God has been detained : an examination of the detention experience of a few Christian activists to see whether there is an emergent theology of detention.
In this thesis we will describe the ways in which detainees have dealt with their experience of detention using various coping skills. Through using the psychological theory of the hardy personality and combining this with various theological categories, we will see how they could deal with the stress of detention. In this way then it is hoped that their experiences will serve as the beginning of a local emergent theology of detention experiences. We will look at how they exercised commitment, and this will be examined by the role which faith plays as an agent of commitment. Faith will be interpreted as a symbol. We will, therefore, look at the role that dreams and visions, reading scripture, praying, and worshippinq played in helping the detainees deal with the stress of detention. The control component of the hardy personality will be dealt with by showing how by exercising forgiveness, creating justice, and using community, detainees were able to feel they had control in this stressful situation. The hardy personality theory is based on an existential theory that says that life is constantly changing. We will see how Christian detainees are able to cope with change by challenging their situation through the use of a theology of hope. In concluding this study of detention we look at the real evil of detention. We will, therefore, look at the negative effects of detention that these detainees were subjected to as part of their experience of detention. We will look at the psychological categories of dread, dependency, and debility. These categories are seen as companion parallel concepts to commitment, control, and challenge. Having done this, and bearing in mind that one of our aims in doing this study is to see if we are able to provide some ideas towards a pastoral model for dealing with the past hurt of detention, we then look at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the challenges it poses for the churches. In doing this we will attempt to show how resources drawn from the faith tradition of Christian activists may be used in helping detainees do 'suffering work' and deal with debility, dependency, and dread.