Original Research - Special Collection: Practical Theology

A homiletic reflection on the theological aesthetics involved in picturing God in a fragmented South African society

Ben J. de Klerk, Friedrich W. de Wet, Rantoa S. Letšosa
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 67, No 2 | a1018 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v67i2.1018 | © 2011 Ben J. de Klerk, Friedrich W. de Wet, Rantoa S. Letšosa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 January 2011 | Published: 14 October 2011

About the author(s)

Ben J. de Klerk, North-West University, South Africa
Friedrich W. de Wet, North-West University, South Africa
Rantoa S. Letšosa, North-West University, South Africa


This article investigates the problematic field of authentic speech in a fragile South African society where the imminence of shattering fragmentation is often addressed either by aggravating hate- speech or pacifying speech that seems to lack the will to come to terms with the full implications of the issues at hand. We attempt to reflect on the possibility of authentic speech in this context by picturing God and his purposeful presence in our fragmented world; speech that reflects and acts out the implications of what is observed in the revealing light of God`s living Word. In addressing the research problem the following aspects are researched: (1) we briefly reflect on the theological aesthetics involved in picturing God through the eyes and acts of faith, (2) explore the painful manifestation of fragmentation in the South African society (with poverty and HIV and AIDS as examples), and (3) attempt to homiletically speak the language of faith by picturing God in our fragmented world through the lens of the parable of the Good Samaritan. We come to the conclusion that authentic homiletic speech can only flow from a heart in which the hardened crust of perpetual attempts at self-righteousness and conservation of the own comfort-zone are shattered by the words and deeds of our Lord. It is through the words and deeds of our Lord that the preacher is enlightened to bear authentic witness to how God fuses a shattered reality and a shattered heart into a prismatic, multifaceted witness to the glory of his all-conquering healing power.


Picturing God; theological aesthetics; homiletic language acts; fragmentation; South African society


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