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> en-US (Prof Mokhele Madise) (Mohamed Zaheer Motala) Mon, 20 Dec 2021 00:00:00 +0000 OJS 60 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 Tue, 16 Apr 2024 00:00:00 +0000 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 Thu, 04 Apr 2024 00:00:00 +0000 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 Fri, 10 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 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 Wed, 12 Jul 2023 00:00:00 +0000 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 Tue, 30 May 2023 00:00:00 +0000 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 Tue, 16 Apr 2024 00:00:00 +0000 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 Tue, 16 Apr 2024 00:00:00 +0000 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 Tue, 16 Apr 2024 00:00:00 +0000 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 Tue, 16 Apr 2024 00:00:00 +0000 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 Tue, 16 Apr 2024 00:00:00 +0000 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 Thu, 14 Sep 2023 00:00:00 +0000 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 Wed, 21 Feb 2024 00:00:00 +0000 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 Fri, 28 Jul 2023 00:00:00 +0000 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 Tue, 16 Apr 2024 00:00:00 +0000 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 Wed, 24 Apr 2024 00:00:00 +0000