Journal index

Adorjáni Zoltán322 -- 322Református Szemle 116.3 (2023)AnnouncementSystematic theology, Other
Balogh Csaba321 -- 322Református Szemle 116.3 (2023)AnnouncementVarious
Kovács Sándor310 -- 310Református Szemle 116.3 (2023)AnnouncementOther
Klein Hans295 -- 304

This presentation advocates for the revival of theology as a craft, specifically by teaching theological students the craft of a theologian. To achieve this, it raises three questions: 1. What is the artisan mentality compared to the peasant mentality? 2. How should theology be understood as a craft, and how can it be taught as such? 3. Is it even permissible to pursue theology as a craft? In conclusion, it draws several insights: the theologian we increasingly need is a true artisan who continually learns, is willing to retrain to provide the best for the congregation; who becomes humble by projecting themselves and their theology; and who, while respecting the traditions of the fathers and the lives of Christian people, is ready to purify the Gospel from the sterile explanations of bygone eras and proclaim it as eternal truths.

Református Szemle 116.3 (2023)Research articleOther
Bíró Beatrix267 -- 294

The concise concept of bibliotherapy encapsulates its fundamental principles: healing through literature. The method’s positive outcomes have spurred a resurgence in research, training and practical application in recent decades. In Hungary, this approach has yielded fruitful results, diversifying traditional psychological sessions and other forms of individual and group support, making it more accessible to those who may have hesitated to seek help otherwise. I envision a similar surge in the practice of congregational pastoral care if we establish a fresh framework for individual and group discussions through this method. This paper delves into the potential avenues for achieving this goal.

Református Szemle 116.3 (2023)Research articleOld Testament, New Testament, Practical theology
Nagy Eszter237 -- 266

The primary objective of my research was to contextualise the psychological dimensions of attachment theory within a theological framework. Specifically, I aimed to scrutinise the broad spectrum of interpretations stemming from Bowlby’s work from a practical-theological perspective, with a particular focus on pastoral and pastoral-theological aspects. In doing so, I intend to construct a meaningful bridge between the realms of psychology and theology. In our contemporary, postmodern landscape, ministers assume a pivotal role as credible emissaries of certain values within the church community. The values they represent and the manner in which they do so are significantly influenced by their individual characteristics, including their prevailing attachment patterns and the emotions they experience in the course of their vocation. The first part of my research provided a concise overview of John Bowlby’s attachment theory and the various attachment patterns it delineates. In this subsequent section, I present the findings of an empirical study conducted among active ministers within the Reformed Church in Romania, with a particular emphasis on the identification of insecure attachment patterns among this group. Ministers were invited to fill in the questionnaire anonymously and voluntarily, offering insights into their personalities and attachment patterns. The outcomes of this analysis also furnish valuable insights for the pastoral community at large.

Református Szemle 116.3 (2023)Research articlePractical theology
Éles Éva221 -- 235

In the field of homiletics, one of the most intriguing questions is the dynamics of the text-pastor-preacher triad. It is notable that these constituent elements are often more amenable to individual scrutiny than when examined collectively. What constitutes the text? Who embodies the role of the preacher? And what precisely characterises the sermon? In contemporary discourse, we possess a clearer understanding of these components than ever before. This paper undertakes an analysis of the homiletic approach pioneered by Wilfried Engemann, particularly his formulation of "competent homiletics". Engemann’s approach delves into the constituent elements with greater granularity and nuance, thereby endeavouring to apprehend the intricate relationship among them with utmost precision. Furthermore, this essay underscores the essential prelude to the text-pastor-preacher triad, namely the hermeneutical text-author-reader triangle. It is imperative to recognise that the dynamics and efficacy of the former are significantly influenced by the operation of the latter. Given due consideration to this factor, this paper presents a model of scriptural interpretation that holds the potential to catalyse significant creative processes within the pastoral practice of preaching. The potential applications of this model will be explored within the context of The First Letter of Peter.

Református Szemle 116.3 (2023)Research articleNew Testament, Practical theology
Biró István182 -- 211

After the Treaty of Trianon, the Transylvanian Reformed Church found itself in a completely new and unprecedented situation. In the years following the change of empires, there was an ideological search not only in literature and public life but also within the church. The intellectual elites of Hungarian Transylvania, including the leaders, theological professors, and ministers of the Reformed Church, significantly contributed to this quest, with their reflections and thoughts still holding significant content and influence today. The aim of this study was to explore the publications that appeared between 1920 and 1944, placing them within a framework of intellectual and church history, and presenting them chronologically to depict the national worldview of the contemporary Reformed intellectuals. At the beginning of the study, we examined the concepts of Transylvanism and public service. Subsequently, we delved into the intellectual search of the 1920s and discussed the national existential issues and ideas based on the writings of the 1930s. Finally, we explored the emerging novel national worldview after 1940.

Református Szemle 116.2 (2023)Research articleChurch history
Sógor Géza169 -- 181

Nowadays, we often come across the concept of secularization. What did it mean in the past, and what does it mean today? This study explores the question, clarifies the terminology, outlines the brief history of the process, examines the biblical understanding of the phenomenon, identifies theological misconceptions, and sheds light on the possibilities, challenges, and tasks for Christian congregations within the process of secularization.

Református Szemle 116.2 (2023)Research articleSystematic theology
Nagy Eszter139 -- 168

Psychologist John Bowlby, the father of attachment theory, maintains that “attachment plays a fundamental role in human life from the cradle to the grave”. In my research, I bridge the gap between the psychologically grounded theory of attachment and pastoral theology. My aim is to shed light on how attachment patterns formed in childhood (secure, anxious-avoidant, anxious-ambivalent and disorganized) influence adulthood, particularly the relational systems of pastors serving as leaders within congregations. To explore this, I employ empirical research methods. I outline the connections between identified attachment patterns and pastoral service in the context of Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT), and from a pastoral care perspective, I highlight possibilities for healing among individuals with insecure attachments within intimate relationships.

Református Szemle 116.2 (2023)Research articlePractical theology
Jónás Norbert Ferenc109 -- 138

In the intertestamental period, the term “proselyte” acquired the meaning of a pagan-born individual who converted to the Jewish faith. During this era, the prerequisites for conversion were formulated, and the sequence and significance of essential ritual acts were established. The Jewish diaspora was more receptive to proselytes compared to the Palestinian context. However, Roman citizens living in major imperial cities, who held contempt for Jewish communities, viewed proselytism negatively, considering it aggressive encroachment or a political maneuver by Jews. This study enquires into the phenomenon of proselytism within rabbinic literature, Alexandrian Philo and Josephus Flavius.

Református Szemle 116.2 (2023)Research articleNew Testament
Nagy Norbert76 -- 82

Man has always had the desire to unravel the mysteries of the universe. But in formulating his answers, he was confronted with the impossibility of defining everything through language. By secularising the myths, people have lost their connection with the poetic language, which can provide access to states beyond language. The solution may lie in rediscovering the power of the mystery. This could be done through the existential metaphor, and then man can become capable of experiencing the mystery of God again.

Református Szemle 116.1 (2023)EssayOther
Debreczeni István55 -- 75

In this paper we confront a provocative issue. Is Christianity responsible for the worsening environmental crisis? How can we interpret the dominium terrae mandate from the perspective of creation care? A contextual reading of the creation narratives reveals that the exercise of the dominion that God has given to man is subject to certain conditions and circumstances. Humanity is called to fulfil this mandate as the image of God, as part of the community of creation, living in the shadow of sin, but under God’s rule and with responsibility towards God. One possible metaphor for this multifaceted relationship is the stewardship, of which Jesus Christ himself is the source and example. The goal of dominion thus becomes responsible service rather than tyranny.

Református Szemle 116.1 (2023)Research articleSystematic theology
Kulcsár Árpád30 -- 54

The study was prepared for the 360th anniversary of the publication of the so-called Várad-Bible. In the context of the Hungarian New Testament translations of the 20th century, it examines the unique interpretations of László Ravasz’s translation published in 1971, as well as the in his commentaries to the New Testament given in Bible study groups within the church. The present research focuses mainly on chapters 17–18 of the Book of Revelation.

Református Szemle 116.1 (2023)Research articleNew Testament, Practical theology
Adorjáni Zoltán5 -- 29

Suffering is a mystery. Both the blasphemer and the righteous suffer. Jesus himself did not reveal the reason why the man in Jerusalem was born blind (Jn 9). But he did reveal, and gave countless examples, of what to do with those who were suffering. And whoever takes up any person who has fallen into misery, in him the power of God is at work. Our embracing of others is the same act of comforting and healing of body and soul miracle that God has done and is doing. This paper, which is an expanded and edited version of a lecture, discusses the disease known as scolecobrothos (σκωληκόβρωτος) in the biblical and some extra-biblical sources (2 Maccabees, the writings of Josephus Flavius, Rabbinic sources and the Apocryphal book of the Testament of Job).

Református Szemle 116.1 (2023)Research articleOld Testament, New Testament
Kerékgyártó Imola Orsolya674 -- 686

In this paper I summarise the ecclesiastical and social effects of the works on the life of the church and society of the Lutheran theologian (minister and dean in Kolozsvár-Cluj) Andor Járosi, who was born 125 years ago. It is the result of his efforts that the liturgical reform of the Lutheran church from Transylvania took place, even if it lasted longer than twenty years until a general decision was made regarding of its implementation to the whole church.

Református Szemle 115.6 (2022)Church history
Rezi Elek656 -- 673

The study reviews the writings and reports of Sándor Tavaszy about the Unitarians. His writings were published in the Református Szemle, Az Út Reformed periodicals and in the Transylvanian press of the time. I examined three areas of Tavaszy’s writings: 1. his reports on Unitarian church events (bishop’ inauguration, Church anniversary); 2. his evaluation of Unitarian personalities (Sámuel Brassai, Balázs Orbán); 3. mutual book reviews (Tavaszy’s books’ reviews by Unitarians and reviews of Unitarian books by Tavaszy). As a conclusion we can state that the writings and reports strengthened the relations between the Hungarian churches in the difficult times between the two world wars, and advocated the possibilities of joint actions in the work of saving the church and the nation.

Református Szemle 115.6 (2022)Research articleSystematic theology
Nagy Eszter642 -- 655

The central question of the book by Rolf Theobold is: how can we engage in pastoral conversations that aim to solve problems, despite the short time available? Another truth regarding the practice of short-term pastoral care is that every journey begins with taking the first step. Neither the counsellor, nor the counselee can expect an instant solution for all problems in one go. An initial impulse is needed on the way to a solution, so the main focus will not be on an immediate cure, but on an immediate word of encouragement and support. According to Gunther Schmidt, feedback on the experiences gained on the way to a solution is just as important as the acceptance that a changed perception of the problem is already leading to real change. We also need to learn the tendency towards developing solutions, similarly to the qualities we learn from birth. In addition to the many practical suggestions in Rolf Theobold’s book, it is also necessary to reflect on the author’s own conviction that short-term pastoral care cannot be limited to superficial “think positive” (good) advice, but also requires a deep faith and trust in God.

Református Szemle 115.6 (2022)Research articlePractical theology
Karasszon Dezső615 -- 641

Gallus Huszár’s Debrecen church hymnal (1560/61) is a rich source for 16th century Hungarian Reformed service singing, uniquely distinguished by its musically notated melodies. The current study investigates its so-called rubrics, short (or sometimes longer) liturgical annotations, which, on the one hand, outline the course of the church services of his era, and, on the other hand, provide a glimpse into the contents of the individual liturgical moments, both on a theological and an emotional (or poetical) level. They allow us to distinguish the genres of hymns used within the worship services (chief services, canonic hours, para-liturgical occasions). The current article would like to contribute to the renewal of today’s Reformed worship that is long overdue, and which ought to follow the spirit of the Reformation. One will find here the most important pieces of information, as well as the inspirational bases for such a reform.

Református Szemle 115.6 (2022)Research articlePractical theology
Kovács Kristián599 -- 614

The Book of Qohelet awakes curiosity in the reader already because of its title. In assigning a title to this book, modern translations of Qohelet follow the trace of the Old Greek of the LXX (Ecclesiastes, Der Prediger). It is striking, however, that the title Qohelet appears mostly in the framing chapters of the book, where it is enhanced with a few (fictitious) biographical notes. Beyond the framing sections, Qohelet appears only once more, where the commentators suggest to be considered a descriptive note (comment), probably a gloss. One of the main tasks of the Qohelet-commentators was and is to try to find a proper translation for the noun Qohelet. This article would also like to contribute to this discussion.

Református Szemle 115.6 (2022)Research articleOld Testament
Gombár Sándor563 -- 567Református Szemle 115.5 (2022)In memoriamChurch history, Practical theology
Miklós-Kovács Tamás547 -- 562

The main theme of my writing is Jonathan Edwards’ reflection on the beauty of God. In his writings and sermons, God’s beauty is not coherently defined, but fragments of his thinking on beauty can be found throughout in his works. My research does not aim at providing a coherent picture of Edwards’ views on God’s beauty. Edwards did not provide any consistent criteria of beauty and the qualities that are true of God, so that we have no easy task when we want to capture and summarise his views. In the last part of my work, I translated the most frequently quoted sermon of Jonathan Edwards: ‟God is Infinitely Exalted in Gloriousness and Excellency above All Created Beings.”

Református Szemle 115.5 (2022)Research articleSystematic theology, Church history
Simon Attila533 -- 546

This short study, drawing on a small part of Calvin’s vast written corpus, seeks to show how the reformer used the concepts of eternal life and death. Tackling with uncertainties on the fringes of eschatology, Calvin shows how difficult it is to grasp the meaning of these two concepts, even when the theologian stands on firm biblical theological grounds. The commentaries of Calvin on the Book of Psalms and the Gospel of John, as well as his letters give a sense of the changes that man, the creation of God, must undergo in order to be able to find relief from the severe ordeal of facing death and to be helped by the hope of eternal life. It is God’s grace that lifts man up from the state of death so that his unstable life may find stability.

Református Szemle 115.5 (2022)Research articleSystematic theology