Die bydrae van die gereformeerde kerklied tot versoening en eenheid in 'n multikulturele Suid-Afrika
Smit, Erasmus Johannes
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The two most prominent cultures that continue to have a defining influence on the socio-political developments in a multi-cutural South African society, are the Western and African cultures. Because of the differences between these two cultures and the respective roles members of each culture have played in the socio-political history of South Africa (especially with regard to the rise and fall of apartheid), conflict and alienation in most cases define the relationship between members of these cultures. Not only does it negatively impact on the multi-cultural society of South Africa as such, it also has far-reaching Implications for the continent as a whole, seeing that South Africa Is regarded as the economical and political powerhouse of Africa upon which are pinned the hopes of millions for a better life. As a result, the importance of reconciliation and unity in the multi-cultural South African society cannot be overemphasized. It is a Biblical imperative that all members of society should live together in peace and harmony. To this end, the church is commanded to serve the reconciliation of Christ to the world (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). One of the instruments to the dlsposal of the reformed churches in South Africa for the completion of this mission, is the liturgical song. The reformed liturgical song consists of poetry (text) and music (melody) which are woven together in such a way that the text of the song is carried directly into the heart of the singer or listener. The combined power of poetry and music provides the church with a powerful therapeutic and communicative instrument by which the truth of the gospel of Christ can effectively be proclaimed to the world. A closer look at the current situation in the multi-cultural South African society reveals that the reformed churches in South Africa (of both Western and African backgrounds) haven't as yet properly played their part in the attaining of reconciliation and unity in society. The central question for research in this study, therefore, is the following: In what way can the reformed liturgical song contribute to the attainment of the ideal of reconciliation and unity in the multi-cultural South African society? The research in this study is structured according to the model for Practical Theology that was developed by Zerfass (1974:164-177). This model entails that specific base theoretical principles are compared with meta-theoretical perspectives to eventually arrive at a theory of practice from which is derived a new set of practical guidelines. In Part 1 of this study, research centres around the base-theoretical principles with regard to culture, multi-culturality, reconciliation, unity, reformed worship and liturgical song, In Part 2 meta-theoretical perspectives are given with regard to culture and multi-culturality in South Africa, reconciliation and unity in the South African context, as well as reformed worship and the use of liturgical song in the multi-cultural South African society. In Part 3 a theory of practice is articulated in which a new set of practical guidelines for the use of the reformed liturgical song towards the attaining of reconciliation and unity in the multi-cultural South African society is given. Finally it is concluded that, with certain adjustments, the reformed liturgical song can effectively be used as an instrument for attaining reconciliation and unity in the multicultural South African society.
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