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Geloof in die spanningsveld van tradisie en empirie : 'n kenteoretiese ondersoek na die verhouding tussen teologie en sosiologie

Cilliers, Andries Pretorius (2000-12)

Thesis (DTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2000


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The fundamental perspective of this study is that faith cannot be separated from either tradition or empirical experience. The relationship between theology, as the critical justification of faith, and sociology, as the empirical study of society and religion, is discussed in this perspective. Chapter 1 presents an overview of tradition as a theological problem. The conclusion is that the reformational sola-scriptura-confession is not antithetical to a positive evaluation of tradition, but that reformed theology has often had problems with really taking the historical aspect of tradition seriously. In Chapter 2 it is argued that a dialogue between theology and sociology is both necessary and fruitful. Chapter 3 discusses the philosophy of science, in order to give a perspective on the foundations for dialogue. This discussion also facilitates the choice of sociological partners for discussion. Weber and Berger, as sociologists who take theological themes seriously, are chosen as partners for discussion. Chapter 4 presents a critical evaluation of Weber's sociology. It is argued that his approach to religion is reductionistic, but that it poses questions that should be taken seriously. Among these the question of the influence of the social context on tradition and the problem of routinization of tradition stand out. These problems also surface in the sociology of Berger, as Chapter 5 points out. Berger differs from Weber in that he is a Christian who practices theology. Yet his perspective on religion remains reductionistic. His view that religion is to a great extent determined by the social context finds itself in tension with his view that faith is a fee choice of the individual. This problem is never satisfactorily adressed in Berger's work. The final chapter attempts to give a basic perspective within which theology can both remain true to itself and take sociology seriously. It is argued that thisperspective is found in the viewpoint that humans are neither the passive objects of social determination, nor the active constructors of society. Humans receive the empirical world as a gift, but this reception should be understood as an activity. The conclusion is that tradition is ambivalent. On the one hand it is a necessary tool for ordering experience, but on the other hand it can distort experience. Therefore there is a tension between tradition and experience. Faith should not be tied exclusbely to either tradition or experience, but stands within the tension between the two. Theso/a-scriptura-confession expresses the conviction that faith lives within this tension through the Word of God alone.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie gaan uit van die standpunt dat geloof in die spanningsveld van tradisie en empirie staan. Dit impliseer dat geloof nie losgemaak kan word van 'n positiewe waardering vir tradisie nie, maar dat geloof ook nie teenoor empiriese waarneming gestel kan word nie. Hierdie standpunt word belig deur die verhouding tussen teologie, as kritiese geloofsverantwoording, en sosiologie, as 'n empiriese dissipline wat ook die godsdiens vertolk, te bestudeer. Hoofstuk 1 bespreek die kerklike tradisie. Daar word gewys op die waarde sowel as die ambivalensie van tradisie. Die reformatorieseso/a scriptura word aan die orde gestel om aan te dui dat dit moontlik is om hierdie belydenis te versoen met 'n waardering vir die tradisie, hoewel die Skrif as kritiese norm teenoor tradisie gehandhaaf word. Verder word aangetoon dat die gereformeerde benadering tot tradisie nie sonder probleme is nie en dat veral die historiese aard van die geloofstradisie nie altyd in die gereformeerde teologie verdiskonteer word nie. In Hoofstuk 2 word die keuse vir 'n dialogiese benadering tot die verhouding tussen teologie en sosiologie gemotiveer. Hoofstuk 3 stel die wetenskapsfilosofie aan die orde, ten einde die gespreksbasis sowel as die keuse vir gespreksgenoteduidelik te maak. Die keuse vir gespreksgenote val op Weber en Berger as sosiolce wat beide erns gemaak het met teologiese temas. Die sosiologie van Max Weber word in Hoofstuk 4 bespreek. In die evaluering van sy godsdienssosiologie word aangedui dat Weber se perspektief op die godsdiens reduksionisties is, maar dat dit die teologie voor ernstige vrae stel, waaronder die invloed van die sosiale konteks op die geloofstradisie en die probleem van roetinisering van die tradisie uitstaan. Hierdie vrae kom ook na vore uit die sosiologie van Peter Berger. Berger verskil van Weber daarin dat hy 'n Christen is en self teologie beoefen. Tog bly sy perspektief op die godsdiens reduksionisties en staan sy siening oor die beinvloedinq van die godsdiens deur die sosiale konteks in spanning met sy verstaan van die geloof as 'n vrye keuse van die individu. Hierdie spanning word nie bevredigend opgelos nie. Die slothoofstuk soek na 'n perspektief waarbinne die teologie erns kan maak met die sosiologie, maar ook getrou kan bly aan sy eie aard as geloofsverantwoording. Hierdie perspektief word gevind in die uitgangspunt dat die mens n6g as 'n passiewe objek van sosiale be"lnvloeding, n6g as 'n aktiewe subjek van sosiale konstruering verstaan kan word. In die geloof ontvang die mens sy ervarinqswereld, maar hy is aktief betrokke by daardie ontvangs. Die slotsom is dat tradisie ambivalent is. Aan die een kant maak dit gerigte ervaring vir die mens moontlik. Aan die ander kant kan tradisie die mens se uitsig op die werklikheid belemmer. Daarom staan tradisie altyd in spanning met empiriese ervaring. Geloof staan nie net in die tradisie nie en ook nie net in die ervaring nie, maar in die spanningsveld van tradisie en empirie. Die sola-scriptura-belydenis verwoord die oortuiging dat geloof in hierdie spanningsveld leef uit die Woord van God aileen.

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