Desmond Tutu's Message: A Qualitative Analysis

Desmond Tutu's Message: A Qualitative Analysis

Desmond Tutu's Message: A Qualitative Analysis

Desmond Tutu's Message: A Qualitative Analysis


The churches, with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in the forefront, played a remarkable role in the liberation of South Africa. This book offers a scholarly analysis of a selection of Tutus sermons, speeches and statements over a period of fifteen years. The structure of argumentation in his sermons and speeches is explained, the striking dialogical style of communication of his prophetic preaching is displayed, and his success in motivating oppressed people to keep on hoping and to act in a peaceful way for liberation is discussed. Tutu has shown, by preaching in a prophetic mode during the dark days of apartheid, that the Christian religion is, indeed, a major motivational force for liberation. This analysis yields a handful of practical theological insights for the communication of the gospel.


In 1990, Nelson Mandela was released from prison, where he had been kept as political prisoner for so many years. Many people felt that this day would become an historic day, one not to forget. Many people witnessed his release right there on the spot. But many millions more witnessed it on television because this historical event was broadcasted all over the world.

In spite of the fact that so many people may have been aware of the historical event taking place that day, not many would have dreamed that within four years Mandela would become President of his beloved country, after democratic elections where the wishful slogan 'one man, one vote' had become a reality. All people, after having waited for decades for democracy and after having waited for hours in front of the polling station, had cast their ballots, no matter what their race.

Mandela had become the leader of a country with both traditional and modern segments; with great differences between blacks, coloureds and whites; with great inequalities between races in nearly all domains of life; with political tensions between whites and blacks, but also between black communities which had frequently led to harassments, fights and killings. But in spite of all these social and political problems, many people from all races hoped and looked forward to a new South Africa in which more equality would become established and political and racial cleavages would no longer disrupt and disturb the country. South Africa would become a country where all would get their share of the cake in a peaceful society where all people, no matter what race, no matter what political ideology, no matter what status one had achieved previously, would live together and cooperate in order to achieve a better society.

These ideas of peaceful developments towards more social and political equality had been spread by many people in the years before Mandela became President. Of course there have been innumerable people at all levels of society who spread the word. But leaders may be considered to be of major importance . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.