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Missionalia

On-line version ISSN 2312-878X
Print version ISSN 0256-9507

Abstract

BATE, Stuart C. Between Empire and Anti-Empire: African Mission in the 21st Century. Missionalia (Online) [online]. 2013, vol.41, n.3, pp.307-334. ISSN 2312-878X.  http://dx.doi.org/10/7832/41-3-41.

There is always empire and anti-empire in societies. An analytical lens needs to see both together to provide a better understanding of human society. This is particularly important when it comes to issues of religion which resides in some form in both empire and anti-empire. This presentation will unpack five points. Firstly it will present a brief historiography of the existence of empire and anti-empire mainly but not exclusively as it relates to Christianity. Secondly it will provide the main parameters of a social analysis of the nature of empire and anti-empire. Thirdly it will articulate the specific role of religion (again mainly Christianity) in the societies of empire and anti-empire. Fourthly it will apply these findings to the specific context of Africa (mainly South Africa) indicating two signs of empire and anti-empire in our past and present context. Finally it will provide some goals for Mission in 21st century Africa which go beyond the empire/anti-empire paradigm. These are based on a vision of transformational authority centred in the paschal mystery.

Keywords : Keywords and Phrases African Christian Mission; Globalisation; Religion and Society; Theology of Empire; Theology of Antiempire; Theology of Authority; Development; Spirituality; Conversion.

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