Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=1017-049920130001&lang=es vol. 39 num. 1 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>From Mojadi to Mafikeng</b>: <b>notes on the newfound Department of Theology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1017-04992013000100001&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In January 2011 an event of church historical significance took place when the new Department of Theology opened its doors on the Mafikeng campus of North-West University. Forming part of the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, this department is delivering theological training to students in and from an African context. Now operational for a year, this article will document and narrate its founding and historical path, from humble beginnings as a mission project in Mareetsane to its current status as the Department of Theology at a recognised university. The article also conveys the current narrative for the department by providing biographical information of students and reflecting on the content of curricula. By means of deduction, the research also identifies some of the opportunities and challenges awaiting this new department, creating a framework for further critical reflection on theological training in an African context. <![CDATA[<b>The cul-de-sac of causal thinking: a challenge to build a non-causal theology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1017-04992013000100002&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The nascent theory of emergence is not only a plausible model for the course of natural and biological processes, but also of developments at an interpersonal and social level. In order to apply it to theology, I propose a non-causal approach to the discipline. In this article non-causal presupposes a non-linear, non-deterministic causality. Brief excerpts from the classical view of causality highlight the problems it entails. The quantification of reality following the rise of statistical science introduced all the elements that were to feature in the eventual theory of emergence: chance, probability, chaos, multiplicity (which nonetheless translated into regularity, and the notion of normativity associated with the mean and the dispersion of variables around it. The control principle is criticised, and preference is given to the concepts of freedom and spontaneity. The article concludes with some applications of a non-causal theology. <![CDATA[<b>Defining Christianity's "prophetic witness" in the post-apartheid South African democracy</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1017-04992013000100003&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The Christian religion in South Africa has a rich history of engaging state and society on a variety of issues. These range from matters relating to governance, leadership and policy to dealing with daily moral problems experienced and expressed by society as a whole. The church¹ not only has an opinion but has also historically set itself up to be a social commentator, believing it to be its divine mandate, stemming from divine instruction to be the guardian of what it deems a sought-after universal morality. The Christian church in South Africa took a prominent social position from colonial times, right through to the end of the apartheid era. With the dawn of a secular democracy, the prominence of the church's voice and authority has come into question for a variety of reasons. This article explores some of the shifts in the Christian church's social and political standing in South Africa and asks what its contribution is going to be in the future South African secular democracy. <![CDATA[<b>The (de)construction of religious identity in oral history research in South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1017-04992013000100004&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The Christian religion in South Africa has a rich history of engaging state and society on a variety of issues. These range from matters relating to governance, leadership and policy to dealing with daily moral problems experienced and expressed by society as a whole. The church¹ not only has an opinion but has also historically set itself up to be a social commentator, believing it to be its divine mandate, stemming from divine instruction to be the guardian of what it deems a sought-after universal morality. The Christian church in South Africa took a prominent social position from colonial times, right through to the end of the apartheid era. With the dawn of a secular democracy, the prominence of the church's voice and authority has come into question for a variety of reasons. This article explores some of the shifts in the Christian church's social and political standing in South Africa and asks what its contribution is going to be in the future South African secular democracy. <![CDATA[<b>Historical sources of Christian religious leadership ideology: implications and challenges for social transformation in post-military Nigeria</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1017-04992013000100005&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Various sources have influenced and shaped the ideological orientation and outlook of Christian religious leadership in successive epochs in Nigerian history. This orientation and outlook have by and large been sustained in the contemporary post-military dispensation. This article develops a more informed identification of the historical sources that have shaped the leadership ideology of Nigerian Christian leaders. Based on this identification, the discussion reflects critically on the socio-political implications of, and challenges posed by, the various historical influences for achieving positive social transformation in contemporary post-military Nigerian society. The article appreciates the prevailing relevance of particular elements from the leadership ideology and outlook that existed in primordial Nigerian and African society to guide a contemporary Nigerian Christian religious leadership towards a fundamental reorientation. The article closes by challenging especially Nigerian Christian religious leaders to adopt ideas of leadership such as "saviour" and "protector", among other leadership ideas, for ideological reorientation and practical leadership in order to engender an enduring socio-political transformation and service to the people. <![CDATA[<b>The origins and early development of Scottish Presbyterian mission in South Africa (1824-1865)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1017-04992013000100006&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article traces the origins and development of the Scottish Presbyterian mission in South Africa through its Scottish antecedents to its actual establishment in South Africa in 1824 until the end of the first phase of the mission in 1865. It begins by examining the Scottish context, the contribution of voluntary societies and the "Disruption", both of which had serious implications for missionary growth. It then moves to South Africa and examines the birth of the mission through mission stations, institutions and the participation of black people. <![CDATA[<b>The Belhar Confession: born in the struggle against apartheid in southern Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1017-04992013000100007&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The Belhar Confession, drafted in 1982 by the Dutch Reformed Mission Church (DRMC), has its roots in the struggle against apartheid in southern Africa. In this article attention will be given to the establishment of racially segregated churches by the white Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) exclusively for people of colour and the indigenous people of South Africa. Secondly cognisance will be taken of the impact of the ecumenical movement's (Reformed Ecumenical Council [REC], World Council of Churches [WCC] and World Alliance of Reformed Churches [WARC]) discourse on racism upon the ultimate drafting and adopting of the Belhar Confession. Finally, I will focus on the Belhar Confession as a guiding light for social justice issues, especially racism, both in the global south and the global north. <![CDATA[<b>The Belhar Confession and its influence on the understanding of unity. Historical lessons from the histories of the DRMC and the DRCA: 1975-1994</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1017-04992013000100008&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The Belhar Confession (Belhar) was adopted in 1986 as the fourth official confession of faith of the former Dutch Reformed Mission Church (DRMC) and later the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA). Much has been written about the origin, content and history of Belhar in relation to church historical developments during and after apartheid. This, coupled with the ongoing conversation about church reunification within the family of Dutch Reformed Churches and the apparent impact of Belhar on this process makes a conversation about this Confession both relevant and necessary. This being said, it is of interest to note that theological conversations about Belhar do not specifically discuss its impact on the ecclesiology of the mentioned churches and specifically on that of the URCSA. This article will explore the apparent influence of Belhar on the ecclesiology of the mentioned church and specifically how this church understands its relation to other churches within the family of Dutch Reformed Churches. This will be done by focusing specifically on the impact of this Confession's plea for unity as regards the ecclesiology of the DRMC, the DRCA and thus also the URCSA. A discussion will follow on how the mentioned impact affects the URCSA's understanding of church unity and the interrelatedness between churches. <![CDATA[<b>Reformed Christianity and the Confession of Accra: a conversation about unavoidable questions in the quest for justice</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1017-04992013000100009&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In their quest for justice grounded in the Confession of Accra and, of course, the Confession of Belhar, Reformed churches worldwide - and in South Africa, in particular - will be faced with a set of unavoidable questions. The purpose of this article is to examine/consider some of the unavoidable/inevitable questions that arise among those seeking justice for all, but particularly for those who have been adversely affected by neoliberal capitalism, namely poor people - and the very earth itself. First, can the Confession of Accra be regarded as something that "fell from heaven", or is a proper historical perspective necessary to undertand something of the journey traversed by the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC)? Second, does it matter whether Accra is regarded as a declaration or a confession? Third, what justice is Accra talking about? What justice was the Kairos Document of South African Christians talking about in the mid-1980s under apartheid? Fourth, are unity and justice like twin sisters, or can they be separated; is there a connection between the two? Fifth, is the search for justice based on Accra sustainable without the search for an ongoing praxis? These questions are presented as unavoidable in the quest for justice and they also highlight the very complex nature of the quest for justice. <![CDATA[<b>The Dutch Reformed Church from <i>Human Relations and the South African Scene in the Light of Scripture</i> to <i>Church and Society:</i> the struggle goes on</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1017-04992013000100010&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In the recent history of the Dutch Reformed Church two documents played an important role. The documents were Human Relations and the South African Scene in the Light of Scripture of 1974 and Church and Society of 1986. The first document stated the policy of the church on apartheid and defended the policy on biblical grounds. The second document constituted the first step the church took away from the policy of apartheid. The aim of this article is to follow the journey which the Dutch Reformed Church undertook from Human Relations and the South African Scene in the Light of Scripture to Church and Society. It starts with the origins of Human Relations and the South African Scene in the Light of Scripture, describing how the document's roots go all the way back to the Cottesloe consultation of 1960. It also focuses on the reception of Human Relations and the South African Scene in the Light of Scripture before describing four important impulses that played a major part in forcing the Dutch Reformed Church to rethink its policy on apartheid. These impulses were the Reformed day Witness of 1980, the Open Letter of 1982, the meeting of the World Alliance of Churches in Ottawa, Canada 1982 and the status confessionis of the Dutch Reformed Missions Church in October 1982 which resulted in the Confession of Belhar. These impulses led to the decision during the 1982 General Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church to revise Human Relations and the South African Scene in the Light of Scripture. The outcome of this decision was the acceptance of a new document called Church and Society in 1986. The article highlights the important decisions in this new document which constituted a break with the former biblical founding of apartheid in Human Relations and the South African Scene in the Light of Scripture. Open church doors, open membership, no biblical prohibition of mixed marriages and critical voice against apartheid, are examples of a new policy which showed that the Dutch Reformed Church was on a different road. The reception of this new document confirmed this by bringing the church in turmoil which led to a schism in the church and the founding of the Afrikaanse Protetsantse Kerk in 1987. The struggle of the Dutch Reformed Church did however not stop with the acceptance of Church and Society and the reaction of 1987. In 1990 the General Synod of the church confirmed the policy of the church as stated in Church and Society of 1986 but also made certain revisions which stated the church's critique on apartheid much clearer. The 1990 document stated that "the church made the error of allowing forced separation and division of peoples in its own circle, to be considered a biblical narrative". The unjust system of apartheid was clearly condemned by the synod and although it also declared that not everything could be branded as wrong and inhuman. The article concludes by accepting that Church and Society was not the perfect document and certainly not the perfect answer the world demanded from the Dutch Reformed Church. It was however a small step in the right direction of a new journey, away form the biblical founding of apartheid towards justice and reconciliation, a journey which led to the Rustenburg Church conference in 1990, the so called General Synod of reconciliation in 1994 and onwards, a journey on which the struggle continues. <![CDATA[<b>Church polity in a changing South Africa: a study of two Reformed churches</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1017-04992013000100011&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es For both the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) and the Reformed Churches in South Africa (RCSA) the biggest changes in a changing South Africa have been not so much internally as within the South African society. Officially these changes really started after the first general elections in 1994. In this process a new constitution was adopted and finalised in 1996, a non-racial, non-sexist constitution based on human rights as seen from a "religiously neutral" and humanistic point of view. These changes had a visible effect on the DRC, but less so on the RCSA. <![CDATA[<b>Unsung heroes and heroines at Mutira Mission, Kenya (1907-2012)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1017-04992013000100012&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es As the Anglican Church of Kenya, Kirinyaga Diocese, celebrated one hundred years of missionary Christianity in August 2012, a few heroes and heroines, in their struggle to liberate people from ignorance, poverty and other forms of "miasma" facing the people, were not given attention, or were even ignored altogether. The article sets out to retrieve the oral histories of pioneer African Christians at Mutira Mission, particularly the early professionals who became beacons of light shining brightly for the area. Among these are Thomas Meero, the pioneer African teacher, mason, carpenter, evangelist, businessman, farmer and lay church leader, Reuben Kinyua Kaara, the pioneer African nurse, laboratory technician and lay church leader, and Tabitha Karingo, the first woman to defy cultural practices that are inimical to the dignity of women. Were their struggles not worth attention? What factors contributed to their becoming makers of history in the area? What challenges did they encounter? Does the modern generation have something to learn from their pioneering roles? Did the Mau Mau war of political independence in Kenya affect the smooth running of missionary work? Such concerns inform the nature of this article. The methodology in this article relies largely on oral interviews and archival sources. <![CDATA[<b>Women and the Roman Catholic Church with special focus on Zimbabwe</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1017-04992013000100013&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The Synod of Bishops (Rome 1994) acknowledged that women in Africa are the backbone of church and society; and yet, in a patriarchal church and society, women are marginalised in both subtle and overt ways. The article interrogates engagement since the African Bishops Synods (Rome 1994 and 2009) with inclusion of women in all sectors of church life and, in particular, the unity and disparity between deliberations and implementation concerning the Roman Catholic Church in Zimbabwe. Pertinent issues include common claims that women are equal to and yet different to men, that women and men play complementary roles, about harnessing the feminine genius, about the exclusion of women from ordained ministry and the accompanying impasses, about a patriarchal church and Shona culture's impact on women, and about empowerment of women to become proactive agents of their own "her-story". The agenda is to passionately appropriate the creation and baptismal dignity of women and men in the imago Dei/Christi and also the baptismal vocation of sharing in the mission of Christ ad gentes. <![CDATA[<b>The Roman Catholic response to customary unions in South Africa 1948-2012</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1017-04992013000100014&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The study begins with a discussion started within Roman Catholic circles with the article published by Ten Velde on customary unions as legitimate marriages (South African Clergy Review 1952) and the response of Reuter in his book on the same subject. Authors discussed include Hastings, Berglund, Dwane, Blum and others that have written about indigenous marriage in South Africa and the African continent as a whole. Topics included within the body of this article include customary unions, reflections on polygamy, the emancipation of women, conjugal fidelity and addressing the issues of double standards. Marriage is a basic building block of any society. One has to also bear in mind that this building block consists of the church wedding, the traditional customary wedding involving the family and then finally the civil marriage which involves the state. At different moments in time specific aspects of the culture may be expressed. In particular the issue of marital fidelity was dealt with by Marc de Muelenaere concerning the mentality of perpetual bachelorhood prevalent within South Africa. In the future it would be good to see more of a unity between the ecclesiastical and civil aspects of marriage. In conclusion the article focuses on the need to update our understanding of customary unions given that the South African government enacted the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act 120 in 1998 as part of the law of the land applicable to all South Africans. <![CDATA[<b>Mission in turbulent waters: AIDS-related care and mitigation by the Roman Catholic Church in Manicaland, Zimbabwe (1985-2007)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1017-04992013000100015&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The scourge of the HIV and AIDS pandemic in Zimbabwe between 1985 and 2007 was witnessed at a time when the country went through diverse socio-economic challenges. The State reduced budgetary allocation towards the welfare of the citizenry after the introduction of the economic structural adjustment programme in 1991. Further economic decline, witnessed between 1999 and 2007, resulted in the withdrawal of foreign donors. The care of people living with HIV and orphaned and vulnerable children became a burden for non-governmental and faith-based organisations including churches. The leadership of the Roman Catholic Church in Zimbabwe became instrumental in setting up AIDS-related care intervention projects at diocesan level, including Manicaland. The involvement of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference in the national constitutional reform agenda as part of civic organisations led to souring of relations between the church's leadership and the State and thus affected AIDS-related care projects. This article explores the Roman Catholic Church's AIDS-related care mission in Zimbabwe in general and Manicaland in particular within the context of turbulence waters. <![CDATA[<b>The churches' response to political violence in the last years of apartheid: the case of Mpophomeni in the Natal Midlands</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1017-04992013000100016&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The scourge of the HIV and AIDS pandemic in Zimbabwe between 1985 and 2007 was witnessed at a time when the country went through diverse socio-economic challenges. The State reduced budgetary allocation towards the welfare of the citizenry after the introduction of the economic structural adjustment programme in 1991. Further economic decline, witnessed between 1999 and 2007, resulted in the withdrawal of foreign donors. The care of people living with HIV and orphaned and vulnerable children became a burden for non-governmental and faith-based organisations including churches. The leadership of the Roman Catholic Church in Zimbabwe became instrumental in setting up AIDS-related care intervention projects at diocesan level, including Manicaland. The involvement of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference in the national constitutional reform agenda as part of civic organisations led to souring of relations between the church's leadership and the State and thus affected AIDS-related care projects. This article explores the Roman Catholic Church's AIDS-related care mission in Zimbabwe in general and Manicaland in particular within the context of turbulence waters. <![CDATA[<b>The Cappadocian fathers on slave management</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1017-04992013000100017&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The aim of this article is to investigate the views of the three Cappadocian fathers, namely Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory of Nazianzus, on how to manage slaves. The article approaches slaveholding as a habitus. Firstly, Basil of Caesarea's views are examined. Basil's views on slave management were based on the principle that slaves should still remain obedient and submissive to their masters, but that masters should treat their slaves justly. He especially discusses slave management as the management of wealth and sexuality. Secondly, Gregory of Nazianzus's views, especially from his testament, highlighted the importance of managing slaves after death. It is also a window into the realities of clerics and churches managing slancient treatise against mastery and the viceves. Finally, Gregory of Nyssa's fourth homily on Ecclesiastes can be described as the ancienttreatise against mastery and the vice of pride, since this is the angle from which he criticises slave management. The homily is indeed proof that ancient authors were able to think outside the habitus of Roman slaveholding.