Original Research

Prayer and being church in postapartheid, multicultural South Africa

Hilton R. Scott, Tanya van Wyk, Cas Wepener
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 40, No 1 | a1964 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v40i1.1964 | © 2019 Hilton R. Scott, Tanya van Wyk, Cas Wepener | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 January 2019 | Published: 29 May 2019

About the author(s)

Hilton R. Scott, Department of Practical Theology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Tanya van Wyk, Department of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Cas Wepener, Department of Practical Theology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

The research presented in this article was conducted as a continuing concern over ‘being church’ in a multicultural urban setting in postapartheid South Africa. It has been nearly 30 years since the end of apartheid and South Africans are still learning to live together in unity, as the pioneers of democracy envisaged. In this contribution, it is suggested that in this context, prayer could be utilised as an instrument for church-praxis. This is done by taking an interdisciplinary approach, namely, integrating theories from the fields of practical theology and systematic theology with regard to liturgical studies and ecclesiology, and using them to interpret empirical data and to build on the process of liturgical inculturation. The concept of ‘koinonia’ is explored by reflecting on the relationship between inclusivity and exclusivity and integrating it with contemporary praxis theory from liturgical studies. This is aimed at promoting a manner of ‘being church’ that reflects Dirk Smit’s aphorism, of lex orandi, lex credendi, lex (con)vivendi, that is, as we pray, so we believe, and so we live (together).

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The research presented in this article was conducted as a continuing concern over ‘being church’ in a multicultural, urban setting in postapartheid South Africa. This is done by taking an interdisciplinary approach, integrating theories from the fields of practical theology and systematic theology with regard to liturgical studies and ecclesiology.


Keywords

liturgical inculturation; inclusivity; exclusivity; being church; prayer; liturgical rituals

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