The Incomplete Circle: Dialectics of Social Structure and Theological Conviction for Greater Unification in the DRC Family (1994–2016)

Keywords: church unification, social structure, theological conviction, Cornel West, dialectics, Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa, Belhar Confession


This essay proposes that despite an ingrained awareness in the Uniting Reformed Church and the other members of the Dutch Reformed Church family that church division was born from socio-political and theological factors, the orientation of all parties to the unification process was to prioritise the theological conviction side and downplay the socio-political, allowing it to function surreptitiously and essentially undermining the possibilities for greater progress. This essay will highlight the discourse of church assemblies indicating the trends and arguments relating to unification. It will secondly draw on the reflections of the Afro-American philosopher Cornel West to cast light on the tasks of any church unification process that strive to enhance both reconciliation and transformation. In the light of the theoretical framework of West, it will proceed to posit certain tasks that the unification process must address in order to make any sustained progress.