South Africa has had three periods of historiographical change. As South Africa has
transitioned from colonialism, to apartheid, to democracy, historiography has been
influenced by those in power. Post-1994 and with the onset of a democratic
government, the Nation sought to create a new historiographical framework. However,
as this attempt to build a National historiography developed questions could be raised
as to whether this historiography was inclusive of a variety of sources?
This dissertation looks at three areas regarding South African historiography. First, the
current role of Churches in South Africa in fostering historiography. Second, the
theological framework of "Ras, Volk en Nasie", the "Kairos Document", and the "Belhar
Confession". Third, the depiction of South Africa by the Church of Scotland's National
magazine "Life and Work" during 1975 – 1985.
By looking at this time period, the thesis shows that as various strands of theology
developed in South Africa, these changes had connotations within the Church of
Scotland. Life and Work shows a distinct change in attitude towards the Dutch
Reformed Church and the Black Consciousness movement.
It argues that underrepresented stories about South Africa allow for a holistic
historiography. Churches in South Africa have an opportunity to use their position
within society to develop this holistic historiography and thus, historiography becomes
a practical theological issue.