Original Research

Perold de Beer: Reflecting on the theology of a missionary pioneer

Arnold M. Meiring
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 45, No 1 | a2969 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v45i1.2969 | © 2024 Arnold M. Meiring | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 August 2023 | Published: 19 January 2024

About the author(s)

Arnold M. Meiring, Department of Religion Studies, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Dr Perold de Beer was a missionary pioneer who contributed as both a church leader and a theologian to the Reformed Church in Africa (RCA). This research recorded his contribution to the RCA as this church navigated political issues during apartheid, multireligious positions and the challenges accompanying church unity; all of these ended up in the Laudium Declaration (LD) which De Beer drafted and was then accepted as the church’s official position. In addition to De Beer’s views, other, differing positions from his colleagues and contemporaries were used to reflect on the eventual decisions and theologies developed in the RCA. The article’s social and scientific value lies in both recording and reflecting on the work of a missionary pioneer not yet investigated; it addressed and informed issues that are still relevant today (racism, pluralism and unity) and which are still heading the church’s agenda. Both literature study and interviews were employed.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: While this article investigated missiology (mission theology, social justice and church unity), it also contributed to religion studies (interfaith dialogue), church history, and polity (the history and documents of the RCA) and systematic theology. It offered insight into the history of a specific segment of South African society during apartheid.


Keywords

Perold de Beer; Reformed Church in Africa; Dutch Reformed Church; Laudium Declaration; politics; apartheid; deliverance; dialogue; church unity.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 10: Reduced inequalities

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