The Presence of the Kingdom in the light of the Speech Act Theory (SAT) : an ethical inquiry

Cho, Anna (2015-12)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis relates Christian ethics to the presence of the kingdom of God in Jesus’ sayings and to its real meaning and application by reconsidering the religious language of the kingdom of God from the perspective of the Speech Act Theory (SAT). In SAT, the Christian ethical approach to the presence of the kingdom in Jesus’ sayings is not only aimed at reconstructing meanings of the ethics of the kingdom in the form of a propositional morality theme. It also aims at reconstructing the Christian life as the performance of the ethics of the kingdom in daily life, that is, in terms of the presence of God’s kingdom in Jesus’ utterances and its witness. Christians do not merely assert certain facts about God’s sovereignty or God’s kingdom; they address God in the act of committing themselves to God’s kingdom and applying their minds to its righteousness. Since Christian ethics depends on the message of the kingdom proclaimed by Jesus, the essence of interpretation in Christian ethics is therefore to recognize the illocutionary act in the Bible. In SAT, only illocution is able to determine meaning and to act. It also creates the perlocutionary act as an appropriate response in the believer such as trust or obedience. The living Triune God is still speaking to us through Scripture – not in past stories but in the present in order to fulfil God’s will and God’s kingdom. This indicates that Jesus’ preaching about the kingdom of God focuses on what we should do or how we should live as Christians. The Bible is not supposed to be interpreted only in an academic context but should also be performed by the people of God. Consequently, the Christian community should try to discover the momentum and function of the text in order to build up the people of God to live in the world and to participate in the activities of the kingdom of God, not as spectators but as active participants in the present world. It also tells us who God is, and how we ought to live in relation to that God. Christian communities are called to institute policies that alter the settings in which the interpretation of Scripture takes place. In this way, Christian ethics can map out a new moral sensibility and specific directions through the presence of the kingdom of God in the light of SAT.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis vergelyk Christelike etiek met die teenwoordigheid van die koninkryk van God in Jesus se uitsprake en die ware betekenis en toepassing daarvan deur die heroorweging van die godsdienstige taal van die koninkryk van God vanuit die perspektief van Spraak Daad Teorie (“Speech Act Theory (SAT)”). Volgens SAT is die Christelike etiese benadering tot die teenwoordigheid van die koninkryk in Jesus se uitsprake nie net daarop gemik om die betekenisse van koninkryk-etiek te rekonstrueer in die vorm van ʼn proposionele moraliteit-tema nie. Die doel is ook die rekonstruksie van die Christelike lewe as die uitvoering van koninkryk-etiek in die alledaagse lewe, dit wil sê in terme van die teenwoordigheid van die koninkryk van God in Jesus se uitsprake en getuienis. Christene stel nie bloot bepaalde feite oor God se heerskappy of God se koninkryk nie; hulle spreek God aan in die daad van hulself toewy aan die koninkryk van God en hul gedagtes rig op die regverdigheid van dié koninkryk. Aangesien Christelike etiek berus op die koninkryk-boodskap wat Jesus verkondig het, is die essensie van interpretasie in Christelike etiek dus die erkenning van die illokusionele daad in die Bybel. Met SAT kan illokusie bepaal en ook optree beteken. Dit skep ook die perlokusionêre daad as ʼn toepaslike reaksie deur gelowiges, soos vertroue of gehoorsaamheid. Die lewende Drie-enige God spreek steeds deur die Skrif – nie deur stories in die verlede nie, maar in die hede, om God se wil te vervul en God se koninkryk te laat kom. Dit dui aan dat Jesus se prediking oor die koninkryk van God fokus op wat ons behoort te doen of hoe ons as Christene behoort te leef. Die Bybel is nie veronderstel om net in ʼn akademiese konteks geïnterpreteer te word nie, maar moet ook deur God se mense uitgevoer word. Gevolglik behoort die Christelike gemeenskap te probeer om die momentum en funksie van die teks te ontdek, met die oog daarop om God se mense op te bou om in die wêreld te leef en aan die aktiwiteite van die koninkryk van God deel te neem – nie as toeskouers nie, maar as aktiewe deelnemers in die wêreld vandag. Dit vertel ons ook wie God is, en hoe ons behoort te leef in verhouding tot dié God. Christelike gemeenskappe word geroep om beleide in te stel wat die stellings verander waarbinne Skrifinterpretasie plaasvind. Op hierdie wyse kan Christelike etiek ʼn nuwe morele aanvoeling en spesifieke aanwysings deur die teenwoordigheid van die koninkryk van God in die lig van SAT karteer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/97965
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