Applying corporate social responsibility principles to the church : a case study of the interface between the Indian Pentecostal/Charimatic Church in the Phoenix Community, Durban North (KwaZulu Natal) and social responsibility

Francis, Virginia (2008-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--University of Stellenbosch, 2008.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: South Africa is a country in transition, and continues to develop new systems expected to positively shift the social and economic lives of 48 million people. Every sector of society is focussed on people’s upliftment. Corporations in South Africa have Corporate Social Investment (CSI) programmes as their contribution toward this goal. The Pentecostal/Charismatic Church is the fastest growing Christian denomination in the world, certainly even in Africa. Churches’ also have a responsibility to society’s upliftment, and since the Pentecostal/Charismatic church aspires to corporate principles this thesis explores the response of the Indian Pentecostal/Charismatic Church to social, economic and environmental issues of local and global magnitude. The theoretical framework proposes that a theology for social change in South Africa must be traced from the foundation of a theology of liberation from racial oppression, which is found in the Kairos Document; and combines this with CSI principles to present a composite framework for analysis. The study uses qualitative methodologies of loosely structured interviews and a focus group discussion with Pentecostal/Charismatic pastors from the Phoenix community, north of Durban. The findings suggest that the Indian Pentecostal/Charismatic Church i) has divergent viewpoints on what constitutes social responsibility, ii) does not have a set of guiding principles for funding social programmes, and iii) does not have a discernable liberation theology, which is a real challenge facing the Church as this study argues that is a core reason for the Churches’ inability to deal with social justice or sustainability issues effectively.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Suid-Afrika is ‘n land in ‘n oorgangsfase, en is in die proses om nuwe sisteme te ontwikkel wat benodig word om ‘n positiewe verandering te bewerkstellig in die sosiale en ekonomiese lewensfasette van 48 miljoen mense. Bykans elke sektor van die samelewing is dan ook tans gefokus op die opheffing van mense. Om hierdie doelwit te bereik, en om by te dra tot sodanige opheffing, het korporasies in Suid-Afrika Korporatiewe Sosiale Beleggings (KSB) Programme. Die Pinkster / Charismatiese Kerk is die denominasie wat wêreldwyd, veral ook in Afrika, die meeste veld wen. Kerke het ook ‘n verantwoordelikheid ten opsigte van sosiale opheffing, en aangesien die Pinkster / Charismatiese Kerk daarna strewe om korporatiewe beginsels toe te pas, ondersoek hierdie tesis die reaksie van die Indiese Pinkster / Charismatiese Kerk teenoor wêreldwye sosiale-, ekonomiese en omgewingsfaktore. Die teoretiese raamwerk suggereer dat ‘n teologie vir sosiale verandering in Suid-Afrika gebaseer moet word op ‘n teologie van bevryding van rasgebaseerde onderdrukking, wat te vinde is in die Kairos Dokument; en kombineer dit met Korporatiewe Sosiale Beleggings (KSB) beginsels om ‘n saamgestelde analiserings-raamwerk voor te hou. Die studie maak gebruik van kwalitatiewe metodes, naamlik los-gestruktureerde onderhoude asook die besprekings van ‘n fokusgroep wat gehou is tussen Pinkster / Charismatiese pastore / predikante in die Phoenix gemeenskap, noord van Durban. Die bevindinge suggereer dat die Indiese Pinkster / Charismatiese Kerk: i) uiteenlopende menings het oor wat presies sosiale opheffing is; ii) nie ‘n stel grondbeginsels rakende die befondsing van sosiale opheffingsprogramme het nie; en iii) nie ‘n duidelike bevrydingsteologie aanhang nie, welke feit ‘n groot uitdaging aan die Kerk bied, aangesien hierdie studie die standpunt inneem dat dit ‘n fundamentele rede is waarom die Kerk nie in staat is om aangeleenthede van sosiale geregtigheid en volhoubaarheid effektief aan te spreek nie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/21622
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