“We See on the Horizon the Sun of African Orthodoxy”: Church Growth in Southern Africa
2023. "“We See on the Horizon the Sun of African Orthodoxy”: Church Growth in Southern Africa", Kingdom Come: The Politics of Faith and Freedom in Segregationist South Africa and Beyond, Tshepo Masango Chéry
Download citation file:
Chapter 6 captures the dynamic growth of the African Orthodox Church (AOC) in southern Africa, where it was first established on the African continent. The chapter traces the ministerial work of Daniel William Alexander, who was eventually consecrated as archbishop and primate of the African branch of the denomination. Through an examination of church archives, personal correspondence, and legal and intelligence documents, this chapter provides a history of denominational leadership in South Africa and Southern Rhodesia from the 1920s until the 1940s. The chapter suggests that Africans found common cause with the American-founded AOC because the church's theology reflected previously articulated African theologies of anticolonial politics. Yet, this chapter also shows the fragility of these solidarities even among Africans, whose subtle acceptance of a colonial logic of race and ethnicity limited religious alliances in southern Africa.