Church/state partnership in development? : the case of Mitchell's plain and Khayelitsha in post-apartheid Cape Flats

Nissen, Christopher (2019-04)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Since the Edict of Milan during the time of Constantine the Great, church and state relations were always antagonistic as Christianity was adopted as the state religion. The same is true for the South African Church during the apartheid era, howbeit restricted to one denomination. When apartheid ended, the challenge for the Church was carving out a renewed identity, one side being the white Afrikaner churches that enjoyed positions of power and privilege and the other majority black churches that fought for the abolishment of apartheid. Notwithstanding the manner in which Christianity arrived in South Africa, many hold the view that separation of spirituality and the political is impossible and by extension is important, a fact put forward by the then newly elected President Nelson Mandel. With each new political dispensation came new leadership which did not necessarily hold these views however, the Church remained important due to command in numbers. The pursuit of political power vis-à-vis votes came in the form of co-opting religious leaders into position of power resulting in silencing the Churches prophetic voice. In chapter I highlight the challenges that both Church and state face, namely, fighting societal ills in all its forms. Both the Church and state serve their constituencies in the name of development with the expressed aim of poverty alleviation, however, what this looked like relationally required more research. With the use of David Korten’s so-called People-Centred Development approach, I aimed to ascertain the extent development took place on the Cape Flats with specific focus on Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha along with the relational dynamics when societal challenges are dealt with in the name of development. By doing so, question the relationship of church and state in this dynamic is important as it dictates whether or not conditions within these areas will change. In chapter two I found it important to retrospectively analyse relational dynamics between church and state. I consider its historical functionality in ancient communities and what caused it to separate. This required theological substantiation as I illuminate the tensions revealed in the writings of individuals such as Augustine, Tertullian, Luther leading the Reformation. Similarly, consideration was given when tracing the history of apartheid in South Africa along with its aftermath, which certain aspects still being fought today. Communities remain divided with dire consequences as such require a voice which can only be given by the Church itself. In chapter three I analyse the “common enemy”, namely poverty in variation, as both church and state spend great time in battling it. The issue of poverty required an appropriate developmental response and thus consideration was given to the main contributors. When dealing with chapter four we are reminded based on analysis that communities are complex and were accompanied by a variety of customs before development was introduced. We also understand that they are themselves the Church and thus required renewed consideration through models of the Church. Both parties remain in constant tension with one another with an expressed desire for cooperation with diverse agendas. What remains true is that most interventions are introduced from the outside, with little to consideration given to involve the communities they serve. In chapter five I revisited the questions posed at the commencement of my research. A simple answer proves more challenging; however, my argument put forth would be one rooted in hope, and more specifically, Christian hope which falls within the Church as a community of faith. This Christian hope is not mythical but provide individuals and communities with a tangible way forward regardless of circumstances. Therefore, the Church through its message of Jesus Christ can bring about both emotional and physical well-being while communities are in waiting for circumstances to change.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Sedert die Edik van Milaan in die tyd van Konstantyn die Grote, was Kerk- en staatsverhoudings altyd antagonisties aangesien Christenskap as die staatsgodsdiens aangeneem is. Dieselfde geld in die geval van die Suid-Afrikaanse Kerk in die apartheidsera, alleenlik beperk tot een denominasie. Met die einde van apartheid, was die uitdaging vir die Kerk om ’n nuwe identiteit te vorm, met een kant as die wit Afrikaner kerke wat magsposisies en voorregte geniet het en die ander meerderheid swart kerke wat vir die vernietiging daarvan geveg het. Ondanks die wyse waarop die Christelike godsdiens in Suid-Afrika aangekom het, is baie van mening dat die skeiding van geestelike en die politiek onmoontlik is en juis daarom dat dit uiters belangrik is, 'n feit wat na vore gebring is deur die destydse nuutverkose president Nelson Mandela. Met elke nuwe politieke bedeling het nuwe leierskap gekom wat nie noodwendig hierdie mening gedeel het nie; die Kerk het egter belangrik gebly as gevolg van die mag wat daar in getalle is. Die strewe na politieke mag met betrekking tot stemme het gekom in die vorm van gekoöpteerde godsdienstige leiers in magsposisie wat daartoe bygedra het dat die kerke se profetiese stem onderdruk is. In hoofstuk een beklemtoon ek die uitdagings wat beide die Kerk en staat in die gesig staar, naamlik die stryd teen sosiale euwels in al sy vorme. Beide die Kerk en die staat dien hul kiesers in die naam van ontwikkeling met die uitdruklike doel om armoede te verlig, maar dit het egter relasioneel meer navorsing vereis. Deur Dawid Korten se sogenaamde Mensgesentreerde Ontwikkelingsbenadering te gebruik, het ek gepoog om die omvang van ontwikkeling wat plaasgevind het op die Kaapse Vlakte met spesifieke fokus op Mitchell’s Plain en Khayelitsha, saam met die relasionele dinamika wanneer maatskaplike uitdagings in die naam van ontwikkeling hanteer word, te ondersoek. Dit is dus belangrik om die verhouding tussen Kerk en staat in hierdie dinamika te bevraagteken, want dit bepaal of toestande binne hierdie gebiede sal verander. In hoofstuk twee het ek dit belangrik gevind om op retrospektiewe wyse die relasionele dinamika tussen Kerk en staat te analiseer. Ek oorweeg die historiese funksionaliteit daarvan in antieke gemeenskappe en wat die skeiding daarvan veroorsaak het. Dit vereis teologiese motivering waar ek lig werp op die spanning wat na vore kom in die geskrifte van individue soos Augustinus, Tertullianus, Luther se leiding van die Hervorming, ens. Net so is oorweging gebruik om die geskiedenis van apartheid in Suid-Afrika na te gaan, tesame met die gevolge daarvan, waarvan baie aspekte vandag nog in stryd verkeer. Gemeenskappe bly verdeel met ernstige gevolge, en as sodanig vereis ’n stem wat net deur die Kerk self gegee kan word. Ek analiseer die “gemeenskaplike vyand”, naamlik armoede in variasie, in hoofstuk drie, aangesien beide Kerk en staat baie tyd daaraan spandeer om dit te beveg. Die kwessie van armoede vereis ’n gepaste ontwikkelingsreaksie, dus is oorweging aan die grootste bydraers daartoe gegee. Wanneer daar na hoofstuk vier gekyk word, word ons daaraan herinner dat, op grond van analise, gemeenskappe kompleks is en vergesel word van ’n verskeidenheid van gebruike voor ontwikkeling daarin bekend gestel kan word. Ons verstaan ook dat hulle self die Kerk vorm en dus ’n hernude oorweging deur modelle van die Kerk vereis. Daar is duidelik spanning tussen beide partye met beide wat samewerking verlang, maar ook nie. Wat egter getrou bly is dat die meeste ingrypings van buite af kom, met min of geen oorweging om die gemeenskappe wat hulle help, te betrek nie. Hoofstuk vyf kyk weer na die vrae wat aan die begin van my navorsing gestel is. ’n Eenvoudige antwoord blyk meer uitdagend te wees, maar my aanbeveling is egter een van hoop en, meer spesifiek, Christelike hoop wat binne die Kerk as 'n gemeenskap van geloof val. Daarom kan die Kerk, deur die boodskap van Jesus Chrustus, emosionele en fisieke welstand bewerkstellig terwyl gemeenskappe wag vir omstandighede om te verander.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/105998
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