Original Research - Special Collection: Missiology, Religion Studies and Spirituality

Self-secularisation as challenge to the church

Jaco Beyers
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 71, No 3 | a3178 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i3.3178 | © 2015 Jaco Beyers | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 September 2015 | Published: 13 November 2015


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Abstract

The concept of self-secularisation has been identified by Wolfgang Huber, bishop of the German Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD), when he reflected on the context of the church in Germany. Self-secularisation however, is a worldwide phenomenon with effects in South Africa as well. After discussing the origin of the concept and its interpretations, the author tries to identify instances of self-secularisation within especially the Afrikaansspeaking churches, although not limited to them, in South Africa. The theological jargon comes under scrutiny, civil religion, the pluralistic society within which the church exists, the effect of emotionalism, the commercialisation of the church, the role of mass media and the phenomenon of infotainment, rationalisation and a lack of ethics are some of the elements identified and discussed. Finally the author attempts a correction by indicating what the church ought to do in order to counter the effects of self-secularisation.

Keywords

Secularisation

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