Restoring trust within relations in a local faith community : a pastoral study towards sustainable reconciliation in a TRC era
Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2021.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research study investigated how trust and dialogue between relations within a local faith community can lead toward sustainable dialogue. The study used and considered the applicability of the Dialogical Intergenerational Pastoral Process as a theoretical framework as well as an approach toward pastoral care which allows one to better grasp the complex nature of relational ethics as well as the importance of people existing across generations( past, present and future). It particularly focuses on relations between the past, present and future generations that sees an individual existing within multiple generations as an existence that is connected by trust, loyalty and the like. The Dialogical Intergenerational Pastoral Process as a theory is hereby advocated within practical theology and family pastoral care, even though it is not limited to focusing solely on the family unit. The research methodology that was followed which informs this thesis is Richard Osmer’s four tasks of practical theology. This practical theology research methodology speaks to the structure of this study in that it also serves as a clear reminder of the field of importance within this study which is practical theology with a specific focus on pastoral care. Osmer herein offers guidance for practical theology researchers on the process of conducting an empirical research study by looking at the four tasks. When followed in a sequential manner the below mentioned tasks all spoke to the specific research aspects within this thesis namely: the descriptive-empirical the interpretive task the Normative task and The pragmatic task. The goal of the research was not to determine or predict a hypothesis or to solve a problem. However, the purpose of the study was to explore the possibility of restoring trust that leads to dialogue and ultimately sustainable reconciliation within a local faith community. Furthermore it also indicated how the local faith community can engage and re-table the reconciliation agenda within their local context so that a ‘bottom-up’’ approach is developed that is conducive to the local context. The objectives and main goals were to investigate this by using the Dialogical Intergenerational Pastoral Process and their contributing scholars. The study further aimed to create and raise awareness of the importance of the reconciliation narrative being re-tabled within faith communities not only for past and present communal wellbeing, something that an African context is very concerned about. More importantly, however it is to be done so that future generations are not recipients of trauma and memories and indeed a South Africa wherein they are not bearing and living with the burden of the ‘sins of the past’’ and perhaps present.
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