For our first two issues we chose the theme Preaching in times of transition, and we asked homiletical scholars from different parts of the world to write an article related to this theme and to their specific contexts. We as the editors were happily surprised by the different approaches of our authors:
Júlio Cézar Adam presents critical challenges in the current societal and ecclesial situation in Latin America, connecting homiletical reflections with basic Latin American theological insights, especially liberation theology. Instead of importing homiletical models and methods from the ‘North,’ Adam seeks to develop an “incarnational and incultured” theology and homiletics.
Johan Cilliers looks back to the great transition in South African history in the late 20th century and reflects on homiletics and hermeneutics in late apartheid times (1987), as well as in the year in which the first democratic elections took place (1994). He presents and analyzes a sermon by Desmond Tutu, showing how preaching can help people enter a new situation without denying the painful past or present-day problems.
Addressing one of the most significant transitions in Europe today, Marlene Ringgaard Lorensen presents the results of an empirical study of a significant Christian congregation in Copenhagen that is composed of both refugees from the Middle East and ethnic Danes. Through the use of
Søren Kierkegaard’s category of repetition she describes preaching as a genre of both authentic repetition and significant interruption. She broadens the perspective by also stressing the importance of music and liturgy.
Michael Marmur, Jewish scholar, teacher, and preacher from Jerusalem, shares insights into Jewish preaching in Reformed contexts today by presenting and analyzing one of his own sermons. Through his analysis he develops the notion of the sermon as a “sanctification of time”. Marmur’s essay connects directly to Donyelle McCray’s article, which concentrates on the spirituality of time and its importance for the sermon’s ecclesiology, pneumatology, and performance. In every issue of our journal we intend to present a homiletical squib – a short and sharp text presenting one idea or insight that is of special importance for the author.
Charles Campbell is convinced that “God is not afraid of new things” – and thus preachers should not be afraid of standing with their congregations in the perpetual liminal and transitional movement from the old age to the new creation.
Our first issue shows that preaching in times of transition is a theme for homileticians in different contexts all over the world and a fruitful starting point for our discussions. Our second issue will continue this theme and present more voices from other homiletical contexts.