• Elias Letwaba, the Apostolic Faith Mission, and the spread of Black Pentecostalism in South Africa

      Morton,Barry (The Church History Society of Southern Africa, 2017-01-01)
      This article argues that the little-known Elias Letwaba was the most influential African Pentecostal in southern African religious history. using an array of primary sources, the article demonstrates the rapid growth of Pentecostal communities in the Northern Transvaal under Letwaba's control. Unlike other African Pentecostal ministers who inevitably abandoned the movement, Letwaba received significant support, funding, and publicity for his efforts. These factors, combined with his strong leadership role, contributed to his remaining within the white-led Apostolic Faith Mission and building up its African membership. As the founder of South Africa's first black-run seminary, the Patmos Bible School, Letwaba was able to propound and spread classic Pentecostal theology, although he placed a strong personal emphasis on holiness. He also placed a strong emphasis on faith healing as a means of attracting converts, and trained numerous evangelists to do likewise.
    • Towards a visionary and historical consciousness: Rowan Williams's Four Quartets lectures (1974-1975)

      Delport,Khegan (The Church History Society of Southern Africa, 2017-01-01)
      The aim of this essay is to provide a critical exposition of Rowan Williams's unpublished lectures on T. S. Eliot's Four Quartets. A thorough examination of these texts has been lacking in various interpretations of Williams's writings, and this essay aims to remedy this paucity, making available the argument and content of the lectures open to scrutiny and historical investigation. As will be seen, Williams's interpretation of the poems is robustly theological, and seeks to articulate a radically incarnational reading of the Four Quartets. Such an interpretation seeks to assert creation's fundamental historicity and often tragic contingency, while at the same time suggesting that it is only when reality is seen for what it is that a vision of redemption may be truly glimpsed.
    • Healing in a Cultural Context: The Role of Healing as a Defining Character in the Growth and Popular Faith of the Zion Christian Church

      Mashabela, James Kenokeno (University of South Africa Press, 2017-08-17)
      This article revisits the role healing has played in the growth of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) as one of the fastest growing African Independent Churches (AICs) in South Africa. The article argues that the ZCC is appealing to black Africans because it addresses healing within the cultural context of an African. Healing within the cultural context speaks to the fundamental needs of an African. The fundamental needs of an African see healing as addressing more than just a body ailment, but the totality of a person. The paper revisits the history of healing in the ZCC, and in so doing, will be a revisit to this church’s history. In revisiting this history, the discrimination that this church faced from the political authorities and from the white mission churches will also be referred to. 
    • Elias Letwaba, the Apostolic Faith Mission, and the Spread of Black Pentecostalism in South Africa

      Morton, Barry (University of South Africa Press, 2017-08-17)
      This article argues that the little-known Elias Letwaba was the most influential African Pentecostal in southern African religious history. Using an array of primary sources, the article demonstrates the rapid growth of Pentecostal communities in the Northern Transvaal under Letwaba’s control. Unlike other African Pentecostal ministers who inevitably abandoned the movement, Letwaba received significant support, funding, and publicity for his efforts. These factors, combined with his strong leadership role, contributed to his remaining within the white-led Apostolic Faith Mission and building up its African membership. As the founder of South Africa’s first black-run seminary, the Patmos Bible School, Letwaba was able to propound and spread classic Pentecostal theology, although he placed a strong personal emphasis on holiness. He also placed a strong emphasis on faith healing as a means of attracting converts, and trained numerous evangelists to do likewise.
    • Mau-Mau War Rituals and Women Rebels in Kirinyaga County of Kenya (1952–1960): Retrieving Women Participation in Kenya’s Struggle for Independence

      Kenyatta University and Research Fellow in the Research Institute for Theology and Religion, UNISA; Gathogo, Julius M.; SENIOR LECTURER KENYATTA UNIVERSITY MOMBASA CAMPUS P. O. BOX 16778-80100 MOMBASA KENYA (University of South Africa Press, 2017-08-17)
      The Mau-Mau war of independence in Kenya was fought after the returnees of the First and Second World Wars (1919–1945), who were mainly Christians, succeeded in politicising the black majority in the then Kenyan colony (1920–1963) to demand justice across the colour divides, as a religio-ritual duty which climaxed in oaths. The first stage of the war was seen in the change of contents in the African ritualistic dances that young men and women had gotten used to. In time, the love songs became political and/or patriotic songs that prepared people for a major war that was in the offing. The second stage was the secretive binding oaths. The third stage was the repositioning of the rebels in terms of forest fighters, the combatants, who were to engage the British government in guerrilla warfare. The third stage also saw some rebels positioned as spies, oath administrators, resource mobilisers, food suppliers to the forest fighters, among other offices. In all these duty allocations within the rank-and-file of society, it is critically important to ask: Were these ritualistic oaths a poor imitation and/or mockery of ecclesiastical Eucharist? Were men and women fighters acting from a just war theory? What role did women play in this all-important war that inspired other liberation movements in Africa and beyond? In Kirinyaga County of Kenya, were there women combatants and/or supporters of Mau-Mau rebellion (1952–1960)? The materials in this article are primarily gathered through archival sources and through interviewing some of the participants.
    • Development and South Africa: A critical Theological Reflection on the Discourse of Development within the All Africa Conference of Churches and its significance for post-Apartheid South Africa

      Klaasen, John Stephanus; UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN CAPE DEPARTMENT OF RELIGION AND THEOLOGY ARTS FACULTY (University of South Africa Press, 2017-11-17)
      The All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) has made significant contributions to the theological discourse of development in Africa. Two gatherings, Lome (1987) and Harare (1992), stand out in the history of the AACC as defining moments in the theological discourse on the regression of development in Africa since the achievement of independence of the first African states from colonial rule. The purpose of this article is to investigate the contributions of these two gatherings and to assess the role of personhood and personal responsibility for development in South Africa as one of the last African countries to achieve democratic rule. Development attempts by the religious, and specifically Christian institutions such as the Ecumenical Federation of Southern Africa (EFSA) and the World Council of Churches, are correlated with dominant development theories to demonstrate the overlapping of development approaches. Some of the weaknesses of these approaches are pointed out. The constructive part of the article suggests that a theological notion of personhood and its relation to development is a more sustainable form of development within the context of contemporary South Africa.
    • From England to Under African Skies: The Quest for an African Anglican Liturgical Voice

      none; Houston, Peter Carleton; Stellenbosch University; Kruger, Andrew (University of South Africa Press, 2017-11-17)
      The prayer book of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa is currently being revised. The slogan ‘Under Southern Skies - In An African voice’ is the rallying cry of this liturgical consultative process.  It captures one of the core purposes of the revision project, namely, to root Anglican liturgy in the context of Southern Africa.  But this is not a new impetus. The previous revision of the prayer book, 1989 Anglican Prayer Book, sought a similar objective and hoped for the continuing development of indigenous liturgy.  This hope has a long history. The Anglican church, formed in England in the midst of the Reformation, engaged significantly with the vernacular moment, crafting liturgy in English rather than Latin. The church also sought to hold together a diversity of theological voices in order to create a via media or middle road.  This paper explores the liturgical turning point of the Reformation and the later expansion of colonial and theological tensions that have shaped and been expressed through the history of the Anglican prayer book in Southern Africa.  The authors conclude that giving substance to indigenous voices and finding theological middle ground remains important to the revision process to this day.
    • The Reformation as a Turning Point for the Roman Catholic Church (16th and 17th Centuries)

      University of KwaZulu-Natal; Henriques, Alan Charles; University of KwaZulu-Natal (University of South Africa Press, 2017-11-17)
      In this article the effects of the Protestant Reformation on the Roman Catholic Church are investigated. The event of 1517, when Luther posted 95 theses on the castle church door in Wittenberg, had a profound effect on society in Europe and the Roman Catholic Church in particular. The Council of Trent (1545–1563) was the official response of the Roman Catholic Church to the Protestant Reformation and issued in the Catholic Reformation (Counter-Reformation). Christian thought went from a uniform approach to one of diversity. The Catholics of the day responded by focusing on strategies such as printing, the liturgy, the inquisition and finally excommunication. The wound to the unity of the Christian community was finally healed at the Second Vatican Council when the Roman Catholic Church joined the ecumenical movement of all Christian Churches. The Roman Catholic Church learnt tremendous lessons from the Protestant Reformation. In certain parts of Europe there was friction and in other parts cooperation between Protestants and Catholics. Through the course of time cooperation and dialogue won the battle eventually, as Protestants and Catholics grappled with both their common beliefs and their many differences.
    • From South Africa to Different Corners of the Globe: Christian Formation as “Pilgrimage”

      Lesage, Mark; Former Parish Priest, St. Jospeh's Parish Las Pinas, Manila, Philippines. Founder Director Bukal ng Tipan Pastoral Centre, Philippines; Padilla, Estela; Director of pastoral programmes at Bukal ng Tipan Pastoral Centre, Manila, Philippines. (University of South Africa Press, 2017-11-17)
      This is the story of how Anselm Prior, OFM, inspired a priest and a lay team from the Parish of St Joseph in Las Piñas, Philippines, who attended the Lumko international course in Lesotho, South Africa in 1992. Concurrently within this narrative lies the birth of Anselm Prior’s doctoral dissertation, for Prior “discovered” his thesis while working in the Bamboo Parish in Manila, taking the parish as the subject of his theological study. This parish team later established a pastoral centre—Bukal ng Tipan—serving the dioceses of the Philippines, and more widely dioceses in Asia and Europe. Inspired by the travelling, the authors explore the image of pilgrimage in discussing inculturation or contextualised Christian formation. The narrative informs the reader of the international reach of the Lumko Pastoral Institute under Anselm Prior, and how the Lumko template has influenced pastoral renewal throughout the Philippines and much of Asia. It is also a case study of how the turn to systematic reflection on experience during the last half century has decided the direction of theological undertakings in Asia and beyond.The first part of the article is written by Mark Lesage then parish priest of St Joseph Las Piñas, sharing the beginnings of a mission journey with Anselm Prior of Lumko and the parish. The second part is written by Dr Estela Padilla sharing how the inspiration of contextualised Christian formation from  Lumko was further developed by Bukal ng Tipan and then shared with Asia and Europe.
    • Die Rooms-Katolieke Wortels van die Mistiek in die Sewentiende en Agttiende-Eeuse Kaapse Piëtisme

      University of the Free State; Raath, Andries W.G.; University of the Free State Department of History (University of South Africa Press, 2017-11-17)
      The research on Cape spirituality of the eighteenth and nineteenth century by Christina Landman, Celestina Pretorius and Karel Schoeman shifted the focus from a constructivist to a transconfessional religious profile. The research of Landman and Schoeman heralded a new era in Pietism research in South African religious and historiographical publications: both authors point out the manifold religious origins of Pietism at the Cape, the mystical nature of Cape Pietism and suggest Medieval origins of the mysticism at the heart of Cape pietistic spirituality. This essay traces the mystical roots of Cape Pietism to prominent Roman Catholic authors: Bernard of Clairvaux, Thomas à Kempis and Johann Tauler. It is concluded that the mystical roots of Cape Protestant spirituality are not the exclusive inheritance of Roman Catholic spirituality but also of Protestant spirituality in Dutch and German Pietism
    • Germany, South Africa and Rwanda: Three Manners for a Church to Confess its Guilt

      National Research Foundation (NRF); Denis, Philippe; University of KwaZulu-Natal (University of South Africa Press, 2017-11-17)
      The paper examines three historical situations where Christian churches confessed their guilt for their implication in episodes of extreme violence, whether by acts of omission or commission: post-Second World War Germany, post-apartheid South Africa and post-genocide Rwanda. In Germany and in South Africa several churches confessed their guilt rapidly and fairly comprehensively. In Rwanda only the Presbyterian Church did so. The other churches either abstained from making any statement or only acknowledged the crimes committed by some of their members. This paper argues that, for a large part, the political and military context explains the difference. In Germany the war was irremediably lost and in South Africa the apartheid government had accepted the necessity of a regime change. In Rwanda, by contrast, the government which had orchestrated the genocide had withdrawn to a neighbouring country and vowed to continue the fight. A second factor is the quality of the church leadership, strong in the first two cases, weak and divided in Rwanda except for the Presbyterian Church.
    • Yes, John G Lake was a Con Man: A Response to Marius Nel

      Morton, Barry; UNISA (University of South Africa Press, 2017-11-17)
      This response to Marius Nel’s 2016 article (in Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae no. 42, 1, 62-85) uses primary source material to refute his claims that John G Lake, the initiator of Pentecostalism in southern Africa, was an upstanding man of God. A wide array of American and South African sources show that Lake invented an extensive but fictitious life story, while also creating a similarly dubious divine calling that obscured his involvement in gruesome killings in America. Once in South Africa, he used invented “miracles” to raise funds abroad for the Apostolic Faith Mission. Before long, he faced many accusations of duplicity from inside his own church.
    • Listening to Voices at the Margin: The Washing of the Feet John 13:1–20

      Prior, John Mansford; Candraditya Research Centre, Indonesia (University of South Africa Press, 2017-11-17)
      Witnessing an entire congregation participating in the Maundy Thursday ritual of foot washing in Johannesburg led to a renewed consideration of the meaning of this, the final sign of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel (Jn 13:1-20), and its relevance for today. Making use of the dynamic of intercultural hermeneutics and so listen to voices at the margin, this reflection moves back and forth between the biblical text itself and a variety of contemporary cultural appropriations of the ritual in Asia and the Pacific, focusing upon issues of power, powerlessness, inclusion and exclusion.
    • Colonial Institutionalisation of Poverty among Blacks in South Africa

      Lephakga, Tshepo; University of South Africa (University of South Africa Press, 2017-11-17)
      This article examines colonial institutionalisation of poverty amongst colonised and conquered blacks in South Africa. Colonialism divided the world in two:  the centre, which is occupied by Europeans, and the periphery, which is occupied by non-Europeans. This division institutionalised poverty amongst the colonised to maintain the supremacist status of the coloniser and the colonial status of the colonised as non-beings. Colonial apartheid, following the colonial epistemological foundation(s) and justification(s) of the centre imposing itself on the periphery, strived to make black people go through social death, which became a necessity fed into the colonial thinking that those in the periphery are lesser beings. Social death was engineered and maintained through the impoverishment of black people. Poverty and colonial dependency syndrome were institutionalised following the systematic institutionalisation of the social creation of race. A number of scholars have noted that race is a social creation with real consequences. It is thus not surprising that the painful history of South Africa resulted in the impoverishment of the majority of the people in the country. Following its long historical institutionalisation, poverty resulted in poor black people internalising oppression and doubting their humanness. This paper contends that colonial apartheid is the cause of a vast inequality in the South African society, including social institutionalised poverty among the blacks in South Africa.
    • Reformation, Dissent and Diversity: The Story of Scotland’s Churches, 1560–1960

      Duncan, Graham; University of Pretoria (University of South Africa Press, 2017-12-06)
      Book Review
    • St Paul’s Anglican Theological College during the Transition towards a Democratic South Africa, 1986–92

      Mbaya, Henry; University of Stellenbosch (University of South Africa Press, 2017-12-07)
      St Paul’s Theological College was established in Grahamstown, South Africa, in 1902 to train white Anglican students for the ministry. During the last six years of its existence, from 1986 to 1992, the college went through rapid changes: emerging new trends in theological training and ministry raised questions on the relevance of traditional patterns of training in which St Paul’s College had been established and operated from. Although the College was originally intended to exclusively train white students, during this period, the numbers of black students started to balance off with those of white students, just as the number of women ordinands also started to rise. On the other hand, financial challenges facing some dioceses also adversely affected the college. In the dying days of apartheid, the college became more involved in the socio-political issues of Grahamstown. Moreover, its enduring image as a “white” college in the emerging new South Africa seemed an embarrassment to the church authorities. The closure of St Paul’s College, and its merger with St Bede’s College on the premises of St Paul’s College, paved the way for a new College of the Transfiguration (COT), which was an attempt to respond some of these challenges.
    • The Lumko Music Department and Cultural Heritage

      Dargie, Dave; former Head Music Department, Lumko Pastoral Institute, South Africa (University of South Africa Press, 2017-12-07)
      Until the 1960s music in the African language Catholic churches in southern Africa was confined to European (or European style) tunes set to African language texts. The music used suited neither the languages of the people nor their spiritual and emotional needs. Some church leaders, such as Archbishop Hurley of Durban, wished to see a change for the better. Certain missionaries tried to do something about it, in particular Oswald Hirmer and Fritz Lobinger, Bavarian missionaries working in the Xhosa area. The author had done music studies, and in his work in Zwelitsha parish, near King Williams Town, had used some of the music resulting from the work of Hirmer and Lobinger. The two missionaries gave him the chance to start a project for creating new church music in African styles by working with local church members in different areas. This went so well that the author was taken onto the staff of Lumko Pastoral Institute, with Hirmer and Lobinger. Over the period 1979 to 1989 the author was able to promote and record new church music in many languages in South Africa and its neighbours, plus a great deal of the traditional music of the region. In 1996 Anselm Prior, then director of Lumko, returned all the field recording originals to the author, giving him the opportunity to put together a significant contribution to the preserved music heritage of Southern Africa, including African traditional music and church music. The article is a report on the project and its results.
    • The YCW moves into Soweto and other Black Townships: 1952 to 1965

      National Research Foundation (Funding); Bate, Stuart Clifton; UKZN (University of South Africa Press, 2017-12-07)
      The Young Christian Workers (YCW) movement in South Africa officially began in Johannesburg in 1949. Within a few years the movement expanded into Soweto and then other surrounding emerging black townships of Johannesburg. The YCW was a movement of the working class: by workers for workers. The young workers were the leaders of the movement. As a movement led by lay people in the church, the YCW is a movement of “Catholic Action” and this dimension will be clarified in the text. The specific focus of this article is an examination of the early history of the YCW in Soweto. This was initiated through the work of a young worker, Eric Tyacke, who was appointed to this mission by the local bishop in Johannesburg, William Patrick Whelan OMI. Missionary priests in the townships, especially those from Belgium and Ireland, facilitated the establishment and development of the movement in their role as chaplains. However, the main means of the primary activity of mission to workers, was carried out by the young worker leaders of the YCW themselves in their places of work and their communities. For this reason a major part of the data collection was through oral history, where possible from those former YCW members still alive, as well as other written sources. This missionary activity will be analysed in terms of a model of method in contextual missiology previously developed by the author. The social context of this period is also examined, as this was the time of establishing racially defined suburbs in Johannesburg as well as restrictions on trade unions, in a time when the apartheid policy of the new nationalist government began to grip. 
    • The Bantu Presbyterian Church of South Africa and Ecumenism: 1923–1939

      Duncan, Graham; University of Pretoria (University of South Africa Press, 2017-12-07)
      The Bantu Presbyterian Church of South Africa (BPCSA) was birthed out of a quest for union amongst Presbyterians, which began in the 1890s more than 30 years before it was actually established as the fruit of the mission of the United Free Church of Scotland in 1923. From that date onwards church union hardly ever disappeared from the agenda of the highest court of the denomination, the General Assembly. During the twentieth century such discussions involved two of the three other Presbyterian churches and the Congregational Union of South Africa. In addition, the BPCSA has maintained a high ecumenical profile in both the South African and global contexts. The main thrust of this article describes and analyses the vicissitudes of Presbyterian conversations during the period 1923–39
    • Grant me Justice! Reading the Chronicle of the Ordination of Women in the MCSA as the Making of a Patronage Ministry

      Tiroyabone-A-Sedupelela, Obusitswe (University of South Africa Press, 2017-12-07)
      In 2016 the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA) celebrates 40 years of the ordination of women which signifies a milestone in the ministry. Whilst this calls for celebration, it is also important that we lament the challenges women ministers are facing in the church. The chronicle of how the church came to ordain women as ministers in the MCSA cites tensions and debates as well as theological arguments for and against the ordination of women. This paper reads this chronicle with a hermeneutic of suspicion. The paper holds that the decision of the church to ordain women has not translated to women being ordained ministers like men within the church, but rather the decision created a patronage system within the ministry where male ministers (and their wives) are patrons and female ministers their clients. The woman minister in the MCSA joins the woman in the Luke narrative who continues to go to the judge (the MCSA) and laments “Grant me Justice!”