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The church as a HIV-competent faith community: An assessment of Christian AIDS Bureau for Southern Africa’s Churches, Channels of Hope training

Christina Landman

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 35, No 2 (2014), 6 pages. doi: 10.4102/ve.v35i2.1348

Submitted: 17 March 2014
Published:  06 August 2014

Abstract

Julian Müller has envisioned the praxis of theology, from a postfoundational point of view,to develop in two movements: engagement in a community that leads to ‘real contextualoutcomes’ and the establishment of new traditions as deconstructed discourses that movebeyond single communities. This article assesses the Churches, Channels of Hope (CCoH)training of the Christian AIDS Bureau for Southern Africa (CABSA) in terms of the two criterialaid down by Müller. Firstly, do they successfully train their facilitators to skilfully empowertheir faith communities to become competent in dealing with people living with HIV? Inother words, does the CCoH training lead to ‘real contextual outcomes’? Secondly, are thedeconstructed social discourses put in place by the CCoH training that focus on the ‘new’Christian values of human worthiness and agency able to constitute a contra-culture that willmove beyond the boundaries of specific contexts? After the CCoH facilitator’s manual and areport on the facilitators’ reaction to the training course have been studied, it was found thatthe CCoH training embodies ‘HIV competency’ in practices and discourses that can indeedbe called ‘contextual’ as well as ‘contra-cultural’ although they lack some much-needed skillsin reading the Bible from a non-fundamentalist point of view and conducting their impactstudies in a more sophisticated and non-reductionist way.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The article wants to make acontribution to HIV discoursing over a wide range of disciplines. The lifestyle changes andspiritual healing of the CCoH training that is assessed here inform the fields of counselling,life skills, law and gender. The proposed contra-culture and alternative discourses at staketouch on the fields of primary, secondary and, indeed, tertiary education.


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Author affiliations

Christina Landman, Research Institute for Theology and Religion, University of South Africa, South Africa

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ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

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