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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

On-line version ISSN 2412-4265
Print version ISSN 1017-0499


KUMALO, R. Simangaliso. Religion and politics in the heritage of uNtsikana Ka Gaba and its relevance to a democratic South Africa. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2014, vol.40, n.1, pp.21-37. ISSN 2412-4265.

Ntsikana, the son of Gaba (1780-1820), is remembered as a Xhosa prophet umphrofethi wakwa Xhosa who left an indelible mark on the Christian social history landscape of South Africa. Although he lived almost two centuries ago, he is still remembered as one who laid a firm foundation for an African form of Christianity. The article examines his work as a pioneer of an African form of theology, intellectual and prophet. The emphasis is on his radical form of Christianity, which did not fit the missionary's script, his decision to be critical of the Church and its subservient relationship with European culture and his attempt to acculturate Christianity to African culture. This is demonstrated by the fact that Ntsikana responded creatively and prophetically to the ambiguous role the church played in the liberation of the African people. His unprecedented theological understanding of God expressed through his famous hymn is analysed and appraised in the article. His ability to bring into dialogue religion and politics is examined, together with his critical exposition of African traditional religion.

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