A historical study of reconciliation as a challenge to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN) 1970-2010

Shaanika, Eliakim (2017-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study entails a historical theological research of reconciliation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia‘s (ELCIN) and includes amongst others the engagement of ELCIN in reconciliatory work for a just society in both the pre-independent and post-independent era of Namibia (1970-2010). The study concluded that ELCIN is not actively involved in addressing human rights issues in the post- independent Namibia. The ELCIN should therefore revisit her position regarding national reconciliation and should address the social justice issues currently unfolding in Namibia. Reconciliation is a huge challenge for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia. This study is an overview of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia regarding her engagement in the reconciliation before and after Namibia’s independence, particularly, the period during 1970 – 2010. The study highlights on the one side the ministry of reconciliation and on the other side the role the ELCIN in corroboration with member churches of council of Churches in Namibia should play in order to address socio-justice issues in post-independent Namibia adequately. It is further argued in this study that the legacies of separation through the South African government in Namibia, tribal conflicts and church judicial regulations of Lutheran churches in Namibia contributed to the current challenges regarding reconciliation of the Lutheran churches in Namibia. The ELCIN are called to be ambassadors of the ministry of reconciliation namely: restorative justice, atonement and forgiveness, fellowship with God, peace and healing. God has entrusted this ministry of reconciliation to the church. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN), as the largest denomination in the country has important role to play in the church and society regarding the pursuing of both spiritual and national reconciliation.The ELCIN jointly with other churches in Namibia should engage actively with all role-players regarding the conceptualization and implementation of a national policy of reconciliation in Namibia. Amongst others cognisance should be taken in the discourse about national reconciliation of the African understanding of reconciliation in Namibia. ELCIN with the other two Lutheran churches in Namibia, that is ELCRN and ELCIN/GELC, represent the majority of the Christian population in the country. A huge responsibility to embody reconciliation rests on the church in Namibia. ELCIN in corroboration with member churches of the Council of churches in Namibia should revisit their positions regarding the role of the church in the post independent Namibia.The study concludes with recommendations regarding reconciliation for further research.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie navorsing behels ʼn histories-teologiese ondersoek met betrekking tot versoening in die Evangeliese Lutherse Kerk in Namibië (ELKIN) en sluit onder meer in werk met betrekking tot die daarstelling van ʼn regverdige samelewing in beide die voor en na onafhanklike era van Namibië (1970-2010). Die studie konkludeer dat ELKIN onbetrokke is in die aanspreek van menseregte aangeleenthede in die post-onafhanklike Namibië. Die ELKIN behoort haar standpuntname met betrekking tot nasionale versoening in heroorweging te neem en behoort aandag te verleen aan die sake wat betrekking het op sosiale geregtigheid wat tans besig is om in Namibië te ontvou. Versoening is ʼn groot uitdaging vir die Evangeliese Lutherse Kerk in Namibië. Hierdie studie het betrekking op 'n oorsig van die Evangeliese Lutherse Kerk in Namibië met betrekking tot haar betrokkenheid in die versoening voor en na Namibië se onafhanklikheid, veral, die tydperk 1970 – 2010. Aan die een kant beklemtoon die studie die bediening van versoening en aan die anderkant die rol wat ELKIN in samewerking met die lidkerke van die Namibiese Raad van Kerke kan speel met betrekking tot die aanspreek van sosiale-geregtigheid sake in post-onafhanklikheid Namibië. Daar word verder in hierdie studie aangevoer dat die nalatenskap van aparte ontwikkeling deur die Suid-Afrikaanse regering in Namibië, stam konflikte en kerk-juridiese bepalinge van Lutherse kerke in Namibië bydra tot die uitdagings van die Lutherse kerke in Namibië met betrekking tot versoening. Die ELKIN word opgeroep om ambassadeurs vir die bediening van versoening te word naamlik: herstellende geregtigheid, versoening en vergifnis, gemeenskap met God, vrede en genesing. God het hierdie bediening van die versoening toevertrou aan die kerk. Die Evangeliese Lutherse Kerk in Namibië (ELKIN), as die grootste kerk in die land het ʼn belangrike te speel in kerk en samelewing met betrekking tot die najaag van geestelike versoening sowel as nasionale versoening. Die ELKIN in medewerking met ander Namibiese kerke behoort aktief betrokke te raak met alle rolspelers met betrekking tot die konseptualisering en implementering van die nasionale beleid van versoening in Namibië. Daar behoort onder andere kennis geneem te word in die diskoers met betrekking tot nasionale versoening van die Afrika verstaan van die begrip versoening in Namibië. ELKIN saam met die ander twee Lutherse kerke in Namibië; dit is ELKRN en ELKIN / DELK, verteenwoordig die meerderheid Christene in die land. ʼn Groot verantwoordelikheid om versoening te beliggaam berus op die kerk in Namibië. ELKIN in medewerking met die lidkerke van die Raad van Kerke in Namibië moet hul standpuntname met betrekking tot nasionale versoening en die rol van die kerk in post-onafhanklike Namibië in heroorweging te neem. Aan die einde van die tesis word aanbevelings met betrekking tot verdere navorsing insake versoening gedoen.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/101174
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