Towards heterogeneous faith communities : understanding transitional processes in Seventh-day Adventist Churches in South Africa

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dc.contributor.advisor Hendriks, H. Jurgens
dc.contributor.author Parker, Alan
dc.contributor.other University of Stellenbosch. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Practical Theology and Missiology
dc.contributor.other A-6024-2012
dc.date.accessioned 2010-12-20T07:40:15Z
dc.date.available 2010-12-20T07:40:15Z
dc.date.issued 2004-03
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/5493
dc.description Thesis (DTh (Practical Theology and Missiology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2004. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation examines racial transition toward heterogeneity in three Seventh-day Adventist congregations in South Africa. This dissertation aims to uncover social factors involved in this change as well as to set forth a theological direction with application to the local faith community. The first section examines recent studies and literature on multiracial congregations, indicating a possible breakdown between theory and practice. Using insights from Kuhn, Gadamer, Habermas, and Geertz, a critical correlational approach is proposed using narrative, community-based praxis, dialectical thinking, and eschatological vision. The theological methods of Groome and Browning are combined to suggest a four-phase approach to practical theological research. The second section undertakes an ethnographic study of three Seventh-day Adventist congregations on the outskirts of Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg. Congregations are examined through the fourfold lens of history, identity, process and program. All three congregations are then compared and analysed from both an etic and emic perspective. Differences between various racial groups are examined and congregational challenges and resources identified. It is shown that while positive racial attitudes exist, underlying black distrust, white fears and other reconciliation issues need to be addressed. Common challenges include continuing racial change, mission and identity issues, evangelism issues, leadership issues and worship issues. Helpful resources in the congregations include an accepting culture, a common language, strong leadership, members with previous multicultural experience and an attractive worship service. Cultural adaptation is analysed through a psychological model ('W-Model') and a congregational model, both of which indicated tensions between assimilationist and integrationist patterns. The third section critiques the sociological approach through a theological hermeneutic. Hospitality to the stranger is proposed as an alternative narrative for handling transition to diversity, and is compared with existing narratives of difference and unity. The witness of Scripture shows both the need to embrace otherness as well as how central hospitality is to God‘s mode of interaction with His created order. The implications of this embrace are explored in terms of other theological models of identity and otherness, reconciliation, the missio Dei and the kingdom of God. In the final section a model of showing hospitality to the stranger is examined in terms of the following movements: (a) the invitation or welcome, (b) providing the gift, (c) feasting at the table, (d) sharing stories, (e) providing a room, and (f) becoming part of the household. The goal is to show how to grow in intimacy without destroying identity. Tensions in the practice of hospitality to the stranger are examined: risk is balanced against opportunity, identity against otherness; boundaries are worked out in a context of sacrifice. Nevertheless, in spite of these paradoxical tensions, it is seen that in this narrative there is potential for bringing diverse communities together based on an ethic of self-giving and mutual acceptance. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie proefskrif ondersoek die transformasieproses van homogene na heterogene gemeentes ten opsigte van ras in drie Sewendedag Adventiste gemeentes in Suid-Afrika. Die tesis beoog om sosiale faktore wat die transformasieproses beïnvloed te bespreek sowel as om in die verband teologies rigting te gee aan plaaslike geloofsgemeenskappe. Die eerste afdeling ondersoek onlangse studies en literatuur in verband met veelrassige gemeentes en toon 'n moontlike uiteensetting van teorie en praktyk. Deur gebruik te maak van die insig van Kuhn, Gadamer, Habermas, en Geertz word 'n kritiese korrelatiewe benadering voorgestel wat gebruik maak van narratiewe, gemeenskap gebaseerde praxis, dialektiese denke, en eskatologiese visie. Die teologiese metodes van Groome en Browning word gekombineer ten einde 'n vier-fase benadering tot praktiese teologiese navorsing voor te stel. Die tweede afdeling onderneem 'n etnografiese studie van drie Sewendedag Adventiste gemeentes aan die buitewyke van Durban, Kaapstad en Johannesburg. Gemeentes word bestudeer onder die viervoudige lens van geskiedenis, identiteit, proses en program. Al drie die gemeentes word dan vergelyk en ontleed van beide 'n lokale en globale (etic en emic) perspektief. Verskille tussen rasse word ondersoek en gemeenskaplike uitdagings en hulpbronne word geïdentifiseer. Hierdie ondersoek toon aan dat alhoewel positiewe rassehoudings bestaan, onderliggende Swart wantroue, Blanke vrese en ander versoeningskwessies aangespreek behoort te word. Algemene uitdagings sluit die hantering van voordurende verandering, missie- en identiteitsproblematiek, evangelisasie problematiek, leierskap problematiek en aanbiddingsproblematiek in. Nuttige benaderings tot die problematiek behels 'n kultuur van aanvaarding, gemeenskaplike taal, sterk leierskap, lidmate met multikulturele ervaring en besielende eredienste. Kulturele aanpassing word ontleed met behulp van 'n sielkundige model ('W-Model') en 'n gemeentelike model. Beide modelle toon spanning tussen assimilasie- en integrasiepatrone. Die derde afdeling kritiseer die sosiologiese benadering deur middel van 'n teologiese hermeneutiek. Gasvryheid teenoor die vreemdeling word voorgestel as 'n alternatiewe narratief in die plek van bestaande narratiewe van verskil en eenheid om die transisie na diversiteit te verwerk. Die getuienis van die Skrif wys op die noodsaaklikheid om die verskille tussen mense te versoen binne die konteks van God se 'gasvryheid' wat sentraal staan in Sy interaksie met Sy skepping. Die implikasies van hierdie versoening word ondersoek in terme van die aanvullende teologiese modelle van identiteit en andersheid, versoening, die missio Dei en die koninkryk van God. In die laaste afdeling word 'n model van gasvryheid teenoor die vreemdeling ondersoek in terme van die volgende bewegings: (a) uitnodiging of verwelkoming, (b) bereidheid tot opoffering, (c) viering rondom die tafel, (d) deel van verhale, (e) verskaffing van eie ruimtes, f) eenwording van die huishouding. Die doel is om aan te toon hoe om in intimiteit te groei sonder om identiteit prys te gee. Spanning in die praktiese beoefening van gasvryheid teenoor die vreemdeling word ondersoek: risiko moet gebalanseer word met geleentheid, identiteit met verskil en grense word in die konteks van opoffering uitgewerk. Ten spyte van hierdie paradoksale spannings, het die narratief van die vreemdeling en gasvryheid die potensiaal is om diverse gemeenskappe bymekaar te bring deur middel van 'n etiek van opofferende en gemeenskaplike aanvaarding. en_ZA
dc.format.extent 321 leaves
dc.language.iso en_ZA en_ZA
dc.publisher Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch en_ZA
dc.subject Theses -- Practical Theology and Missiology en_ZA
dc.subject Dissertations -- Practical Theology and Missiology en-ZA
dc.subject.lcsh Seventh-Day Adventists -- South Africa en_ZA
dc.subject.lcsh Multiculturalism -- Religious aspects -- Christianity en_ZA
dc.subject.lcsh Communication and culture -- South Africa en_ZA
dc.subject.lcsh Intercultural communication en_ZA
dc.title Towards heterogeneous faith communities : understanding transitional processes in Seventh-day Adventist Churches in South Africa en_ZA
dc.type Thesis en_ZA
dc.rights.holder University of Stellenbosch en_ZA


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