Religious communities and South African politics: the case of South African Council of Churches from 1994 - 2016
Thinane, Jonas Sello
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Despite much research conducted on the case of the South African Council of Churches (SACC) since its inception in the 1960s, with particular focus on its role in South Africa ahead of its first democratic elections in 1994 and subsequently, the overall image painted by theological and secular academic scholars of the SACC is negative. As a result, much doubt has been cast on the role of the SACC in South Africa, in particular the role of the SACC in South African politics since the advent of democracy in 1994. In this study, an attempt has been made to investigate and demonstrate that contrary to popular opinion concerning its role in South Africa, the SACC has remained an instrument and servant of South African churches and has demonstrated true commitment to serving and uniting the people of South Africa, particularly in politics and matters of national concern. By adopting a resolution in 1994 on critical solidarity with the democratically elected government of the Republic of South Africa, it is true that the SACC has changed its approach or scope of dealing with South African politics, but it has not abandoned its commitment to serving the people of South Africa nor is it silent in matters of public concern. Thus the South African Council of Churches (SACC) is still relevant in South Africa. This study employs a multiplicity of methods which includes critical discourse analysis, heuristic method, hermeneutical tradition, hermeneutic phenomenology, literature and historical approach. This is a qualitative research since it will be used to gain more understanding of the work of South African Council of Churches (SACC) and provide perception against the SACC’ s problem of silence in South African politics since 1994.