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"I was afraid--so I hid your talent in the ground.": the formation of an ethos of responsibility in a secular environment, according to Matthew 25:14-30

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. J.A. du Rand en
dc.contributor.author De Beer, Frederick Jacobus
dc.date.accessioned 2010-04-12T07:46:11Z
dc.date.available 2010-04-12T07:46:11Z
dc.date.issued 2010-04-12T07:46:11Z
dc.date.submitted 2008
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/3178
dc.description M.A. en
dc.description.abstract Matthew 25:14-30 is often used by Christian speakers to motivate people and challenge them to personal growth and development in a secular environment. Jesus uses economics to articulate the parable but although the Parable of the Talents involves money, and might profoundly have an impact upon how people see and do economics, it is about far more than just money (Dipboye, 1995:507). Traditionally, Matthew 25:14-30 is interpreted from an eschatological perspective and the subsequent responsibility towards the gifts received and the Kingdom of God. The parable is understood to converse living in an active and responsible manner, while awaiting the end of time. This implies doing good by using the gifts and opportunities that God gives, as also indicated in the parable of the wicked and faithful slaves found in Matthew 24:45-5 (Senior, 1998:279). The unfaithful servant and his subsequent punishment are mostly interpreted as a warning to Christians who neglects their talents. Interpretations of the Parable of the Talents are traditionally more inclined towards a spiritual exercise with a subsequent eschatological accountability. Senior (1998:279) for instance says: “Matthew’s story is not simply an exhortation to develop one’s talents in the manner of a self-development program - an interpretation often attached to this story (even the English word “talent” derives from this parable). However, there is an inclination to interpret the parable allegorically as well in its present form (Harrington, 1991:353). These allegorical alternatives includes physical and natural gifts and abilities, faculties of mind, and of body, position, influence, money, education, and every earthly advantage and blessing (Lenski, 1049:973). Christians are part of a secular environment, where natural and physical abilities are requirements for being productive and competitive. Christians cannot exclude and barricade themselves from a secular environment or be treated differently or exclusively. While Christians concentrate on their spiritual growth and development, physical abilities and talents are also to be multiplied and can be constituted as personal growth and development. However, this is not just a spiritual process, but also implies human efforts and self-responsibilities, as illustrated by Bruner’s (1990:557) observation: “Shouldn’t the servant have been more modest or Christ-centered and have said something like, “Look what you did through me,” instead of “Look I made…?” Southgate et al. (1999:53) underlines the fact that Christians have a tendency to pray and expect Divine intervention centred upon the action of God, hence any genuine hope of transformation must be grounded in something more than human resources alone. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Bible. N.T. Matthew XXV, 14-30 en
dc.subject Self-actualization (Psychology) en
dc.subject Responsibility en
dc.title "I was afraid--so I hid your talent in the ground.": the formation of an ethos of responsibility in a secular environment, according to Matthew 25:14-30 en
dc.type Thesis en

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