The Church Struggle in South Africa

The Church Struggle in South Africa

The Church Struggle in South Africa

The Church Struggle in South Africa

Synopsis

This widely acclaimed and influential volume by internationally noted theologian John de Gruchy is now available in a greatly revised and expanded 25th anniversary edition that places the monumental religious struggle against South African apartheid into a larger and instructive global setting. Fully updated, John De Gruchy's authoritative account of Christian complicity with and then resistance to one of the world's most notoriously repressive regimes holds indispensable lessons and "dangerous memories" for all concerned about evil, justice, and racial reconciliation.

Excerpt

Twenty-five years ago I had the pleasure of reviewing the First Edition of John de Gruchy's The Church Struggle in South Africa. I commented then that I could hardly put the book down once I began reading it; I also expressed the conviction that it would one day become a classic in its field. So I am delighted that this new, updated Third Edition has been published, proving that the book has in fact become the classic I earlier predicted.

Looking back, I remember that when I first read The Church Struggle I was struck by the way it combined good theological and historical scholarship with commitment to the role and witness of the Church in the struggle for justice in South Africa. At the time I wrote that de Gruchy has a happy knack and God-given gift to be fair to diverse positions while retaining his right to be critical of these positions. In today's struggle for reconciliation, this combination of critical perception mixed with fairness and openness towards people of other convictions is of particular importance.

The struggle of the Church in South Africa was fundamentally how to bring about a more just society where differences of race, colour and culture were seen to be irrelevant and without theological significance. Of course, differences are not unimportant, as we have learnt over the years, but differences are meant to enrich us all not divide us from one another. Although apartheid as a system and ideology is now happily buried, we still live with its legacy, and we also face new problems that have to be addressed, not least the HIV/AIDS pandemic. We also still have to keep a watchful eye on those in power even though we celebrate and affirm all that has now been achieved by our new government. So . . .

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