By Andy Hale
May 2 is an important day in the history of South Africa. It was on this day in 1994 that Nelson Mandela won the first democratic election in the countries long struggle of racial injustice.
Mandela is such a towering figure among world leaders for his ability to overcome oppression, unjust imprisonment, and unbearable discrimination.
While Mandela’s work is immeasurable, one of his contemporaries deserves equal credit in the fight for the soul of South Africa. In the early 1950s, Desmond Tutu began a spiritual movement for equal rights in the sweltering heat of apartheid’s malice.
“The world of apartheid South Africa was rife with false ways of feeling and thinking, and Tutu spoke often of his struggle to overcome this debilitation. In order to move toward a true way of feeling and thinking, Tutu experienced purgation that set him on his path toward God at an early age,” said Michael Battle on the CBF Podcast.
Reverend Doctor Battle has penned another book on the life and work of Desmond Tutu, specifically zeroing in on the great leader’s spirituality.
“Tutu’s spirituality is highly significant precisely because one cannot distinguish its theory from its praxis, because both toil synchronically toward the desired effect of reconciliation and transformation.”
We sat down with the Professor of Church and Society and Director of the Desmond Tutu Center at General Theological Seminary to discuss his new book, Desmond Tutu: A Spiritual Biography of South Africa’s Confessor, and his work as the President and CEO of the PeaceBattle Institute.
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Andy Hale is the creator and host of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Podcast. Hale is the senior pastor of University Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following eight years as the founding pastor of Mosaic Church of Clayton and five years as CBF’s church start specialist. Follow on Twitter @haleandy