Editorial: Special Edition: Reimagining a new social contract between Church and State

Eugene Baron


This special edition results from the first face-to-face conference of the South African Missiological Society (SAMS), held at the University of Stellenbosch, after the first identified case of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdowns and its different levels of protocols in South Africa. The COVID pandemic revealed South African society's dire economic, social, and political challenges that the government could not address adequately. The nature of the Church, during the hard lockdowns, also became challenging, as those used to being Church behind their church "walls" were challenged for its relevance in society during increased unemployment, entrenchments of employees, mass deaths, and increased corruption, and crime levels, especially GBV to be on the rise. In its first face-to-face conference, it became essential to discuss the nature of the Church as God's mission agents in the world again. The Church's agency is not in isolation but in collaboration with society, government, and non-governmental institutions. How should the Church then position itself in which it would, with the government, address social ills? The contributors in this special edition want to understand what are the reasons why the Church is not able to enter into a social contract with the state, and others would suggest how the Church could achieve this, while others would reflect on the role of missiology for such a vision and ideal.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7832/50-1-481


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