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Reviewed by: Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Widener Library, Harvard University
HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies is the oldest theological journal in South Africa, having been founded in 1943 as an international endeavor between Dutch and South African scholars. It merged with the journal Practical Theology in South Africa in 2009, and, since 2010, each second issue of HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies is dedicated to the publication of articles themed and focused on practical theology. The journal has a distinguished international editorial board, and double-blind peer-reviewed articles are published and added to the table of contents in the current volume as soon as they are ready for publication.
The latest issue available for review, volume 71, number 2 (2015), contains two original research papers on practical theology: “Creative tensions in youth ministry in a congregational context,” and “Living in a digital culture: The need for theological reflection,” both by Anita L. Cloete of the Department of Practical Theology and Missiology at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. The previous issue, volume 70, number 3 (2014), was a special issue with a series of 37 articles about Urban Public Theology in South Africa, ranging from “Doing urban public theology in South Africa: Introducing a new agenda” to “Mission as local economic development in the City of Tshwane: Towards fostering a grass roots, ‘glocal’ alternative vision, with specific reference to Luke 16:19–31” and “The practical guidelines on the impact of mahadi [bride price] on the young Basotho couples prior to marriage.” Previous issues held such articles as, “Between the Scylla and the Charybdis: Theological education in the 21st century in Africa,” “The healing of life within the HIV and AIDS pandemic: Towards a pedagogical reframing of paradigms concerning dysfunctional civil, health and ecclesial systems,” “Hypocrisy in stewardship: An ethical reading of Malachi 3:6–12 in the context of Christian stewardship,” “Inculturation: Adaptation, innovation and reflexivity an African Christian perspective,” and “The ‘complete gospel’ revisited: Middle East and African influences.”
Although often focused on South African theological and missiology concerns, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies also covers a broader range of issues that will be of interest, and use, to most theologians. It is indexed in the ATLA Religion Index, and the site’s metrics show material here is accessed frequently. Given its age, scope, high quality, and impact, this is a journal that should be made known to religious scholars the world over.