Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae]]> vol. 35 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>The "Age of Enlightenment" is not the "Enlightened Age": Revisiting Kant's (1724 - 1804) argument on the Enlightenment</b>]]> The Enlightenment era, critical as a period in its own right, is also a pivotal phase in the history of Christianity. Also critical in this period was Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), a formidable scholar who formulated and differentiated between Age of Enlightenment and the Enlightened Age. Kant's background, early learning and life in academia provide the necessary background to understand the intellectual journey of philosophising that was to culminate with, among others, this formulation and differentiation. Kant argued that society was still in the Age of Enlightenment because both the individual and the public are still under tutelage that was self-imposed. Tutelage is a complex process and has methods of sustaining and advancing itself. It is possible for human beings to be released from this tutelage but since the majority of the society is still under this tutelage, society has not reached the Enlightened Age. The Age of Enlightenment and the Enlightened Age are two distinct phenomena, worthy of note and differentiation in the broader history of Christianity. <![CDATA[<b>Vanguard of African culture: An analysis of the oral history of selected AICs in Tshwane (Pretoria)</b>]]> AICs do not make the outright claim that they are defending African culture, but their behaviour does reflect their original African cultures in its adaptation to Christianity. These churches have been accused of syncretistic practices in the past and were seldom given the chance to prove their Christian abilities, especially alongside the mainline or mission churches. Across Southern Africa these churches are known for their colourful images and their presence everywhere in the rural and urban open spaces, under trees, on the hills and in school classrooms which they temporarily rent. What are the stories behind their faith praxis? We will investigate whether the AICs in townships are in the forefront of African culture or not. Some selected oral stories from AICs in the Tshwane (Pretoria) townships of Atteridgeville and Mamelodi will be used as samples to determine the validity of this claim. Inculturation and dual religious systems are concepts which will help clarify the issue. <![CDATA[<b>Detention without trial: The experience of the Reverend Douglas Thompson in the South African state of emergency, 1960</b>]]> This article is a Lyotardian "little narrative" of the experience of Methodist minister Douglas Thompson's period in detention during the 1960 state of emergency in South Africa. It highlights the way in which Thompson boosted the morale of fellow detainees through his conduct of religious services - acts which reflect Scott's "arts of resistance" of the powerless. It presents a picture of the white left/liberal opposition during this period and illustrates the importance of the churches to act decisively against the apartheid state during the period. <![CDATA[<b>A Cape Town minister <i>contra </i>orthodoxy: Ramsden Balmforth's evolution as a religious liberal</b>]]> South African Unitarianism remains a minimally explored topic in church history. Beginning as the Free Protestant Church in Cape Town, it traced its primary roots to liberal theology, especially historical criticism of the Bible, in the Netherlands, which was brought to the Cape of Good Hope by David P Faure and other young Afrikaners in the 1860s. However, by the end of the nineteenth century the movement in South Africa had become linked to the tradition of British Unitarianism. The present article traces the theological development of Ramsden Balmforth (1861-1941), who served as the minister of the Free Protestant, or Unitarian, Church in Cape Town for forty years beginning in 1897. It is demonstrated that until in his twenties Balmforth was an irreligious sceptic, but his exposure to the study of social Christianity and comparative religion while still in Yorkshire made him amenable to certain strands of liberal Protestantism. He consequently studied theology in Oxford and brought his convictions, many of which were anchored in historical criticism of the Bible, social Darwinism, and optimistic assumptions about human perfectibility, to South Africa, where he propagated them and linked the fledgling Unitarian movement there to that of the United Kingdom. <![CDATA[<b>Faith and politics in the context of struggle: The legacy of Inkosi Albert John Luthuli's Christian-centred political leadership</b>]]> Albert John Mvumbi Luthuli, a Zulu Inkosi and former President-General of the African National Congress (ANC) and a lay-preacher in the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) is a significant figure as he represents the last generation of ANC presidents who were opposed to violence in their execution of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. He attributed his opposition to violence to his Christian faith and theology. As a result he is remembered as a peace-maker, a reputation that earned him the honour of being the first African to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Also central to Luthuli's leadership of the ANC and his people at Groutville was democratic values of leadership where the voices of people mattered including those of the youth and women and his teaching on non-violence, much of which is shaped by his Christian faith and theology. This article seeks to examine Luthuli's legacy as a leader who used peaceful means not only to resist apartheid but also to execute his duties both in the party and the community. The study is a contribution to the struggle of maintaining peace in the political sphere in South Africa which is marked by inter and intra party violence. The aim is to examine Luthuli's legacy for lessons that can be used in a democratic South Africa.