Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Missionalia]]> vol. 48 num. 1 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Reformation & African Christianity - Mapping the Transitional Movement of African Christianity from the Margin of Classical Reformation to the Centre of Modern Reformation</b>]]> Celebrating 500 hundred years of reformation around the world, there is a need to re-engage the missionary character of the reformation and its significant impact on African Christianity as African Christianity currently appears to house the reforma-tional ideals of the Christian faith. The present study examines the historic impact of the ideals of the reformation within African Christianity. In particular, the paper describes the significant movement of African Christianity from the margins of the reformation, to the centre of global Christianity, and the attending cultural politics, which invigorate this important missionary enterprise. Similarly, the paper underscores the missionary quest of the reformers to contextualise Christianity within their different cultural domains, and the importance of this missiological endeavour for modern African Christianity. Consequently, the study reiterates the emerging patterns in the praxis of African Christianity, which resonate with the specific trends and trajectories of reformation and its indebtedness to this important religious heritage. <![CDATA[<b>Imperial Reliance - A Comparative Missiological Consideration of Emperor Figures and Missionaries in Christianity and Buddhism</b>]]> The institution of formal empire is not limited to studies of the past, but shows itself as a present possibility. This article employs the new discipline of comparative missiology to examine the relationship between missionary religions and empire. As Buddhism and Christianity parallel one another as two global religions that have spread beyond their communities of origin due to the sending of proselytisers or missionaries, they have relied on the frameworks, features, and power dynamics of empire, whether intentionally or not. Early in their respective histories, each tradition had an emperor who converted to the faith and then promoted the religion by patronising missionaries. This dynamic continues in the example of the propulsion of the figure of the 14th Dalai Lama onto the world stage. The historical examples in both the ancient and recent past serve to demonstrate the reliance of the missionary endeavours on empire for the spread of their respective religions. <![CDATA[<b>Pushing the Naked Envelop Further - A Missiological Deconstruction of the Empire and Christianity in Africa</b>]]> In re-visiting issues of empire and African Christianity, this article sought to provide a missiological deconstruction of empire and Christianity in Africa, and to draw some missiological lessons that can help shape the agenda of Christianity in Africa moving to the future. Using a liberating praxis of engagement with available literature, this article concluded that the relationship between empire and Christianity is not only historical, but a present reality - it can be traced back from early Christianity, Roman Empire, colonial and imperial era, to post-colonial and independent/democratic Africa. The article discovered that while the empire dominates and enslaves, Christianity in Africa could be liberated to liberate the rest of the world from the stronghold of the empire. Optics - in the form of various hermeneutic lenses - should be used to unmask the empire for what/who it is. The theology of ubuntu and other life-affirming African theologies should be used as liberating tools, not only from the empire but also from the myth that Christianity is a Western religion. <![CDATA[<b>The Relevance of Transnational Networking in the Global Ministry of Fredrik Franson</b>]]> Fredrik Franson, a dual citizen of Sweden and the USA, was an international revival evangelist, mission founder and mobiliser of the Holiness Movement during the last quarter of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Within 22 years, he strongly influenced the founding of thirteen faith missions, six church federations in Europe, North America and Armenia, and several independent churches in the USA, New Zealand and Australia. This article focuses on the relevance of transnational networking for the global ministry of Franson. Starting with a short overview on Franson's life and work, it specifically shows the influence of transnational political and economic developments, transnational trade routes and the importance of the transnational networks of the Evangelical Alliance, the Holiness Movement, the Sunday School Union, and the faith missions for the founding of new missionary societies and church federations by Franson. <![CDATA[<b>Die Ligdraer as a Grassroots Engagement on URCSA's Church Unification and Reconciliation between 1990-1997</b>]]> One of the pre-occupations of God's mission on earth (missio Dei) includes unity and reconciliation. This is well documented in the work of the catholic missiologist, Robert Schreiter (reconciliation), David J Bosch (unity) as well as the ecumenical World Mission Conferences (New Delhi, 1961; Athens, 2005). Unification processes of all the South African Churches (especially between traditionally/originally black and white race-based Churches) coincided with the transition period since 1990. The Churches, including the DRMC and the DRCA, went on a path of unification. This did not come without a wide range of "stumbling blocks." Die Ligdraer, as the official newspaper of the DRMC, announced the date of the founding Synod between 14-17 April 1994 using the metaphor of a 'wedding' to reflect on the union between the two separate, racially-based Churches (NGSK, 1993). From a missiological perspective, this paper deals with the case of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA) in presenting the perspectives and sentiments on the 'stumbling blocks' experienced, particularly the informal conversations and discussions that are mostly presented in the Church's newspaper (Die Ligdraer/Ligstraal). It focuses specifically on the 1990-1997 period of the Church, where most of the letters from members of the congregations, emotions and sensitive issues on the road towards unity were discussed. The paper limits itself to the newspaper of the DRMC, with a focus on the discussions and voices from members at the grassroots but also ministers that were listening to members in congregations to reflect on the 'sacrifices', compromises, accommodation and mutual trust that was at play and the strategies of the leadership of these Churches to facilitate reconciliation. <![CDATA[<b>The church and poverty alleviation - The challenges for Congo Evangelistic Mission</b>]]> This study2 utilised the qualitative methodology in which individual data were collected through in-depth semi-structured interviews to investigate the challenges facing the Congo Evangelistic Mission (CEM) in its attempts to alleviate poverty in the city of Lubumbashi. The findings of this study revealed that the CEM's ability to respond to poverty problems in Lubumbashi holistically is hampered for the most part by individualistic, structural and fatalistic perspectives that underly perceptions of the causes of poverty that shaped the mind of the people. Consequently, the CEM's intervention in alleviating poverty was found to be insignificant as it was limited to sporadic instances of assistance for the needy. For the CEM to play an active and vital role in tackling poverty, it needs to re-evaluate the theology of missions by expressing the concern for the poor and working towards life transformation. <![CDATA[<b>Diakonia and Diaconal Church</b>]]> What are the authentic features of a diaconal ecclesia in contexts of crises, such as the coronavirus pandemic? In the South African context, the response of the church has been both positive and negative. During this period of the coronavirus outbreak, the church has been visible and pastoral in Holy Week, and especially during Easter. After Holy Easter, the visibility of the church gave way to non-governmental organisations, social responsibility organisations, government social development agencies, and other government departments. These institutions and organisations emerged as active, practical, and concrete sources of hope because they provided the immediate and tangible needs of the people, including food, shelter, medical care, and psychological support. This research investigates the gap in the church as liturgical movement and service oriented. This elicits the question, what is the church in times of crisis? On the assumption that the church is diaconal, what kind of diaconal ecclesia is suited for times of crisis, like the coronavirus pandemic in South Africa? To understand the main arguments and perspectives of the two modes of church, service and liturgy, the author will review literature with a specific focus on the ecumenical church. In addition, a conceptual analysis of the main terminologies and its effects on the development of notions of church will also be conducted. The modes of church will be interpreted through the lens of catholicity to formulate a diaconal ecclesia with distinctive features for times of crisis such as the current pandemic.