Pastoral participation in transformation : a narrative perspective

Morkel, Elizabeth (2012-03)

Thesis (DTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: A critical reflection on the researcher’s personal story - a white Afrikaner woman and a member of the Dutch Reformed Church - and her raised awareness regarding the devastating effects of racism, sexism and poverty in South Africa informs the development of a participatory pastoral praxis. The liberation of South Africa and the post-apartheid social reality have unmasked the confessional and kerygmatic approach of practical theology, revealing them to be supportive of dualistic thinking. This approach has frequently blinded us from understanding the ideologies of apartheid and patriarchy and the extent and complexity of their oppressive effects. This research is about doing theology in context and, as such marks a radical shift in practical theology from a confessional-kerygmatic to a publichermeneutical approach. From a methodological perspective the hermeneutic spiral applied in theory formation challenges the church to participate in a praxis approach that will contribute to the healing and transformation of post-apartheid society. Feminist theology and post-structuralist theory, within which Narrative Therapy is positioned, provide the critical lenses for viewing the social realities of South African society. As an interdisciplinary partner to practical theology, Narrative Therapy contributes to liberating action as expressed in a participatory praxis. While holding the metaphor of the Shepherd as expression of God’s compassion, the normative guiding metaphor for a participatory pastoral praxis is the parable of the Good Samaritan. As an embodiment of God’s transformative love and care towards our neighbour, the Good Samaritan points the way to a new way of doing pastoral care. Ten characteristics of a participatory pastoral praxis are identified: the personal is the professional and political; participation with the other; participation with people; participation with awareness; participation in voicing; participation with our bodies; participation together with others; participation in social transformation; participation in interrelatedness and participation in doing restitution. Taken together, they make a significant contribution to the theory formation, ethics and praxis of practical theology with a transformative and healing agenda. The empirical research includes a contextual analysis of the main social problems confronting post-apartheid South Africa: namely, racism, sexism, poverty and the ways in which the HIV/AIDS pandemic interrelates with these. The researcher uses case examples from her praxis - as therapist, community participant, teacher of Narrative Therapy and member of the leadership of the Dutch Reformed Church - to research the transformative effect of a participatory pastoral praxis. In this respect the prophetic dimension of a participatory praxis of care could play a decisive role within the ecclesiology of the Dutch Reformed Church. The transformative effect of Narrative Therapy in working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse is researched in a case example where individual therapy supports the client’s empowered response to poverty, racism and sexism within a rural farming community. Case examples of community participation involve inter-faith dialogue with a Muslim community where historical injustices are addressed through story and memory in a bridge-building function as well as participation with an organization caring for people infected by HIV/AIDS. The values, commitments and practices that support the raising of awareness of social injustices like racism is researched; examples from Narrative Therapy training work show how this approach encourages awareness of social injustices in participants. The transformation of oppressive practices, structures and ideologies within the Dutch Reformed Church is researched. Examples are taken from congregational participation and from women’s participation within the male-dominated synodical leadership structures. The outcome of the research finding assists practical theology, pastoral care and counselling in theory formation and provides a methodology that will enable participation beyond the boundaries of individual consultation rooms to a personal commitment towards the healing and transformation of the wider church and South African society.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: ‘n Kritiese refleksie op die navorser se persoonlike storie as wit Afrikaner vrou en lidmaat van die Nederduits Gereformeerde kerk en haar verhoogde bewussyn van die vernietegende effekte van rassisme, seksisme en armoede binne die Suid-Afrikaanse samelewing dien as bron en inspirasie vir die ontwikkeling van ‘n deelnemende pastorale praxis. Die bevryding van Suid-Afrika en die post-apartheid realiteite het die konfessionele en kerygmatiese benadering tot praktiese teologie ontmasker as ondersteunend van die dualisms wat ons verblind het vir die onderdrukkende effek van die ideologië van rassisme en patriargie. As radikale skuif vanaf ‘n konfessioneel-kerygmatiese na ‘n publiek-hermeneutiese benadering in praktiese teologie gaan hierdie navorsing oor die doen van teologie in konteks. Vanuit ‘n metodologiese perspektief daag die hermeneutiese spiraal wat in teorie formasie gebruik word die kerk uit om deel te neem in ‘n praxis benadering wat bydrae tot die heling en transformasie van ‘n post-apartheid samelewing. Feministiese teologie en poststrukturalistiese teorie waar binne NarratieweTerapie geposisioneer is, bied die lense vir ‘n kritiese analise van die sosiale realtiete van die Suid-Afrikaanse samelewing. As interdissiplinere vennoot tot praktiese teologie dra Narratiewe Terapie by tot bevrydende aksie soos uitgedruk binne ‘n deelnemende praxis. Met behoud van die metafoor van die Herder as uitdrukking van God se deernis, dien die gelykenis van die Barmhartige Samaritaan as normatiewe riglyn vir die beliggaming van God se transformerende liefde en omgee vir die naaste binne ‘n deelnemende pastorale praxis. Tien eienskappe van ‘n deelnemende pastorale praxis word identifiseer: die persoonlike is die professionele en politieke; deelname met die ander; deelname met mense; deelname met bewussyn; deelname in stemgewing; deelname deurbeliggaming; deelname tesame met ander; deelname in sosiale transformasie; deelname in interafhanklikheid en deelname in die doen van restitusie. Saam maak hulle ‘n betekenisvolle bydrae tot die teorie-vorming, etiek en praxis van praktiese teologie met ‘n transformerende en helende agenda. Die empiriese navorsing sluit ‘n konteksuele analise van die belangrikste sosiale problem: naamlik, rassisme, seksisme en armoede asook die MIV/VIGS pandemie wat hiermee verweef is. Die navorser gebruik voorbeelde vanuit haar praxis as terapeut, gemeenskapsdeelnemer, opleier van Narratiewe Terapie en lidmaat van en leier binne die Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk om die transformerende effek van ‘n deelnemende pastorale praxis na te vors. In die geval behoort die profetiese dimensie van ‘n deelnemende pastorale praxis ‘n beslissende rol binne die ekklesiologie van die Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk te speel. Die transformerende effek van Narratiewe Terapie in die werk met persone wat as kinders seksueel molesteer is, word nagevors in ‘n voorbeeld waar individuele terapie die kliënt ondersteun om met ‘n bemagtigde respons te reageer op die sosiale problem geassosieer met armoede, rassisme en seksisme binne ‘n plattelandse boerdery gemeenskap. Voorbeelde van gemeenskapsdeelname sluit inter-godsdienstige dialoog met ‘n Moslem gemeenskap waarin historiese onregte aangespreek word deur storie en geheue by ‘n Brugbou-funksie sowel as deelname met ‘n organisasie betrokke by die versorging van mense met HIV/VIGS. Die waardes, verbintenisse en praktyke wat bydra tot groter bewusmaking van sosiale onregte soos rassisme word nagevors deur middel van voorbeelde uit Narratiewe Terapie opleiding waar ‘n diversiteit van deelnemers aangemoedig word. Die transformasie van onderdrukkende praktyke, strukture en ideologië binne die Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk word nagevors met voorbeelde uit gemeentelike deelname sowel as voorbeelde uit vroue se deelname binne die mans-gedomineerde sinodale leierskap strukture. Die uitkomste van die navorsings bevindinge help praktiese teologie, pastorale sorg en berading in teorie formasie en metodologie wat ‘n deelname buite die grense van individuele konsultasies in spreekkamers moontlik maak en wat kan lei tot ‘n persoonlike verbintenis om by te dra tot heling en transformasie van die wyer gemeenskap en kerk. Sleutelwoorde: Rassisme; seksisme; armoede; deelnemendepastorale praxis; publiek-hermeneutiese benadering tot praktiese teologie; heling en transformasie van post-apartheid samelewing; Narratiewe Terapie; feministiese theology; post-strukturalistiese teorie; terapie met seksuele molestering as kind; gemeenskaps praxis; Narratiewe Terapie opleidings praxis; profetiese leierskap in die Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/20040
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