Original Research

The end of Mission Councils: A case study of the Church of Scotland South Africa Joint Council, 1971–1981

Graham A. Duncan
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 73, No 3 | a4371 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v73i3.4371 | © 2017 Graham A. Duncan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 November 2016 | Published: 26 April 2017

About the author(s)

Graham A. Duncan, Faculty of Theology, Department of Church History and Church Law, University of Pretoria, South Africa


This article will investigate why Mission Councils continued to exist for so long after the so-called autonomous churches were established in South Africa following the upsurge ofEthiopian and other types of African initiated churches at the close of the 19th century inopposition to the European sending churches. It will also examine how the emergingPartnership in Mission policy affected the process of integration of church and mission. Usingthe closing years of the Church of Scotland South African Joint Council (1971–1981) as a casestudy, the author examines primary sources to uncover the exercise of power demonstratedthrough racism manifested in the disposition of personnel, property and finance to control thedevelopment of authentic autonomy.


Church of Scotland South African Joint Council; integration; Overseas Council; Partnership in Mission; Reformed Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa (RPCSA)


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