The Winter School of the Faculty of Theology,
Stellenbosch University, was recently presented for the eighth time. The Winter
School is an initiative of the faculty, Communitas, Ekklesia and the Beyers
Naudé Centre for Public Theology, which aims to create a dialogue on
contemporary issues affecting communities and congregations. It also provides
an opportunity for additional theological training of spiritual leaders, and
empowering members of the congregation.
Prof Anita Cloete, coordinator of the Winter
School, says: “This year we reflected on 25 years of democracy in conversation
with religion. The keynote speakers highlighted the theme from different
perspectives and emphasized the public role that the church plays. On the first
day, Prof Nadine Bowers-du Toit focused on identity politics and how, on the
one hand, it promotes polarization and, on the other hand, is often intertwined
with religion. Former Statistics General Dr Pali Lehohla outlined the story of
democracy on day two using statistics about South Africa. Prof Allan Boesak
concluded the Winter School with an emphasis on the important contribution of
religion in the fight against apartheid, also outlining the role for religion
in South Africa’s future democracy. " Follow the link for a copy of his address. Prof Allan Boesak.pdf
“The parallel sessions that took place in the
morning and afternoon followed the main themes of the day. The Winter School
was very well attended with more than 200 participants. One of the highlights
of the Winter School is that it brings people together from different
denominations, cultures and generations. This diversity also adds depth to our
shared sense of community and conversations because it allows us to learn more
about each other, crossing boundaries. Each day began with participants joining
together in a moment of stillness to read the Word. In the feedback after the
course, many participants described it as one of the most valuable moments of
the Winter School. "
“We hope this initiative will continue as a way of
communicating hope to congregations and communities. "
The dates of the 2020 Winter School will be announced soon.