PROF GRAHAM DUNCAN
Part Time Lecturer in Church History
BEd / BD (University of Aberdeen), MTh (University of Durban), MTh / DTh in Missiology (Unisa), PhD in Church History (University of Pretoria)
Prof Graham Alexander Duncan was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1949, where he grew up and was educated. He received the degrees of Bachelor of Education (BEd) in Religious Studies (1971) and BD (Hons) Church History/Practical Theology (1977) from the University of Aberdeen. In 1971, he was awarded the Certificate in Primary Education (Merit) and the Higher Diploma in Religious Education (Distinction) by Aberdeen College of Education. He taught in Beechwood School for the disabled in Aberdeen for three years and married Sandra Todd in 1973. They have three children.
He was licensed to preach the gospel by the Presbytery of Aberdeen in the Church of Scotland and was ordained a minister of the Bantu Presbyterian Church of South Africa (to be renamed the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa [RPCSA] in 1979) on 12 March 1978 on receiving a call to be Missionary-in-Charge of the historic Lovedale Missionary Institution and minister of the Lovedale Institution and Lovedale District congregations. In 1982, he was appointed to the staff of Albert Luthuli College at the Federal Theological Seminary of Southern Africa (Fedsem) in Pietermaritzburg, where he was the Convener of the Practical Theology Department and Reformed Chaplain. In 1988, the Duncan family returned to Scotland and Graham was called by the Cumbernauld: Old congregation where he served for ten years.
In 1998, the Duncans were recalled by the RPCSA and Graham was appointed to the staff of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Fort Hare. Following the union of the RPCSA and PCSA in 1999 to form the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa (UPCSA), Graham was transferred to the University of Pretoria which was designated as the main training centre for ministers of the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa (UPCSA). From Senior Lecturer he was promoted to Associate Professor and Professor and to Head of the Department of Church History and Church Polity in 2008, a position from which he retired in 2014. During that time he was awarded the degree of Philosophiae Doctor by the University of Pretoria for a thesis entitled Partnership in Mission: A critical-historical evaluation of the relations between ‘older’ and ‘younger’ churches with particular reference to the Church of Scotland.
Teaching and Learning is his passion and in 2011 he was awarded the University of Pretoria’s Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education with Distinction, making him unique in being qualified to teach from Standard 1 through to doctoral level. He has successfully supervised 12 Master’s, 13 Doctor’s degrees and has mentored one Vice-Chancellor’s Post-Doctoral Fellowship. He was chosen by the students as Lecturer of the Year by Faculty of Theology students and Church History and Church Polity the best department in the Faculty of theology in 2013.
In 2013, he was awarded a C rating by the National Research Foundation (NRF). For 15 years he has been an Evaluator and Chair of Evaluation panels for the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and was appointed to the Specialist Panel for Religion and Theology of the NRF in 2015. He is a member of the South African Missiological Society (SAMS) and the Church History Society of Southern Africa (having been its Vice-President, 2009-2012). All of the faculties of theology and departments of religion in South Africa have used him as an external examiner in addition to a number of colleges and seminaries. He was also a member of the South African Council for Theological Education.
He was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the UPCSA for 2004-2005. In all this time he has remained active in congregational work and has served a number of congregations in the Presbytery of Tshwane.
Publications in peer-reviewed or refereed journals
1. Duncan GA 1985. Faith apart from work is dead Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 53 (December): 47 – 53.
2. Duncan GA 2000. Theological Education: Mission Birth – African Renaissance Missionalia 28 (no 1 April): 23 – 40.
3. Duncan GA 2001. Lovedale Press Between the Centuries: A Celebration of 177 Years of Service. Missionalia 29 (no 3 November): 486 – 493.
4. Duncan GA 2002. A Place in the Sun? The Role of the Church in Moral Renewal and Social Transformation” Verbum et Ecclesia 23 (2): 33 – 342.
5. Duncan 2002. Presbyterian Expressions in Southern Africa in the Context of 350 Years of the Reformed Tradition Ned Geref Teologiese Tydskrif 43 (no’s 3 & 4 December): 423 – 431.
6. Duncan GA & Hofmeyr JW 2002. Leadership through Theological Education: Two Case Studies in South African History”. Verbum et Ecclesia 23 (no 3 December): 642 – 657.
7. Duncan GA 2003. 350 years Reformed in South Africa: The Contribution of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa Hervormde Teologiese Studies 59 (no 1 March): 47 – 64.
8. Duncan GA 2003. Presbyterian Spirituality in Southern Africa Scottish Journal of Theology 56 (4): 387 – 403.
9. Duncan GA 2003. Back to the Future Verbum et Ecclesia 24 (no. 2): 359 – 373.
10. GA 2004. Its end foreshadowed in its beginning: The closure of the Federal Theological Seminary” Studiae Historiae Ecclesiasticae XXX (no.1):1-31.
11. Duncan GA 2004. Crisis in Mission and Unity: The Closure of the Federal Theological Seminary in Southern Africa” Missionalia 32 (no 1 April): 39 – 67.
12. Duncan GA 2004. “Coercive Agency in Mission Education at Lovedale Missionary Institution” Hervormde Teologiese Studies (60 no 3):947-992.
13. Duncan GA 2005. Reconciliation through Church Union in Post-Apartheid South Africa: The Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa. Verbum et Ecclesia 26 (no.1):35-63.
14. Duncan GA 2005. Historiography and Ideology in the (Mission) History of Christianity in Africa. Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae XXXI (No. 1):51-69.
15. Duncan GA 2005. State of the Union State of the Union: The Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa, 1999-2004. Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae XXXI (no.2):189-219
16. Duncan GA 2005. Ex Africa semper aliquid novi? Hervormde Teologiese Studies, 61 (no.3): 809-827.
17. Duncan GA 2006. Winning Hearts and Minds: Character Formation in Mission Education with Special Reference to Lovedale Missionary Institution. Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae, XXXII (no.1):1-47.
18. Duncan GA 2006. Ministerial Dress for Worship in the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa. Hervormde Teologiese Studies.62 (no.3):925-943.
19. Duncan GA. 2006. The Prehistory of the Federal Theological Seminary of Southern Africa: A Study in Ecumenical Ancestry. Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae XXXII (no.2):69-97.
20. Duncan GA. 2006. The Foundation of the Federal Theological Seminary of Southern Africa (Fedsem). Verbum et Ecclesia. 27 (no.3):836-855.
21. Duncan GA 2007. Some Thoughts on Cultural Transformation Theory as a Tool in Historical Research. Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae, XXXIII, (no.1):1-21.
22. Duncan GA & Buqa W 2007. Augustine’s Historiographical Method. Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae, XXXIII, (no.1):207-219.
23. Duncan GA 2007. Historiographical issues Related to the Writing of Contemporary History Verbum et Ecclesia, 28(no.1):127-149.
24. Duncan GA 2007. The Growth of Partnership in Mission in Global Mission History during the Twentieth Century. HTS 63 (no.3, September):1033-1065.
25. Duncan GA 2007. Partnership in Mission: A critical historical evaluation of the relationship between ‘older’ and ‘younger’ churches with special reference to the World Mission Council of the Church of Scotland. Missionalia 35 (no.1, April):54-79.
26. Duncan GA 2007. The passage to ordination in the Southern African Presbyterian tradition: A historical perspective and prospect. Nederduits Gereformeerde Teologiese Tydskrif 48 (no.3 & 4, September & December):471-480.
27. Duncan GA 2008. Early Presbyterian Influences at the University of Pretoria. HTS, Centenary Issue 64 (no.1, March):51-71.
28. Duncan GA 2008. The Church of Scotland’s Historic Approach to Partnership in Mission:1929-1965. Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae, XXXIV (no.2, December):203-222.
29. Duncan GA 2008. Towards partnership in mission: The Church of Scotland’s World Mission Council policy. Missionalia 35 (no.1):54-79.
30. Duncan GA, van der Merwe & van Wyk B 2009. Church History and Church Polity in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria. Verbum et Ecclesia (centenary edition)
31. Duncan GA 2010. Church Discipline – semper reformanda as the basis for transformation. Journal of Theology for Southern Africa. 136 (March):57-75.
32. Duncan GA 2010. Church Discipline – semper reformanda in Reformation perspective HTS 66.
33. Duncan GA 2010. Coercive Agency: Lovedale Missionary Institution under Principals Arthur Wilkie and RHW Shepherd. Missionalia38 (no. 3, November):431-453.
34. Duncan GA 2011. ‘Ever old and ever new, keep me travelling along with you’: 21st century Notae Ecclesiae specifically necessary for Churches in Southern Africa. HTS 67 (1)#851.
35. Duncan GA 2011. The Church Unity Commission: South African Ecumenical perspectives on ministry (1968-1983). SHE XXXVII (1):19 – 38.
36. Barnes R. & Duncan, G.A., 2011, ‘F.F. Bosworth: A historical analysis of his ministry development using social cognitive career theory’, Verbum et Ecclesia 32(1), Art. #368, 8 pages. doi:10.4102/ve.v32i1.368
37. Duncan GA 2012. The role of Mission Councils in the Scottish Mission in South Africa: 1864-1923, Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae XXXVIII (1, May):217-234.
38. Duncan GA 2012. ‘Pull up a good tree and push it outside’?: the Rev Edward Tsewu’s dispute with the Free Church of Scotland Mission. NGTT 53 (nos. 1&2):50-61.
39. Duncan GA 2012. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?’ (Juvenal Satires:§345) (Who guards [nurtures] the guardians?s?) Developing a constructivist approach to learning about ministerial and spiritual formation. HTS 68 (1):
40. Duncan GA 2013. A Protestant Perspective on Vatican II + 50 years: an engagement with dissent. HTS 29 (1). #1911, 12 pages.
41. Duncan GA 2013, The ‘enemy within’ the post Vatican II Roman Catholic Church. HTS 29 (1). #1915, 8 pages.
42. Duncan GA 2013. Passive-aggressive resistance at the Federal Theological Seminary of Southern Africa. Acta Theologica 33 (1, June):54-78.
43. Duncan GA 2013. The origins and early development of Scottish Presbyterian mission in South Africa (1824-1865). Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae XXXIX (1, May):205-220.
44. Duncan GA 2013. ‘African churches willing to pay their own bills’: The role of money in the formation of Ethiopian type churches with particular reference to the Mzimba Secession. African Historical Review 45 (2): 52-79.
45. Duncan GA, Wade RP, Eriksson RP and. Rautenbach C.J.deW. 2014. Southern African cosmogenic geomythology (“following a star”) of the Zion Christian Church. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 69, 2, DOI: 10.1080/0035919X.2014.905880, 81-89.
46. Duncan GA. 2014. From mission to church: The formation of the Bantu Presbyterian Church of South Africa. The International Journal of African Historical Studies.
47. Duncan GA. 2014 ‘Inculturation: Adaptation, innovation and reflexivity in African Christian perspective’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 70(1), Art. #2669, xx pages. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2669.
48. Duncan GA 2015. Celtic spirituality and the environment. HTS (3, 2015)
49. Duncan GA 2015. Celtic Spirituality and contemporary environmental issues. HTS.(4, 2015)
50. Duncan GA & Egan A 2015. The Ecumenical Struggle in South Africa: The role of ecumenical movements/organizations in liberation movements to 1965. Journal of Ecclesiastical Law (ISI). (2015) 17 Ecc LJ 269–282 # Ecclesiastical Law Society doi:10.1017/S0956618X15000423: 269-282.
51. Duncan GA 2015. The migratory dimension of Scottish Presbyterianism in Southern Africa. African Historical Review (ISI) 47 | Number 2 | 2015, DOI: 10.1080/17532523.2015.1130203, pp. 89–118, Print ISSN 1753-2523 | Online 1753-2531
52. Duncan GA 2015. Ethiopianism in Pan-African perspective, 1880-1920. Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae, 41(2):180-197.
53. Duncan GA.2016. “One in Christ”: Fedsem spiritualities of solidarity. Acta Theologica 36(1): 27‑50. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/actat.v36i1.4. ISSN 1015-8758 / e-ISSN 2309-9089. © UV/UFS
54. Duncan GA. 2016 The formation of the Bantu Presbyterian Church of South Africa. International Journal of African Historical Studies. (accepted for publication)
55. Duncan GA 2016. Gateway to the future. HTS 72, Issue 4.
56. Duncan GA & Urbaniak J 2016 The ecclesial notion of 'family' v. the real families today: Evaluation of the initial findings of the 2014 Synod of Catholic Bishops (2014). Stellenbosch Theological Journal.
- Duncan GA & Maluleke TS. Through the past into the future: Jean-Francois Bill – Pastor, Activist, Theologian, 8 July 1934-12 March 2005. Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae.
- Duncan GA & Egan A. The Ecumenical Struggle in South Africa: The role of ecumenical movements/organizations in liberation movements since1965.
- Duncan GA 2016. John Knox and Education.
- Duncan GA 2016. To unite or not to unite? That is the question: A case study of Presbyterianism in South Africa, 1897-1923. HTS.
- Duncan GA 2016. The Bantu Presbyterian Church of South Africa: The first ten years, 1923-1933. Missionalia
- Duncan GA & Taylor JW. “Life and Work” on the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa from 1975 – 1985. HTS
- Duncan GA. Mission Councils
Books and/or chapters in books
- Duncan GA 2001. “The Reformed Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa – Heritage and Legacy” in Coertzen P (ed.) 350 Years Reformed: 1652-2002. CLF: Bloemfontein :187-196.
- Duncan GA 2003. “Lovedale – Coercive Agency: Power and Domination in Mission Education Pietermaritzburg: Cluster.
- Duncan GA (assoc ed.& Kalu O (ed.) 2005. Bakuzufu:Revival movements and indigenous appropriation in African Christianity in African Christianity: An African story. Pretoria: University of Pretoria: 278-308.
- Duncan GA 2008. Steve Biko’s Religious Consciousness and Thought and its Influence on Theological Education with special reference to the Federal Theological Seminary of Southern Africa, in duToit C (ed.) The legacy of Stephen Bantu Biko: Theological Challenges. Preetoria: UNISA, Research Institute for Theology and Religion.
- 17 Contributions to Gaum F (ed.) 2008. Christelike Kern-Ensikilopedie. Wellington: Lux Verbi.
- Denis P & Duncan GA 2011. The Native School that Caused all the Trouble: A History of the Federal Theological Seminary of Southern Africa. Pietermaritzburg: Cluster Publications.
- Duncan GA 2012. “Spiritual/Ministerial formation in the South African Presbyterian tradition”, in Naidoo M (ed.) 2012. Between the real and the ideal: Ministerial formation in South African churches. Pretoria:UNISA Press:63-72.
- Duncan GA. 'Survey on Contemporary Christianity in South Africa', #86 in Anthology of African Christianity , Phiri I & Werner D (ed.). Geneva: WCC.
- Duncan GA The Manufacture of Dissent: Reflexive Christian Traditions in a Global Setting, Oxford History of Dissenting Protestant Traditions, Volume 5.
Published full-length conference papers/keynote addresses
- Conference on The Role and Function of Traditional Leadership and its institutions: A Reflection on ethnic-cultural identity, African religion and Customs for moral renewal and Social Transformation “The role of the Church in Moral Renewal and Social Transformation: Christianity sat the Crossroads” University of Fort Hare 21-22 May 2001.
- Conference on 350 Years Reformed “The Reformed Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa – Heritage and Legacy” University of Stellenbosch 7-10 April 2002.
- Conference on 350 Years Reformed: Expressions and Challenges “Expressions and Challenges: Through the Eyes of the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa” University of Pretoria 22 April 2002.
- “The Closure of the Federal Theological Seminary of Southern Africa, Church History Society of Southern Africa” Redacres, Pietermaritzburg, 13-15 January 2003.
- History, Historiography and Research, Post-graduate Seminar in the Discipline Church History, UNISA, 10 September 2004
- Union, Reformation and Renewal: A case study of the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa (1999-2004), Church History Society of South Africa, University of the North-West (Potchefstroom Campus), 17-19 January 2005.
- Character Formation in Mission Education with Special Reference to Lovedale Missionary Institution, Church History Society of South Africa, University of Stellenbosch, 16-18 January 2006.
- Church discipline- semper reformanda in a time and space warp, Inaugural Address, University of Pretoria, 16 April 2009.
- The Role of Money in the Mzimba Secession. Church History Society of South Africa, University of KwaZulu-Natal, 24 June 2011.
Non-refereed publications or popular articles
- “Ministerial Formation in Christian Worship in Southern Africa” The Record of the Church Service Society (2004, 39 Spring): 17 – 29.
- Duncan GA 2006. Theological Training in South Africa with particular reference to the ‘English-Speaking’ Churches, South African Outlook.