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Historia

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Abstract

MERWE, Barend van der  and  OELOFSE, Marietjie. Theological dissent re synodal directional changes in the Dutch Reformed Church, 1982-1990. Historia [online]. 2011, vol.56, n.2, pp. 154-168. ISSN 0018-229X.

ABSTRACT At the 1986 general synod of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC), the church made significant decisions regarding South Africa's political position with regard to racial policy. Although the synod did not condemn the policy of apartheid in principle, some of the decisions taken caused shockwaves to reverberate amongst members of the church. Many members of the DRC were caught off guard as the synod accepted the document Church and Society, declaring that there is no Biblical justification for the policy of apartheid and that the church can no longer refuse entrance to its sermons to any person on the basis of either cultural background or skin colour. The synod also criticised the way that the policy of apartheid was being implemented in South Africa where it resulted in the violation of human rights. As a result, the Afrikaanse Protestantse Kerk (APK) was established by a splinter group. Despite this development, the church was also still divided internally, as many of its remaining members supported the policy of apartheid. The article argues that the importance of the decisions made by the synod should neither be overestimated, nor undervalued with regards to the birth of the "new South Africa".

Keywords : Afrikaanse Protestantse Kerk (APK); NG Bond; Andries Treurnicht; apartheid; Carel Boshoff; Church and Society; Conservative Party (CP); Cottesloe consultation; Dutch Reformed Church (DRC); Dutch Reformed family of churches; general synod; Human relations and the South African scene in the light of Scripture; National Party (NP); Religion and Protest; synodal decisions.

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