Disabling God in an able world? Analysis of a South African sermon

  • Johan Cilliers Stellenbosch University
Keywords: Heidelberg Method of sermon analysis, God-image in the sermon, undamental hermeneutic structure of the sermon


In this article the Heidelberg Method of sermon analysis is used to analyse a sermon preached in South Africa one month after the first general democratic elections, held in April 1994. The fundamental hermeneutic structure of the sermon is revealed to consist of three parts: a historical view of God’s acts in the past; a particular understanding of God’s intent and possible actions in the future; and an activist imperative that seeks to collapse and condense past and future in the present. The basic question that is posed concerns the God-image in the sermon: how is God pictured, if at all? And: how is this related to experiences of fragmentation in (post-apartheid) South Africa?