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The Chastening of the English-Speaking Churches in South Africa

de Gruchy, John W
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) Race and Reconciliation in South Africa: A Multicultural Dialogue in Comparative Perspective. Ed. by William E. Van Vugt & G. Daan Cloete. Lanham: Lexington Books. 37-51.

De Gruchy implicates the English-speaking churches of South Africa in their complicity during the reign of apartheid. He defines the term “English-speaking churches” as “primarily an ethnic description rather than a theological or ecclesiastical one, and one that refers especially to them during a specific historic period.” He describes his work to chasten as a biblically-based attempt to pronounce judgment with the invitation to correction. De Gruchy continues by describing how the English-speaking churches lost their political status over time, their ethnic dominance as run by the privileged white, and their moral innocence as their claim to be anti-apartheid was insufficient in the face of actual reform. De Gruchy ends with the positive effects all these losses can have in the construction of a new society.


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