Title page for ETD etd-06092011-154024

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Masuku, Mnyalaza Tobias
URN etd-06092011-154024
Document Title The ministry of Dr Beyers Naude : towards developing a comprehensive mission (communication) strategy towards the victims of oppression
Degree PhD
Department Science of Religion and Missiology
Advisor Name Title
Prof C J P Niemandt Supervisor
  • mission strategy
  • mission
  • Dutch Reformed Church
  • dominie
  • churches
  • “daughter”
  • “conversion”
  • African Initiated churches
  • African National Congress
  • Afrikaner-Broederbond
  • apartheid
  • broederkring
  • belydende-king
  • Black consciousness movement
  • black and white
  • muthi
  • nationalist party
  • peoples’ war
  • race
  • racism
  • victims of oppression
  • apartheid and volk
Date 2011-04-08
Availability unrestricted
This thesis proposes that the ministry of Dr Beyers Naudé to the victims of oppression during the apartheid rule in South Africa had a missionary dimension. It argues that the credibility of the Christian faith was challenged by the victims of oppression, as a result of the way in which it was used as a supportive tool for oppression. Through his ministry, Beyers Naudé succeeded in communicating the Christian faith in a special way to the victims of oppression. This led to a change of mind for the victims of oppression with regard to their negative attitude to the Christian faith.

This study further resulted in the development of a comprehensive mission (communication) strategy to the victims of oppression. The argument is that there is another form of post-1994 victims of oppression in South Africa made out of those who feel left out by government poverty alleviation, economic development and service delivery programmes. The inability of government to strike a balance between the rich and the poor as well as corruption will always yield the ‘disadvantaged’ section of society who may feel ‘oppressed’, neglected and left out in favour of the few who have ‘connections’ at higher levels of government. These victims’ response will be characterized by anger which results into protest actions similar to those seen during the time of the ministry of Beyers Naudé. The question posed in this study is ‘how to minister to angry people who feel left out by government?’ In order to respond to this challenge and to equip ministers of religion and other interested people, a comprehensive mission (communication) strategy to victims of oppression was therefore developed based on the example of Beyers Naudé.

The main question posed in this study around the reason for the success of Beyers Naudé’s ministry is “what ‘muthi’ did he use to win the hearts, love and support of the victims of oppression?” In order to answer this question, there is a three step approach that has been followed. Firstly I looked at factors that made him or influenced his making i.e. his life from his birth to his ‘conversion’, South African political landscape divided into two periods (1940-1963 and 1963-1994) as well as Faith Based Organisations’ response to apartheid. Secondly, I looked at his actual ministry to the victims of oppression from 1963 to 1994. I divided his ministry between the categories of centripetal and centrifugal patterns of mission. Thirdly a comprehensive mission (communication) strategy to the victims of oppression was developed, based on his contribution to a positive Christian witness.

In the concluding chapter, I made some proposals for a way-forward in terms of areas for further study which were triggered by this research. The best statement for concluding this study, indicating the commitment of Beyers Naudé for God’s mission and how this was misunderstood by his church (the DRC) was taken from Mokgoebo (2009) who states:

Beyers Naudé was a prophet of his time. As the saying goes, ‘the prophet is never respected at his own home’. His witness will remain long after we have gone, as a White man who was grasped by the powerful message of the Kingdom of God, of justice and reconciliation.

© 2010 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Masuku, MT 2010, The ministry of Dr Beyers Naude : towards developing a comprehensive mission (communication) strategy towards the victims of oppression, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-06092011-154024/ >


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