The quest for appropriate God-images within an African paradigm for pastoral ministry

Kasambala, Amon Eddie (2000)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2000

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This proposal focuses on the quest for appropriate God-images which can be used to represent God in a given pastoral situation within an African context. It identifies the challenge that confronts the African people as they try to find what can be accepted within the African culture to express their experience of God. The study argues that pastoral care and cross-cultural communication are faced with a twofold problem: the problem of accommodation (continuity) and rejection (discontinuity). It has been observed that the problem of accommodation and rejection is an integral feature of a theological problem of continuity and discontinuity in cross-cultural communication. The problem of accommodation and rejection has been described in this study as: the challenge African people confront in trying to express their experience of God in a given pastoral situation, while at the same time being aware of what is not acceptable and appropriate to the content of the Christian faith. The basic working assumption undertaken by this research, states that appropriate God-images are those which represent God and create an experience of meaning and significance in any kind of circumstance faced by His people. We will presuppose further that appropriate God-images are those which are not going to conflict with a theological interpretation of the Godhuman encounter in a given pastoral care situation. In order to clarify these basic assumptions, the study has undertaken to work with a Hermeneutical model. A hermeneutical model will help us to identify the underlying factors of an African cosmology and anthropology which, according to this study, influences the way African people formulate their God-images. It will be argued further that unless we understand what influences the way African people formulate God-images, we will not comprehend the depth of the problem of accommodation and rejection in an African context. The research proposal wishes to emphasize that the African quest for appropriate God-images is a pastoral problem. Pastoral ministry has a challenge of providing a pastoral diagnosis of God-images which people can identify with. Pastoral ministry should make use of metaphors and symbols common to African people in order to facilitate their quest for appropriate Godimages.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie voorlegging fokus op die soeke na gepaste voorstellings van God wat gebruik kan word in In gegewe pasorale situasie binne In Afrika-konteks met die oog op die effektiewe kommunikasie van die evangelie en die vorming van lidmate se geloofsvolwassenheid. Die kemvraagstuk is die probleem van inkulturasie met in agneming van die invloed van In Afrika-spiritualiteit en kosmologie op Godsvoorstellinge. Die studie voer aan dat pastorale sorg en interkulturele kommunikasie voor In tweeledige probleem te staan kom: die probleem van akkommodasie (kontinuiteit) en verwerping (diskontinuiteit). Daar is vasgestel dat die probleem van akkommodasie en verwerping In wesenlike kenmerk is van die teologiese vraagstuk van kontinuiteit en diskontinuiteit. Die probleem van akkommodasie en verwerping is in hierdie studie beskryf as: die uitdaging waarvoor die mense van Afrika te staan kom wanneer hulle probeer uitdrukking gee aan hul belewing van God in In gegewe pastorale situasie, terwyl hulle tegelyk ook bewus is van wat, volgens die inhoud van die Christelike geloof, nie aanvaarbaar en gepas is nie. Die grondliggende hipotese waaruit hierdie navorsmg voortvloei is dat gepaste voorstellings van God die is wat God op so In wyse weergee dat dit sin verskaf aan mense se daaglikse belewing en ervaring. In Verdere veronderstelling is dat gepaste voorstellings van God die is wat nie bots met In teologiese interpretasie van die ontmoeting tussen God en mens binne In konkrete situasie wat kultureel geprofileer is nie. Om hierdie grondliggende aanname te beredeneer, is daar in hierdie studie besluit om met In Hermeneutiese model te werk. Die veronderstelling is dat In hermeneutiese model ons kan help om die onderliggende faktore van In Afrika-kosmologie en antropologie te identifiseer wat In invloed het op daardie Godsvoorstellinge wat iets reflekteer van die eiesoortigheid van In Afrika-spiritualiteit. In Dergelike pastorale hermeneutiek is nodig met die oog op lydingspastoraat binne In Afrikakonteks. Die navorsingsvoorstel wil beklemtoon dat die Afrika-soeke na gepaste voorstellings van God In pastorale probleem is. Vandaar die noodsaak om met die oog op In pastorale diagnose in pastorale. terapie, aandag te gee aan kriteria wat die vraagstuk van inkulturasie in die pastorale bediening kan aanspreek. Die navorsing voorsien om op hierdie wyse uitdrukking te gee aan die vraagstuk van metaforiese teologie binne In Afrikakonteks.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52004
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