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18 April 2019 | Story Rulanzen Martin

The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice IRSJ) has initiated a Social Justice Week at the University of the Free State (UFS), which started on Friday 12 April  until Wednesday 17 April 2019. 

Ten key events took place during the week. It ranged from dialogues, workshops, talk shows, debates, and interactive displays and events on issues of multilingualism and diversity, social innovation, engaged scholarship, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, gender sensitisation, sexual consent, sexual preparedness, universal access, disability, anti-discrimination, and security.

There was also a round-table discussion on 17 April 2019 with various UFS stakeholders on off-campus student security as well as an inter-institutional discussion on the same topic. The UFS Debating Society will take on the topic of the UFS Language Policy, while Olga Barends from the Free State Centre for Human Rights will host a dialogue on sexual consent.

The IRSJ has also designed and implemented SOJO-VATION: Social Innovation/ Social Change, which strives to create a foundational platform where ideas of social justice, innovation, and engaged scholarship at the UFS and in society can be hosted. SOJO-VATION partners with the Office for Student Leadership, Development, and Community Engagement.

The collaborating partners for the Social Justice Week includes various UFS stakeholders such as the Sasol library, the Gender and Sexual Equity Office, UFS Protection Services, the Free State Centre for Human Rights, the Student Representative Council (SRC), the Office for Student Leadership Development, Kovsie Innovation, GALA, the FFree State Centre for Human Rights, SRC Associations, the Office for Student Governance, Kovsie Innovate, Start-Up-Grind, EVC, EBL, Community Engagement, the Institutional Transformation Plan (ITP) Dialogues Office, Residence Dialogues, UFS Debating Society, Debate Afrika!, the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS), and the Gateway Office. 

News Archive

UFS research project aims to stimulate reflection on theological studies
2017-06-20

Description: Book, Theology and post Apartheid condition  Tags: Book, Theology and post Apartheid condition

The first book in the ‘UFS Theological
Exploration’ academic series, called Theology
and the Post(Apartheid) Condition
, has just
been released.
Photo: Supplied

 

The first study book with the title Theology and the Post(Apartheid) Condition, which is part of a new academic series by the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of the Free State, is now available. Volume 1, compiled by Professor Rian Venter as editor, is the first book in the ‘UFS Theological Exploration’ academic series, which the faculty plans to release.

Transformation
Professor Venter says the transformation of processes and practices in communicating and creating knowledge has become an urgent task for public universities in a democratic South Africa. Much reflection has already gone into the methods and scope of transformation in higher education.

Although the faculty has done work on the implications of this for theology, there is one area of investigation that has not received much attention. It concerns the role of theological disciplines such as Old and New Testament, Missiology and Systematic Theology and Practical Theology, and specifically the relationship between academic disciplines and societal growth. The book focuses on these challenges and contains the intellectual undertakings of the contributors who are all lecturers, research fellows and post-graduate students linked to the faculty.

The questions
The key questions addressed are: what are the contours of the (post)apartheid condition and what are the implications for responsible discipline practices in theology. Professor Venter says the chapters in the book are logically arranged and moves from wider to more specific concerns. The first three chapters suggest broad perspectives on the challenges for theology in higher education, chart the changes, and make some suggestions for the future.

A dynamic field of study
The book states that theology has already experienced profound and radical changes over the past decade, which is known to us. All the chapters demonstrate these fundamental shifts, which have taken place in all theological sub-disciplines. Professor Venter says the contributions in the book illustrate that theology is a dynamic field of study, and is pursued with enthusiasm and commitment. Not all disciplines in theology are investigated for the book. However, the studies reflect the interests of the theologians in the Faculty of Theology at the UFS. Professor Venter hopes that the volume might stimulate further reflection of a similar nature by other theologians.

New insights
Through the ‘UFS Theological Exploration’ research series, the faculty hopes to stimulate new insights and new developments in academic progress and overall human growth. Series editor Professor Francois Tolmie says it is a fact that strong university research is necessary to achieve academic progress and advance human prospering. He says the faculty's research series will make a valuable contribution to these causes. Professor Tolmie says the ‘UFS Theological Explorations’ contains research of the highest academic standard which has been peer-reviewed to make significant educational contributions to core theological issues in South Africa and overseas.

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