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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

On-line version ISSN 2412-4265

Abstract

BENTLEY, Wessel. Defining Christianity's "prophetic witness" in the post-apartheid South African democracy. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2013, vol.39, n.1, pp. 00-00. ISSN 2412-4265.

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.

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