Chapters in Books (Practical Theology and Missiology)

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    The role of religion in sustainable development : theological reflections on sustainable development goals and Mother Earth
    (African Sun Media, 2020) Chilongozi, Mwawi Nyirenda
    The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (United Nations, 2015). However, there is a shift in the understanding of sustainable development as it was stipulated in the MDGs and how sustainable development is defined in the SDGs. The SDGs are applicable to countries in the Global South and in the Global North, unlike the MDGs that focused mainly on countries in the Global South. The MDGs focused on the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, gender inequality, as well as on improving education, health and forming global partnerships. However, the SDGs integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development, namely economic, social and environmental. The SDGs, therefore, include building peaceful, just and inclusive societies, protecting human rights, promoting gender equality and the need to protect Mother Earth and its natural resources by combating climate change and protecting oceans and forests. In analysing the SDGs critically, it is evident that the religious dimension is missing. The religious dimension is nevertheless critical, as Oduyoye (2001) argues that religion determines the shaping of the moral, social, political and economic dimensions of many societies in Africa. Religion influences how people relate to each other and the environment. In the African world view, there is no separation between the sacred and secular as it is holistic in its perspective. Religion is an element of people’s identity and it influences the core of the lives of people in Africa. Hence, an agenda for sustainable development should not exclude religion. This chapter engages Mercy Amba Oduyoye’s (2001) four central themes of doing theology in Africa as the theological lens in its analysis of sustainable development goals, with a focus on understanding Mother Earth. Her book, Introducing African women’s theology (Oduyoye, 2001), addresses theological themes that entail a holistic approach to sustainable development in the African context. These themes are: (1) community and wholeness, (2) relatedness and interrelationships, (3) reciprocity and justice, and (4) compassion and solidarity. These theological themes describe the characteristics of traditional life in Africa of caring for each other and the environment. The care for the environment and the natural resources emerge from the religious belief in the need to ensure harmony between the elemental forces and human beings. Achieving sustainable development, as stipulated in the SDGs, is a challenge if religion and the spirituality of people in different societies are not taken into account.
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    Bemba rituals and the environment : experiences of the wives of Bashi Cingo in the Sweetheart of Nimbi Church
    (African Sun Media, 2020) Masaiti Mukuka, Bridget N.
    This chapter seeks to investigate the rituals around the wives of Bashi Cingo by using a feminist narrative. The chapter examines the experiences of the wives of Bashi Cingo in relation to their cultural beliefs that forbid them to cultivate the land. I explore the rituals’ links with the wives and the environment and, of course, their spiritual connection with the Sweetheart of Nimbi Church in Zambia. I will employ Mercy Amba Oduyoye’s (1995) and Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza’s (2011) feminist methods of inquiry to guide this chapter. I found that some wives of Bashi Cingo have fairly low levels of support from the Sweetheart of Nimbi Church and from the community. Also, it took some months to bury the founder of the Sweetheart of Nimbi Church, because he came from the lineage of the Bemba chief, Chitimukulu, in the Northern Province of Zambia. This demonstrates the influence of Bemba2 culture and biblical scriptures in formulating some church policies that reinforce the rituals. It also uses a measure of feminist narratives that may be of much benefit to some feminists as well as many African women.
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    KwaNtonjane : the indigenous rites of passage amongst amaXhosa in relation to prejudiced spaces
    (African Sun Media, 2020) Matholeni, Nobuntu Penxa
    KwaNtonjane is an isiXhosa concept that refers to the space that a young umXhosa girl occupies from initiation to adulthood. During this time, she is called an intonjane – an initiate transitioning from girlhood to young womanhood. Some parallels can be drawn between the two initiation practices, Kwantonjane and ulwaluko, with the latter term referring to an initiation ritual for boys. These rituals are similar yet distinct. To illustrate this point further, both male and female initiates receive counselling on their transition and society’s expectations. Yet despite the similarities, there are also conspicuous differences in how the initiates are counselled and how much space they are allowed to occupy during and after the initiation process. For instance, on the one hand, the mother of the young man and the significant women in his life are not allowed to be a part of ulwaluko or in the spaces surrounding the ritual. On the other hand, the father of the young woman is allowed around and close to the girl’s initiation hut. There seems to be prejudice regarding the ritual spaces that amaXhosa women in general are allowed to occupy. This chapter investigates how the location of unequal spaces sets the tone for future imbalance in ritual spaces and unequal social relationships. This will be addressed by making use of the relational indigenous research paradigm, which considers how reality is collectively constructed and the connection that people have with each other from birth to death. The chapter will also discuss and explain the purpose and meaning of these rites of passage.
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    Children and racism
    (African Sun Media, 2020) Mbaya, Henry
    This chapter commences with defining and highlighting racism as a term and a concept; defining its nature and how it is related to identity formation, as an ethical issue with moral imperatives. Then it will give a very brief historical background of the institutionalisation of racism as apartheid in the South African educational system, followed by a discussion of racial consciousness in children by drawing on the wider global context, specifically analysing very briefly, the significance of the so-called Clark doll experiment in the USA. It then proceeds to argue that racism is a social construct determined by contextual factors, arguing that racial diversity, contrary to racism, is a ‘natural’ phenomenon. From this perspective, the author then discusses responses to efforts of racial integration in schools in post-1994 South Africa. In this context, it is further argued that schools constitute critical spaces where racist attitudes and practices are formed and inculcated. Then the chapter highlights the role of literature and media in informing racist tendencies in children. Finally, it accentuates the critical role that parents, and adults play in the socialisation of children’s racial attitudes.
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    Chronicle of the re-enactment of the TRC's Faith Communities' Hearings with a view to the present and future of a post-TRC South Africa : 8-9 October 2014, Stellenbosch
    (African Sun Media, 2020) Thesnaar, Christo; Hansen, Len
    On 8 October 2014, the Beyers Naudé Centre for Public Theology in the Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University, in collaboration with the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, hosted the re-enactment (also called a re-enactment consultation) of the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions’ (TRC) Faith Communities' Hearings. During the TRC’s Faith Communities’ Hearing in 1997, different faith communities in South Africa, including Christian churches and some religious organisations, submitted presentations on their role in the apartheid history of our country. They also commented on their commitment to reconciliation and a reconciled future for South Africa. It was no coincidence that the re-enactment coincided with the 20th commemoration of the birth of a democratic South Africa, as at the time, and following it, there was an increase in the divisions and friction within South African society in general and, in particular, on the role that the faith communities play or should play in this regard. Therefore, the re-enactment aimed to find, amid the 20-year celebrations, ways to again put the process of reconciliation back on the main agenda of all faith communities in the country. The re-enactment further attempted to make a significant contribution to reconciliation and national unity in the current South African context. It hoped to contribute to the development of responsible and realistic reconciliation strategies for the faith communities and to offer practical suggestions on how to address the challenges of reconciliation and nation-building at the southern-most tip of our continent. In telling the story of the re-enactment, the structure of this chronicle will first describe the events leading up to it; next, it will give an overview of the two days of the re-enactment; and, finally, it will end with a general conclusion.