The development of missionary ecclesiology in the modem era can be divided into three eras: a) The transplantation era, in which Western churches exported and implanted their church structures into the Third World; b) The partnership era, in which there was a growing awareness that 'sending' and 'receiving' churches needed each other; c) The development era, in which a missionary ecclesiology declined since inter-church aid replaced mission.
Theological education in South Africa has followed a Western model in the past, and though there have been calls for transformation, these have not often been heeded. Not only should the form and content of the curriculum change, but the focus needs to move from the elite to the poor and oppressed - the victims of society.
The historical quest for muted black voices is a noble but complex undertaking. The complexity applies to both historical as well as contemporary pursuits for muted and marginalised voices. In the first section of the essay, we explore nine theoretical issues that iIIustrate the complexity of the task of historical retrieval. The second section refers to two interpretative frameworks attached to the names of John and Jean Comaroff on the one hand and to that of James Scott on the other. In the last section the author makes some brief evaluations. He also attempts to link current quests for muted black voices to certain current developments within Black and African theologies.