Enabling faith : towards a Pentecostal homiletical strategy for shaping disability-friendly congregations
The central theoretical argument of the present study is that it is possible to develop a Pentecostal homiletical strategy that may contribute to shaping disability-friendly congregations in the AFM and other classical Pentecostal denominations by cultivating disability-friendly ethical and theological perspectives among the members of a congregation. Chapter 1 discusses the fact that research shows that over a billion people worldwide are living with some form of disability (WHO, 2011), and that approximately 7,5% of the South African population are living with some form of disability (Statistics South Africa, 2014:152). Furthermore, research suggests that people living with disability are less likely to attend religious services than people without a disability (cf. Hendershot, 2006; Woolverton, 2011). Many people with disabilities – including the researcher’s own brother – have experienced faith destroying prejudice and alienation in Pentecostal congregations. Accordingly, the need to construct a Pentecostal homiletical strategy that will contribute to building disability-friendly congregations in the AFM – as well as other classical Pentecostal denominations – is imperative. This study employs Osmer’s (2008:4-12) methodology for engaging in practical theological interpretation. The descriptive-empirical phase of the study (Chapter 2) seeks to identify AFM preachers’ perspectives on physical disability in order to determine the extent to which a bleist perspectives about disability are found among the participating preachers. The interpretive phase of the study (Chapter 3) seeks to interpret the empirical findings of the descriptive empirical phase by entering into dialogue with the fields of disability studies and disability theology, as well as the thought of selected AFM leaders. The normative phase of the study (Chapter 4) seeks to determine what ethical and theological guidelines Scripture offers with regard to understanding disability. The normative ethical and theological perspectives will be developed by utilising the grammatical-historical method of biblical exegesis (cf. Gorman, 2001; Van Rensburg et al., 2011) and a literature study. The pragmatic phase (Chapter 5) synthesises the findings from the descriptive-empirical, interpretive, and normative phases of the study. This synthesis is utilised to develop homiletical rules of art that may serve as the basis for a Pentecostal homiletical strategy that contributes to shaping disability-friendly ethical and theological perspectives among members of a congregation.
- Theology