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Catholicity Challenging Ethnicity

An Ecclesiological Study of Congregations and Churches in Post-apartheid South Africa


Erik Berggren

This book deals with the relationship between the catholicity of the Church and ethnicity. Churches confess their «catholicity» – which means that they declare that their members belong to one community; but at the same time, the churches are often internally divided along ethnic lines. South Africa was a divided society under apartheid, which also shaped the churches ethnically. The legacy of apartheid continues to cause division between people through inequality, injustice, skewed power relations, and marginalisation. The author presents an analytical tool that has been derived from key documents of the Faith and Order movement and the World Council of Churches concerning the catholicity of the Church. In addition, he tests the catholicity of the Church against an operative ecclesiology of South African congregations and churches twenty years after the dismantling of apartheid.
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Unpublished Sources

Unpublished sources in the form of interview protocols, interviews, observation protocols, websites, e-mail correspondence, and church and congregation publications are archived as attachments to the thesis in DiVA (Digital Academic Archive) at the University of Uppsala. DiVA is a digital archive for long-term preservation. The material can be accessed through the Faculty of Theology at the University of Uppsala.

Submissions and transcriptions from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Faith Communities Hearing in East London in 1997, provincial and local government publications, Acts of Parliament, newspaper articles, and media releases are also archived in DiVA. Statistics from Census 2011 can be accessed from the Statistics South Africa database in Pretoria. Audiovisual productions from the Faith Communities Hearing in East London in 1997 can be accessed from the Department of Government Communication and Information Systems in Pretoria.

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