• A Critical Historical Evaluation of the Formation of the Anglican Province of Zimbabwe (APZ) by Bishop Nolbert Kunonga

      Mutmiri, Farai; Duncan, Graham (University of South Africa Press, 2018-05-22)
      The continued appointments of white expatriate priests as rectors of Zimbabwean parishes constituted a challenge to the Quest for Belonging in the post-independence period in Zimbabwe. A substantial challenge to the status quo came from Bishop Nolbert Kunonga with the formation of the Anglican Province of Zimbabwe in his apparent attempt at “belonging” and indigenisation. However, subsequent developments testify to Kunonga’s domineering leadership style, his disregard for the doctrines, laws and traditions of the denomination.
    • A Historical Perspective on AA Boesak as Organic Intellectual Par Excellence: On Social-analytical and Hermeneutic Mediation in Theology

      Botha, Nico (University of South Africa Press, 2018-07-18)
      Allan Aubrey Boesak has—over the past five years or so—been honoured from diverse perspectives by South Africans in festschrifts and journal articles, and particularly in a thesis. One would, however, look in vain for a study on his prowess as an organic intellectual. The objective of this article is to offer a historical perspective on his legacy of embodying, in an integrated fashion, the connectedness of the life of the mind and the struggles of the poor and the oppressed. His legacy is assessed in terms of the first three steps of the praxis cycle, namely insertion, context analysis, and theological reflection. The article shows that based on his rootedness in the black church, the Belydende Kring, the Alliance of Black Reformed Churches in Southern Africa and the United Democratic Front, he emerged as an organic intellectual par excellence. In accentuating his theological legacy, issues like identifying God as the God of the oppressed, human rights, and justice are highlighted. The article concludes with a brief attempt at capturing Boesak’s intellectual legacy
    • A historical perspective on AA Boesak as organic intellectual par excellence: on social-analytical and hermeneutic mediation in theology

      Botha,Nico (The Church History Society of Southern Africa, 2018-01-01)
      Allan Aubrey Boesak has-over the past five years or so-been honoured from diverse perspectives by South Africans in festschrifts and journal articles, and particularly in a thesis. One would, however, look in vain for a study on his prowess as an organic intellectual. The objective of this article is to offer a historical perspective on his legacy of embodying, in an integrated fashion, the connectedness of the life of the mind and the struggles of the poor and the oppressed. His legacy is assessed in terms of the first three steps of the praxis cycle, namely insertion, context analysis, and theological reflection. The article shows that based on his rootedness in the black church, the Belydende Kring, the Alliance of Black Reformed Churches in Southern Africa and the United Democratic Front, he emerged as an organic intellectual par excellence. In accentuating his theological legacy, issues like identifying God as the God of the oppressed, human rights, and justice are highlighted. The article concludes with a brief attempt at capturing Boesak's intellectual legacy.
    • A History of Gender Insensitivity in URCSA

      Plaatjies-Van Huffel,Mary-Anne (The Church History Society of Southern Africa, 2019-01-01)
      This article utilises autoethnographical methodology to dissect the history of gender insensitivity in the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA). According to Carolyn Ellis (2010), autoethnography is an approach to research and writing that seeks to "describe and systematically analyze (graphy) personal experience (auto) in order to understand cultural experience (ethno)." Ellis (2004) states that autoethnography refers to writing about the personal and its relationship to culture. This paper utilises self-reflection to explore anecdotal personal experience and to connect this autobiographical story to wider understanding of gender in URCSA. Sandars (2009) defines reflection as a "metacognitive process that occurs before, during and after situations with the purpose of developing greater understanding of both the self and the situation ..." This article concentrates on research grounded in personal experience. It aims to sensitise readers to issues of identity politics in URCSA. It will highlight experiences shrouded in silence within URCSA, and deepen knowledge about the struggles that women in ordained positions within URCSA have had to endure. Foucault (1982) describes three types of struggles: either against forms of domination; against forms of exploitation; or against that which ties the individual to himself and submits him to others. The article deconstructs the relationship between text and theory, praxis and context, and presents an alternative interpretation. It highlights central themes regarding women in ordained positions within URCSA, but focuses more on the sub themes: from ordination to academia; ordained women in leadership positions, the gender equity policy of URCSA; a milestone never embraced 1994-2005; inclusive language and the draft worship book of URCSA; women as delegates to ecumenical gatherings.
    • A Quarter Century of Democracy and the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa

      Modise,Leepo Johannes (The Church History Society of Southern Africa, 2019-01-01)
      This paper focuses on the role of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA) in the South African society during the past 25 years of its services to God, one another and the world. Firstly, the paper provides a brief history of URCSA within 25 years of its existence. Secondly, the societal situation in democratic South Africa is highlighted in light of Article 4 of the Belhar Confession and the Church Order as a measuring tool for the role of the church. Thirdly, the thermometer-thermostat metaphor is applied in evaluating the role of URCSA in democratic South Africa. Furthermore, the 20 years of URCSA and democracy in South Africa are assessed in terms of Gutierrez's threefold analysis of liberation. In conclusion, the paper proposes how URCSA can rise above the thermometer approach to the thermostat approach within the next 25 years of four general synods.
    • A Reconstruction of Matthew Jacha Rusike's Contribution to the Re-humanisation of Dehumanised Children in Zimbabwe 1950-1978

      Mujinga,Martin (The Church History Society of Southern Africa, 2020-01-01)
      The Mathew Rusike Children's Home (MRCH) in Zimbabwe is known for its philanthropic work of caring for orphans and vulnerable children. It is an institution viewed as a Christ-woven nest that re-humanises dehumanised children. This paper was motivated by the fact that, over the years, the MRCH has attracted partners and supporters locally and globally, thereby giving it international status. However, there is a gap in research that connects the founder, Rev. Matthew Jacha Rusike, and the institution. The gap is worrisome, because Rusike has been a pioneer in the history of Methodism in a number of ways. To start with, he was the first African Wesleyan Methodist minister to be appointed as circuit superintendent in a missionary-dominated church. Second, he was awarded the "Member of the Order of the British Empire" for his contribution to the formation of the first African children's home in a country whose cultural values denied the existence of orphanages. Third, he also supervised many schools; and yet there is little research about him. The other motivation for this study was to reconcile the historical Rusike and the institution. The paper concluded that Rusike had challenged the African epistemology that orphans and vulnerable children are the responsibility of relatives-even if those homes are not safe for children. The paper starts by discussing the personal life of Rusike, followed by a description of his ministerial journey; how he founded the children's home, and how the home developed from a family vision to be the church's Christian social responsibility.
    • A Remarkable Woman in African Independent Churches: Examining Christina Nku’s Leadership in St John’s Apostolic Faith Mission

      University of South Africa; Kgatle, Mookgo Solomon (University of South Africa Press, 2019-01-11)
      The name African Independent Churches (AICs) refers to churches that have been independently started in Africa by Africans and not by missionaries from another continent.There has been extensive research on (AICs) from different subjects in the past. There is, however, a research gap on the subject of leadership in the AICs, especially with reference to women leaders. To address this gap, this article discusses leadership in the AICs with special reference to the leadership of Christina Nku in St John’s Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM). A historical examination of Christina Nku’s leadership is studied by looking at her roles as a family woman, prophet, church founder, faith healer and educator in St John’s AFM. The aim of this article is twofold. First it is to reflect on gender in the leadership of the AICs. Second it is to apply the framework of leadership in the AICs to Christina Nku’s leadership in St John’s AFM. Consequently, the article is an interface between gender and leadership in an African context. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that Christina Nku was a remarkable woman in the leadership of the AICs.
    • A Revisit of the Ministerial Concept of Lay and Full-Time Ministers in Classical Pentecostal Churches in Ghana and its Missional Implications

      White, Peter; Ntsiful, John (University of South Africa Press, 2018-04-03)
      In their article “Pentecostal Mission Approaches” White and Niemandt (2015, 241–269) make a case for how some Pentecostal Churches in Ghana have made good use of lay/tent ministry in their missionary agenda. However, among the Classical Pentecostal Churches in Ghana, lay ministers are not recognised as full-time ministers of the church. The understanding of these churches is that the lay/tent ministers by their definition do not operate in the five-fold ministry. In some of the churches, they are not accredited by the church to be part of their General Ministerial Council Meetings and the Annual General Meetings. Unlike the mainline churches, the lay or tent ministers in the Classical Pentecostal Churches in Ghana are also not allowed to vote or to be recommended for Executive Council positions. These issues therefore make it essential to investigate the historical and theological understanding of the concept of the lay and full-time ministers in church history, Ghanaian Pentecostals’ view of the concept, as well as the missional importance of lay ministries in the church and the missio Dei.
    • Addicts of Gender-Based Violence: Patriarchy as the Seed-bed of Gendered Witchcraft Accusations

      Kgatla,Selaelo Thias (The Church History Society of Southern Africa, 2020-01-01)
      The concept of patriarchy has occupied the minds of humanity from time immemorial. Over the past centuries, the construct has suppressed the lives of women, while according unlimited power and privileges to men in ruling communities. In this paper, the researcher presents an analysis of how patriarchy and its surrogates (sexism, misogyny, machismo, marianismo, masculinity, and male menopause) are used in witchcraft discourse within communities to perpetuate exclusive male power and dominance of women.
    • Africanising the Catholic Mass Celebration in Ghana: Recognising Cultural Identity or Agenda to Retain the Faithful?

      Quan-Baffour, Kofi Poku (University of South Africa Press, 2018-05-22)
      The Catholic Church started in Ghana in the 1500s. The missionaries of this Eurocentric Church prohibited its converts from practising their culture, for example the singing of folksongs, drumming, dancing and wearing of talismans in and outside the church, because they were deemed satanic, savage, fetish, heathen and ungodly. The missionaries’ perception was that Ghanaians did not know God and they—the missionaries—had come to Africa to “teach the Ghanaians” about God. Church premises were decorated with the cross and Christ images to facilitate full conversion of converts; whereas Ghanaian traditional, cultural and religious shrines for the veneration of “their” gods were destroyed. Church hymns were in Latin and English with few translations. However, in a noteworthy change of heart, over the past two decades Ghanaian drums, songs and dance were once again accepted into the Mass. This ethnographic study, which was undertaken to understand the sudden “U-turn” on Ghanaian culture, found that the change of attitude was to recognise African culture with the agenda of retaining the faithful in the wake of competition from emerging charismatic churches.
    • Anselm Prior OFM and the shift to the Lumko Model for the Church after Vatican II

      Fuellenbach, John (University of South Africa Press, 2018-10-25)
      In the creative turmoil after the Second Vatican Council, the Divine Word Missionaries (SVD) set up a five-month renewal course at Nemi for their members. Noting that one key issue was the changing concept and practice of the Catholic Church from a universal, clerical pyramid to a communion of local communities, and that this conciliar theological vision demanded particular pastoral skills and training, the then director of the Nemi Renewal Course invited Anselm Prior to conduct a workshop presenting the Lumko training method of building Small Christian Communities. In this paper the author contrasts the Basic Ecclesial Communities that were birthed in Latin America over against the hierarchical church, with the Small Christian Communities that originated in Africa that were planned by the bishops themselves to bring the church closer to the people and their culture. This African model was promoted globally by the Lumko Pastoral Institute, and so became a vital part of the pastoral skill training conducted by Anselm Prior during some 15 annual courses at Nemi.
    • APLA and the Amnesty Committee of the TRC? An Ethical Analysis of the Amnesty Committee of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa

      University of South Africa; Lephakga, Tshepo (University of South Africa Press, 2018-04-20)
      This article examines the role of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of South Africa, led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It focuses on the amnesty committee and challenges regarding amnesty applications of members and supporters of the Azanian People’s Liberation Army (APLA), an armed wing of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC). These complications emanated from policies and politics of the mother-body (PAC) and APLA, which made it difficult to distinguish between acts with a political objective committed by bona fide APLA members and purely criminal acts committed for personal gain. Such policies were expressed in: 1) The APLA slogan “One Settler, One Bullet”; and 2) The policy regarding “Repossession of property” by Azanians. The position of APLA needs to be understood against the fundamental politics of the PAC that the presence of white settlers in South Africa (occupied Azania) is an act of occupation, dispossession and colonisation. Thus, all white people in South Africa are regarded as settlers and targets for APLA. This position contends that, as a result of the settler status of all white people in South Africa, everything that they purportedly own belongs to Azanians and must be repossessed. Another complication—according to the TRC—was for some applicants to meet at least one of the requirements for amnesty, since any incident committed had to constitute an act associated with a political objective. Other challenges were lack of documentation to prove membership of APLA, and the autonomy or independence of the mother body (PAC) and its armed wing (APLA).
    • Are we Going Back to our Roots? The Restoration of Early Church Ecclesiology in the Modern Church Today

      Pillay, Jerry; Greyling, Machiel (University of South Africa Press, 2018-03-13)
      A movement, known as the Restoration Movement, developed on the early American frontier (19th century) to unite the various denominations that followed migrants from Europe and to bring them back to the ideals of the early church. The means to fulfil this quest was done through the belief that the early church could be “restored” in the 19th century. It was asserted that if all denominations simply read the Bible only and rejected all human creeds and traditions that came along with the centuries, there would be one church, total unity and an exact replica of the 1st century church. The methodology was correct, but unfortunately the intellectual paradigms of the day led the restoration leaders to formulate a wanting ecclesiology which ended in more schism than unity. This article sets out to establish that when one considers the modern church trends today and the true nature of the early church, there is clear evidence that contemporary ecclesiologies are being shaped more accurately into the shape of the early church. This is happening by default and spontaneously. Postmodernism is the catalyst that is slowly but surely influencing the natural restoration of the early church in contemporary society.
    • Basarwa in Botswana: The Role of Perceptions and Name Giving by other Population Groups in Enduring Poverty

      N/A; Knoetze, Johannes J; Hambira, Rupert (University of South Africa Press, 2018-04-03)
      This article is concerned with the way in which perceptions and name giving contribute to the socio-economic circumstances of a named group. The understanding of the Basarwa as a people in Botswana as well as how they have been perceived in history by “new invaders”—including Christians—is used as an example. This article explores the influence of the attitudes or perceptions of “invaders” on the original inhabitants of the sub-continent. It is difficult to address the topic of the Basarwa with any amount of certainty due to insufficient records, more particularly due to lack of any records written from the perspective of the Basarwa themselves. This article shows that perceptions about the Basarwa as well as the names given to them by “invaders” play a defining role in the enduring poverty of the Basarwa people in Botswana.
    • Belhar, Liturgy and Life?

      Laubscher,Martin (The Church History Society of Southern Africa, 2019-01-01)
      Celebrating 25 years of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA) inevitably calls for further exploration of how to live and love the Belhar Confession. I shall argue that, within the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC), we have discussed the acceptance of the Belhar Confession at great lengths, with hardly any suggestions of prayer and worship with the Confession itself. Much has been written in academic literature on the relationship between the Belhar Confession, the rule of faith (doctrine), and the rule of life (ethics). Yet, it is surprising that there is hardly any literature on its relation to the rule of prayer (worship). Writing from a very specific social location, I argue and suggest that our deepest challenge and opportunity, at present, is to explore how to receive, embody and celebrate the Belhar Confession by exploring its rich and varied liturgical potential and use for Christian worship throughout the entire liturgical ordo. Bathing the liturgy in the joyous words of the Belhar Confession might help us find new impetus in discovering and receiving each other anew.
    • Between Two Trees: On Rediscovering Reconciliation in Post-1994 South Africa

      Vellem, Vuyani (University of South Africa Press, 2018-09-19)
      A veiled logic minimises the gift of reconciliation from the poor when we examine the concepts of “reparation” and “deficit” in our discourse of reconciliation within South Africa. Instrumental rationality renders umkhondo—the footprints, the hints—of reconciliation elusive. The kaffir boom, a tree of victory and violence, subsumes umsintsi, a tree of defeat, a tree of a black person if the symbolic significance of the two names for the same tree is brought to attention. The interpretation of reparations and deficit through hegemonic, Western theological lenses cheapens and robs reconciliation of justice. Who then, is in Vlakplaas today—in post-1994 South Africa? Is silence penitential or does it signify arrogance by the beneficiaries of apartheid and colonialism? The myths that conceal the distorted logic being used to define reparations and deficit are no longer helpful. This article contends that black Africans need to craft their tools of reconciliation by resisting a bifurcation of their spiritual resources from the discourse of reconciliation.