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Christian Youth Activism and South African Black Ecclesiology

Christian Youth Activism and South African Black Ecclesiology

(p.80) Christian Youth Activism and South African Black Ecclesiology
Contesting Post-Racialism
Reggie Nel
University Press of Mississippi

Youth are a key force in inducing social and ecclesial transformation. The chapter narrates and analyzes a particular trajectory of Christian youth activism, i.e., “youth in the mission to overcome racism” in South Africa. This is done by revisiting the challenge of student leader Steve Bantu Biko to the Black Church in the 1970s, in a particular way, namely through a South African remixed, praxis cycle. This chapter then analyzes a few key responses from proponents of South African Black Theology of Liberation to this Christian youth activism and to the 1990s South African democratic transition. The chapter continues with a narrative on the current challenges and questions raised by two specific post-apartheid Christian youth and student ministries in South Africa, namely the Christian Youth Movement (CYM) and the Uniting Christian Students Association (UCSA). Operating behind this approach is the understanding that the church’s continued prophetic witness and mission to overcome racism is not simply about individual conversion or political activism but it is an ecclesiological struggle – a struggle for the conversion of the church.

Keywords:   youth activism, racism, Steve Biko, ecclesiology, marginalization

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