Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae <p><strong>Open Access</strong></p> <p>Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae is the journal of the Church History Society of Southern Africa. It publishes articles in the discipline of Church History/History of Christianity with an African/South African perspective. The journal publishes three issues per year in May, September and December.</p> Unisa Press en-US Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae 1017-0499 The Life and Work of the Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa: The Doctrinal Dimension of Baptism <p>A perduring theological and practical problem of the universal church relates to the doctrine of baptism. This article investigates hermeneutical and historical issues in relation to what it means to be a member of Christ’s church and the implications thereof in the specific context of the Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa (PCSA). The debate has arisen in relation to the options of infant and believer’s baptism, or believer’s baptism. Within Christian denominations there are often conflicts regarding exclusive and inclusive policies<em>. </em>While the PCSA followed the main trend of the sixteenth century Reformation churches, there is disagreement among some of its members on various points. The article is based primarily on a literature review of primary sources. It is structured in terms of its origin, history, and external influences, namely: the charismatic renewal; the sacrament of Holy Communion and rebaptism; the covenant and baptism; and the South African context.</p> Graham Duncan Copyright (c) 2024 Graham Duncan 2024-06-11 2024-06-11 16 pages 16 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/15662 Education as Liberation: An Appraisal of Canaan Banana’s View on Education <p>Canaan Sodindo Banana, a freedom fighter, statesman, academic and cleric, is arguably the most controversial clergyman from Zimbabwe. He was a polarising figure in both his personal life and academic writings. Much is known about his political legacy, but very little about his educational views. This essay appraises Banana's views on the content and purpose of education in a post-white settler society. The essay employs document analysis to review Banana’s views on education and concludes that his view was that education should liberate and empower the poor, particularly the previously disadvantaged.</p> Simangaliso Raymond Kumalo Honoured Taruona Copyright (c) 2024 Simangaliso Raymond Kumalo, Honoured Taruona 2024-02-21 2024-02-21 12 pages 12 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/11852 The Evolution and Doctrinal Transformations of New Religious Movements Deriving from Catholicism in Zimbabwe <div> <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">This article delves into the emergence and doctrinal evolution of New Religious Movements (NRMs) in Zimbabwe, particularly those with roots in the Catholic tradition, exemplified by Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries, Grace Oasis Ministries (GOM), and Emmaus Encounter (EE). These movements, founded by individuals with Catholic backgrounds, illustrate a significant doctrinal shift from traditional Catholic teachings to a distinct emphasis on prosperity, miraculous healings, and personalised prophecy. The study explores how the concept of confirmation, initially a rite of spiritual maturation in Catholicism, is reinterpreted in these NRMs as a divine endorsement for leadership roles. The article critically examines these movements' departure from Catholic doctrines of suffering and prophecy towards a theology centred on immediate prosperity and direct divine communication, highlighting the broader implications for religious identity and practice in the Zimbabwean context.</span></p> </div> Francis Marimbe Copyright (c) 2024 Francis Marimbe 2024-04-16 2024-04-16 32 pages 32 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/15165 Reading the Belhar Confession in a Wounded World <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">This paper was presented by the author as the annual Belhar Confession lecture at the University of the Western Cape on 21 April 2022. First, the paper presents what the Belhar Confession is, as well as how it has evolved in the church. The South African political, economic, social, religious and cultural landscape is portrayed as representing the “wounded world.” Second, the message of the Belhar Confession is applied to the situation, and attention is given to how this triune message can be read in the midst of emerging societal challenges.</span></p> Thias Kgatla Copyright (c) 2023 Thias Kgatla 2023-07-28 2023-07-28 15 pages 15 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/11477 Migrants and Martyrs in Eastern Africa: A Historical Engagement <p>The article explores the nature of “migrants” (temporal residents) and “martyrs” in East African Christianity from a historico-analytical design. It samples six cases of martyrdom, largely from the East African coast, to demonstrate the thin line between martyrs and migrants. An analysis of Bakongo Christianity, which was mooted in the sixteenth century, shows the legacy of “migrant” Portuguese who provided the first Christian martyr (John Robello) in Eastern Africa in 1585. In the course of engaging the sixteenth century and the nineteenth century attempts at Christianising Eastern Africa, the article brings out various forms of Christian martyrs, including the Mau Mau martyrs of the 1950s, during Kenya’s struggle for independence. It also brings out other forms of martyrs from non-Christian faiths. Hence, it cites the African indigenous religion, Islamic, and Christian martyrs. In sampling some cases of martyrdom, the article endeavours to ask: Is martyrdom the real test of faith, or is it the normal route for all “migrants” across the religio-social divides? Hypothetically, it argues that although some church historians ascribe the initial emergence and survival of Christianity in Eastern Africa to the nineteenth century European missionary explosion, it is the sixteenth century Portuguese migrants who first introduced a contextual form of Christianity in East Africa that survived through to the twentieth century despite experiencing a hotchpotch of challenges, where martyrdom formed one of the critical ones.</p> Julius Gathogo Copyright (c) 2024 Julius Gathogo 2024-05-31 2024-05-31 16 pages 16 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/15050 Prophet Jonah Is not Alone: Understanding the History of Pentecostal Evangelism in Light of Contemporary Missionary Endeavours in Nigeria <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">This article examines reasons for the increasing neglect of rural evangelism in Nigeria. Some Pentecostal missionaries, churches and faith-based communities seem unwilling to go on evangelism missions to rural areas; thus the increasing number of churches and missionaries in the city compared to rural Nigeria. Missionary impacts have been felt in schools, hospitals and microfinance banks. Historiography reveals that missionaries before the last decade were willing to go to rural areas. Most churches and schools in rural areas were established by missionaries. However, Pentecostal missionaries are now shifting their interests from urban-rural to urban-urban evangelism. In this qualitative analysis, data were gathered from primary and secondary sources. Oral interviews and relevant academic literature form the sources of the data. Many scholars have written on the history of church missionary activities in Nigeria, but literature is scarce on reasons for the current decrease in the number of missionaries in rural areas. Why do Christian missionaries relegate rural evangelism to the background? What has been the impact on the church? Our findings show the reasons as the advent of mega-churches in Nigerian cities, financial reward from city missionary activities, resistance of some communities, punishment, increased financial burdens, the quest for popularity, intimidation, the few rural evangelists, and the lack of sufficient assistance. Missionary activities, if revived, will lead to the development of rural areas spiritually, morally, educationally, socially, and economically. The church should not restrict the spread of the gospel to specific places. Churches sending missionaries to rural areas should also provide financial support to strengthen these missionaries, as they serve as crucial links between the host church and the local community. </span></p> Favour Chukwuemeka Uroko Copyright (c) 2024 Favour Chukwuemeka Uroko 2024-04-04 2024-04-04 16 pages 16 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/14862 Burial sites as Contested Memorial Terrain: Historicising burial places of African Indigenous church founders in Zimbabwe <p class="AbstractCxSpFirst"><span lang="EN-GB">Abrahamic religions emphasise remembering their origins, how they began, where they come from, and possibly where they will keep the flock moving forward without losing focus. “Then Joseph made the sons of Israel (Jacob) swear [an oath], saying, “God will surely visit you and take care of you [returning you to Canaan], and [when that happens] you shall carry my bones up from here.” (Gen 50:35 Amplified Version). Against this backdrop, this article discusses the centrality of the burial sites of the late Bishop Samuel Mutendi and Archbishop Ezekiel Guti. In July 1880, Bishop Samuel Mutendi was born in Zaka, Masvingo, and died at 96 in 1976. Bishop Samuel Mutendi was buried in Gokwe, Defe-Dopota. Archbishop Ezekiel Guti was born on 5 May 1923 in Ngaone, Chipinge, and died at 100 on 5 July 2023. Archbishop Guti was buried in Bindura, Mashonaland East Province. What is critical to note is that the burial places of these two church founders were not the places of their birth. From an African traditional worldview, family members should be buried in their rural villages closer to where their late departed relatives were buried. </span><span lang="EN-GB">Additionally, the article observed that Archbishop Guti was given a hero status and should have been buried at the Zimbabwe National Heroes Acre. Still, Guti was buried at Chipindura in Bindura and not at the Heroes Acre or his rural home in Chipinge. The immediate questions one would ask are: what is the significance of Defe, Dopota in Gokwe and Chipindura in Bindura? Or what is the peculiarity of these two places? The current article found that these two burial places were chosen to preserve these African Indigenous churches’ history and pedigrees connecting the past to the present. This study employs a historical approach to uncover the significance of Gokwe and Bindura. Theological reflection was also used to interpret the meaning of choosing Gokwe and Bindura as burial sites for Samuel Mutendi and Ezekiel Guti, respectively.</span></p> Phillip Musoni Copyright (c) 2024 Phillip Musoni 2024-06-14 2024-06-14 14 pages 14 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/14410 Africans on the Vanguard: Historicizing the Origin of Anglicanism in Akamba of Kenya <p style="font-weight: 400;">The establishment of Anglicanism in Ukamba during the 19<sup>th</sup> century was by default as far as Church Missionary Society (CMS) activities were concerned. Despite its 1844 presence in the neighbouring Coastal region, it was not until the close of the century that CMS-affiliated congregations started to emerge in Ukamba. Contrary to Africa Inland Mission’s (AIM) Peter Cameron, who on 12th December 1895 went straight into Ukamba and bypassed the Coast, Church Missionary Society’s Ludwig Krapf repeatedly failed in establishing a Christian Mission Station in Ukamba. Consequently, Kamba converts in the Coastal region returned home as evangelists and established <em>kitoro<a href="applewebdata://54F1D0A0-4248-4893-8DD6-B0A28C4D76EC#_ftn1" name="_ftnref1"><strong>[1]</strong></a></em> (defiant) Churches independent of missionary support. Activities by these Kamba evangelists in successive years are undocumented and untold in London Missionary reports. Oral narratives in the custody of family and friends are fast fading away. These include those of Jeremiah Muti, Joshua Muoka, Nathaniel Kamusa, Paul Muyu and James Muthoka. The article relies on oral history and archival materials to reconstruct the story of early Anglicanism in Ukamba. The story of Jeremiah Muti, key among Ukamba early Anglican evangelists, is a critical case in highlighting the untold African agency in the early missionary enterprise.<em> </em></p> Stephen Muoki Joshua Christopher Mutati Copyright (c) 2024 Stephen Muoki Joshua, Christopher Mutati 2024-06-10 2024-06-10 15 pages 15 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/13840 An Anthology of Faith-Based Collections’ Writings: Tracking the Genealogy of Scholarship on This Genre of Archives <div> <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">Faith-based collections, also known as religious archives, church archives or archives of faith traditions, have paradoxically not received attention in mainstream archives. However, they permeate every facet of human endeavour. This could be attributed to this genre of archives as they are relatively unknown; there is a lack of general interest, maybe because of the small volume of archives generated from their parent churches or ministries, which renders them insignificant. Consequently, a definitive and authoritative text on faith-based collections has remained a pipe dream in the records and archives discipline, a global challenge. This paper explores the breadth of the writings to inform the global archival community so that scholars and archivists can contribute in this regard, thereby bridging this literary gap in our archival historiography. Faith-based collections, as they relate primarily to manuscripts of evangelists, are an under-researched area in Archival Science. Using secondary sources like books and reports and empirical works in journals, dissertations, theses, conference proceedings and so on, this paper provides a historical insight and timeline that highlights the trajectory of the scholarship on faith-based collections. While this article highlighted the scholarship on faith-based archives, it also contributed to managing manuscripts by evangelists/pastors in African Independent Churches (AICS) and mainstream churches. It offered insight into the emerging literature on faith-based collections and how this is scattered over various sources.</span></p> </div> Takatso Nawe Francis Garaba Copyright (c) 2024 Takatso Nawe, Francis Garaba 2024-04-16 2024-04-16 11 pages 11 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/16097 Racism and the Development of Pentecostalism in South Africa: A Socio-Historical Analysis <div> <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">The historical role of the church in South Africa regarding the development of colonial racism and apartheid is well documented. South African Christianity and the concomitant ecclesiastical developments and counter-developments were directly influenced by the changing socio-political circumstances. The mainline or historical churches, including Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians, were members of the South African Council of Churches that rejected and opposed apartheid. Some Pentecostal denominations were fundamentalists who believed personal salvation and private prayer would save the country. In practice, these Pentecostal churches were either largely silent or apolitical about the apartheid situation, or they isolated and segregated themselves. In reality, whether they acknowledged it or not, they were part and parcel of the system of white benefit and black oppression. This paper, therefore, attempts to investigate this phenomenon and also to put forward a theological praxis in the context of diversity.</span></p> </div> Mookgo Solomon Kgatle Moses Hobe Copyright (c) 2024 Mookgo Solomon Kgatle, Moses Hobe 2024-06-14 2024-06-14 15 pages 15 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/13730 The Quest for Kikuyu Anglican Churches in the United States of America (USA) 2016 – 2022: Their Establishments, Achievements and Challenges <div> <p class="Abstract"><a name="_Hlk129426985"></a><span lang="EN-GB">The number of people migrating from one region to another today has become rampant. This is attested by the movement of immigrants from developing countries to the most advanced and developed countries, mostly in Europe and North America. This unprecedented trend has seen a new phenomenon because the immigrants from the global South are perceived as economic migrants in the global North in the quest for greener pastures. Interestingly, they have opened a new horizon on the religious front. Against this backdrop, this article explores the endeavours of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) clergy in the United States of America (USA) to open or establish ACK churches in the diaspora. The article is informed by empirical data from in-depth, informative interviews conducted in 2021 with Anglicans in the diaspora. Non-empirical data from grey literature were also consulted, as the author’s observations as an immigrant Anglican clergy. This article establishes a close affinity between religion and migration because ACK churches became where these immigrants formed their identities out of their lived experiences in the diaspora. </span></p> </div> George Kiarie Copyright (c) 2024 George Kiarie 2024-06-14 2024-06-14 12 pages 12 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/12625 The First Time I Called Myself a ‘Witch’ Was the Most Magical Moment of My Life: Unmasking the Influence of Christianity in the Persecution of Witches Through Cultural Hegemony <div> <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">Whereas Christianity and biblical narratives continue to constructively form human, theological, spiritual, and social existence, it cannot be downplayed that these two central components sometimes lead to destructive perceptions, actions, and behaviours. This is because Christianity and the Bible have continually influenced the comprehension of humanity and spirituality for centuries. With particular reference to witchcraft, particularly in the South African context, this article aims to unmask and scrutinise the influence of Christianity in the persecution of witches. To do this, this article elicits three biblical pieces of textual evidence from the Bible as one of the historical Christian narratives. To unmask and address the phenomenon of interest, cultural hegemony as a theoretical framework is applied to these three biblical pieces of textual evidence. As a result of this endeavour, this article makes three notable findings. First, as Christianity could be appreciated for constructively shaping social perceptions, actions, and behaviours, it should be implicated in certain immoralities. Second, some of the historical injustices, such as witch-hunts and the killing of witches, have, in large part, been propagated by Christian and biblical ideologies. Third (last), Christianity, as a dominant culture of its time, ought to be unmasked within the contemporary contexts for the very reason that it continues to (re)shape contemporary societies, and it is undoubtedly patent that it may continue to (re)shape future generational societies. This article’s recommendations and closing remarks underscore the necessity to examine Christianity alongside its biblical voices recurrently.</span></p> </div> Mlamli Diko Copyright (c) 2024 Mlamli Diko 2024-04-16 2024-04-16 21 pages 21 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/15675 Friend at Night, Enemy during the Day? A Decolonial Engagement of Pastor Shingi Munyeza’s Role as Regime Enabler and/or Regime Resistor <p>During Robert Mugabe’s era, religious leaders had always been standing as either regime enablers or regime resistors. The two roles continued when President Emmerson Mnangagwa assumed power in 2017. Although most religious leaders choose to be either regime enablers or resistors, Shingi Munyeza positioned himself as both regime enabler and resistor. As a regime enabler, Munyeza sits on several boards appointed by the state president. In addition, when President Mnangagwa got into power, he appointed Munyeza to be in his Presidential Advisory Council. After the appointment, the entrusted cleric somersaulted into a regime resistor, using the Bible to publicly castigate the government of the man who had handpicked him to whisper in his ears for advice. Using decolonial theory, which is a programme of de-linking from contemporary legacies of coloniality, this paper challenges the dual role of enabling and resisting the regime played by Munyeza as a portrayal of a “friend at night and an enemy of the regime during the day.” This paper grapples with questions such as: Why did Munyeza start to denigrate the government the moment he became the president’s advisor? Why did Munyeza not opt to resign from the government that he is labelling as a rogue? How does Munyeza balance the role of an advisor to and an opponent of the same regime? In its decolonial engagement, the paper concludes that the dual role of regime enabler and/or resistor is not possible unless one is a “friend at night and an enemy during the day.”</p> Martin Mujinga Copyright (c) 2023 Martin Mujinga 2023-07-12 2023-07-12 15 pages 15 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/12307 Extravagance amidst Extreme Poverty? A Focus on ‘New Religious Movements’ within the Development Discourse in Zimbabwe. <p style="font-weight: 400;">During the early 80s, Zimbabwe witnessed a rapid growth of the Third Wave Religious Right Movement (TWRRM), commonly known as New Religious Movements (NRMs). These movements pride themselves on the premise that the gospel of prosperity is its central maxim. The article investigates the theological and developmental contribution of the gospel of prosperity towards its adherents' existential necessities and needs. It is on this premise that these churches have registered considerable success and popularity. This article thus seeks to provide empirical evidence on the contribution of three Charismatic churches and specifically highlight the benefits produced by this type of ‘gospel’ to the basic existential needs of Zimbabweans. The article will further explore whether or not this type of ‘gospel’ contributes to community development. In exploring the contributions of the gospel of prosperity and community development, the study will use a phenomenological approach by E. Husserl as a framework. The term means fundamentalist independent groups which often consider themselves as ‘Bible Christians, born again and charismatic, not as Pentecostals (Kalu 2008, 8). The third wave implies there was the first wave, which was the missionary evangelicalism of the 19th century. The second wave of response was in the 1920s with a “pneumatic challenge with white theology” (Kalu 2008: 8, Mpofu 2014). This African initiative in Christianity thrived on communality and incorporation of facets of primal religion and culture (Ethiopianism and Zionism). The third wave of response gave birth to charismatic Christianity, a movement of revival and renewal, a third response to white cultural domination and power (Anderson 2001). This third wave differs from Pentecostals, deriving from Pentecost with a focus on the gift of the holy spirit. Founders or pastors of this third response are central to lifestyle choices based on religious discourse. The founder leader is understood as the voice and message of God.</p> Francis Marimbe Nompumelelo Ndawonde Copyright (c) 2024 Francis Marimbe, Nompumelelo Ndawonde 2024-04-16 2024-04-16 20 pages 20 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/15296 Healing and Discipleship Practised by Dorothea Trudel (1813–1862): The Transfer of Abilities in a Role Model of the Divine Healing Movement <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">Prominent representatives of the North American healing movement, such as Charles Cullis, claimed to have learned from Dorothea Trudel. Anna Barbara Meili (1835–1892), on the other hand, learned from Trudel first-hand. Meili grew up as a simple woman on a farm in Zimikon, Canton, Zurich. She joined pietistic circles and thus came into contact with Dorothea Trudel. This paper explores the question of how Anna Barbara Meili learned to heal from Dorothea Trudel. In particular, Meili’s written memoirs are critically examined with historical methods. Trudel deliberately encouraged people to follow her. At first, she commissioned Meili to hold devotional classes herself. After a stay in Männedorf, Meili began to take in sick people. She sought advice from Trudel on how to deal with the sick. She learned from Trudel how to treat the sick, according to James 5. After Trudel’s death, Meili moved to Männedorf to minister to the sick there.</span></p> Oliver Lutz Copyright (c) 2023 Oliver Lutz 2023-05-30 2023-05-30 14 pages 14 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/11587 What Was the Role of the Dutch Reformed Church and Land in Identity Formation on Klipfontein Farm? <p>Historically, the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) or Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk (NGK) was at the centre of the Afrikaner dynamic, legitimising white Afrikaner nationalist ideals. The strong connection between the DRC (hereafter the church) and the nationalist government meant that the church was the spiritual link to the then ruling National Party for most Afrikaners, justifying the racially based policies and actions of the government. Paradoxically, it was this same church and its teachings that would also be adopted by “coloured” or “brown” Afrikaners to help establish their own group identity. It developed into a mechanism that helped the Klipfontein community, in Eastern Cape, South Africa, in establishing an identity which they could assert against the (white) authorities and neighbours when their right to occupation of Klipfontein was threatened. Thus, a spiritual connection with the land was formed and developed through biblical teachings and rituals. In recent years, a revivalism in Khoe-San identity and its popularity has seemingly threatened this identity. In a country like South Africa, where land and land (dis)possession are perpetual points of contention, Klipfonteiners have adopted an identity that is inextricably linked to their land. Using primary sources, such as archival documentation and interviews conducted with Klipfonteiners as well as those who have dealt directly with Klipfonteiners, and secondary sources dealing with South African coloured identity and the church, this article seeks to address the pivotal role which the church and religion have played in the formation of an identity that seeks to protect Klipfonteiners’ rights to the land from external and internal forces.</p> Jako Bezuidenhout Copyright (c) 2024 Jako Bezuidenhout 2024-04-16 2024-04-16 17 pages 17 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/15052 The Response of the Dutch Reformed Church Mission to Labour Migration from Malawi to South Africa 1889–1994: A Leaf to be Borrowed by the 21st Century African Churches <div> <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">This article mainly highlights what southern African Churches can learn and borrow </span><span lang="EN-US">as </span><span lang="EN-GB">a leaf from the contribution of the </span><span lang="EN-US">Dutch Reformed Church Mission to</span><span lang="EN-GB"> labour migration from the Central Region in Malawi to South Africa between 1889 and 1994. It is argued that although push factors for labour migration were the </span><span lang="EN-US">legacy of Western economic imperialism, the Malawi government’s inability to create jobs for its citizens and some Malawians’</span><span lang="EN-GB"> belief that migration from Malawi to South Africa was a means to fulfil their heart-felt and lifetime desire for economic opportunities, the mission played an important role in responding to labour migration. While it is understandable that the</span><span lang="EN-US"> contexts of the 19th century and 21st century are different. Also, the truth that the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa supported the apartheid government, this article arguably stresses that there are important lessons the Southern African Churches may learn from the mission’s response to labour migrants.</span></p> </div> Willie Zeze Copyright (c) 2024 Willie Zeze 2024-04-16 2024-04-16 21 pages 21 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/14964 The Church of Central Africa Presbyterian 1924-2024: A Centenary Assessment <p>By the early twentieth century African churches were emerging from the work of the three missions with a Reformed identity which were working in Malawi. In a two-stage process of union, the three young churches came together in 1924/26 to form the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP). In anticipation of the centenary celebration in 2024, Zomba Theological University hosted a research conference in April 2023, aiming to take account of the 100-year history. The conference recognised the remarkable growth of the church, which now has millions of members in Malawi and neighbouring countries. It has built up its own distinctive tradition of worship, spirituality, and witness. It offers a wide range of social services and is influential at national level in Malawi. The conference also identified points of stress and tension, especially the recurrent question of how to balance unity and diversity in the life of the church. While it has never completely broken apart, there has been a constant struggle to attain meaningful unity. The centenary may be an opportunity for assessment and action. Creating an instrument to give theological attention to issues facing the CCAP may be one way to discover and deepen its identity and unity.</p> Johannes J Knoetze Kenneth Ross Copyright (c) 2024 Johannes J Knoetze, Kenneth Ross 2024-06-14 2024-06-14 13 pages 13 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/14594 Ministry in the Tempest: A Reconstruction of the Life, Work, and Legacy of Rev. Andrew. Ndhlela of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe <div> <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">This paper focused on the gap in the historiography of Methodism, where the legacy of Rev. Andrew Ndhlela was undermined. Ndhlela was appointed the first native District Chairman and General Superintendent of Rhodesia Synod in 1965 and later president of the Conference in 1977. The first appointment coincided with the Unilateral Declaration of Independence of Rhodesia imposed by Ian Smith, which created a crisis between the country and the church and between the Africans and the Europeans. This schism resulted in tensions, frustrations, and mistrust in the country and the church. Politically, Ndhlela saw himself leading a church divided based on the tensions between Rhodesia and Britain’s relationship. Ecclesiastically, his appointment also caused conflicts as some Europeans felt that the natives were not yet ready for such leadership positions, and others felt belittled to be led by natives. Although Ndhlela succeeded in leading the church in these tempest times, the historiography of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe did not pay particular attention to a man who was the dividing line between the first and second phases of Methodist history. Using qualitative research methodology, the paper aimed at reconstructing Ndhlela's life, work, and legacy, focusing on how he maintained the church together when there was a possibility of splitting. The paper concluded by challenging the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe to honour the legacy left by Ndhlela of a united, inculturative, autonomous, and self-sustained church in the context of sociopolitical and religious conflicts.</span></p> </div> Martin Mujinga Copyright (c) 2024 Martin Mujinga 2024-04-16 2024-04-16 14 pages 14 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/14231 Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae: Eighteen Years of Editorship (2005–2022) <p>From 2005 to 2022, a period of 18 years, the author was editor-in-chief of <em>Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae</em> (<em>SHE</em>), the subject journal of the Church History Society of Southern Africa (CHSSA). The CHSSA has been in existence since 1970, and <em>SHE </em>has been published since 1973/5. During the time of the author’s editorship, <em>SHE</em> was housed in the Research Institute for Theology and Religion at the University of South Africa, where the author taught and researched as a full professor. This article provides a statistical and content analysis of the 746 articles written by 862 authors which were published during these 18 years. Festschriften and special issues are pointed out, and themes are identified. Taking the insight “Interpretation is colonialisation” as methodological point of departure, the research findings are arranged under themes that emerge from the published articles during this period. All this is placed against a short interpretative historical background of the times during which the articles were published.</p> Christina Landman Copyright (c) 2024 Christina Landman 2024-05-31 2024-05-31 23 pages 23 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/16480 Hybridisation as a Normal Process of Life: A Contribution to the “Ukuthwasa” Conversation within the Methodist Church of Southern Africa <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">The Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA) is currently engaged in a conversation on <em>ukuthwasa</em> (initiation into an ancestral calling). The conversation has sparked different reactions within the Church. Some are uncomfortable engaging in this conversation as it is seen as an unnecessary and unChristian conversation to have within the Church. There are also some who have gone through the <em>ukuthwasa </em>and feel that the conversation is long overdue within the MCSA. Furthermore, some believe in <em>sangomas</em> and are happy about this conversation. While this conversation is taking place within the MCSA, it is shrouded in suspicion and fear. There is fear that it might lead to the conversion of the Church to African traditional religion, which many feel is the opposite of Christianity. This paper is intended as a contribution to this conversation by using secondary or desk research as a methodology. Firstly, the paper defines the African worldview in which <em>ukuthwasa</em> is embedded. Secondly, it explores the meaning of hybridisation. Thirdly, it indicates areas within the Christian faith where hybridisation has become part of worship and belief. Finally, the paper concludes by recommending openness in this conversation as a likely solution that could lead to the Methodist vision of a “Christ healed Africa for the healing of nations.” </span></p> Jacob Mokhutso Copyright (c) 2024 Jacob Mokhutso 2024-05-10 2024-05-10 17 pages 17 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/13832 The Church and Migration during Apartheid Times: Roman Catholic Missionaries Banned from Former Homeland of Qwaqwa – Witsieshoek <p>The unjust policies of the apartheid government, which came to power in 1948, made the proclamation of the message of the Gospel difficult for the Roman Catholic missionaries. Catholicism has always determined to communicate the Gospel in ways that engender transformation. However, the apartheid laws in South Africa hindered foreign missionaries from reaching out to the communities which were on the periphery. There was an element of the <em>Roomse gevaar</em> in the apartheid policies. The idea of the ‘<em>Roomse gevaar’</em> (the Roman Danger) prevailed in the Afrikaans-speaking community and the corridors of the apartheid regime.</p> <p>This article presents a historical survey of attitudes towards the missionaries of the Catholic Church in the Eastern Free State during the apartheid regime. It further investigates the impact of the Catholic Church on historical developments in the former Basotho homeland. This research adopts a combination of socio-historical and narrative approaches. The data-gathering technique is the main source of historical books, unpublished and Internet materials. The research is conducted in the form of a comparative Literature study. It draws from Literature on the historical book <em>Patience Our Daily Bread – The Catholic Church in the Orange Free State and Kimberley from 1850</em> in the work of Professor J.B. Brain as the main source and my Thesis titled: <em>The mission of God’s people in the light of God’s mission. A Missiological case study on the Catholic Church of Bethlehem, South Africa</em>, and other sources will be incorporated into the discussion. The Eastern Free State is the area of focus, with the Qwaqwa homeland being the main focus.</p> Dikotsi William Mofokeng Copyright (c) 2024 Dikotsi William Mofokeng 2024-05-31 2024-05-31 11 pages 11 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/15919 Church Unity or Ecumenism: The Perspective of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa 1967–2022 <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">Right-wing politics is re-emerging all over the world, challenging the church to defy this trend and be true to her nature of oneness and Catholicism. This brings to the fore the question of unity and the ecumenical spirit. It is from this understanding that this article, which is an exercise in contemporary church history, seeks to contribute to the Reformed Church scholarship in the face of the current context of mission. The United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA), as part of Reformed Churches, has a rich history of union. This discussion stems from the hermeneutical considerations of the reformed understanding of church unity, and particular focus is given to the UCCSA’s understanding of unity and ecumenism. After articulating what ought to be happening, the article delves into the historical considerations of the UCCSA and Church unity. </span></p> <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB"> </span></p> Xolani Maseko Copyright (c) 2024 Xolani Maseko 2024-06-10 2024-06-10 10 pages 10 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/13715 Who Qualifies to Manage the Church? Exploring Historical and Biblical Accounts of Management and Agency Theories in Not-For-Profit Organisation (NPO) Sector in Gauteng, South Africa <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">As an NPO, the church has always required managers to run its affairs. In the books of Genesis, Acts and Timothy, there are inferences of management that human beings and churches had to adhere to. Thus, even though management has grown in other fields, such as business, it is also an indispensable commodity in NPOs in general and churches in particular. Qualitative research methods in the form of interviews and document analysis were employed. A total of 26 church managers from five Gauteng regions were interviewed. Data was analysed through the use of Atlas ti. Software. The findings indicate that while most participants had theology qualifications, many felt the need to acquire managerial qualifications. These findings suggest that church managers require both Biblical and academic qualifications in management. While most participants had theology qualifications, many felt the need to acquire a managerial qualification. This article contributes to the areas of management and agency theories. Thus, this strengthens the argument that all modern organisations, including NPOs, ought to be strategically managed.</span></p> Kgaugelo Sammy Boya Copyright (c) 2023 Kgaugelo Sammy Boya 2023-09-14 2023-09-14 18 pages 18 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/12340 Reforming Church History. The Impact of the Reformation on Early Modern European Historiography, edited by Gehrt D., Matthias M, and Salatowsky S2023 Graham A. Duncan Copyright (c) 2024 Graham A. Duncan 2024-04-24 2024-04-24 2 pages 2 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/15746 Reluctant Prophet: Tributes to Albert Nolan, edited by Mike Deeb, Phillippe Denis and Mark James Graham Duncan Copyright (c) 2024 Graham Duncan 2024-05-30 2024-05-30 2 pages 2 pages 10.25159/2412-4265/15736