Saturday, 9 March 2013


Isn’t this a typical English word? By this I mean it’s actually Latin. “Super” means “over” and “visor” comes from “videre”. The one who sees! Overseer!

Every Friday I work together with Herbert Moyo. We teach a masters and honours course. I have written about this before. The bloggpost can be read here. The name of the course is:
Transformation-centred Christian Education.
Main course book is:
Paulo Freire: Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
By the way. Herbert made a point yesterday concerning the little preposition “of”. Obviously Freire would argue that it cannot be the pedagogy “for” the oppressed because it has to come from them. Not from anyone else. Thus “of”. Now, Herbert didn’t discuss this but why churches like the Lutheran Church in Southern Africa is exactly a Church “in” and not “of” Southern Africa. His point was, that it should be “the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Southern Africa”. What is the difference? If you use “of” you appreciate that this is an African Church. If you use “in” it means that it is the Lutheran Church, the same as in Northern Europe, with the only difference that it is located in the south of Africa.

Church of Sweden is obviously not the Church “in” Sweden but “of” Sweden. But here we have another problem. Why is it called the “Church” of Sweden and not the “Evangelical Lutheran Church” of Sweden? There are so many other Churches “of” Sweden. Of course there are historical reasons for this but isn’t it time to change this?

Back to the supervisor thing! Yesterday the master students presented their research proposals. They are only three. The rest are honour students. The topics are interesting. One is going to write about Zambia. President Chiluba declared Zambia a Christian nation on the 29 December 1991. The research question deals with if and how Zambians have changed their perception of being Christians after this declaration?

Another student is interested in comparing, what he calls, the internal struggles of today’s South Africa, like divorces, with the struggle of the apartheid-era. I understood that he wanted to investigate if the church, which journeyed with the people during those difficult times, also journeys with the people now.

The third student is writing about how a Christian Congregation in South Africa can gain self-sustainability instead of being dependant on the mother church in the West.

A number of methodological aspects were discussed. What method would actually best answer the research question? Issues of objectivity were also involved. Most of the students were active and contributed.
Next Friday the honour students will present their research proposals. But already on Monday they have to submit titles to Herbert. After that he will appoint supervisors. This means that I will now get more seriously involved. I can’t wait.

But I must still ask: is the terminology congenial with Freire? Supervisor? “Over-seer”? To me it sounds as a pedagogy “for” the students and not “of” the students. I think I need to raise this with Herbert and the class.

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