Spiritualiteit as vakwetenskaplike studieveld is plaaslik nie ‘n ou bedryf nie (kyk Kourie 2010:17–31), al gaan die verskynsel van geloofsbelewenis terug tot op die geboortetydperk van die mens (Van Huyssteen 2006). Die aanvanklike besware teen die vakgebied ten spyt, het die intellektuele aard van hierdie studieveld (kyk De Villiers 2006:99-121) sigself bewys. Laasgenoemde, onder meer deur internasionale erkenning wat van die publikasies deur Suid-Afrikaners te beurt geval het (Lombaard 2012a), erkenning deur internasionale kollegas vir plaaslike ontwikkelinge (O’Sullivan 2012:43–59, Welzen 2011:37-60), die vier Suid-Afrikaanse intreeredes wat reeds in hierdie dissipline gehou is (gepubliseer as o.a. Kourie 2008:59-75, De Villiers 2009:1-26, Lombaard 2012b:929-951, Van der Merwe 2013), en nou: ‘n internasionale Spiritualiteitskongres in Johannesburg.

Bykans 50 sprekers lewer tussen 21 en 23 Mei vanjaar referate oor temas so uiteenlopend soos spiritualiteit en kinders in hospitale, Bybelse spiritualiteit, kerkmusiek, Teresa van Avila, moeder Maria, Henri Nouwen en Thomas Merton.

Direk voorafgaande hieraan, op die 20ste Mei, bied twee wêreldleiers op die gebied van die Teologie intensiewe werkswinkels aan:

  • Bernard McGinn, oor mistiek (kyk o.m. McGinn 1991); en
  • Kees Waaijman, oor 21ste eeuse spiritualiteit (kyk o.m. Waaijman 2000).

Verdere inligting en die registrasievorms is te vinde by www.spirasa.org/holiness.

Die volledige program sien soos volg daar uit:

The Bi-annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality (SSCS) and the Spirituality Association of South Africa (SPIRASA),

St. Augustine’s College, 35 Ley Road, Victory Park, Johannesburg


Wednesday May 20

8h30. Registration

8h45-9h00. Opening

9h00-10h30. Bernard McGinn: An orientation to mysticism. Reflecting on essential writings of Christian Mysticism

10h30-11h00. Refreshments

11h00-12h30. An orientation to Mysticism. Reflecting on essential writings of Christian Mysticism (continued)

12h30-13h30. Break (Buffet Style Lunch)

13h30-15h00. Kees Waaijman: Spirituality in the 21st Century

15h00-15h30. Refreshments

15h30-17h00. Spirituality in the 21st Century (continued)


Thursday May 21

Session 1. Scripture and Holiness

7h00. Registration

8h00. Morning devotions

8h10. Opening and announcements

8h15-8h45. Opening plenary address. Kees Waaijman: Holiness in spirituality – a biblical perspective.

8h45-8h55. Short break

Parallel session

9h00-9h20 Christo Lombaard. Hol(e)y texts. Hol(e)y lives: on the Psalms and spirituality. With particular attention to Thessalonia Deprince, Thomas Merton and Beat Weber – described, compared and evaluated. Dirk van der Merwe. Conceptualizing holiness in the Gospel of John.
9h20-9h30. Discussion. 9h20-9h30. Discussion.

9h30-9h50. Refreshments

Plenary session

9h50-10h20. Ann W. Astell. The Song of Songs and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux’s Life of Saint Malachy.

10h20-10h50. Pieter G.R. de Villiers. Holiness in Mark’s Gospel.

10h50-10h55. Short break.

10h55-11h25 Huub Welzen. The transformation of the temple in the Gospel of John.

11h25-11h55. Paul Decock. Philo at the beginnings of Christian Spirituality

11h55-12h30. Discussion of plenary papers

Break: 12h30-12h50.

12h50-13h30. Musical Performance

Choir of the Ekurhuleni Primary School with gumboot performance.

Session 2. Holiness in history

Plenary session

13h30-14h00. Celia Kourie. The beauty of holiness. Mystical transformation in John of the Cross.

14h00-14h30. Glenn Young. The “shock of recognition”. Meister Eckhart’s preaching and homiletic theory

14h30-14h50. Discussion

14h50-14h55. Short break

Parallel session

14h55-15h15. Rachel Wheeler. Holy feigning in the Sayings of the Desert Fathers. Simon Cashmore. The prayer of fire and the pursuit of holiness in the writings of John Cassian.
15h15-1535. Chris de Wet. The preacher’s diet. Regimen, sexuality, and holy masculinity in the Homilies of John Chrysostom Tara K. Soughers. From ordinary Christians to saints. Holiness as friendship with Christ in the writings of Teresa of Avila.
15h35-15h55. Discussion 15h35-15h55. Discussion

15h55-16h15. Refreshments

Plenary session

16h15-17h00. Annemarie Paulin Campbell, Puleng Matsaneng, Frances Correia. Training of Spiritual Directors in the South African Context. The presentation will be concluded with a musical item (10 minutes).

Friday May 22

8h15. Devotions.

Parallel session

8h30-8h50.  Lisel Joubert. The growth of the holiness of Mary. From flat character to theological construct. Petros Parginos. “Holy Folly”. The significance of the Holy Fools as exemplified by St. Symeon of Emesa.
8h50-9h10. Judy Lam. The “holy of holies” text for mystic and missionary. The mystical impact of the Song of Songs on the missionary spirituality of James Hudson Taylor (1832-1905), founder of the China Inland Mission. Kees Thönissen. Holiness integrated into the field of spirituality. Seeking helpful hermeneutic foundations for the discipline of Spirituality as existentially supported by the life of St Francis of Assisi.
9h10-9h30. Discussion9h30-9h35. Break 9h10-9h30. Discussion.9h30-9h35. Break

Session 3. Systematic and contextual perspectives on holiness

Plenary session

9h35-10h05. Anita Houck. Holiness and humour.

10h05-10h35. Kobus Kruger. Love in context.

10h35-11h00. Refreshments

11h00-11h30. Bernadette Flanagan. Women and holiness. Lessons from Syncletica of Egypt.

11h30-12h00. Saju Chackalackal. St Kuriakose Elias Chavara.

12h00-12h40. Discussion of plenary papers.

12h40-13h10. Break.

13h10-13h50: Showcasing Kopanang Community Trust with a Musical Performance and an overview of their activities and their art work.

Parallel sessions

14h00-14h20. Elsabé Kloppers. Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs”…  Holy inappropriate Sadrack Nelson. Holiness amid alienation and poverty in the life of Haitians.
14h20-14h40. Judith Coyle. The holiness of music. A consideration of Élisabeth-Paule Labat’s The Song that I Am. On the Mystery of Music.14h40-14h45. Short break Takesure Mahohoma. The quest for political holiness in Africa for peace and sustainable development. 14h40-14h45. Short break
14h45-15h05. Elmor van Staden. “Being holy, means being myself” – Thomas Merton (1915-1968). Phillip Musoni. Contestation of “the holy places in the Zimbabwean religious landscape.”
15h05-15h35. Discussion. 15h05-15h35 Discussion

15h35-15h50. Refreshments

15h50: Film: Romero (John Duigan)

This excellent drama depicts the last three years in the life of Oscar Romeo, the Salvadoran bishop who became archbishop in 1977 and was assassinated on March 24, 1980, in San Salvador’s Divine Providence Hospital Chapel. In this stirring work written by John Sacret Young, creator of the China Beach television series, and directed by Australian John Duigan, we see the radicalization of a moderate Catholic intellectual as he is exposed to the violence and human suffering in his country (101 minutes).

Saturday May 23

8h00. Devotions.

Session 4. Embodiment

Parallel session

8h15-8h35. Kurian Perumpallikunnel. From holiness to wholeness.  Riaan van der Merwe. Vulnerable embodiment: Encounter with the Broken Wholeness/Holiness of Henri Nouwen.
8h35-8h55. Jakub Urbaniak. Holiness without the holy ONE(s). Towards an eventual account of holiness. Charles Russell. Holiness happens in the body and the Spirit.
8h55-9h15 Suren Naicker. An exploration of Swami Vivekananda’s metaphorical conceptualization of holiness and divinity within the Vedanta school of thought. Stuart Devenish. Bodily sanctifi­cation. Beauty, consecration and goodness in the lives of ordinary saints.
9h15-9h45. DiscussionBreak: 5 minutes 9h15-9h45. DiscussionBreak: 5 minutes

9h50-10h10. Refreshments

Session 5. Holiness and the self.

Plenary session

10h10-10h40. Carter Haynes. The true self. Insights from the psychology of religion and contemplative spirituality.

10h40-11h10. Susan Rakoczy. Thomas Merton’s integral holiness: The true self and the quest for justice.

11h10-11h15. Short break.

11h15-11h45. Michael O’Sullivan. Authentic subjectivity and social transformation.

11h45-12h15. Discussion of plenary papers.

Session 6. Teaching Spirituality

12h15. Panel discussion. Anita Houck, Francis McAloon, Bernadette Flanagan, Celia Kourie, Pieter G.R. de Villiers.

13h00-14h00 Break

Concluding session 7.

Parallel session

14h00-14h20. Annemarie Oberholzer. Children’s experience of holiness. Are we rendering effective spiritual care to children in healthcare? Nico de Klerk. Pilgrimage sanctification through effective communication.
14h20-14h40 Marlene Martin. Medical science and spirituality in dialogue. Dudley Schreiber. Philosophy of meta-Reality and post-secular holism: The makings of holiness?
14h40-15h00. Discussion. 14h40-15h00. Discussion. 

15h00-15h05. Short break.

15h05. Keynote plenary address. Bernard McGinn. Mysticism and the Reformation.

15h45-16h00. Discussion.

16h00-17h15. Musical Performance: Linden High School Choir with Duncan Fourie (Choir Master).

17h30. Departure for conference dinner at Moyo’s Restaurant.


De Villiers, PGR 2009. Peace in the Pauline Letters. A perspective on Biblical Spirituality. Neotestamentica 43, 1-26.

De Villiers, PGR 2006. Spirituality, theology and the critical mind, in: De Villiers, PGR, Kourie, CET & Lombaard, C (eds) The Spirit that moves. Orientation and issues in spirituality (Acta Theologia Supplementum 8). Bloemfontein: University of the Free State Press, 99-121.

Kourie, C 2010. Teaching spirituality at Unisa, 2000–2010: some reflections. Missionalia 38/1:17–31.

Kourie, C 2008. Mysticism: a way of unknowing, in: De Villiers, PGR, Kourie, CET & Lombaard, C (eds) The Spirit that empowers. Perspectives on spirituality (Acta Theologica Supplementum 11). Bloemfontein: University of the Free State Press, 59-75.

Lombaard, C 2012a. The Old Testament and Christian Spirituality. Theoretical and practical essays from a South African perspective (International Voices in Biblical Studies 2), Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta, Georgia.

Lombaard, C 2012b. Om die Skrif tot stilte te bring… Gewaarwordinge oor Afrikaanse Bybelse spiritualiteit. Litnet Akademies (Godsdienswetenskappe) 9/3, 929-951.

McGinn, B 1991. The foundations of mysticism. New York: Crossroad.

O’Sullivan, M 2012. Spiritual capital and the turn to spirituality, in: O’Sullivan, M & Flanagan, B (eds) Spiritual capital. Spirituality in practice in Christian perspective. Ashgate, Farnham, 43–59.

Van der Merwe, DG 2013. The sense of “unity” in the Gospel of John: practice in Christian Spirituality (inaugural lecture: Professorship in Christian Spirituality). Pretoria: University of South Africa / http://uir.unisa.ac.za/handle/10500/13591.

Van Huyssteen, J. 2006. Alone in the world? Human Uniqueness in Science and Theology. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans.

Welzen, H 2011. Contours of Biblical Spirituality as a discipline, in: De Villiers, P & Pietersen, L (eds), The Spirit that inspires. Perspectives on Biblical Spirituality (Acta Theologica Supplementum 15). University of the Free State Press, Bloemfontein, 37-60.

Waaijman, K., 2000, Spiritualiteit: vormen, grondslagen, patronen, Carmelitana, Gent.

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