Jurnal teologic 15.1 (2016)

FIDDES, Paul S. ‘Ecclesiology and Ethnography: one world revisited.’ Jurnal teologic Vol 15, Nr 1 (2016): 5-35.


It is essential for theology to attempt to bring the two disciplines of ecclesiology and ethnography together. There are not just practical but distinctively theological reasons for this claim. In the end everything depends on the view one holds of the relation between God and the world.

Keywords: ecclesiology, ethnography, God, world


BUNACIU, Otniel Ioan. ‘Community, Walls and God.’ Jurnal teologic Vol 15, Nr 1 (2016): 37-57.


Community, Walls and God represents an inquiry in and a reflection on the service and witness of a local community of Romanian Baptist believers (Providence Baptist Church). The church has responded to the need of the Roma community which surrounds it and to a vision to serve this community addressing one of their needs in a direct way. After 22 yeas of service a theological reflection is being attempted based on a study of the community done by the University of Bucharest.

Since the interaction between Roma and Romanian communities in this way is not usual part of the reflection is intended to serve as a starting point for a dialogue that might lead to further developments especially based on the way a local community which sometimes has similar needs decides to help a poorer group because of their faith and values.

Keywords: Roma, qualitative research, narrative theology, ecclesiology, ethnography, Baptist, Ferentari


VANDEWIELE, Wim. ‘Role and Quality of Monastic Community Life Challenged by Societal Transitions. An Ethnographic Case-Study of the Trappist Community of the Abbey of Sint-Sixtus.’ Jurnal teologic Vol 15, Nr 1 (2016): 59-89.


The religious landscape of present-day Western-European society is characterized on the one hand by a high level of secularization and on the other by an increased religious plurality (Berger 2000). The values intrinsic to a religiously oriented life in community are often diametrically opposed to the dominant Western-European thinking patterns such as individualism, utilitarianism and scientism. It is in this context not self-evident to consciously choose monastic life and it is moreover difficult to remain committed as a monk or a nun to a life characterized by a quasi-linear continuity and by exceptional obligations and limitations (Merkle 1992).

This article starts out by focusing briefly on an ethnographic study describing the physical and social environment of a specific contemplative Trappist community, the Abbey of Sint-Sixtus in Westvleteren (Belgium), thus contributing to the creation of a more objective image of contemplative orders in today’s society. It concludes with an analysis of the societal transition that challenges the role and the quality of present-day monastic community life.

Keywords: secularization, religious plurality, monastic life, Trappist community, contemplative orders


FAHLGREN, Sune. ‘Creating a Uniting Church: Ethnographic and Historiographic Exploration of the Language of Ecclesiology in Practice.’ Jurnal teologic Vol 15, Nr 1 (2016): 91-137.


This study gives an example of contemporary changes in the religious landscape in Sweden – the merger between three mainstream Free Churches: the Baptist Union of Sweden, the United Methodist Church and the Mission Covenant Church of Sweden. The new church was established on 4 June 2011 and later named Equmeniakyrkan (English: The Uniting Church in Sweden).

The aim of this study is to reflect ecclesiologically over the merger process as an ecclesial fundamental practice. Key words (metaphors, concepts, phrases), used by the leaders in the merger process, are analysed as “church language”. The underlying hypothesis is that a specific church language expresses and creates a specific life world, embedded in one or more ecclesial practices.

Keywords: church language, ethnography, ecclesial practices, historiography, tradition


PESTROIU, David. ‘Holy Tradition versus human traditions. A Necessary Distinction.’ Jurnal teologic Vol 15, Nr 1 (2016): 139-162.


Tradition is not defined in a reductionist manner, as permanent anchoring in the ways of the past, but it constantly looks to the future, while it supports and professes the perennial values of faith. If we perceive it correctly, as life of the Church, then we can understand even better its dynamism, by which it helps the great Christian family, throughout history, to reach its highest goal: perfection, that is, deification through grace.

Keywords: Holy Tradition, Orthodoxy, deification, grace, sacraments, authority, salvation


PĂDURARU, Mircea. ‘The Powers of Ethnography and Ecclesiastic Authority. Towards a Romanian History of a Problematic Relationship.’ Jurnal teologic Vol 15, Nr 1 (2016): 163-182.


In Romania the Church is and had been one of the most important cultural, economical and political players and the analysis of its relation to the local academic field, and especially to the humanities, still constitutes a topic for a challenging Ph.D. dissertation. In this article I intend to offer a brief account on the Church‘s complicated relationship to Ethnology, as both instances are interested in the people, their beliefs, cultural and spiritual identity, their mentality and behaviour. Although theoretically the two conduct separate approaches; practically the Church has been very much concerned with the knowledge and results produced by ethnology, and often its interest took a most active (euphemism for interventionist) shape. On the other side, through time, many specialists in ethnology found support of various kinds in the institution of the Church. If in relation to the national idea, the Church affirms its solidarity to Ethnology, in what concerns its purpose to identify and investigate the pagan (today and after many hundreds years of Church domination), it is embarrassed and provoked by ethnology. These two tendencies define the Church’s paradoxical relation to ethnology even today. Although at first they presented as issues in a succession, very soon they begin to make a couple, in a love/hate attitude with no perspective for a reasonable compromise.

Keywords: Church, ethnology, nationalism, paganism, cosmic Christianity, vernacular religion


OMOGIATE, Charles Osasogie. ‘Towards a Theological Response to the Gender Problematic in African Christianity: An Ethnographic Study of Gender Landmarks in African Christianity.’ Jurnal teologic Vol 15, Nr 1 (2016): 183-207.


The question of gender identities, ideologies and idiosyncrasies is one that has been gathering momentum in theological and cultural discourses in sub-Sahara Africa recently. More than ever before, attempts are being made to establish frameworks for gender relations that are not simply conceptual, but experiential enough to account for common-day realities associated with inter-gender relationships. African scholars such as Mercy Amba Oduyoye, Rachel Kanyoro, Nkiru Nzegwu etc have gone as far as lampooning deeply embedded structures of patriarchy in the sub-continent while at the same time hoisting a placard for a more direct theological approach to the gender question. Nevertheless, recent interrogations reveal that these approaches have little influence in the way gender relations are lived and perpetuated in local communities.

My paper addresses and challenges notions of gender that are based on an essentialist understanding of complementary gender roles. The methodology I have integrated in this paper is an ethnographic one. I attempt to show the result of my recently concluded empirical study with ca. 20 couples in the Archdiocese of Benin City, Nigeria. Specifically, in my project, I shall begin by examining various configurations of gender vis-á-vis a critical investigation of its patriarchal roots. Subsequently, I shall engage with a qualitative approach to gender questions with the aim of exhuming the convictions, experiences and expectations of couples with regard to their gendered identities and their ways of living together as husband and wife. Thirdly and lastly, I shall scrutinise current theological approaches espoused by African theologians.

My contention is that a contextualised approach to gender which on the one hand takes seriously the concrete and lived experiences of African couples and on the other hand activates the potentials of theoretical frameworks is more than needful.

Keywords: Gender, complementarity, equality, patriarchy, culture, marital responsibilities, household chores.