A Faith that Does Justice
The Public Testimony of Oliver Tambo
Throughout the 20th century, mission-educated black men rose to prominence in the African National Congress while simultaneously holding leadership positions in the church. Yet, less is written about the faith of these men, and more about their politics; even less studied is the spiritual life of political leaders, what Nelson Mandela, in reference to his struggle companion, Oliver Tambo, called ‘the essence’ of man. Drawing on the construct of interiority, this article offers a re-assessment of public testimonies about the ANC’s longest serving president, demonstrating how the internal workings of Tambo’s faith came to be expressed in the external life and leadership of this devout Christian activist.
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