Title page for ETD etd-01182007-164453

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Williams, Richmond Paul Bowen
Email richwilliams@uudial.zm
URN etd-01182007-164453
Document Title Towards a strategic transcultural model of leadership that enhances Koinonia in urban Southern Africa
Degree PhD (Science of Religion and Missiology)
Department Science of Religion and Missiology
Advisor Name Title
Prof P G J Meiring Committee Chair
Prof R S Rensburg Committee Co-Chair
  • synthetic
  • semiotic
  • situational
  • apprenticeship
  • Southern African
  • South Africa
  • Zimbabwe
  • Moshoeshoe
  • Smuts
  • mandela
  • micro-cultural
  • national
  • identity
  • macro-cultural
  • multicultural
  • strategic
  • transcultural
  • leadership
  • models
  • socio-political
  • barriers
  • reconcilliation
  • koinonia
  • kyrios
  • Pauline
  • Paul
  • Antioch
  • belief
  • values
  • systems
  • election
  • philosophy
  • community
  • styles
  • predestination
  • structures
  • change
  • synthesis
  • ubuntu
  • neo-African
  • postmodern
  • tribal
  • political
  • paradigms
  • Christian
  • Tutu
  • cassisy
  • Mutendi
Date 2006-09-05
Availability unrestricted
The research conducted was done on the basis of providing an initial platform or starting point for insight and discussion into what a strategic transcultural model of leadership might look like which was relevant to the early 21st Century Christian context in the cities of Southern Africa. A strategic transcultural leader is essentially a transformational leader who exhibits an ability beyond the norm in being able to cross socio-political barriers and thus inspiring the multicultural dynamic, while also honouring the individual cultures represented. In order to study strategic transcultural leadership models a strong leadership angle was taken, which employed investigating six leaders, three political and three Christian as to the structures, styles, values, transcultural abilities and Christian/political beliefs and/or philosophies they employed.

The thesis poses the problem of urban unrest in the cities of Southern Africa. The problem of an influx into the cities, of the many different ethnicities and tribes from throughout Southern Africa and the pressures this has caused is briefly alluded to. This problem has been further exacerbated in South Africa by the arrival of many peoples from throughout Africa, south of the Sahara seeking their fortune without having to leave the African Subcontinent, and in Zimbabwe by the political policies of the Zimbabwean government, over land and in clearing away her unapproved urban high-density housing, and her informal business and white farming sectors of the economy. With these issues in mind, there is a need for strategic transcultural leadership to address these and other issues of unrest. The examples of Mandela and De Klerk as transformational leaders, inspire hope, that the vacuum of strategic transcultural leadership seen in Africa at large and specifically in relation to Southern Africa can be met, as is noted by the progress made in recent years in the arena of transformational leadership which the Group of eight and the United Nations and others allude to. While this is true, there are still problems in relation to the political decision-making within South African, as seen by Mbeki’s stance in the past on HIV-AIDS, and Zimbabwe’s woes.

The stage is set from a missiological and historical perspective by looking at multicultural models of leadership in the Early Church with specific reference to Paul and the Antiochan model he used as a prototype. The Jerusalem Church is mentioned as a bi-cultural model, which has significant use outside of large urban environs. However it was the Pauline-Antiochan model that provided a platform, in the later use of a synthetic-semiotic model, to deduce or synthesis a transcultural model. Paul’s model of leadership was analysed specifically in relation to the five elements already noted (structures, styles, etc.) and is particularly useful as a model as Paul himself provides firstly an insight into a man of bi-cultural heritage yet someone who was empire-conscious. Paul was able to uphold both the cultural distinctive or uniqueness of both the Greek and Jew (noting Paul’s use of both Hebraic and Hellenistic styles of the diatribe for example) as well as the universal, in that he was empire-conscious which played into his Kingdom perspective. Secondly he provides a reasonable grounds for understanding that if the belief system of the individual is changed on one of its most fundamental levels – allegiance – then given time the macro-cultural identity of a nation, even empire can be significantly altered.

He was able to do this primarily because the Graeco-Roman Empire had a common linguafranca in Greek, and the Christian community – as the followers of the Way became known as – had an ethos of reconciliation, enhancing the multicultural and one also of inclusivity (for example a worship style that encompasses both Jewish and local expressions) enhancing the particular. In declaring the One God of Israel and Jesus Christ – Messiah, as the only true Kyrios, Paul replaced the Emperor and the whole Greek pantheon of the Gods with the one true God and Father of us all, and his one and only Son.< /p>

The three political leaders – Moshoeshoe, Smuts and Mandela – and the three Christian leaders – Mutendi, Cassidy and Tutu – are investigated in terms of the five elements (structures, styles, values etc.) that comprise the model of leadership. Each of these leaders in turn made a lasting contribution to national and/or tribal change. After looking at the six leadership models an initial conceptual framework for a multicultural model of leadership is outlined. However, in order to bring significant current postmodern/neo-African/tribal/multicultural paradigms of thought and the associated socio-political forces and philosophies of the day, to bear on the evolving model, these were specifically highlighted and brought into the process of synthesizing a model.

Lastly once all these inputs are brought together in a tabulated framework, and the evolving multicultural model is screened against three known working scenarios, and further synthesized such that the refined model was then called a strategic transcultural model of leadership. Before this can be achieved however, various North American multicultural models posited were looked at in a literary review, which served to reinforce the understanding of the need to balance the universal and the particular aspects of culture.

In refining a strategic transcultural model, the thesis next attempted to address the problem of developing a national macro-cultural identity. A strict delineation in a postmodern era between Church and State was considered to be not only unnecessary but a modern myth, also noting that the State mirrors the Church in many of the problems of community and identity. Thus the meso-level of the Church provided key insights into the macro-level of the State. An argument all along was posed for not just orchestrating a macro-culture based on multiculturalism, nor in just upholding the micro-cultural individual identities at the expense of participation in a national framework and beyond this the global village, but an argument was made for a both/and scenario. In doing this the thesis sought to address both the macro-cultural and individual cultural identities at every level and in every element of the model of leadership. The plausibility of the argument for today was based on the prevalence of a language of choice – in most cases English – and an ethos of reconciliation and inclusivity for which Madiba and Tutu among others have set the standard.

A final picture of a community based on both was posited for reflection, a picture that John paints where the great heavenly host (mirroring the macro-level of the Kingdom) is contrasted with the micro-level of a people made up “from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev 5:9).

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