This paper identifies the historical debate on development projects in the ecumenical movement as the essential starting-point for Christian theology and the churches' ongoing concem with development. Named by Charles Elliot at an early stage as 'The Pragmatic Debate', the paper innovates by distinguishing between a moderate and a radical account of this debate. It is argued that the radical account in particular, problematises a one way, movement in development from the rich and powerful to the poor.
In order for the church to play any meaningful role in the development of communities, there needs to be a sound theoretical understanding of ""development"". Development, however, is not neutral but is a gender issue. Theoretical issues of gender and development need to be understood within the context of extreme poverty experienced by poor and marginalised South African women. These women form networks of solidarity most of which have a religious dimension.
A commitment to reconstruction and development poses serious challenges to theological education in Africa. This article addresses some key issues of curriculum design for a Theology and Development programme. It does so around three headings: the politics behind the design, the preferences within the design, and the praxis throughout the design. Drawing on experiences in the Theology and Development Programme at the School of Theology, Pietermaritzburg, it raises questions rather than provide answers.
Finding a lasting solution to the land question in Zimbabwe remains one of the most critical issues for any government that is committed to see peace and stability return to Southern Africa's erstwhile bread basket. The land seizures of the early 1980s and the 'Iand invasions' between 1998 and 2002 were symptomatic of the fundamental flaws in the 1979 Lancaster House constitution. It failed to address the gross injustices perpetrated by colonial governments against the black majority.
The church in Africa has not made an adequate impact on African societies in general, due (among other things) to a defective ecclesiology. Ecclesiology should be based on missiology; in other words, mission should be an integral dimension of ecclesiology. In Africa a new ecclesiology is urgently needed in order to reach unreached peoples, plant new churches and the church make a visible impact on various areas of life in Africa. This new ecclesiology will address the structure of the local church, the economic and human resources of the church, the nature and content of mission, the concept of universality and the church's mandate.
Clifford Geertz gained attention as a proponent for the study of culture as a symbolic system. While his approach has recently been criticised by fellow anthropologists, it has come to be accepted by many missiologists and theologians as a way to uphold local context without resorting to crass relativism. This paper argues that while Geertz's proposal is seemingly non-religious and supposedly ""neutral"" it is actually based on an unackwowledged metaphysic.
To show how the Bible functions in the praxis of Protestant missions this paper uses a framework that expresses the key dimensions of mission praxis: a) the mission method or strategy employed; b) the agents carrying it out; c) the context analysis they employ; d) the theological concepts informing their thinking and action. It plots the wide variety of Protestant missions on a continuum ranging from 'conversionist' to 'Iiberationist' approaches.