Mainline Protestantism in South Africa – and modernity? Tentative reflections for discussion

Authors

  • DJ Smit

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17570/ngtt.2008.v49n1.a08

Keywords:

Church after apartheid, Church and development, Church and modernity, Social transformation,

Abstract

In many ways the South African society has come under the impact of western-type modernisation over the last decade, with the breakdown of the apartheid society and the accompanying acceleration of western-style development. A crucial question concerning religion is accordingly what role religion played and still plays in these processes, and vice versa whether and how religion has been affected and perhaps transformed by them. In the essay some of the obvious effects of this “collapse into modernity” (Beck) on mainline Protestant and especially Reformed churches are considered. For heuristic purposes, three social forms of the church are distinguished and treated separately, namely worship and congregational life, denominations and the ecumenical church, and individual believers and their participation in public life. In conclusion, the question is raised whether and how actual church practices help or hinder so-called development goals, in these churches.

Downloads

Published

2008-06-30

Issue

Section

Articles • Artikels