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Religions 2019, 10(3), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10030167

Is Gabola a Decolonial Church or Another Trajectory of Freedom of Religion in Post-Colonial South Africa? Rethinking Ethical Issues in Religious Praxis

Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, Qwaqwa Campus, Phuthaditjhaba 9866, South Africa
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 13 February 2019 / Accepted: 26 February 2019 / Published: 7 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Freedom in the Global South)
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Abstract

In this paper, I interrogated the Gabola church in terms of its origins, purpose and its distinctiveness as a postcolonial manifestation of freedom of religion in South Africa. I answered two questions, is Gabola church a representation of a decolonial church and could it be a manifestation of trajectories of the postcolonial ill-defined freedom of religion? In responding to these questions, I used decoloniality, a theory whose agenda among many others is geared to usher a future free from oppression, where all can participate in modernity and in postmodernity. Data was generated through participatory action research. The approach enabled us to unearth the theology of Gabola, philosophy and the gap they seek to fill in the religious space. Ten Gabola church members and five church members from a mainline Christian movement participated in this research. The findings indicated that Gabola church presents a new religious movement that is socially inclusive, that seeks to promote social justice and social transformation. On the other hand, the research revealed that the lack of a regulating body for religious movement is the reason for the rise of questionable movements such as Gabola, a serious threat in the praxis of the Christian faith. To this end, I concluded that while freedom of religion is a good idea in line with the decolonial move, there is a need for participative and collaborative regulation of religious movement to eliminate criminal elements that overshadowed the beauty of religion manifested through ‘unthinkable’ ethical irregularities. View Full-Text
Keywords: Gabola Church; Decolonial Church; Conventional church; ethics and education Gabola Church; Decolonial Church; Conventional church; ethics and education
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Dube, B. Is Gabola a Decolonial Church or Another Trajectory of Freedom of Religion in Post-Colonial South Africa? Rethinking Ethical Issues in Religious Praxis. Religions 2019, 10, 167.

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