Title page for ETD etd-04082009-205125

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Sibanyoni, Bhekinkosi Simon
Email sibanyoni41@yahoo.com
URN etd-04082009-205125
Document Title A pastoral care response to the false philosophy that poverty breeds deep spirituality
Degree PhD
Department Practical Theology
Advisor Name Title
Prof M J Masango Supervisor
  • spirituality
  • positive deconstruction methodology
  • hunger
  • pastoral care
  • starvation
  • poverty
  • malnutrition
Date 2009-04-18
Availability unrestricted
The author will use three case studies not only to expose the falsehood of the philosophy that poverty breeds deep spirituality, but also to demonstrate the disastrous effects of poverty to the human body.

The dissertation will explore the reasons that caused some poor black ministers, more especially those of the Church of the Nazarene, not only to accept but also to preach positively about the philosophy that poverty breeds deep spirituality.

(a) The first case study happened during my first year in the ministry, when the author had to use a bus in order to help my sick wife to hospital. We had to walk for about two hours a distance of almost 500 meters in order to reach the bus stop, because the stipends I received made it impossible for me to hire a transport to the nearest town.

The bus driver knew the pathetic conditions faced by the black community, so he could not turn away a critically ill passenger. He opted to allow us into the bus and face whatever difficulties we may encounter along the way. The incident exposed the worse experiences of the poor people.

(b ) The second study case involves Themba (Hope), the authorís son, whose anger was betrayed during a Sunday morning service when he refused to have a direct eye contact with the author who was preaching about the God who provides for all of our needs ( Genesis 22:14). His avoidance of a direct eye contact with his father was another way of demonstrating his anger (Carter and Minirth 1993:5).

Themba (Hope) demonstrated his dissatisfaction about the pathetic situation of poverty at home during a visit of a missionary Tom Giggs (fictitious name) that he sat directly opposite Giggs in order to expose his pair of trousers that was torn at both knees. Giggs out of embarrassment gave the young man R200 in order to buy clothing.

A few years later, Themba was on his to board a train, when unknown persons beat him so much that they left him lying on one of the streets on the city, Johannesburg thinking that he was dead. A Good Samaritan took him home, placed him on his bed then left. We took him to hospital, where doctors had no alternative but to refer him to the St. Johnís hospital for the removal of his right eye. The hole where his eye was reminds the family of the beating that our son experienced.

(c) The third study case concerns Thabile (Rejoice), the authorís only daughter who resorted to a false marriage as an escape mechanism to the hunger and the ridicule that was experienced in the family. The marriage ended in a divorce just only after three years. Then she died at a time when the animosity was beginning to be healed thus living a ten-year-old son Nkosinathi (Immanuel) behind

The dissertation will demonstrate the falsehood of the philosophy that poverty breeds deep spirituality. To the thousands of poor people in our country South Africa, the Constitution with the Bill of Rights that protects our freedom and dignity have no meaning (Pieterse 2001: 1-2).

The dissertation will highlight that poverty can never be a blessing (Mc Cauley 1993: 47). The poor people have little income with which to support their families. They eat food of a poor quality with a low nutritional value, resulting in under nourishment and malnutrition. Malnutrition contributes to a poor performance of children in school, and contributes to a lower labour output (De Beer (co Ė editor) Swanepoel 2000:10).

The author supports the scriptural view of the permanence of marriage (Matthew 19:6). However, when the marriage had broken down, the couples needs all the pastoral care they can get as a therapy because Jesusí mission was to heal the broken hearted (Luke. 4:18).

The divorce challenged the author to equip myself on how to deal with those who are hurting, and help the congregants to render effective pastoral care to those in need.

The tone of the dissertation is to encourage forgiveness and reconciliation, and to understand that anger and resentment are self-defeating. They hurt the bearer more than they hurt the person they were intended to harm (Warren 2002: 28).

Finally, the discipline of philosophy will be engaged in order to help the clergy to avoid the conservative beliefs from their thinking and to apply their faith practically by enabling them to compare the ideas, materials and skills to challenge any problem including the suffering of the clergy and their families. (Obeng el at 2000:33).

© University of Pretoria 2008

Please cite as follows:

Sibanyoni, BS 2008, A pastoral care response to the false philosophy that poverty breeds deep spirituality, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-04082009-205125/>


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