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Verbum et Ecclesia

On-line version ISSN 1609-9982

Verbum Eccles. (Online) vol.32 n.2 Pretoria  2011

http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/ve.v32i2.491 

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

'Mission and Power' - The relevance of the Edinburgh 2010 discussion in the theological engagement with violence

 

 

Cornelius J.P. Niemandt

Department Science of Religion and Missiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Correspondence

 

 


ABSTRACT

The ecumenical conference in Edinburgh in 2010 identified the issue of 'Mission and Power' as one of the pressing mission themes for our generation. Christian mission has always been associated with power. The promise of the risen Christ was that his followers would receive power when the Holy Spirit came on them. History, unfortunately, recounts how Christian mission became backed by force and violence, the very opposite of the kind of power and energy associated with the Spirit of God. At the Edinburgh 2010 conference this violence in mission was studied as expressed in churches' relations with indigenous peoples. This article engages violence theologically and ecumenically by inviting the Edinburgh 2010 discussion into the reflection on violence in the democratic South Africa, as it was presented as a contribution to a wider discussion on violence in South Africa. This is done with the following objectives in mind: (1) to better understand the interaplay between violence and power against the background of a broader global and ecumenical discussion of this issue; and (2) to suggest clues for the theological reflection on violence that may help to create a powerless, space-creating discourse that opens up thinking and contributes to healing and justice.The article concludes by building on the Edinburg 2010 foundations of mission as dialogue and proposing prophetic dialogue as a powerless discourse: 'Transforming the meaning of mission means that God's mission calls all people to work together for healing and justice in partnerships of mutuality and respect.'


 

 

Full text available only in PDF format.

 

 

Acknowledgements

Competing interests

The author declares that he has no financial or personal relationship(s) which may have inappropriately influenced him in writing this article.

 

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Correspondence:
Nelus Niemandt
Private bag X20, Hatfield
Pretoria 0028, South Africa
Email: nelus.niemandt@up.ac.za

Received: 13 Jan. 2011
Accepted: 01 Sept. 2011
Published: 14 Nov. 2011

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