Professor Tinyiko Sam Maluleke is a missiologist and currently works as executive director of research at the University of South Africa in Pretoria. Prof. Maluleke is a member of the World Council of Churches' Decade to Overcome Violence reference group
Of Lions and Rabbits: the Role of the Church in Reconciliation in South Africa*
Version of Record online: 25 MAR 2009
2007 World Council of Churches
International Review of Mission
Volume 96, Issue 380-381, pages 41–55, January-April 2007
How to Cite
Maluleke, T. S. (2007), Of Lions and Rabbits: the Role of the Church in Reconciliation in South Africa. International Review of Mission, 96: 41–55. doi: 10.1111/j.1758-6631.2007.tb00591.x
This paper was originally given as the Alexander Duff Lecture, in Edinburgh, 27 April 2006 and Glasgow, 28 April 2006, and is published here with permission.
- Issue online: 25 MAR 2009
- Version of Record online: 25 MAR 2009
This essay uses an old African fable about lions and rabbits in order to launch, illustrate, probe and explore the role of the churches in the complex South African process of reconciliation since the end of apartheid, and the election, thirteen years ago, of Nelson Mandela as the first democratic president of the Republic of South Africa. It is argued that both the challenges encountered and the solutions sought in the search for reconciliation have been and remain far from simple. Nor has the role of the churches been simple and straightforward. The author thematically traces the complex role of the church in the equally complex processes that have catapulted South Africa from tyranny to democracy. He argues that the question of reconciliation has always been on the agenda of the South African church. Sometimes this has been overtly present, sometimes covertly, sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly. Even when reconciliation was absent in the discourse and proxy of the church, it was nevertheless present through its absence.