text and context
|With the SAIACS MTh class in 2013|
We'll buttress our theological convictions together, as we take the text seriously on the way to the sermon. The content and purpose of the text will determine the content and purpose of the sermon. There will be no compromise on this. Each one will demonstrate this ability by preaching a sermon in class.
But that is not all that we will do together. We will also take the context seriously. While it won't determine the content or purpose of the sermon, we will be listening carefully to it and looking for ways to build bridges to it.
So, in small departmental teams, students will work with a general topic. They will add a specificity to it by drawing in a perspective from within the borders of their departmental focus (New Testament, Missiology, History of Religion, Theology etc) and creating a question. They will orient that perspective directly towards preaching, the preacher and the sermon. In this way, three worlds will be integrated (hopefully): South Asia, their specialisation, and homiletics. In the aftermath of the rigour of thesis-writing, the focus will be on an oral presentation to the class.
And the general topics in 2014?
This year I have decided not to include the three issues which surface most frequently in this context - caste, corruption and sexual violence - and push them into other areas. Here they are:
Rural India and orality
(Narendra) Modi and oratory
Hindutva and persecution
Gurus and pastoral leadership
TV - Hindu and Christian
Karma and providence
Prosperity and hope
Shame and freedom
Garbage and stewardship
Bhakti and worship
Should be fun. One thing is for sure.
I am set to learn a bit over the next month.