Original Research - Practical Theology

Identity, race and faith: The role of faith in post-Apartheid South Africa

John Klaasen
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 72, No 2 | a3861 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i2.3861 | © 2016 John Klaasen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 August 2016 | Published: 09 December 2016

About the author(s)

John Klaasen, Faculty of Arts Ethics, Religion and Theology, Department of Religion and Theology, South Africa


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Abstract

South Africa has experienced an unprecedented influx of migrants in the 21st century. Immigration and race have contributed to the raising of important questions of identity and social inclusion. Immigration and race are two crucial phenomena for the church in South Africa because the overwhelming majority of immigrants to South Africa are affiliated to Christianity and active participants in worshipping communities.

This article is an attempt to critically engage with the complex phenomena of immigration and race for the role of Christianity in identity. I will attempt to show how mainstream Christianity as an open-ended narrative and can provide the space for creative tension between the ‘host’ and ‘stranger’ for identity formation. I will use the theoretical framework of Don Browning’s correlational approach to demonstrate how the experience of immigrants and minority race groups creates identity of self and the constructive other.


Keywords

Immigration; Race; Identity; Christianity; Narrative; Eucharist

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