Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae]]> vol. 45 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>African Indigenous Churches for Black Africans: A Study of the <i>Johani Masowe </i>Chishanu yeNyenyedzi (JMCN) Missiological Thrust in the Diaspora</b>]]> This study is an attempt to reconstruct the missiological thrust of African Indigenous Churches (AICs) in the diaspora. It specifically focuses on a Zimbabwean church, the Johani Masowe Chishanu yeNyenyedzi (JMCN). Today, most AICs have transitioned from being churches only for black Africans by accommodating other nationalities in their gospel economy, while outside African boarders. The best example of such African churches in the diaspora is probably the Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa (ZAOGA), which has transitioned from being a church only for Zimbabweans to being a global African church. By contrast, JMCN has seemingly remained a Zimbabwean church, even in the diaspora. Arguably, though JMCN has crossed Zimbabwean borders into other nations, this study maintains that JMCN in principle continues to be a black Zimbabwean church. To validate the above claim this study investigates JMCN's missiological thrust with a special focus on: how JMCN recruits church membership; how JMCN selects its sacred shrines; what language is used in JMCN-particularly in the diaspora; and where JMCN obtains sacred objects of worship such as its clay pots and wooden objects. <![CDATA[<b>Psalms as a Vehicle for Historiography</b>]]> The Book of Psalms is the most read books of the Bible and one of the most read books in the world. It is also one of the most debatable books of the Bible. The value placed on the Bible as a historical source is fundamentally important. While the maximalists think that the biblical account should be the primary source of the history of ancient Israel, and everything that could not be proved wrong must be accepted as historical, the minimalists think otherwise and rely on the primacy of archaeology because they think that the Bible is not a reliable document in terms of historical account. The centrists acknowledge the value of the biblical texts in preserving reliable evidence on the history of ancient Israel. However, they consider the way the stories were written and presented as highly ideological and believe they were adapted to the needs of the community when they were written. The major contention in this paper is whether the Book of Psalms contains any authentic historical documents/historiography or not. This article maintains that the Bible, particularly the Book of Psalms, contains some reliable historical documents that could be considered as a source of historiography. The Book of Psalms represents the history of ancient Israel in its historical allusions and the praises. This representation of history is, for the writers and readers of the Psalms-whether in chanting, memorising, singing, writing or copying-a way to remember the mighty act of Yahweh and also to participate mysteriously in the actual events that took place in the past history of ancient Israel; so that the present participants can experience the very miracles that took place long ago. It is expected that those miracles and events are able to take place again in the life of the believers who read, write, chant, sing or recount the Psalms. <![CDATA[<b>Structural Violence against Women in the Pentecostal Movement: Proposals for a South African Deconstruction Strategy</b>]]> The phenomenon of discrimination against women within Pentecostal churches in terms of ministry and leadership is investigated to propose a strategy for deconstructing such structural violence. The violence is described in terms of a case study, the history of a prominent South African Pentecostal denomination (Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa) that initially recognised the involvement of women in all forms of ministry; subsequently in the 1940s refusing their ministry as preachers and pastors, and eventually at the end of the 1970s offering them the same ministerial privileges as for males. Their recognition is, however, characterised by a practical non-application of a church order that in effect represents the commitment of violence against women. It is argued that the change in perspectives of women's ministry and leadership is hermeneutical in nature. To deconstruct it would need revisiting Pentecostalism's original hermeneutic as well as restoring its restorationist urge of egalitarianism and inclusiveness. <![CDATA[<b>Theory and Praxis: An Evaluation of the 1958 "One and Undivided" Mission Policy of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa 60 Years Later</b>]]> The year 2018 marked the 60th anniversary since the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA) resolved to be a "One and Undivided" church in 1958. It was at the peak of apartheid when the MCSA was brave enough to embark on a journey of oneness. This was a mission policy seeking to unite Methodist people of all races in the midst of segregation in South Africa. This paper, therefore, seeks to evaluate the implementation of this mission policy over the past 60 years. The paper will interrogate the inclusion of black clergy into critical positions in the church, the Black Methodist Consultation, and the formation of geographic circuits and cross-cultural stationing as means of achieving the mission statement. The important question in this study is: Looking back, 60 years later, is the MCSA now "One and Undivided?" <![CDATA[<b>Church and Empire: Evangelisation by the OMI among British, Indians, Afrikaners and Indigenous People of Southern Africa (1852–1874)</b>]]> The British proclaimed the Colony of Natal on 4 May 1843. Therefore, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate entered a British Colony to begin their work among the indigenous people of southern Africa. There was further contact with colonial society during the Basotho Wars (1858-1868), when Blessed Joseph Gerard supported Chief Moshoeshoe. This explains the options taken by the Oblates to work in close collaboration with the indigenous people in their fight to defend their property and sovereignty. The period covered is from 1852 until 1874 when Bishop Allard was in charge of the Vicariate of Natal. This paper deals with why the Oblates were more successful in Lesotho than among the Zulu in Natal. Brief mention is made of Indians in Durban, British missionaries in Natal and Afrikaners during the Lesotho wars. The role of culture in the evangelisation of people is an important theme within missiology and pastoral theology today. There needs to be an investigation why this was not the case in the early stages of evangelisation in South Africa and Lesotho-as being considered within this study. The first steps of evangelisation among the Zulu and Basotho were quite different and indicate growth in awareness and strategy of the Oblate missionaries in the effort to evangelise the indigenous people. The works of Brain, Skhakhane, Levasseur and Zorn were consulted, and archival resources from the Hurley Archives (Missions 1867-1868) investigated. The correspondence of Bishop Allard and his Journal Failure and Vindication was also consulted in the research process. <![CDATA[<b>Mission and Colonialism in Southern Rhodesia: Locating Subtle Colonial and Imperialist Tendencies in Arthur Shearly Cripps's Mission at Maronda Mashanu (1901–1952)</b>]]> Academic interest in the life, mission and literary works of Fr Arthur Shearly Cripps of Maronda Mashanu mission, Southern Rhodesia, has not ceased. The reason for this interest derives from the fact that Cripps was one of the most eccentric if vociferous critics of the policies of the British South Africa Company (BSAC) and successive Southern Rhodesian governments. Generally, historiography on the Rhodesian Christian mission portrays him in a positive light, and as one of the rare missionaries to take on the mantle of being an advocate for the rights of oppressed Africans, the Shona people, in particular. Furthermore, his independent mission experiment and innovation at Maronda Mashanu mission, near Enkeldoorn (Chivhu), Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), accompanied with his poetic repertoire, resulted in his characterisation as "God's Irregular." The growing corpus of literature on Cripps's life and work is a reflection of the interest that followed Cripps in life and death. The purpose of this article is to attempt to locate the agency of the oppressed subjects in Cripps's mission on the basis of secondary sources available. The study is, therefore, a qualitative desk-top analysis of secondary sources available. <![CDATA[<b>The SACC since 1994: Ecumenism in Democratic South Africa</b>]]> Prior to 1994, the South African Council of Churches (SACC) was a major role-player both globally and within South Africa, fulfilling a vital role in the struggle for justice in South Africa. Yet, since 1994 the SACC has all but disappeared from both the global as well as the popular South African ecumenical scene. The history of the SACC since 1994 is relatively unknown and sparsely documented. This article attempts to fill in some of that missing detail and to explore what has happened to the SACC since 1994. Working predominantly from news articles and documents from the SACC, the authors have endeavoured to piece together the state of the SACC since 1994. This article shows how the SACC emerged from the brink of closure and has once more started to function as a prophetic voice in South Africa. This movement from almost extinction to a rejuvenated function has been designated into three stages, namely survival, discernment and regeneration. However, the challenges are not over and this article concludes by highlighting two main challenges that the SACC is currently facing. <![CDATA[<b>Identity Reconstruction of the Great Zimbabwe National Monument</b><b>: </b><b>An Indigenous Knowledge Systems Perspective</b>]]> Various theories have been advanced on the identity of the people who built the Great Zimbabwe National Monument (GZNM). On the one hand, some ancient Mediterranean communities (Lebanese and Phoenicians) are associated with the construction of GZNM. On the other hand, some archaeological discoveries have claimed that the unique architecture could be assigned to King Solomon and Queen of Sheba, suggesting a religious/biblical basis regarding the construction of the structures. In some instances, those in favour of local indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) argue that the Shona people of the Rozvi dynasty in Zimbabwe were the architects of the magnificent structure. Despite voluminous literature published to date, including more recent contributions, consensus has not been reached on the identity of the people who constructed GZNM. From an IKS perspective, this study attempts to reconstruct an identity formation surrounding GZNM by exploring some similarities in terms of cultural customs between the Ancient Mediterranean World (AMW) and the Shona people of Zimbabwe. The aim of such an investigation is to search for some certainty about the identity of the people who built GZNM. The research findings will complement and contribute to the existing body of knowledge about GZNM.