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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

versión On-line ISSN 2412-4265
versión impresa ISSN 1017-0499


VORSTER, J.M.. The Reformed Churches in South Africa and "women in office" 1973-1988. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2016, vol.42, n.2, pp.136-155. ISSN 2412-4265.

The matter of the ordination of women in the offices of pastor and elder has become a burning issue in the Reformed Churches in South Africa (Gereformeerde Kerke in Suid-Afrika). From 1973 to 2016 various Synods of this denomination struggled with the topic by way of several intensive study reports, which resulted in various decisions on hermeneutical and exegetical grounds. This article is the first in a series of two that investigates the history of the case as it developed from 19731988. A second article will deal with the period 1994-2016. the intention of this research is to analyse the reasons for the consistent position not to include women in the particular offices of this denomination. The central theoretical argument of this study is that the hermeneutical approaches of the various Synods are deficient. The role of systematic biblical-theological testimony, as well as a well-developed biblical anthropology as important hermeneutical tools, were not applied efficiently and were obscured by the one-sided grammatical-historical angle of approach.

Palabras clave : Hermeneutics; office; women in the church; women in office; elder; pastor.

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