SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.38 número1Do stories of people with disabilities matter? Exploration of a method to acknowledge the stories of people with disabilities as valuable oral sources in the writing of social historyThe role of Mission Councils in the Scottish Mission in South Africa: 1864 - 1923 índice de autoresíndice de assuntospesquisa de artigos
Home Pagelista alfabética de periódicos  

Serviços Personalizados



Links relacionados

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


Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

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

Studia Hist. Ecc. vol.38 no.1 Pretoria Mai. 2012


Public issues perceived from the theological left flank: The social ethics of Ramsden Balmforth in the Union of South Africa



Frederick Hale

Research Unit for Reformed Theology, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa




For decades research into the history of Christian social ethics in South Africa has illuminated responses within a broad spectrum of major denominations to public issues, but has thus far shed considerably less light on how believers outside these denominations reacted to various questions. Unitarians are in the latter camp. Although few in number, they offered opinions and engaged in activities from a noteworthy intellectual perspective which was largely an extension of nineteenth- century developments in European theology, philosophy, and political thought amalgamated with a focus on the ethical teachings of Jesus. For forty years beginning in 1897 while he ministered to the Free Protestant Church in Cape Town, English-born Ramsden Balmforth commented prolifically on a variety of important issues and in some instances participated in movements to redress grievances voiced by disadvantaged groups within the ethnic amalgam of the Union of South Africa. The present study examines several of this Christian socialist's positions against the backdrop of his meta-ethical precepts.



“Full text available only in PDF format”



Works consulted

Balmforth, Ramsden [n.         [ Links ]d.]. The war and the coming peace: an appeal to sober-minded people. Cape Town: O. Hartmann, City Printing Works.

Balmforth, Ramsden 1935. Jesus - the man. London: CW Daniel.         [ Links ]

Davenport, TRH 1987. South Africa: a modern history. Third edition. Basingstoke: The Macmillan Press Ltd.         [ Links ]

Dubow, Saul 2006. A commonwealth of knowledge: science, sensibility, and white South Africa 1820-2000. Oxford: Oxford University Press.         [ Links ]

Edgar, Robert 1988. Because they chose the plan of God. The story of the Bulhoek Massacre. Johannesburg: Ravan Press.         [ Links ]

Hale, Frederick 1994. Fear and support of an African Independent Church. Fides etHistoria XXVI(1), Winter/Spring, 68-84.         [ Links ]

Hale, Frederick 2011. Interpreting South African Cultural Clashes Through Darwinian Eyes: Ramsden Balmforth in Cape Town (forthcoming in South African Journal of Cultural History in 2011).         [ Links ]

Hale, Frederick 2001. A nonconformist waging peace: the foundations of Ramsden Balmforth's initiatives in the Second Anglo-Boer War. Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae XXVII(1), June, 97-112.         [ Links ]

The Inquirer (London). 1909-1927.         [ 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. Oxford: Manchester College, 265-289.         [ Links ]



1 Prof Dr Frederick Hale is an extraordinary professor in the Research Unit for Reformed Theology, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa.

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