SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

 
vol.35 número1Detention without trial: The experience of the Reverend Douglas Thompson in the South African state of emergency, 1960Faith and politics in the context of struggle: The legacy of Inkosi Albert John Luthuli's Christian-centred political leadership índice de autoresíndice de assuntospesquisa de artigos
Home Pagelista alfabética de periódicos  

Serviços Personalizados

Artigo

Indicadores

Links relacionados

  • Em processo de indexaçãoCitado por Google
  • Em processo de indexaçãoSimilares em Google

Compartilhar


Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

versão On-line ISSN 2412-4265
versão impressa ISSN 1017-0499

Studia Hist. Ecc. vol.35 no.1 Pretoria  2009

 

A Cape Town minister contra orthodoxy: Ramsden Balmforth's evolution as a religious liberal

 

 

Frederick Hale

Department of English, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa

 

 


ABSTRACT

South African Unitarianism remains a minimally explored topic in church history. Beginning as the Free Protestant Church in Cape Town, it traced its primary roots to liberal theology, especially historical criticism of the Bible, in the Netherlands, which was brought to the Cape of Good Hope by David P Faure and other young Afrikaners in the 1860s. However, by the end of the nineteenth century the movement in South Africa had become linked to the tradition of British Unitarianism. The present article traces the theological development of Ramsden Balmforth (1861-1941), who served as the minister of the Free Protestant, or Unitarian, Church in Cape Town for forty years beginning in 1897. It is demonstrated that until in his twenties Balmforth was an irreligious sceptic, but his exposure to the study of social Christianity and comparative religion while still in Yorkshire made him amenable to certain strands of liberal Protestantism. He consequently studied theology in Oxford and brought his convictions, many of which were anchored in historical criticism of the Bible, social Darwinism, and optimistic assumptions about human perfectibility, to South Africa, where he propagated them and linked the fledgling Unitarian movement there to that of the United Kingdom.


 

 

“Full text available only in PDF format”

 

 

Works consulted

Balmforth, Owen 1910. The Huddersfield Industrial Society Limited: History of fifty years' progress, 1860-1910. Manchester: Co-operative Wholesale Society's Printing Works, 1910.         [ Links ]

Clifford, W K 1877. The ethics of religion. The Fortnightly Review XXII (New Series), no. 127, 35-52.         [ Links ]

Clifford, W K 1875. On the scientific basis of morals. The Contemporary Review XXVI, September, 650-660.         [ Links ]

Guy, Jeff 1983. The heretic: a study of the life of John William Colenso 1814-1883. Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press.         [ Links ]

Hale, Frederick 2007. The origins of the Free Protestant Church in South Africa: David P. Faure contra Dutch Reformed Calvinism. Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae XXXIII(1), 327-350.         [ Links ]

Hanekom, T N 1951. Die liberale rigting in Suid-Afrika. Stellenbosch: Die Christen-Studentevereniging-Maatskappy van Suid-Afrika.         [ Links ]

Hatch, Edwin 1890. The influence of Greek ideas and usages upon the Christian Church. London: Williams & Norgate.         [ Links ]

Hilton, Boyd 1988. The age of atonement: The influence of evangelicalism on social and economic thought, 1795-1865. Oxford: Clarendon.         [ Links ]

Lewis, Albert C 2004. Clifford, William Kingdon, in Matthew, HCG & Harrison, Brian (eds.), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, XII, 121-124. Oxford: Oxford University Press.         [ Links ]

Long, Arthur 1986. The life and work of J Estlin Carpenter, in Smith, Barbara (ed.), Truth, liberty, religion: Essays celebrating two hundred years of Manchester College, 265-289. Oxford: Manchester College.         [ Links ]

McLeod, Hugh 1984. Religion and the working class in nineteenth-century Britain. London & Basingstoke: Macmillan.         [ Links ]

McLeod, Hugh 1996. Religion and society in England, 1850-1914. Basingstoke: Macmillan.         [ Links ]

Ramsey, Laon 1885. Landon Deecroft: a socialistic novel. London: William Reeves, The New Temple Press.         [ Links ]

Ramsey, Laon 1889. The future development of religious life. Part I. The Westminster Review CXXXI(6), 545-560.         [ Links ]

Ramsey, Laon 1892. The sanctions of morality in their relation to religious life. The Westminster Review CXXXVIII(5), 506-520.         [ Links ]

Ramsey, Laon 1893. The sanctions of morality. The Westminster Review CXXXIX(2), 169-183.         [ Links ]

Smith, Barbara (ed.) 1986. Truth, liberty, religion: essays celebrating two hundred years of Manchester College. Oxford: Manchester College.         [ Links ]

Creative Commons License Todo o conteúdo deste periódico, exceto onde está identificado, está licenciado sob uma Licença Creative Commons