Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae
On-line version ISSN 2412-4265
VORSTER, Koos (JM). A time of transition: Theological trends in the issues of Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae from 1997-2004. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2014, vol.40, suppl.1, pp. 1-15. ISSN 2412-4265.
This article evaluates the theological and church historical trends in the issues of Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae (SHE) in the period 1997-2004. The central theoretical argument of this investigation is that this period in the history of SHE is telling of a growing interest in ecumenical research. This is evident from different investigations into African Christian traditions that had not received any attention before. There are inquiries into African spirituality and the interaction between church history and social history. Added to this there are important contributions from individuals. Moreover, the issues of SHE during this period bear witness to a transition from a traditional modernist approach to history writing to a description of church history "from below". There was a broadening in historiography so that the role of human experience, narratives, oral transmissions and spiritualities came under discussion alongside traditional sources. This development enriched the study of Christianity in Africa. The transition can be positively appraised if the established methods, sources for church historical research and fields of investigation are not set aside completely.