How does Evangelism relate to social action in the theologies of Michael Cassidy and Albert Nolan?
Michael Cassidy and Albert Nolan both develop their understanding of evangelism and social action within the context of the struggle for a democratic South Africa. This understanding is determined by their own personal contexts and their social analysis of the South African situation. Within these contexts they develop their views of sin and salvation. These underlying issues, contexts and analyses are crucial to and part of their understanding of the relationship between evangelism and social action. This thesis sets out to consider the relationship between evangelism and social action in their theologies by considering the underlying issues that determine this relationship, before finally defining the exact nature ofthis relationship. It considers each theology individually first as each has developed over time in context and needs to be seen as a unified whole as it relates to the . issue of the relationship between evangelism and social action. It then compares their views with each other with insights from other views. Michael Cassidy and Albert Nolan both see sin and hence salvation as personal and social, but Nolan understands these concepts as primarily social. Hence his understanding ofevangelism and social action expressed in evangelization is primarily social. It sees them relating in evangelization in an integrated, holistic way. However, in practice his emphasis on the need to take sides in the struggle and on salvation as primarily in and through the struggle leads to salvation becoming sometimes indistinguishable from human liberation. Thus evangelization also sometimes becomes indistinguishable from the struggle. Cassidy sees these concepts as firstly spiritual and then social and this determines his understanding of the relationship between evangelism and social action. He emphasises these as transforming every level of human relationships, but starting with a right relationship with God. Cassidy achieves a more balanced Evangelical view of partnership in mission but with an emphasis on evangelism and Nolan a somewhat more holistic liberationist theological view of an integrated relationship between evangelism and social action in evangelization but with an emphasis on social action.