Motivations of Franciscan spirituality: a social scientific case study of the African province third order of the society of St. Francis.
Buthelezi, Bonginkosi Thomas.
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There have been Franciscan Tertiaries in the African Province of the Anglican Church for over forty years. This research is a social scientific case study of motivations in Franciscan spirituality in the African Province Third Order of the Society of Saint Francis of Assisi (TSSF). The rationale and significance of this study is to gain a deeper understanding and explore possible underlying motivations that make Tertiaries want to join TSSF. The study was undertaken using both primary and secondary data. Existing literature shows that there are different forms of motivations that contribute to Christians’ decision to enter religious life. The main research objectives consisted of determining the reasons given by Southern Region Tertiaries for choosing to join the Third Order of the Society of St. Francis (TSSF); discovering the most significant factors that encourage Tertiaries to continue in the Franciscan spirituality; exploring the extent to which Tertiaries are motivated to achieve the objects, aims, ways of service, and signs of the Order; and examine the reasons why some Tertiaries leave the African Province TSSF. The research study applied a qualitative research methodology and used narrative biography and explorative research designs. Non-probability purposive sampling was utilised in this study. With the intention to collect primary data, semi-structured open-ended questions, using face-to-face interviews, were put to thirteen (13) Tertiaries who live in the Southern Region (South Africa and Lesotho). Contact interviews were conducted over a period of four (4) months. Data was obtained by incorporating a qualitative research design and analysed by utilizing thematic analysis.