Chapters in Books (Systematic Theology and Ecclesiology)
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- ItemDeath penalty : a human rights issue for South Africa(IntechOpen, 2021) Jones, ChrisIn South Africa, the death penalty has been repealed just after the arrival of democracy in 1994. At present, due to numerous daily murders, especially farm murders, this issue is being debated once again seriously – by ordinary citizens, politicians, theologians, and others. In the media, in particular, it gets a lot of attention and in view of the extent of violent crime in our country, the reinstatement of the death penalty is again supported by many. The death penalty as such will always be contentious because it is about the reasoned termination of someone’s life – which is a radical act. Between 2009 and 2013 I did research on the death penalty in South African prisons (the first of its kind as far as we could determine), in all 9 our country’s provinces. The content of this study, gathered from 467 convicted murderers, and several other core aspects of why the reinstatement of the death penalty particularly in South Africa, should not be an option, will be discussed with reference to supporting international and authoritative research.
- ItemMale initiation and circumcision : a South African perspective(African Sun Media, 2020) Jones, ChrisI have been interested in and following this rite of passage for a long time, knowing that it creates contexts and opportunities within which children can be extremely vulnerable1. On top of this, so many responsible individuals and institutions have been relatively quiet – especially since the dawn of our new democracy (1994) in South Africa – about botched circumcisions, dehydration, infections and the annual loss of lives during this ritual. This chapter does not rely on statistical and other data as its primary resource, which would be a typical social science approach, followed by a number of chapters in this book, but rather on presenting important views and contributions by mostly African people and scholars who are/were in different ways involved in this ritual, with its accompanying culture. The role of religion in this ritual will not be discussed. I will often refer to the significant report on public hearings on male initiation schools in South Africa, published by the Commission for the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities2 (CRL Rights Commission)3. In their executive summary, they define culture as “the totality of human creation and expression in both tangible and intangible forms” (CRL Rights Commission 2014:5). For them, the tangible forms of culture “include all material products created by a society as a result of human ingenuity. Intangibles comprise, among other things, language, beliefs, tastes, attitudes, rituals, religion” (:5).
- ItemReconceiving child theology from a queer theological perspective : for LGBTIQ+ parented families and children(African Sun Media, 2020) Davids, Hanzline R.In this chapter, the focus will be on LGBTIQ+ children and LGBTIQ+ parented families from a Christian sexual ethics perspective. The traditional notion of family is contested by a variety of different structures of family. The traditional view of family is often equated to a heteronormative structure in service of patriarchy through procreation. This family consists of a mother and a father who reproduce children that defined the family unit. The family became the space where sexual and gender norms were constructed along societal, religious and cultural belief systems. In recent years in South Africa, literature scholars looked critically at the notion of family, especially pertaining to how the traditional view excludes Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Queer and other (LGBTIQ+) parented families (cf. Lubbe-De Beer & Marnell 2013; Morison, Lynch & Reddy 2018). Furthermore, little research exists of children in LGBTIQ+ families and LGBTIQ+ children in heterosexual family units. In theological discourse, sexual and gender identities of LGBTIQ+ parented families and LGBTIQ+ children in heterosexual family units are even less studied. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Child Theology has emerged as a global movement with the focus of moving children from the margins to the centre of theological discourse. The focus of this theological interest is influenced by the theoretical lenses and methodologies of liberation and feminist theologies. Theologians from Africa too, contributed to the development of this theological focus on children. Contributors to this theology are also critical that the theology thus far has been constructed by adults rather than children. This criticism highlights that, children do theology, already, from their own embodied experiences. However, within a hierarchical system of power, in many cases patriarchy, their theological contribution is often ignored and denied. Before I outline this chapter further, I want to acknowledge that as a self-identifying gay man of colour, I am not a father and neither in a civil union. In this chapter, I theologically journey with LGBTIQ+ children and LGBTIQ+ parented families as an activist-theologian working in the intersection of sexuality, gender and faith in mainline churches and higher theological education training centres in South Africa. In the following section, the struggles that LGBTIQ+ children and LGBTIQ+ parented families experience will be discussed from various literature sources, my own embodied experiences and the multiple contexts I am exposed to in my work at Inclusive and Affirming Ministries. Hereafter, Child Theology will be briefly outlined to see whether theological principles exist that can assist theological imagination to explore life-affirming theologies for LGBTIQ+ parented families and LGBTIQ+ children in heterosexual family units. Lastly, this chapter will examine whether Queer Theology as a liberation theology can perhaps contribute to the development of Child Theology that are life-affirming towards LGBTIQ+ parented families and LGBTIQ+ children in heterosexual family units.
- ItemThe contentious issue of corporal punishment in South Africa(African Sun Media, 2020) Grobbelaar, Jan; Jones, ChrisThis chapter will focus on how children should be treated and raised in a culture where the distinctions between discipline and punishment have been blurred for decades. Why should a rights conception of discipline matter? The chapter will navigate these and other issues when it comes to disciplining children in a democratic, but often violent society. It will firstly attend to the legal framework for discipline in South Africa, especially regarding school discipline. Then it will describe the current situation in South Africa and also look at recent developments regarding corporal punishment and the continuing struggle against violence that children experience and are exposed to on a daily basis. Lastly, positive alternative ways of disciplining children in order to behave better and how people responsible for children can be assisted in this regard, will be addressed.
- ItemCreating space for truth : reconciliation studies and the 2014 TRC re-enactment(African Sun Media, 2020) Leiner, MartinBefore engaging in scientific analysis and critical reflections, I would like to start with a personal statement: The days in October 2014 in Stellenbosch, as well as the preparatory meeting in February, have been part of the most impressive and inspiring times in my entire life. The preparatory meeting in February gathered many experts on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) from South Africa,2 some international guests like Ralf Wüstenberg3 and me from Germany, as well as the coorganiser of the re-enactment, Mpho Tutu on behalf of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation. The preparatory meeting familiarised the international guests with the actual challenges of reconciliation in faith communities and discussed issues such as how to successfully bring all important actors to attend the meeting. I admired the inclusive and welcoming approach and the deep theological reflections during the meeting when they discussed questions, such as: What is the glory of God? Would a gathering of Christian churches alone not be against the spirit of the TRC? During the preparatory meeting as during the re-enactment, I could participate in the South African way of approaching reconciliation, to reflect on it, integrate it into communication and planning and put it into action. Until today, I consider those two visits in 2014 as a deep and lasting experience that left their imprint on my life as well as on my research.