglican and Catholic church-affiliated schools in the Johannesburg/Pretoria region. A distinction is made between civil, political and judicial ('first generation') human rights, socio-economic ('second generation') rights, and environmental ('third generation') rights. The frame of reference is Ricoeur's theory of human rights. This forms part of his institution theory, which in its turn is embedded in his moral theory of the good life. The students displayed positive attitudes towards socio-economic and environmental rights, ambivalent attitudes towards civil and political rights, and negative attitudes towards judicial rights. The question about where one should look for more positively, more ambivalently and more negatively oriented students, what their characteristics are, and whether religion plays any role in this regard will be explored in the next article.

In: Religion and Theology

Abstract

In the previous article we inquired into the attitudes towards human rights of a group of 538 Grade 11 students in Anglican and Catholic church-affiliated schools in the Johannesburg/Pretoria region. We distinguished between civil, political and judicial rights, socio-economic rights, and environmental rights. In this article we examine the social location of these attitudes. We arrived at the following profile of students who favour human rights: they are female, come from the official indigenous language groups, and have been raised by parents who have a relatively high educational and occupational level, and are not self-employed. They prefer the ANC to other political parties, and are transethnically and post-materialistically oriented. Their attitude towards work is interest-oriented, definitely not money-oriented. They participate in a political culture of communication. With regard to religious characteristics, which are particularly relevant to their attitudes towards socio-economic rights, they are religiously socialised, involved in religious praxis and have open religious communication with their parents; but they are not intensely tied to a particular denomination nor do they regularly attend church services. At the same time, those who display these last two characteristics reject civil rights. With regard to interreligious interactions, the students who favour human rights, display multireligious orientations and reject monoreligious ones.

In: Religion and Theology