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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

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

Studia Hist. Ecc. vol.37 n.3 Pretoria Dec. 2011


Negative impulses in the historical context of reformed spirituality in the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa



Collin Goeiman

Uniting Reformed Church Pretoria, Eersterust, Pretoria, South Africa




This article argues that there are negative strains in the spirituallity of black reformed Christians in the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA), and that these negative strains have their origins in the historical context of the colonial and apartheid times. The article further argues that the negative strains forces in the reformed faith were then transferred to the indigenous people. From the outset, the motives behind missionaries transferring their religion were interwoven with the motives of the economic and political needs of colonisation. These processes, together with the development of apartheid and Afrikaner-Calvinism, the stagnation in reformed spirituality and the influence of Pietism, resulted in a very specific form of the reformed tradition - especially amongst those who were objects of missionary work and who suffered under colonisation and apartheid. Such processes - and the dangers that they pose for the "self" of black reformed Christians - are then described. Lastly, pointers towards a more liberating reformed spirituality are proposed.



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