Original Research

‘Holiness’ and faith practice today: A contribution towards interreligious dialogue

John-Charles Stay, Tanya van Wyk, Yolanda Dreyer
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 40, No 1 | a2022 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v40i1.2022 | © 2019 John-Charles Stay, Tanya van Wyk, Yolanda Dreyer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 May 2019 | Published: 12 November 2019

About the author(s)

John-Charles Stay, Department of Systematic and Historical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Tanya van Wyk, Department of Systematic and Historical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Yolanda Dreyer, Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

The notion of ‘holiness’ has a long history of interpretation. In many ways, it is an ambivalent term. On the one hand, it denotes moral integrity by distinction, or ‘being set apart’. This ‘distinction’ brought with it a pejorative interpretation of ‘holiness’ as denoting some sort of hierarchical moral exclusivism, attainable only by a minority. However, holiness is an essential aspect of spirituality and in this regard it has a rich and dynamic meaning. This article aims to reappropriate ‘holiness’ for ordinary human beings in their everyday lives and to transcend the exclusivist connotations attached to the concept by broadening the idea and application of ‘holiness’ as it is found in the Christian faith tradition. In this article, the emerging church movement (ECM) shall be considered with the purpose of introducing discussions regarding holiness in faith practice today. This will be done in order to demonstrate its richness and usefulness as a key component of spiritualties today, with a specific focus on its contribution to interreligious dialogue.

Interdisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article represents interdisciplinary work related to systematic theology (ecclesiology), practical theology and spirituality (holiness and science of religion) perspectives. The authors consider a postmodern multi-religious context in relation to aspects of Christian spirituality and ecclesiology (holiness).


Keywords

holy; holiness; faith practice; interreligious dialogue; experience; comparative theology; spirituality; emerging church movement

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