Ritual is a cultural agent; energetic, subversive, creative and socially critical. It arises out of a community's founding myth and uses symbols to convey meaning arid shape world-view. Christian rituals always are deeds done by a community to express its faith. Ritual is then enacted theology which grows out of the foundational myth of the, community and is expressed through symbolic action. These deeds done by the community have the power to shape participants in ritual for mission.
This essay argues that the time has come for African Christians, churches and theologians to own the Christian presence on the continent. There is little doubt that Christian presence on the continent is significant. This means that Christian presence on the continent has effects and consequences.
Ntsikana, the prophet, or St Ntsikana, as he was known to his followers, was the first Xhosa Christian and missionary to his own people, It is possible that Ntsikana composed a number of songs for worshipping with his disciples. It is also possible that he composed only one song which was sung in different ways. It is extremely difficult to trace the text lines of the songs and the history cif the song texts, since his music survived by oral tradition until 57 years after his death in 1821.
Evangelical conservatism in South Africa is a repository of many important stories which have yet to be told if we are to enlarge on what we know about local church history. What follows is a story of settler piety and its emphasis on ""God chooses . us"" which, in missionary piety,. changed to 'We have to choose for Jesus and an altemative lifestYle"". This piety, which was the motivating force in many religious people in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, fixated on personal sin, hell-fear and soul-searching. This piety was genderised and racist, classist and, especially,masochist.
In recent years, there has been a bewildering proliferation of hermeneutical and other approaches to the Bible. These include the close and creative examination of the Bible in the on-going attempt to ferret out from it whatever might be considered relevant to an increasing interest in the ritual / liturgical - especially as it relates to the mission of the church in the Two-Thirds World such as in tropical Africa and her Diaspora. In this article, we revisit the all-too-familiar pericope of 1 Corinthians 13 in general and verse 1 in particular. We suggest that an alternative and better translation of verse 1 is entirely congruent with the on-going Afro-Christian drive towards liturgical relevance and renovation;' in particular, the defensible use of indigenous ""pagan"" musical instruments in worship.
In many theological debates the voice of African Independent Church leaders have not been heard. This may result from the fact that the AICs were frowned upon and never taken seriously - this despite the fact that their rapid growth and influence in Christianity cannot be further ignored. This article attempts to examine the views of five selected AIC leaders on the subject of theological education. Initially a survey of the subject of theological education is provided. Thereafter the views of these leaders with regard to curriculum in theological education, theological educators and women in theological education are discussed. An analysis of their views within the context of the current debate is provided.
The paper proposes macro-structural explanations for the rise and development of African Initiated Churches (AICs) in South Africa by reference to globalisation theories. A theoretical exploration: the study reviews arguments and recent statistics on the development of AICS in South Africa. The concepts of world-economy and world-political culture are applied to the, emergence of Zionist Christian churches in the Transkei region, to show how AICs can be linked to the global diffusion of the nation-state (as the primary unit in the world division of labour) and to ideas generated and accepted globally (e.g. ""development"").
To continue our journal's response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, we publish two reviews of Antjie Krog's moving book, Country of my Skull. An article by her on the TRC appeared in our April 1998 issue.