Church and State in Tanzania: Aspects of Changing Relationships, 1961-1994

By Frieder Ludwig | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

ECCLESIASTICAL RESTRUCTURING

15.1. The new Dioceses of the ELCT and
the Revival of Ethnic Identification

Development work was not only performed by the Christian Council. Individual member churches also saw the necessity of implementing a new approach and established appropriate departments. This happened at a later period than in the CCT. The National Office of Development of the ELCT, for instance, was founded in 1982. Whereas the emphasis until then had been on building hospitals, clinics and schools, the new approach was to be based on a “whole and liberating theology of development.”1 A paper outlining the basic principles of church development work was prepared, in which particular emphasis was put on the participation of those who were themselves most affected. Rural development was given priority and the dependency on foreign help was to be reduced.2

Thus, the development plans of the ELCT and those of the Christian Council shared some similarities. But there were also great differences between the two institutions: the tendency to centralisation was not very strong in the ELCT, although the headquarters in Arusha had taken over an important role. Instead the trend to decentralisation continued: dioceses and synods were splitting up into smaller and smaller units. While in 1963 there had been only seven churches who had founded the ELCT (1963) with just over 380,000 members, in 1977 there were eleven synods and dioceses with a membership of approximately 750,000 members.3 In 1990 the number had increased further: So the ELCT comprised at this point 18 dioceses and two synods with more than a million members.4

1 M. Schmale, “Grenzen und Moglichkeiten einer zielgruppen- und armutsorien-
tierten Entwicklungsarbeit von NRO: das Beispiel der lutherischen Kirche in
Tansania”, in: qfrika spektrum (1993/2, pp. 255–271), p. 256.

2 R. Mshana, “Kirche und Entwicklung”, in: G. Mellinghoff/J. Kiwovele (eds.),
Lutherisclte Kirche Tanzania (Erlangen, 1990, pp. 222–225), p. 224.

3 G. Mellinghoff, “Struktur der Evangelisch-Lutherischen Kirche in Tanzania”,
in: G. Mellinghoff/J. Kiwovele (eds.), Lutherische Kirche (pp. 149–155), p. 150.

4 L. Kalugila, “Das Bischofsamt in der ELCT”, in: J. Ngeiyamu/J. Triebel (eds.),
Gemeinsam auf eigenen Wegen. Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Tanzania nach hunderi Jahren
(Erlangen, 1994, pp. 258–271).

-169-

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