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A Case for a Transforming Christology in South Africa

In: Journal of Reformed Theology
Author:
Jakobus (Koos) M. Vorster North-West University Potchefstroom Campus South Africa koos.vorster@nwu.ac.za

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Abstract

In the South African discourse on the political relevance of Jesus Christ, a vast array of conceptions of Jesus emerged over the years of the struggle, the liberation, the quest for spirituality and the theology of reconstruction. This discourse has taken place within the framework of the two broad historical movements of a “high” and a “low” Christology. In a recent thought provoking and informative article Mouton & Smit investigated four of the dominant discourses on Jesus in contemporary South Africa. They surveyed the discussions of Jesus in the popular news and newspaper debates, academic circles and scholarship, the worship and spirituality of congregations and believers, and public opinion about social and political life. After reviewing a huge corpus of South African literature on concepts of Jesus they ask the question whether Jesus was lost in translation in the South Africa of recent times. This article is an attempt to take the argument further. First of all, the investigation will provide another outline of the Christologies in the recent South African discourse within the broad framework of a “high” and a “low” Christology. The concepts under consideration are the spiritual Jesus, the political Jesus and the historical Jesus. Then a case will be made for the transforming Jesus of the Kingdom of God as a corrective on the Christologies of Apartheid, the liberation struggle and the modern-day post-modern projections of the historical Jesus.

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