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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

On-line version ISSN 2412-4265

Abstract

SWART, Ignatius. Revival of a kairos consciousness: Prolegomena to a research focus on religious and social change in post-apartheid South Africa. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2013, vol.39, n.2, pp. 85-111. ISSN 2412-4265.

My point of departure in this article is a new interest in the socio-religious reality of a reviving kairos theological tradition - or kairos consciousness - in post-apartheid South Africa, but indissolubly related to this is also an interest in the question of the potential and actual role of the country's historic mainline churches as reviving change agents. This leads me to present, firstly, an exploratory perspective on the discourse and appeals of two ecclesial letters in particular through which the leadership of a broad ecumenical representation from South Africa's mainline churches have sought in recent times to critically engage with the country's ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC). On the basis of this exploration and my claim that I regard these two letters as the boldest manifestation to date of the socio-religious reality of a reviving kairos consciousness in post-apartheid South Africa, I conclude the article by, secondly, also looking forward to an envisaged longer-term research focus that would be steered by the research question about the prospects of a reviving kairos consciousness actually becoming a meaningful catalyst of positive social change in post-apartheid South African society. More specifically, in this consideration of an envisaged longer-term research focus I identify four topical concerns that need to be taken into consideration and researched in relation to a concern with the post-apartheid kairos theme.

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