This article explores the historical and theological relation between the
Confession of Belhar (1982) and some significant antecedent church witnesses
from 1948 onward. After identifying these witnesses, a coherence
is sought in the confessional interpretation of the SA situation, and core
theological themes linked to ecclesiology, Christology and anthropology
that served as basis for the vision of an alternative society. Although
Belhar is no “summary” of these witnesses, an interpretation of the confession
is enhanced by reading it against the ecumenical history of the time.