Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Missiology is the journal of the Southern African Missiological Society (SAMS). It is published three times a year (April, August and November). Articles and book reviews published in the journal do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editorial, or the Editorial Board, or of SAMS. Manuscripts submitted for publication are assessed by a panel of referees, and the decision to publish is dependent on their reports. As a SAPSE-accredited journal Missionalia publishes research articles that contribute new knowledge to the field of Missiology.

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The Globethics.net library contains articles of Missionalia as of vol. 41(2013) to current.

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  • Cone’s Binary View of Africanness and Christianity Through the Eyes of his African American Critics

    Urbaniak, Jakub (Southern African Missiological Society, 2019-02-08)
    Unlike some of his American colleagues, James Cone tended to distance Black Theology from Africanness in general and African Traditional Religions in particular. Throughout his life this tendency has evolved, but never disappeared altogether. This article sets out to achieve three goals. First, I give a historical account of Cone’s relationship with Africa, particularly with African religiosity, focusing on the criticism he received from his colleagues in the U.S. (notably Gayraud Wilmore, Cecil Cone and Charles Long). Second, I analyse the tension between the Christian and the African in Cone’s theological outlook by probing his notion of indigenization/Africanization among others. Third, I seek to interpret Cone’s binary view of Christianity and Africanness in the light of his chief locus of enunciation, namely Western Christianity (albeit contested). My attempt here is to lay foundations for an engagement with Cone’s attitude toward Africanness from the current South African (decolonial) perspective by considering it, first, within its original African American context.
  • Decolonising Development? Re-claiming Biko and a Black Theology of Liberation within the context of Faith Based Organisations in South Africa

    National Research Foundation; Bowers Du Toit, Nadine (Southern African Missiological Society, 2018-08-22)
    An upsurge in interest with regard to the role of religion in development has also seen an increase in the study of Faith Based Organisations (FBO’s). These organisations have been less well studied within the South African context, yet both in light of South African Christianity’s colonial and apartheid past – and the practical challenges that arise within a Global South development context such as northern donors, the cultural relevance of programmes and the tension between justice and charity within a South African context (where the face of poverty is still largely black) they should be the subject of academic inquiry. In light of the latter as well a growing trend within Development Studies with regard to  decolonial and post-colonial critiques of development, this paper seeks to argue for the relevance of a both Black Consciousness and a Black Theology of Liberation in challenging and re-positioning the identity, role and practical challenges faced by the FBO within the South African context.
  • THE DECOLONISATION OF THE MIND AND BLACK CONSCIOUSNESS COMMUNITY PROJECTS BY THE LIMPOPO COUNCIL OF CHURCHES

    Kgatla, Thias (Southern African Missiological Society, 2018-08-22)
    The article is a narrative account of examples of community projects of the Black Consciousness Movement as part of an attempt to decolonise the black mind as undertaken by the South African Council of Churches (SACC) in the former Northern Transvaal of South Africa (now the Limpopo province). During the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, this area was regarded as the most conservative Afrikaner settlement as reported in The New York Times of 25 April 1991. The article recounts the role played by the SACC in solidarity with the victims of apartheid on route to the decolonisation of the black mind. It briefly starts by describing the concept of the colonisation of the mind and then locates the philosophy of Black Consciousness as an appropriate response to the process of decolonising the black mind. The article relies on archival material from the Limpopo Council of Churches as its primary source.
  • THE EVANGELICAL ROLE OF WICHCRAFT IN SOME PENTECOSTAL MOVEMENTS– AN AFRICAN PASTORAL CONCERN

    Baloyi, Elijah (Southern African Missiological Society, 2018-08-22)
    There is enough evidence that while listening to the preaching and messages of most Pentecostal preachers; or watching them on some free television channels today that the emphasis is on freeing people from the oppression of demons and witchcraft. Many people, the poor included risk asking for cash loans to use for travelling to meet with the so-called prophets in distant areas. There is an example of those South African people who died in Nigeria when the double story building fell upon their lives. Besides promising them prosperity, these prophets also promise to protect from those who bewitch them. This kind of message is fast to become the driving force behind the fast growing mega churches around Gauteng and in other parts of South Africa. It is the intention of this article to research if the method of using witchcraft as an advent of evangelization is in line with the biblical message of the Gospel. It will also be important to find out if this kind of advent is bringing out the intended task of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • THE IMPLICATIONS OF ECCLESIOLOGY’S UNDERSTANDING OF CHURCH AND ἐκκλησία FOR THE CURRENT MISSIOLOGY

    DE BEER, JAN MATHYS (Southern African Missiological Society, 2018-08-22)
    This introductory study was initiated by the observation that authors about the church differ in their understanding of and approach to church and ἐκκλησία. An analysis of some authors reveals at least three main trends of ecclesiological approach that have an important influence on church missiology. The study concludes with the defining of important areas of study in both ecclesiology and missiology that can lead to a productive interaction between the modern day church and ἐκκλησία as described in the New Testament.
  • Contextual views on Pauls attitude towards labour and remuneration: Did we forget the poor?

    Wessels, Johannes Mattheus (Southern African Missiological Society, 2018-08-22)
    AbstractOne of the problems with applications of Pauline teachings to the current context is the way in which elite theologians assumed that first-century Mediterranean societies were similar in most crucial aspects to twentieth-century society. At close scrutiny it is clear that the explanation of self-support and the free offering of the gospel from the angle of Pauls plight for the poor has been overlooked (or only referred to by implication) in commentaries, as well as discussions on tentmakership in Practical Theology and even in Missiology. This study is investigating the possible role that the context of the readers played in this oversight.
  • Moving Against the Tide: Assemblies of God Polity at the Loggerhead with South African Socio and Theo - Cultural Reality.

    University of the Free State; Resane, Kelebogile Thomas (Southern African Missiological Society, 2018-08-22)
    The arrival of foreign missionaries played some significant roles in the formation of the Assemblies of God (AOG). The new Pentecostal denomination was originally a church of blacks, though under white control. In 1925, the Americans and Europeans in this church organised themselves as South African District of the Assemblies of God, and AOG in America recognised AOG of South Africa as a separate national church in 1932. This article traces how AOG evolved by entrenching a ‘Group” system significantly divided along racial lines. This status quo has marked AOG as a racially divided church regardless of South African socio-cultural and theo-cultural realities in the changing demographics since 1994. This structure is the polity that reflects South African Apartheid legacy of separate development – the compromise between unity and mission.
  • Temple symbolism and mission in the pauline churches

    J.N.J Kritzinger, University of South Africa; P. Versteeg, Free University of Amsterdam; B. Oestreich, Theologische Hochschule Friedensau; Brouwer, Leendert (Southern African Missiological Society, 2018-08-22)
    This study explores the role of temple symbolism in the mission of the Pauline churches. It is theoretically informed by Beale’s (2004) and most recently Wright’s (2013) claim that Genesis 1:28 and 2 should serve as “the controlling paradigm” for mission. Taking the Garden of Eden as an archetypal temple, a ‘cosmic mount’ that provides a microcosmic portrayal of the cosmos, Beale and Wright don’t discuss important concerns about the ‘cosmic mount’ theory. This study addresses these concerns, providing an alternative interpretation that emphasizes the contextual nature of temple symbolism.
  • Standing where God stands: JNJ Kritzinger as an encountering missionary and missiologist

    Mashau, Derrick (Southern African Missiological Society, 2018-08-22)
    This article is written in order to pay tribute to one of the unsung heroes in the field of Mission and Missiology in South Africa, Johannes Nicolaas Jacobus Kritzinger. As a student of David Bosch, Klippies has always lived under his shadow. The same applies to his theology and praxes thereof. This article is aimed at providing an appraisal of Klippies’s theology in the public square as an encountering missionary and missiology whose transforming encounters impacted and changed the lives of many South Africans, Africans, and others in the global community. In the praxes of theology, Klippies chose to stand where God stands by not only fighting against the oppressive system of apartheid but also standing with the poor and marginalised, especially black South Africans.
  • The Ethics of Identity and World Christianity

    none; Ngong, David (Southern African Missiological Society, 2017-12-27)
    In describing the nature of Christian ethics in America before some recent interventions, Stanley Hauerwas notes that the subject of Christian ethics in America was and is America rather than the Church. He finds this disturbing because it seems to marginalize distinctively Christian moral formation. This critique raises the question of the nature of Christian identity. What should Christian identity in America, Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, etc. be? This question becomes especially urgent with the rise of world Christianity which takes for granted the idea that Christians who live in different contexts perform the Christian faith differently because of said context. This paper argues that while the variety that exists in world Christianity is made necessary by the context in which world Christianity developed, when taken to extremes, it may, among other things, lead to ecclesial apartheid.
  • The Prosperity Gospel, the decolonisation of Theology, and the abduction of missionary imagination

    NRF 103904; Niemandt, Nelus (Southern African Missiological Society, 2017-12-27)
    This research focussed on one of the most important social movements and contextual challenges in the African context – the explosive growth of the ‘prosperity gospel’ in Africa. It investigated this phenomenon from a missiological and African perspective, but in close relation to the discourses on decoloniality and decolonialisation, and asked if the prosperity gospel is a new form of colonialization. The research attended to the historical roots and theology of the prosperity gospel. It identified the core issue as one of contextualisation and investigated the prosperity gospel from a ‘glocal’ perspective. This brought the relationship between the prosperity gospel and globalisation (global) as well as local economic realities into the equation. Conclusions were made regarding the complex question whether the prosperity gospel can be regarded as a form of colonialization. The research found that the underlying epistemology is more oriented towards buttressing the worldview of global capitalism than deconstructing the political, social, and cultural domination established by Europeans and their Euro-North American descendants. It also concluded that the prosperity gospel is a spiritualisation of materiality and celebration of classic symbols of surplus/excess and consumerism. However, when attention was paid to local narratives and theologies, it became apparent that some prosperity churches have a strong focus on local communities and marginalised people and that leaders assisted in liberating empowering of members. The research concluded that this phenomenon might just lead to a particular form of African Pentecostalism that will, by itself, deconstruct coloniality and add exciting dimensions to the debate.
  • IS OUR WELL POISONED?: A HISTORICAL /ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF CHRISTIAN HIGHER EDUCATION IN NIGERIA

    Missio Missiological Institute, Aachen, Germany; ENEGHO, DR. FELIX EHIMARE (Southern African Missiological Society, 2017-12-27)
    AbstractHigher education right from ancient times to our contemporary time has been full of challenges in all areas. All countries in our global community have one form of story or another to tell in the area of education and most especially higher education. Just as higher education in America is in the midst of profound challenge and transformation so is the situation in some other countries of the world. The world today seems to be more interested in science and technology and believes that other areas of education are not important. It is a truism that in most of American Universities and Colleges political conflict and social unrest have been especially visible indicating some of the signs of change and stress. In Nigeria, the situation is not too different as almost all higher institutions which include Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education are bedevilled with all kinds of political conflict and acts of cultism which always result in violence among students. This paper asked a fundamental question “is our well poisoned?” and thereafter the paper explored the historical/economic analysis of Christian higher education in Nigeria. The question “is our well poisoned?” is asked from the point of view of the “well” being used as a symbol in this work. In the ancient world and in many developing countries today the well provides a source of water for many. If the well which is one source of getting water is poisoned it certainly deprives many from getting water which is used for so many purposes in various societies. This question is asked against the backdrop of how education started in Nigeria through various Christian missionary bodies from different parts of Europe and America. During the era of the early Christian missionaries in Nigeria, most of the schools built were under the management of the Christian foreign missionaries. During the period, education was given freely to the people without the missionaries thinking of economic gains. The absence of institutions of higher learning in Nigeria during the missionary era prompted the missionaries to send young promising Nigerians to Europe and America for higher studies. Such educated elites eventually became the harbingers of higher education and political leadership in post colonial Nigeria. Nigeria today can boast of several institutions of higher learning though not as many as those in America. Many of such institutions are government owned while some others are owned and managed by religious bodies such as Christianity and Islam. When reference is made in this work to higher educational institutions we shall focus on Christian established educational institutions. Our aim in this paper is to assess the quality of higher educational institutions in Nigeria and their availability to the children of both the affluent and the poor persons in our society. But it is common knowledge that many higher educational institutions in Nigeria are not only poorly funded but are mostly attended by the children of the poor  while those in political leadership as well as the affluent send their kids for higher education in Europe and America. Even in the Christian educational institutions which are most times better funded than those owned by the government, the fees are often too high for the poor. The implication is that only the kids of the very rich get to attend such schools. Which bring us again to the question “is our well poisoned?” If the foreign missionaries in the past could make sacrifices for the development of Nigeria why can the Christian higher educational institutions not do the same? This and other questions shall be analysed in this paper. The research methodology consist of a combination of socio – historical and evaluative approaches 
  • Towards understanding mission to Muslims in Kenya: A missio-Dei perspective

    North West University Post-doctoral fellowship research fund; Lagat, Rebecca Jepkemei (Southern African Missiological Society, 2017-12-27)
    A proper understanding of mission as a concept is essential for effective mission to people of other faiths. Theologians refer to this concept as missio Dei which entails God’s purpose in mission from the beginning to the end. Missio Dei is yet to find a universally acceptable definition and practice among Christians. Its nature and content remain problematic to the relevant stakeholders in mission. This article critically examines the missionary engagement to Muslims by five selected Evangelical churches in Eldoret Kenya. It investigates how and to what extent these churches implemented God’s mandate in light of the missio Dei. Using data collected from oral interviews and document analysis (DA), the research shows that the churches face challenges such as a lack of concrete understanding of God’s mandate for mission, internal disputes, financial constraints and the neglect of both the youth and women within the church. The conclusion indicates poor understanding and an ineffective strategy to approach Muslims. The recommendation is a new paradigm shift with a view to engaging Muslims in light of the missio Dei.
  • True disciples, nature and leiturgia: Preservation of the earth

    Northwest University; Marumo, Phemelo Olifile (Southern African Missiological Society, 2017-11-27)
    God created man in his image (imago Dei) and to be a disciple of God.  Being a disciple man must look after, use and care for the earth as part of his leiturgia.  It is a clear indication that God speaks to us through nature and as such we must heed the call of creation in our worship services.  The Fall, however, resulted in a disregard for worshipping God, living with him and taking care of the earth.  Instead, the earth has been subject to exploitation ever since.  This exploitation is in sharp contrast to Matthew 28:20; where Jesus instructed the disciples to go and teach the nations to observe all his commands, whatever they may be, one of which was to “care for and subdue” the earth. Global warming is gradually ravaging the environment and has affected how we pray.  Much has been said by religious bodies, governments as well as organisations advocating the preservation of the environment, to no avail.  Leiturgia and discipleship have been replaced by conferences and seminars on the environment.  Nature is at the centre of debate, but nothing ever comes of it and true discipleship has been pushed aside as though it never existed.  The earth is facing imminent destruction. This paper addresses the above by firstly highlighting the historical background of discipleship as core of the mission to preserve the earth, then presents the action taken at present to attend to the earth’s destruction.  Thirdly the paper demonstrates how leiturgia and nature could serve to remind all to care for the earth.  Part of true discipleship is glorifying God in accordance to the missio Dei.
  • Toward an African-Christian Demonology: The Demonologies of African Traditional Religion, African Christianity, and Early Christianity in Dialogue

    Moscicke, Hans (Southern African Missiological Society, 2017-11-27)
    Christian interactions with the spirit-world of African traditional religion (ATR) have remained problematic due, in part, to the failure of Christian missionaries to understand in detail the cosmology of ATR and the angelologies and demonologies of early Christianity. In this article I suggest a way beyond this impasse. I first survey the shape of cosmology and demonology in ATR, and then examine African Christianitys variegated responses to these traditional beliefs. Finally, I submit that a retrieval of the early Christian mythological narrative about demons and its associated cosmology could help theologians accommodate the spirit-world of ATR within a truly African-Christian theology.
  • The Role of Christianity and Islam in Slavery: A Wesleyan Interpretation

    Maiko, Saneta (Southern African Missiological Society, 2017-11-27)
    This paper is a detail of slave trade and how it impacted Africans and specifically how it became a source of inspiration for John Wesley the founder of Methodism in his mission endeavors. The article uses Wesleyanism in reference to John Wesley’s mission work. Muslim or Christian Slavery refers to slave trade that was driven by followers of Islam and Christianity. The paper is divided into subsection. First, John Wesley (1703-17891) the founder of Wesleyan movements including Methodism is discussed and his role in the fight against slavery. The paper delves into how religion was used to advance or fight against slave trade; especially looking at the role played by American Methodist in this task. The paper concludes by challenging religions especially Christianity and Islam to be sensitive to this history whenever they advance their outreach.
  • Yosefa Mhalamhala: Chosen Vessel for God’s Mission among the VaTsonga in Mozambique

    Baloyi, Gift Tlharihani (Southern African Missiological Society, 2017-11-27)
    This article provides a historical perspective as it tries to resuscitate the life of Yosefa Mhalamhala as well as illuminate his vision that has been lost.  The reasons for this effoers are threefold: firstly, Yosefa Mhalamhala was an unknown citizen until the day he announced the gospel to the Mozambicans in 1880;  Secondly, he was the first evangelist to be consecrated and sent as a missionary to Mozambique, with the specific mandate of establishing the bases for a future implantation of a Swiss Protestant Mission in Delagoa Bay, Mozambique; and thirdly to show that despite having done good work that produced a positive impact and succeeded in establishing three spiritual centres that were recognized both nationally and internationally, the name of Yosefa Mhalamhala is still not known by the majority of the members of the Igreja Presbiteriana de Moçambique (IPM). The article concludes by exposing the silence of the IPM on the good missionary work done by Mhalamhala. Even though the church chose to remain silent about his missionary work, he was God’s vessel in missionary work to the Tsonga people of Mozambique. 
  • Pauls Theology of Mission and Missionary Methods

    Nil; Moe, David Thang (Southern African Missiological Society, 2017-11-27)
    The aim of this article not simply to relate to Pauls mission theology and missionary methods as theory and practice in the sense that his missionary methods flow from his theology, but rather in the sense that his theology is a missionary theology in nature.[1] Understood in this mutual ways, I will begin where Paul himself beginwith the Damascus event of his conversion and call. I will next study the contents of his missionary theology and the forms of his missionary works among the Gentiles.[1] Arland J. Hulgren, Pauls Gospel and Mission (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress, 1983), 145.
  • The defining moments for the Dutch Reformed Church mission policy of 1935 and 1947

    none; Kgatla, Thias; Magwira, Anderson (Southern African Missiological Society, 2015-12-18)
    This paper explores the Dutch Reformed Mission Policy formulated by the Federal of Churches in 1933. The political climate of the time and the social, economic, cultural and political interest of the white Afrikaner church played a pivotal part in shaping the policy. The paper further probes the missionary motives that ensued from such a political agenda. The Dutch Reformed Church failed to see the dangers of self-interest and the tenants of Gods mission. The paper attempts to lay a sound foundation for mission in a racially divided South Africa.
  • Conversions in context: Insights from an autobiographical narrative of a Congolese-born missionary at Stinkwater[1].

    Mangayi, Lukwikilu Credo (Southern African Missiological Society, 2017-09-07)
      AbstractIndigenous African missionaries are increasingly becoming involved in various mission interests in their contexts. Assumptions made by many mission institutions are that when they call indigenous Africans, they would be easily accepted and integrated into the community and get on with mission duties. However, these assumptions do not hold for indigenous Africans who are not native to the land where they serve. In relation to the latter this article, based on an autobiographical narrative of a Congolese-born missionary at Stinkwater, highlights four ‘conversion episodes’ that the missionary went through before he begun to ‘weave together’ the story of the good news of Jesus with stories of people in this particular context. All these episodes have had profound implications towards reshaping and reviving his theology of mission and praxis at Stinkwater. Insights from this autobiographical narrative could be useful in the preparation of indigenous workers who intend to work in context where they are not native to the land.  [1]The abbreviated version of this article was first presented as a paper at the International Association of Mission Studies (IAMS) conference which took place at Seoul, South Korea (11 – 15 August 2016) under the track “theologies of mission” convened by Steve Bevans and Kirsteen Kim.

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