Original Research

Practical theological perspectives on preaching to listeners experiencing angst or nothingness within the present reality of a post-pandemic world

Ferdi P. Kruger
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 55, No 1 | a2736 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v55i1.2736 | © 2021 Ferdi P. Kruger | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 February 2021 | Published: 17 June 2021

About the author(s)

Ferdi P. Kruger, Department of Practical Theology, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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Abstract

After conducting a literature search, the purpose of this article has emerged. The essential elements of a homiletical praxis, interested in dealing with the gospel, are related to the concrete circumstances of listeners. Consequently, the feelings of angst or nothingness that listeners experience in a post-pandemic world are now integrated into the reflection of a homiletical praxis. A homiletical praxis should not fall into the trap of trying to discern the signs of the times in a one-sided manner and an over-simplifying way, but should rather help listeners to understand the essence of hope. The dimensions of yet and not yet, that enable listeners to understand the idea of hope against hope, could be functional in identifying the objective of this research. The research problem is as follows: What kind of practical theological perspectives could be delineated for a praxeology of preaching to offer insight to listeners experiencing angst and a feeling of nothingness within a post-pandemic world? The problem addressed in this article inevitably takes cognisance of the listeners’ experiences of reality caused by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. A profound quest for a homiletical praxis in which life is central has also emerged in the research. Eventually, this research indicates the contours for a praxis that views preaching with clairvoyant eyes for listeners’ concrete experiences. I discovered that preaching offers the opportunity to approach disorienting dilemmas that evoke intriguing self-reflection to answer the question: Where do we go from here? A homiletical praxeology, therefore, also has to deal with the experiences of listeners. To address this research question, the notion of critical correlation offers a methodological framework for operating within. It allows the researcher to set up a dialogue between questions related to the homiletical praxis on the one hand, and perspectives that come forth in reflecting the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic on the other. A second phase involves providing a theological perspective on God who can perform new deeds amidst the unusual. Deliberating on this will pave the way for a homiletical theory at the end of the article.

Contribution: This article aims to engage with the basic tenet of preaching, viewed from a Reformational paradigm and wants to contribute towards a better understanding of a homiletical praxeology within a post-pandemic world.


Keywords

post-pandemic; angst; nothingness; liveable life; remembrance.

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