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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

versión On-line ISSN 2412-4265
versión impresa ISSN 1017-0499


MLAMBO, Morris. From Orthodoxy to Orthopraxis: A Theological Analysis of the Seventh-day Adventist Engagement with Development, Relief and Humanitarian Crises in Zimbabwe in the 21st Century. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2022, vol.48, n.1, pp.1-19. ISSN 2412-4265.

This article explores the role of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) in development and relief work in society, assessing whether it is guided by orthodoxy or orthopraxis in the wake of human rights violations. It traces the history of the SDA's involvement in Zimbabwe's development, relief and humanitarian processes, checking its stance on prevailing human rights abuses. It delineates whether or not the SDA's apolitical and non-social activism is due to the influence of the Millerites' theological and philosophical concepts within the SDA. We should do theology for the people, and that calls for orthopraxis more than orthodoxy. The SDA's missiological responsibility should not be limited to the pulpit, failing to cater for the prophetic voice challenging social ills. In pursuit of this, the article employs social sciences in unpacking structural societal functions of the church in its quest to be relevant. A biblical and doctrinal reflection of the SDA will be utilised in this analysis. The pastoral theology of the SDA, which is more grounded on the people's concrete experience, will be interrogated. This work will analyse socio-economic problems in Zimbabwe and show the efforts of the SDA to bring change and transformation to the lives of suffering Zimbabweans. The relevant question is: Could it be possible for the SDA in Zimbabwe to sustain a withdrawal and non-participation stance against the backdrop of this crisis? The SDA's withdrawal stance as a Christian denomination has not had much influence on the development and political processes compared to other Christian institutions in Zimbabwe. Because religion saturates the existence of Africans, the enquiry of religion and development is very significant. This article argues that the prophetic voice of the SDA and its missiological responsibility have been deployed during the crisis years in Zimbabwe.

Palabras clave : political engagement; prophetic voice; apolitical; religion; development; orthopraxis; orthodoxy; eschatology.

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