Foreword by Walter Brueggemann, my chapter is entitled 'In conversation: The Old Testament, Ethics and Human Dignity'. A superb resource edited by Julie Claassens and Bruce Birch
Entries in Theology (81)
Is care tied to gender? What is an ethics of care? What are the political implications of care?
He introduces the topic for us, suggests some wonderful reading and we also get to see a bit of Groningen in the video.
My thanks to Prof de Lange for hosting us for a wonderful conference on Compassion, and for his willingness to be interviewed on his research specialisation.
In Part 2 of the video that will be released later this week Prof de Lange speaks to us about 'Loving later life: An ethics of ageing' which is his recent book. So keep an eye out for that.
Enjoy the video - Frits is wonderful to listen to! I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and feedback on this important topic!
- Linda Woodhead, 'Religions in the modern world: Traditions and Transformations' http://amzn.to/1Nm09tu
- Diana Butler Bass 'Christianity after religion' http://amzn.to/1VlP7qH
- Charles Taylor 'A secular age' http://amzn.to/2436WfS (This is a very important book! I get all my PhD students to read it). You can also read the following great 'introduction' and engagement with 'A secular age', entitled 'How not to be secular' by James K Smith http://amzn.to/1Wf43FZ
- Peter Berger 'The Sacred Canopy' http://amzn.to/1VlPh1i and 'The desecularization of the world' http://amzn.to/1T0OxbU
Prof Jean Pierre Wils delivered a paper at a biomedical ethics conference at Stellenbosch University in August last year (if I recall correctly). He made a deeply challenging and thought provoking point that contemporary ethics seems obsessed with just health care, but the more important ethical issue is just health. Simply stated, unjust societies contribute to illness among their populations. This is not just a matter of providing adequate health care, it is a larger issue, it has to do with gender, economics, access to a healthy diet, sexual and reproductive rights etc.
I was asked to write a paper in response to his paper - which I have done and it is currently under review for a special edition of the journal 'In luce verbi' in which his paper and mine will appear. I will let you know when they are published.
In the meantime I discuss the issue of just health care and the South African biomedical theological ethical context in this video entitle 'Detrimental to your health'. I'd love to hear your insights, thoughts and comments!
Is Stellenbosch really the most unequal city in the world?
Today I rode my Brompton through Stellenbosch - I had 25 minutes between meetings and wanted to get something for lunch. It was the first time I had been on the bike in more than a week. I came back form Johannesburg with a rather nasty flu and still wasn't feeling great. But it was awesome to be out in the sun and enjoying the fresh air and beautiful western Cape scenery!
As I was riding my bike I reflected on Stellenbosch, which is the most unequal city in South Africa (a country which is among the most economically unequal countries in the world).
Watch the VLOG for some beautiful scenery, and think with me about a better economic system in which no one has too much while anyone has too little.
I’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts! Don’t you love my old folding bike? It goes with me when I travel.
Professor Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, the presiding bishop of the Evangelical (Lutheran) Church in Germany, and a close friend of the late Prof Steve de Gruchy, will give the Steve de Gruchy Memorial Lecture, on Tuesday 1st March 2016 at 19:00 at the Rondebosch United Church, Belmont Road, Cape Town. He will speak on the refugee crisis in Europe and the situation in the Middle East.
This is an open invitation to anyone who may be interested in attending. Prof John de Gruchy will also say a few words.
I hope to see you there!
I received a copy of my friend Joerg Rieger's book 'Faith on the road: A short theology of justice and travel' (2015, IVP Academic) in the mail today.
I had the joy of reading it last year just a few weeks before the recent crises of migration in Africa, Asia and Europe hit the headlines. Rieger's understanding of what it means to be a just society - even a just planet, deeply shaped how I feel about migration, travel and pilgrimage.
I was so honoured to be asked to write one of the commendations for the back of the book. Here is what I wrote:
'Faith on the road' explores the complexity of faith, identity, economics and social justice through the lens of travel. This is a superbly written volume that approaches these complex issues in a thorough and helpful manner. It has changed how I think about travel, migration and faith. I highly recommend this book!
Brian D. McLaren said the following:
From his reflections on travel in the Scriptures to his experiences as a motorcyclist, Joerg Rieger invites us to see how travel changes more than our location: it can change our hearts and transform us from tourists to advocates for justice and peace.
Indeed, I do think this is one of the most helpful books on issues of migration and travel at present. If you are trying to work out what a just, ethical, stance to migration (and migrants) should be I am sure that reading this book will help you. If like me, you have the privilege (and the responsibility) to travel in your nation, continent, or across the world, then this book is important to read! There are important ethical issues around travel, the environment, borders and globalization to consider. Or, if you are interested in notions of pilgrimage as part of your faith or culture, then this book will also help you.
Hey, if you ride a motorcycle and have faith - then this book is for you! Joerg and I have had many great conversations about our shared joy of motorcycling (we both ride BMW GS bikes).
Here is the publisher's description for more information:
Millions of people travel every day, for what seem like millions of reasons. Some travel for pleasure, others travel for work and education, and many more travel to find a new job and a better life. In the United States, even those who don’t travel far still frequently find themselves on the move. What can we learn from these different forms of travel? And what can people of faith learn from the Christian and Jewish traditions that took shape on the road? From the exile from Eden to the wanderings of Jesus and his disciples, the story of Scripture is a dynamic narrative of ceaseless movement. Those who let themselves be inspired by this movement, and are willing to learn from others and from mistakes made in the process, are well positioned to make a difference in the world, not only at home but also around the globe. In this revised edition of the author's book Traveling, Joerg Rieger reflects on how Christian faith reorients the way we think about and make journeys in our lives.
You can get your copy of 'Faith on the road' from IVP here, and from Amazon (either in print or kindle edition) from the link below.
Once you have read it I would love to hear your thoughts or questions! Drop me a comment below or contact me via Twitter or Facebook.
On Thursday at lunch time our theology and philosophy reading at Stellenbosch University group has the honour of hosting Prof Ola Sigurdson from Gothenburg University. He is a well known Systematic Theology who is known for addressing important theological issues in a creative and rigorous manner.
We will be reading his article: SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK, THE DEATH DRIVE, AND ZOMBIES: A THEOLOGICAL ACCOUNT
This evening we launched the book of my colleague and friend Prof L Juliana Claassens, "Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics and Human Dignity" which she co-edited with Prof Bruce Birch.
Among the contributors are a foreword by Walter Brueggemann, and chapters by Charlene Van Der Walt, Esias Meyer, Gerald West, Ntozake Cezula, Douglas Lawrie, Jacqueline Lapsley, and Cheryl Anderson.
I was privileged to write a little piece on the Bible and Ethics as hospitable conversation at the end.
Julie very kindly included me in this project and has opened many doors for me since then.
I am so grateful to her and can highly recommend this important text for anyone who wishes to read about the Old Testament and engage issues of human dignity and ethics.
Read more about the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Restorative-Readings-Testament-Ethics-Dignity/dp/1625647212
These are important times in our nation as students across the country express their voice on issues of economic justice - here the #StelliesFeesMustFall students are visiting the Faculty of Theology.
Our colleague and comrade Thando Joka made a challenging and strong statement as a student of the faculty concerning the steep increase in university fees for 2016 and access to education for all.
Our Dean, Hendrik Bosman, responded by expressing a word welcome to the students and colleagues.
I am convinced that transformation and equality are essential to secure a better future for us all. If we cannot change the current inequality in South Africa, it is unlikely that there will be any place for me or my children in the country's future - white power and white privilege cannot continue. It will not be tolerated. We have to find ways of to make this nation a better place for us all.
I am not sure exactly what the answer is to these complex issues - but I can identify some of the problems. That is not a bad place to start. There are probably many answers, and many solutions. But there are some things that I can do, and must do.
How is it possible that some of us can live with 'too much' when others do not even have enough to survive? If you are interested in reading something that I wrote on the Christian faith and economics you can download and read this chapter that I wrote in a book some years ago. Here is the reference:
Megan, Courtney, Liam and I have been a steady journey of 'downward mobility' in the last year or so. We have sold things like cars, computers, gadgets. We have cut off unnecessary things like DSTV (cable TV) and subscription services. We have limited our household budget and tried to support more worthy and important causes.
We are attempting the 'live more simply, so that others may simply live'.
Interestingly I was teaching a class on human dignity and economics which was disrupted and ended today as the protesting students arrived.
What is certain is that we have work to do in South Africa. I am grateful for the energy and hope that I see among students and colleagues.