Pursuing an Elusive Unity: A History of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian as a Federative Denomination (1924-2018)

Pursuing an Elusive Unity: A History of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian as a Federative Denomination (1924-2018)

by Rhodian Munyenyembe

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Since its founding in 1924, the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) has grown to span five synods across Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa. Dr Rhodian Munyenyembe traces the history of these synods back to their shared roots in the Reformation and individual roots in three separate Presbyterian missions. Dr Munyenyembe skillfully explores both historic and contemporary challenges to the unity of the CCAP, and raises the question of whether the CCAP truly functions as a single denomination or could better be understood as a loose federation of five distinct churches. His in-depth explanation provides a critical look that goes beyond a surface understanding of what it means to unite churches from different cultural traditions, and brings honest answers to disputes and conflicts among the CCAP synods. Through this analysis and exploration, Dr Munyenyembe also sheds light on the political and socio-economic aspects of life in relation to the influence of religious denominations. In this objective yet astute account, Munyenyembe gives voice to the CCAP’s complex history, present reality, and future potential.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781783687275
Publisher: Langham Creative Projects
Publication date: 10/02/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 316
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

RHODIAN MUNYENYEMBE holds a PhD in Theology (Ecclesiology) from the University of the Free State, South Africa. He currently serves as lecturer and Head of Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Mzuzu University, Malawi. He enjoys reading church history, and researching and writing about religion and socio-cultural issues. He is also the author of Christianity and Socio-Cultural Issues: The Charismatic Movement and Contextualization in Malawi.

Table of Contents

List of Figures




List of Abbreviations

Chapter 1: Origins of the CCAP: Theological and Revival Roots

  • Introduction
  • Reformed Soteriology
  • Presbyterianism in Scotland
  • The Dutch Reformed Church in the Netherlands
  • The Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa
  • The Difference between Reformed and Presbyterian
  • Revivals and the Birth of the CCAP
  • Conclusion

Chapter 2: The CCAP Tributaries

  • Introduction
  • Early Cooperation between Livingstonia and Blantyre Missions
  • The Livingstonia Mission
  • The Blantyre Mission
  • The Dutch Reformed Church Mission
  • The Formation of the CCAP
  • Related Developments to the Formation of the CCAP
  • The Concept of Comity and Its Application in Malaw
  • Harare Synod
  • Synod of Zambia
  • Conclusion

Chapter 3: The CCAP: One Denomination, Several Independent Synods

  • Introduction
  • Constitutional Matters
  • Liturgy
  • Theological Training
  • Education in the CCAP Synods
  • Women’s Ministry
  • Non-ordained Men’s Ministry
  • Youth Ministry
  • Church and State Relations among the Synods
  • Conclusion

Chapter 4: Pangs of Unity in Diversity among the Synods

  • Introduction
  • Early Tensions in the Unity of the CCAP
  • Differences in Practice
  • Border Disputes in the CCAP
  • Conclusion

Chapter 5: Challenges Rocking the CCAP General Assembly

  • Introduction
  • Constitutional Direction of the CCAP General Assembly
  • The Efficiency of the General Assembly versus the Autonomy of the Synods
  • Inter-Synodical Wrangles and the Stability of the General Assembly
  • Partner Churches and the Stability of the General Assembly
  • Political Machinations and the Stability of the General Assembly
  • Private Initiatives at Reconciling the Synods and Strengthening the General Assembly
  • Current Trends in the General Assembly
  • Conclusion

Chapter 6: Foreign Relations and Current Developments in the CCAP

  • Introduction
  • The Genesis of Foreign Relations
  • The Development of Foreign Relations
  • The Synod of Livingstonia and Its Foreign Partners
  • Blantyre Synod and Its Foreign Partners
  • Nkhoma Synod and Its Foreign Partners
  • Harare Synod and Its Foreign Partners
  • The Synod of Zambia and Its Foreign Partners
  • Foreign Relations and the Unity of the CCAP Synods
  • An Evaluation of the CCAP Synods’ Foreign Relations
  • Conclusion

Chapter 7: Unity beyond Border Disputes

  • Introduction
  • Oneness of the Synods without Borders
  • Consolidating Synodical Independence
  • Foreign Expansion
  • Loose Cooperation and Synodical Sisterhood
  • The Synods as Different Denominations
  • More Unity of the Synods Reconsidered
  • Conclusion

Chapter 8: Concluding Thoughts


Index of Subjects

Index of Names

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