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Disabling God in an able world? : analysis of a South African sermon

Cilliers, Johan (2012)

CITATION: Cilliers, J. 2012. Disabling God in an able world? : analysis of a South African sermon. Nederduitse Gereformeerde Teologiese Tydskrif, 53(1):1-12, doi:10.5952/53-1-110.

The original publication is available at

Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund.


In this article the Heidelberg Method of sermon analysis is used to analyse a sermon preached in South Africa one month after the first general democratic elections, held in April 1994. The fundamental hermeneutic structure of the sermon is revealed to consist of three parts: a historical view of God’s acts in the past; a particular understanding of God’s intent and possible actions in the future; and an activist imperative that seeks to collapse and condense past and future in the present. The basic question that is posed concerns the God-image in the sermon: how is God pictured, if at all? And: how is this related to experiences of fragmentation in (post-apartheid) South Africa?

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