John W de Gruchy


In the new democratic society in South Africa both Christian faith and theology are
facing the challenge to affinn democratic values and goals without selling out to a
secular ideology in which Christian faith inevitably becomes privatised. With this
challenge in view the relationship between Christianity and democracy is examined.
The historic yet ambiguous nature of this relationship is described. Four trajectories
within Christian tradition which have made significant contributions to the
development of democratic theory and praxis are identified. An attempt is made to
delineate more clearly what is meant by democracy. A distinction is made between
democracy as a vision of what society should become, and democracy as a system of
government which seeks to enable the realisation of that vision within particular
contexts. The origins of the democratic vision in the prophetic vision of a society in
which the reign of God's shalom will become a reality, are indicated. On the basis of
this prophetic vision and the doctrine of the trinity the relationship between democracy
and ecclesiology, the church's role within civil society and the tension between
national sovereignty and global democratisation are submitted to critical theological

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

Attribution CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Powered by OJS and hosted by Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service since 2013.


This journal is hosted by the SU LIS on request of the journal owner/editor. The SU LIS takes no responsibility for the content published within this journal, and disclaim all liability arising out of the use of or inability to use the information contained herein. We assume no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any breaches of agreement with other publishers/hosts.

SUNJournals Help