Monthly Archives: September 2015

Paper: Pilgrimage Sanctification through Effective Communication, by Nico de Klerk

Nico de Klerk, in his paper presented at the SSCS meeting held in Johannesburg, South Africa in May 2015, describes the importance of spiritual practices for the Reformed Church, in particular the practice of pilgrimage. His essay makes the following two statements:

  • Pilgrimage has a lot more potential for spiritual life than we can imagine.
  • By “modernising” the pilgrimage concept we can enrich our spiritual lives with His grace and presence.

De Klerk’s purpose is first to describe the current place of pilgrimage in the Reformed tradition, and then to begin suggesting ways of communicating the meaning of pilgrimage for the spiritual life. To quote from his paper:

Given the Reformed traditions Calvinistic background we have a challenge in terms of skills for what I would like to call: “spiritual communication”. Communication in a spiritual context towards self, others and God. In this I would like to be practical and share some of the practical things I am doing and experimenting with, in a while. The foundation will still be the personal relationship between the individual and God. Question is can we explore pilgrimage to be more influential than what it is currently?

SSCS members can request a copy of de Klerk’s paper from the moderator.

Paper: Medical Science and Spirituality in Dialogue, by Marlene Martin

Marlene Martin’s paper, presented at the SSCS meeting held in Johannesburg, South Africa in May 2015, reports on research that found “that there are those who exercise a spirit or attitude of entitlement to healing and perfect health and this spirit of entitlement is spiritually destructive to the Christian, to the pastor ministering to him and to the medical doctor responsible for his treatment.” Any SSCS member can request a copy from the moderator. Here’s the abstract for Martin’s paper:

The theme of this particular conference is an exploration of Holiness. I therefore felt that Pope John Paul II’s paper on the Theology of the Body gave relevance to a discussion related to Medical Science and Spirituality. Holiness, the Pope points out is always expressed through the body. All human communication, argues Pope John Paul II, is conducted through our bodies; it is how we share our spiritual dimension. He argues that Jesus taught us this lesson when He pronounced “this is my body which is given up for you”.  It was also in this body that He expressed his love for his Father and it was the sacrifice of his body that brought about our redemption

Article: Transformations: The World Religions Survey through an Adjunct Feminist Lens, by Alison Downie

In an article appearing in Teaching Theology & Religion (18, 3, July 2015: 193-206), Alison writes about her attempts to offer opportunities for transformative learning by her students, an approach supported by training as a feminist theologian. Here is the abstract:

This essay describes a transformation in my experience as an adjunct teaching underprepared students  from one of shame toward a desire to assert the value of this work. Insights from my feminist theological training helped me to affirm the importance of encouraging transformative learning in teaching the academically marginalized and prompted my analysis of student writing in an introductory World
Religions course, in order to determine whether or not the course was a site of transformative learning. I argue that despite many contextual limitations, the movement toward deepening self-awareness and increasing openness to religious diversity seen in student writing demonstrates that transformative learning began in this course, and that is valuable for students’ lives whether or not they are academically successful.