Peace process


Bishop Alan draws attention to the procedures of the forthcoming Lambeth Conference.

“Indaba” is Zulu/ Xhosa thing — the IzinDuna come together to do mutual business in a way which enables each to be heard, and wisdom to emerge from the group. It’s rather like a monastic chapter. It’s radically different from either Institutionalism, where people pretend to agree to save public face, Imperialism, where Billy the Bully rules OK, or Fascism, where you leave your brain at the door and the Führer tells you what to do because he’s always right.Indaba is a noble ideal. It’s how the early Churches worked, often amidst bitter controversy, as every Patristics student is amazed to discover. Then, slowly, between the fourth and eleventh centuries, like formaldehyde, institutionalism and Roman imperialism seeped in. The reformation was a reaction to all that. Indaba is a gloriously messy concept. It annoys Anal Retentives, Bullies and Fascists, as well as lazy journos who can only understand punchups.It’s counterintuitive, but indaba, if you stick with it, raises spirits and offers hope to the world.

This reminds me of the padare tradition used during the World Council of Churches Assembly in Zimbabwe.
The Padare “is a style of dialogue and consultation which includes more rather than fewer people. It stresses the dignity and equality of all within the assembled company, and affirms unequivocally that, in the search for unity and understanding, the journey is as important as the destination, and the exploration and dialogue as vital as any decisions or conclusions.” The hallmarks of padare are equality, concensus and community.
The Dare is the place (as in Dar es Salaam?) where all participants became equals. There was never a rush to reach decisions, for that would have prevented the building of community.

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