South Africa: The Theology of Archbishop Tutu – the Struggle Against Everyday Injustice, Everywhere

Tony Balcomb is a senior research associate in the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He has published in the area of the ecological significance of indigenous worldviews. He is the current chairperson of Munster Conservancy.

Comparisons, they say, are odious, but it is impossible not to compare the theologies of two deeply religious men who loom large in the South African landscape right now – former Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Here are two adherents of the Christian faith who have both been uncompromising in their convictions of what it means to be a follower of Christ in South African society. One believes that the struggle for the kingdom of God is to be fought in the heavenly realm against the devil and all his minions, and the other believes that the kingdom of God is a struggle to be waged on Earth against the forces of destruction and injustice.

This does not mean, of course, that Tutu did not believe in prayer just as it does not mean that Mogoeng, presumably, does not believe in social justice. But the difference between the two puts into sharp focus the age-old trajectories…

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