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  • What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    by Dion A Forster
  • An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    by Dion A Forster
Transform your work life: Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling. by Dion Forster and Graham Power.
Download a few chapters of the book here.

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Sunday
Sep092012

Our new book on Church and State relationships has just been published - Between Capital and Cathedral

I am so pleased to share the news that my friend Dr Wessel Bentley and I have just had a new book published.  It is entitled 'Between Capital and Cathedral: Essays on Church State relationships'.  

What is clear is that God desires that the Church should be an agent of God's will on all spheres of society, including the State.  We are called to pray, to advocate, to act, to support, and to be prophetically critical of the work of the state.  

This book contains some exceptional theological and social insights from persons such as Joerg Rieger (Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University), Prof Peter Storey (South African Methodist anti-apartheid Activist, Professor at Duke Divinity school), Prof Klaus Nurnberger (a Lutheran missionary, anti apartheid Activist and professor of Systematic Theology at both the University of South Africa and the University of KwaZulu Natal), Professor Liouse Kretzschmar (Professor of Systematic theology and ethics at the University of South Africa), Dr Clint le Bruyns (senior lecturer in public theology at the University of KwaZulu Natal), Revd Sifiso Khuswayo (Duke University Graduate, minister of the Methodist Church and lecturer at Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary), Dr Wessel Bentley (senior reasearcher at the Institute for the Study of Religion at the University of South Africa), and myself (lecturer at Stellenbosch University, Ekklesia, Faculty of Theology).

Here is some information on the book:

Cost: R120
Order here or Kindle


South Africa has a rich and complex history of Church-State relations. It is diverse, telling a story of how the Church was used as an instrument of colonisation, how sections of the Church endorsed policies of segregation, but also how other parts of the Church fought a long and brave battle to see the Apartheid regime toppled. It has been almost two decades since the end of Apartheid and as change is ringing in the social, political and ecclesiastical spheres of South Africa, it is necessary to revisit the notion of Church-State relations in this country. Coming from a past where the Church held a dominant position in society - both in the promotion of, and in the resistance to, the Apartheid system - the Church now finds itself in a new context; namely a Constitutional Democracy. In this setting its voice has to compete with other voices, its power is limited since it is merely one role-player in a society which is trying to find its feet. What does this mean for the identity, place and role of the Christian Church? What is the responsibility of the State to the society which it serves? This collection of essays seeks to address these questions. It does so by listening to prominent voices which have spoken, and still speak boldly on this topic, voices reflecting how Church- State relationships have influenced the social structures and systems across the globe. It offers some suggestions for a prudent Church-State relationship in South Africa, which will enable the formation of a society which can enjoy its freedoms in the context of justice, selflessness and hope. In these pages the reader will discover that the State has a greater responsibility than simply overseeing the implementation of government policies. Moreover, the Church has a greater role to play than merely being concerned with spiritual matters. It is argued that the Church and State cannot be the same entity, nor should the lines between Church and State be blurred, for this will lead to the distortion of both the Church and State thereby diminishing their primary functions. At the same time, social justice, the dignity of all
people and the moral formation of a nation depend on a Church-State relationship that is critical, honest, transparent and which will not shy away from collaborating when such work is clearly for the benefit of society as a whole. This book is not the final word on Church- State relationships, but aims to encourage new discoveries and continued conversations on what it means for the Church and the State to be effective and relevant in the South African context. The essays offer a diverse range of perspectives, and although these are not the only voices to be heard, they will stimulate conversation, benefiting society at large.

Here are the titles of the chapters in the book.

Essay 1
Banning the flag from our churches: Learning from the Church-State struggle in South Africa
Peter Storey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-20

Essay 2
Being a Christian in a “Christian country”: theological reflections
Joerg Rieger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21-39

Essay 3
The reluctant insight: Protestantism and democracy
Klaus Nürnberger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41-57

Essay 4
The Church, democracy and responsible citizenship
Clint Le Bruyns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59-71

Essay 5
God’s Kingdom and the transformation of society
Dion A Forster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73-88

Essay 6
The place of the Church in the new South Africa
Wessel Bentley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89-103

Essay 7
Un-mining the undermined history: the historical role of education
in transforming a nation
Sifiso Khuzwayo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105-129

Essay 8
The Christian formation of South African believers for engagement
with State and society
Louise Kretzschmar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131-163

Cost: R120
Order here or purchase it on Kindle (or download the first chapter for free).

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    Our new book on Church and State relationships has just been published - Between Capital and Cathedral - BLOG - Dion Forster - An uncommon path

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