On-line version ISSN 2312-878X
Missionalia (Online) vol.42 n.1-2 Pretoria Apr./Aug. 2014
This edition of Missionalia has (again) an interesting mix of articles. We are pushing boundaries in terms of our commitment to inter-disciplinary research, but also the conscious nurture and mentoring of a crop of new emerging scholars. This is exciting! Missiology, as the scholarly engagement with mission and the transformative encounters inspired by our religious ideals, is inherently about crossing and pushing boundaries - and as such it is about imagining and the creation of new discourses.
Our first set of articles comes in a series of engagements. In the first place we publish the articles of Francis Garaba and Annalise Zarvedinos. These articles, by colleagues in Archival Studies and History, are uncharacteristically long for Missionalia, and it comes in a set of two articles. Part 1 opens up the contents of the Lutheran Theological Institute Archive, which is so relevant for the Southern African mission history, in particular of the Lutheran church in South Africa, and the second article (Part 2) covers the practicalities of the management of this archive. It was felt by the reviewers that these articles make an important contribution, which is relevant for (church) historical, ethnographical, sociological and of course missiological research. It also opens the lid on an important on-going project by the Lutheran Theological Institute (LTI) Library towards 2016 to process all the primary material in this archive. Lots of opportunity opens up with this project and Missionalia will keep her readers up to date. The articles by Nelus Niemandt and John Klaasen also continue on research themes that these colleagues explored in previous articles. For Niemandt, it is the global dialogue with voices seeking or better, discerning the practice of the Christian mission with an emphasis on "ordinary life, emerging mission-shaped churches, and missional spirituality". The article of Henning Wrogeman also touches on these discourses. He proposes an intercultural paradigm of mission for European churches, what he calls "Oikomenical Doxology".
Klaasen's interest remains the inter-relation between faith and the broader (and newer) development discourses, in line with his previous articles. As Missionalia, we intend to publish articles that showcase these kinds of research projects that emerge from the Southern African region, but also, those which concretely address the questions from the region. It is for this reason that these kind of projects will continue to feature strongly in our journal. These articles amplify our commitment to grounded interdisciplinary research which is responsive to regional themes, but also participate in global discourses.
However, we would also introduce newer voices. SAMS has made a strong commitment in recent years to nurture and mentor new scholars. During our annual conferences space is provided for postgraduate students in Missiology and related disciplines for critical engagement, during the Emerging Theologians sessions, whilst we also invited articles from these emerging colleagues. In this bumper edition (and the next one), we partner with Unisa's Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology to publish four peer-reviewed articles, from the Meal of Peace Project with a homeless community in the City of Tshwane, which started in 2012, currently co-ordinated by Credo Mangayi. These articles were published as chapters in a peer-reviewed book called, "Pavement Encounters for Justice: Doing Transformative Missiology with homeless people in the City of Tshwane" (Mashau & Kritzinger 2014). The editors and the authors (as copyright owners), have given permission that it may be published in Missionalia, as an accredited South African journal. We are grateful to be able to present the work of Leomile Mangoedi and Moroka Mogashoa, Dumisane Methula, Themba Ngcobo and Eugene Baron in this edition. They've already presented papers at the SAMS congress in 2014, but here they address different themes related to the realities of the homeless in this particular urban context. For Mangoedi and Mogashoa, it is the reality or mission agency of women displaced or trafficked into forced labour; for Methula, coming from a Black Theology of Liberation perspective, it is the struggle for economic justice. Ngcobo, focus on human dignity through African eyes and for Baron, it is the challenge of forming good habits which also remains a struggle. These new voices need to be nurtured, engaged and strengthened. We are excited to introduce them in this edition and again invite senior (seasoned) colleagues to continue to mentor them, as they challenge all of us about different exciting discourses and as they continue to learn.
It is our hope that, whilst you might not agree with all the ideas argued for in the articles, that the readers do find it of interest for their own research or for our on-going quest for doing a transformative Missiology. We were most certainly challenged.
Prof RW (Reggie) Nel & Rev GJ (Cobus) van Wyngaard