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Title:The Godliness of Apartheid Planning: The legitimizing role of the Dutch Reformed Church
Author(s):Corrado, Elizabeth
Contributor(s):Miraftab, Faranak
Dutch Reformed Church
South Africa
Abstract:In this paper I seek to address the theological backing of apartheid in South Africa by focusing on the Dutch Reformed Church’s actions and rhetoric. I try to answer the question of how the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa enabled the state to enforce apartheid planning. In order to answer this question, I primarily review existing literature, and the interviews, writings, and testimony gathered by other scholars. The result is a brief explanation of the way in which apartheid planning was facilitated by the separation of the Dutch Reformed Church into racialized congregations. Subsequently, this served as a blueprint for apartheid and spurred the development of a legitimizing “apartheid theology,” which underpinned the collaboration that regulated apartheid planning in South African cities and regions. I first look at the colonial roots of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa, followed by a broader examination of the traveling of planning ideas during colonialism. I provide A brief exploration of “planning” and a demonstration of the ways in which planning was central to apartheid. Next, I scrutinize the role of the church in creating a model of apartheid through racialized church membership and justifying theology. This is tied into collaboration with the state, both formal and informal, to regulate and implement apartheid planning. Finally, a look at contemporary international organizations shows the way in which they pay lip service to equalizing processes, but in effect their development praxis often reinforces existing inequalities. It deserves noting at the outset that the Dutch Reformed Church (which I will also refer to as the NGK), was only one actor in a complex interaction of many agents and processes that contributed to the implementation of apartheid planning policy. My paper seeks to deal only with the NGK in the period leading up to and during apartheid. The scope of this paper is necessarily narrow and intentionally not exhaustive. I appreciate the necessity of other research that addresses key factors not dealt with in this paper, such as the crucial role of other religious traditions in supporting apartheid.
Issue Date:2013
Series/Report:MUP Capstone
Sponsor:Network of European-United States Regional and Urban Studies (NEURUS) Program
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-08-05

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