Original Research - Special Collection: Structural subjects - Church History and Systematic Theology

Spirituality of liberation: A conversation with African religiosity

Vuyani S. Vellem
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 70, No 1 | a2752 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2752 | © 2014 Vuyani S. Vellem | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 June 2014 | Published: 20 November 2014

About the author(s)

Vuyani S. Vellem, Department of Dogmatics and Christian Ethics, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

The arrival of a salvationist, authoritative religiosity through Western Christianity in South Africa, in the company of a capitalist modernity, did not only dismantle and subvert the African indigenous dispensation of religiosity. It also sought to destroy it completely and arguably continues to do so in subtle forms in the 21st century, by attacking the imagination and consciousness of black Africans. This article argues that African religiosity as expressed in African Initiated Churches (AICs) is the site of the spirituality of liberation. Employing the notion of mokhukhu – a shack – the article places the sanity of black Africans, the spirituality of liberation, black African agency and consciousness within the narrative of African religiosity. It concludes by offering African religiosity as a resource for an alternative civilisation and an important agenda in the current debates of the World Communion of Reformed Churches.

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