Barmen to Belhar: A contemporary confessing journey

Authors

  • RH Botman

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17570/ngtt.2006.v47n1.a21

Keywords:

The Barmen Declaration, The Confession of Belhar, apartheid is a heresy

Abstract

The Barmen Declaration (1934) and the Confession of Belhar (1986) have played formative roles in the making and unmaking of ecclesial and political life in Germany and South Africa. Their continuing relevance as contemporary confessions has been seen in the many studies conducted on them internationally and in the fact that churches in other countries have decided to include them in their confessional heritage. This paper pays tribute to these two landmark confessions. I start with a narrative of the emergence of the idea that apartheid is a heresy. This is followed by a discussion of the relationship between Barmen and Belhar. Thereafter, I turn to the question of why the white Dutch Reformed Church cannot yet accept the Confession of Belhar. In conclusion I share some views on the future relevance of the Confession of Belhar.

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Published

2006-06-30

Issue

Section

Articles • Artikels