THE BIBLE, OPEN AND DISTANCE EDUCATION AND LEARNING, AND SPIRITUALITY: POSSIBILITIES IN A POST-SECULAR TIME
Keywords:Bible, Education, Spirituality, Post-secularity
To teach the Bible to students of theology at tertiary level (university/seminary/(Bible/Mission) college) is at the best of times fraught with difficulties. Combining the initially often intellectually a-critical religious sentiments of students with the demands of biblical/Old Testament/New Testament studies as science (language skills, exegetical methodologies, critical theories, hermeneutics of understanding and of relevance) is characterised by some difficulties, which lead to various and some extreme reactions among students. The balance between spirituality and exegesis is not always easy to maintain for many teachers of theology. These problems are in some respects compounded in Open and Distance Education and Learning institutions such as the University of South Africa, where direct contact with students and, hence, spiritual formation (undertaken either implicitly or explicitly) is limited and media-ted. Yet, new times also hold new promises. This contribution outlines an intellectual matrix of these problems and dynamics, with possibilities offered that align well with the more faith-positive cultural sentiments currently dawning internationally, known as post-secularism.
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