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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

versão On-line ISSN 2224-7912
versão impressa ISSN 0041-4751


VERSTER, Pieter. Post-colonial theology and mission: Challenges and threats. Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2018, vol.58, n.1, pp.96-108. ISSN 2224-7912.

The current debate on post-colonial theology is of great importance to mission. It is known that the great missionary project of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries often coincided with colonialism even though there were sometimes strong voices warning against it. Colonialism is currently being severely criticised by many. The fact that different perspectives and actions have occurred in different countries are sometimes overlooked. Suppression, slavery and exploitation are regarded as the central heritage of colonialism. According to various authors, all forms of hegemony ofpower must therefore be rejected. Theology adds to this by showing that all forms of domination and power that occur in theology must also be rejected. Discrimination against women, the LGBT community, and indigenous groups are shown as abuse of power - post-colonial theology, however, goes beyond these issues. Western domination in theological points ofview is rejected and Africa's own voice must be heard. The confession that Jesus is the only saviour, that He is the true mediator between God and man, and that He, according to the confession of Nicea, is also truly God and therefore totally unique, is sometimes rejected. Differences between religions must be resolved by finding common ground in the fight against oppression, exploitation and discrimination. Eurocentrism was an essential part of colonialism, and thus the own voice of the culture of, for example, Africa was denied. The contribution of African cognition and thinking is especially disregarded. Sometimes culture and religion are both considered to be equally unacceptable and therefore there is exploitation on an unprecedented scale, especially in the field of labour; ethnic disputes were exploited and continued, authority relations were disturbed, artificial boundaries were established and people were artificially divided, cultures were destroyed, and political control has hampered the development of own government. However, there were also positive developments, namely the usage of Western medicine, creation of infrastructure, liberation and expansion of culture through the Christian gospel and control of communities that did set boundaries and restricted political violence. Post-colonial theology means that the global can be found in the similarities found of Jesus Christ and, for example, the beliefs of the African Traditional Religions. A reforming approach would emphasise a theology of respect for God. In addition, principles of exegesis in the light of the sola Scriptura also emphasise the principle of the priority of the text, with the reformed principle of sacra Scriptura sui ipsius interpres est. Mission would therefore call people to repent and the recognition of Jesus as the only Lord. He is not just the good teacher, the one among many. There can be no doubt that mission must be at the forefront of opposing discrimination, exploitation, and disregard, but also of confessing that Jesus truly is ONE with God. It is not only the Gospel of John that confesses this, but there are several theologians who recently confirmed that Jesus is considered to be ONE with God in the context of Jewish monotheism, such as Paul (See Van de Beek, NT Wright and Hurtado). The classical theoretical concept of God is analysed differently. Post-colonial and decolonial theology put important questions to mission of the past and present. However, a reforming approach will guard against the inherent abuse of power that appears in it and the denial of confessing that Jesus is the only Lord. Sometimes missionary theology must go against the growing general view to confess that Jesus is the Lord, the Mediator between God and Man.

Palavras-chave : Colonialism; Hegemony of power; Eurocentrism; Africa; Jesus Christ; Reformational approach.

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