AbstractThis article sets out to argue that institutional Christianity does not have the exclusive rights to “doing theology”. Since Plato theology has assumed systematization of ideas on the transcendent divine. The practice of theology is to be found in both the professional academy and in the public square. Spirituality is not to be reserved
for people longing for God within the context of today's mass consumerist populist culture. Spirituality and religion overlap and, therefore, today's postmodern spirituality need not result in the end of religion. However, institutional religion is indeed dying and
”public theology” is not about theologians or pastors “doing theology” in the public square. Public theologicans are the film directors, artists, novelists, poets, and philosophers. The article argues that “public theology” could facilitate a dialogue between the theological discourse of academics and the public theological discourse. The article shows that “public theology” does to an extent overlap with ecclesial and contextual theology. In its core
“public theology” is seen as the inarticulate longing of believers who do not want to belong. HTS Theological Studies/Teologiese Studies Vol. 64 (3) 2008: pp. 1213-1234
Agang, Sunday Bobai, Dion A. Forster, and H. Jurgens Hendriks, eds. African Public Theology. Carlisle, UK: HippoBooks, 2020.
AbstractAfrica needs leaders and Christians from every walk of life to rediscover their identity and purpose in all spheres of society. African Public Theology sounds a clarion call to accomplish this vital task. God created all humans equally, intending for us to live in community and take responsibility for the world around us – a mandate we need to act on. Through faithful application of Scripture to contexts common in the continent today, contributors from across Africa join as one to present a vision for the Africa that God intended. No simplistic solutions are offered – instead African Public Theology challenges every reader to think through the application of biblical principles in their own community, place of work and sphere of influence. If we heed the principles and lessons that God’s word has for society, culture and public life, then countries across Africa can have hope of a future that is free from corruption and self-promotion and is instead characterized by collective stewardship and servant-hearted leadership.
Akanbi, Olusola Solomon. “The Socio-Economic and Political Impact of South-West Nigerian Pentecostal Churches Viewed From A Theological Perspective.” PhD Thesis, University of Pretoria, 2017.
This study centres on the activities of the African Pentecostal movement in Nigeria and its contribution to national development by bringing to light its perceived role in creating a better society and improved governance in the country between 1970 and 2016. The objectives of the study are to identify and critically evaluate the main socio-political and economic challenges confronting the Nigerian society, with particular emphasis on Southwestern Nigeria; assess the contributions of some Nigerian Pentecostal churches to the socio-political and economic well-being of the people of Southwestern Nigeria; examine Pentecostal churches’ motivation for participating in the delivery of social services in Southwestern Nigeria and the larger Nigerian society; and determine the challenges confronting Pentecostal churches as they undertake essential social services in addition to the spiritual activities that they are reputed for.
Data were gathered through participant observation, interview sessions and the administration of questionnaire to pastors, members and non-members of three Pentecostal Churches namely: Redeemed Christian Church of God, Deeper Life Bible Church and the Living Faith Church. The research gives primacy to sociological analysis of African Pentecostalism in Southwestern Nigeria while at the same time understands the movement as an inevitable religious development. Secondary data was sourced from both published and unpublished research materials on Pentecostalism in Africa in general and Southwestern Nigeria in particular.
The results revealed that there is positive contribution of the Pentecostal movement to the socio-political and economic lives of the people of the Southwestern Nigeria. Though not very significant, the contribution cannot be dismissed. The results also showed that Pentecostal churches partnered with the government to provide essential social services through the establishment of secondary schools and universities, the provision of social amenities like boreholes, repair of roads, rehabilitation of destitute persons, organising seminars on building a good family system, empowerment of youth and scholarship to less-privileged students in the society. The study further established that Pentecostal churches played economic roles through the provision of funds for small scale businesses, partnering with some micro-finance banks to provide loans for entrepreneurship, distribution of food items to the less-privileged in the communities, and connecting youths to gain employment in the society. Politically, the study revealed that the Pentecostals churches engage in the political system of the communities through engaging in public debates, encouraging their members to exercise their voting rights, and if led by God, seek for elective positions. These involvements of the Pentecostals informed the submission that the movement has positive impact in the lives of the people.
The study concluded that the Church, especially the Pentecostal movement, can be relied upon to partner with the government in making life better, and there can only be significant transformation in the society with the involvement of the Church exemplified by the Pentecostal movement in Nigeria.
Balcomb, Anthony. Third Way Theology: Reconciliation, Revolution, and Reform in the South African Church during the 1980s. Pietermaritzburg: Cluster Publications, 1993.
Beer, Stephan de, and Ignatius Swart. “Towards a Fusion of Horizons: Thematic Contours for an Urban Public Theological Praxis-Agenda in South Africa.” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 70, no. 3 (November 20, 2014): 9.
AbstractThis article proposes a ‘fusion of horizons’ in constructing urban public theologies in South Africa. This is done through the introduction of five interrelated themes that have emerged from the on-going knowledge and idea production by a distinguishable counterpoint in contemporary scholarly, intellectual and activist engagement with the urban, in the authors’ own South African context but also wider internationally. In advancing a praxis-agenda for urban public theology, the authors subsequently identify the following, albeit not exhaustive, themes: southern urbanisms and the factor of unprecedented urban migration; ‘right to the city’ and urbanisation from below; a reclaiming of the commons; the making of ‘good cities’; and actors of faith in relation to urban social life.
Berinyuu, Abraham A. “Doing Public Theology in Africa: Trends and Challenges.” In Pathways to the Public Square, edited by Elaine L. Graham and Anna Rowlands, 147–56. 1. Münster: LIT Verlag, 2005.
AbstractArticles from the 2003 Manchester meeting of the International Academy of Practical Theology
Bongmba, Elias M. “Spiritual Development, Its Thought, Public Praxis and the Crisis of Intersubjectivity Refocusing Religious and Theological Thought in Africa.” Religion and Theology 8, no. 1–2 (January 1, 2001): 138–64.
Botha, J.G. “‘We Owe the World Good Theology’: On Reformed Faith and Public Theology: Article in Honor of DJ Smit.” Dutch Reformed Theological Journal = Nederduitse Gereformeerde Teologiese Tydskrif 48, no. 1–2 (March 1, 2007): 333–44.
AbstractIn this article certain perspectives found in the numerous publications by Dirkie Smit are related to three emphases in the legacy of German pastor and theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. In thought as well as in praxis, Bonhoeffer 1) emphasised the importance of being there for and with
others and 2) responded to the challenges of the immediate, complex context - the world - in which he was called to live and witness. 3) Finally Bonhoeffer, as a dedicated student of theology, emphasised the need for good theology in order to make a well-informed and well-grounded response
to public discourse and life.
Day, Katie. “The Construction of Public Theology: An Ethnographic Study of the Relationship between the Theological Academy and Local Clergy in South Africa.” International Journal of Public Theology 2, no. 3 (2008): 354–78.
De Gruchy, John W. “From Political to Public Theologies: The Role of Theology in Public Life in South Africa.” In Public Theology for the 21st Century: Essays in Honour of Duncan Forrester, edited by William F. Storrar and Andrew R. Morton, 45–62. London: T&T Clark International, 2004.
AbstractIn this stimulating book, John W. de Gruchy points out the relevance of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's thought for the life of the church in South Africa, engaging in dialogue the theology of Bonhoeffer and the theology of South Africa. Both Bonhoeffer's theology
De Gruchy, John W. Theology and Ministry in Context and Crisis: A South African Perspective. London: HarperCollins, 1987.
De Gruchy, John W., and Charles Villa-Vicencio. Doing Theology in Context: South African Perspectives. Vol. 1. Theology and Praxis. Maryknoll, NY; Cape Town: Orbis Books; David Philip Publishers, 1994.
AbstractThe objective of this article is to help the non-South African reader to better situate and understand the contributions included in this issue of the journal. A sketch of the challenges public theology faces regarding its role and the role of churches in the democratic South Africa is provided. Attention is also given to the debate on public theology as such and the different notions of public theologians prevalent in the South African context. Lastly, a brief sketch of the most important public theology institutions and initiatives in South Africa is provided.
Dreyer, Jaco S. “The National Policy on Religion and Education in South Africa: Reflections from a Public Practical Theology.” Practical Theology in South Africa 22, no. 2 (2007): 40–60.
AbstractReligious education in public schools is a much contested terrain in democratic societies. After years of consultation the National Policy on Religion and Education in South Africa came into effect in September 2003. The first aim of this article is to provide a brief overview of the policy. The second aim is to reflect from a public practical theological perspective on two key aspects of the policy, namely the relation between religion and state underlying the policy, and the educational aims of the policy. The model of cooperation between religion and state is positively evaluated. The educational aims of " religious literacy " and the cultivation of capacities for mutual recognition and tolerance in accordance with constitutional values are also positively evaluated, although some critical remarks are made with regard to the multi-tradition approach to religion education. Some implications of the policy on religion and education for families and religious communities are briefly mentioned.
Dreyer, Jaco S., and Hennie JC Pieterse. “Religion in the Public Sphere: What Can Public Theology Learn from Habermas’s Latest Work?” HTS Theological Studies 66, no. 1 (December 1, 2009): 1–7.
AbstractThe complex and problematic role of religion in the public sphere in modern, democratic societies raises many questions for a public theology. The aim of this article is to contribute to the ongoing debate about the task and methods of public theology by asking what we can learn from the ideas of Jürgen Habermas. Habermas was a leading participant in the thinking process on the secularisation thesis in Western societies. His view was that religion will eventually disappear from the public scene due to the rationalisation of society. In recent years he seems to have changed this view in the light of new developments in the world. He now maintains that religion has something important to offer in the public sphere. Religion could thus participate in this public discussion, provided that it satisfies strict conditions. We argue that public theology can learn from Habermas's recent ideas regarding religion in the public sphere: attention should be paid to the cognitive potential of religion, especially regarding the importance of the lifeworld and the role of religion in social solidarity with the needy and vulnerable; hermeneutical self-reflection is important; a distinction should be made between the role of religion in faith communities and in public life; we have to accept that we live in a secular state; and we have to learn the possibilities and impossibilities of translating from religious vocabulary into a secular vocabulary in order to be able to participate in the discussions in the public sphere.
Forrester, Duncan B. “The Scope of Public Theology.” Studies in Christian Ethics 17, no. 2 (August 1, 2004): 5–19.
AbstractThis article examines the changing scope and method of ecumenical public theology from the World Missionary Conference of 1910 until the present. Most changes were made in response to the changing ideological and political contexts. The collapse of liberalism and the social gospel was followed by a type of confessional ethics which arose directly out of the German Church Struggle. In opposition to this there emerged a realist ecumenical social ethics, much indebted to Reinhold Niebuhr, and of Ronald Preston. This type of public theology and its distinctive ‘middle axiom’ method are examined and contrasted with the more recent public theologies which were influenced by liberation theology and grassroots movements. It is suggested that the ending of the Cold War and the fundamental changes that have taken place since September 11 2001 present a radically new kind of challenge to public theology.
Fourie, Willem, and Hendrik Meyer-Magister. “Contextuality and Intercontextuality in Public Theology: On the Structure of Churches’ Public Engagement in South Africa and Germany.” International Journal of Public Theology 11, no. 1 (March 13, 2017): 36–63.
Gustavo, Felipe, and Felipe Buttelli. “Public Theology as Theology on Kairos: The South African Kairos Document as a Model of Public Theology.” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 143 (August 1, 2012): 90–105.
AbstractPublic theology is a relatively new concept that has become quite noticeable worldwide in the last ten years. It is understood as a way of doing theology in a democratic society. In young democracies in particular, public theology seems to offer a relevant and constructive way of doing theology. In societies such as South Africa and Brazil, there remain critical economic and social issues that still need attention. In societies like these, will use the South African Kairos Document (1985) as the basis for a public theology which is critical and prophetic, and suggests a constructive agenda. Some concepts of public theology will be considered and compared with the discussions of prophetic and public theology found in the Kairos Document. In conclusion, some suggestions will be in Brazil and South Africa.
Hansen, Len D. Christian in Public: Aims, Methodologies, and Issues in Public Theology. AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, 2008.
AbstractHigher education has not escaped the imperative of transformation which has marked the post-apartheid South African landscape. The nature of the changes at universities, however, is open to critique. Fundamental questions concerning the ideological moorings of knowledge and the politics of the curriculum have not yet been satisfactorily addressed. During the apartheid era, theology faculties played influential roles at traditional universities, and were often characterised by unsettling exclusion of non- Christian religions, non-Calvinist denominations and marginalised voices. This volume of essays evidences a process at the University of the Free State?s Faculty of Theology to reflect seriously about the need for transformation at the fundamental level, that is, of knowledge. The challenge for theology at a public university is framed in terms of epistemological transformation. A number of outstanding public intellectuals such as Jonathan Jansen, Crain Soudien and Lis Lange have been invited to present papers to clarify the conceptual challenge and what this might entail for theology. Well-known theologians such as Conrad Wethmar, Allan Boesak and Martin Prozesky reflect on the nature of theology and religion at universities amidst social exigencies. Two international theologians ? Harold Attridge from the prestigious Yale Divinity School and Bram van de Beek from the Free University of Amsterdam ? share their experiences of institutions that exemplify excellence and ecumenical openness. Theologians from the Departments of Practical Theology and Systematic Theology at the University of the Free State, writing from the ?inside?, articulate the challenges they envision for theology in a post-apartheid dispensation. The essays represent a variety of perspectives, but all attest to a commitment to re-think the nature and task of theology at a public university, accepting the challenge of knowledge and power, of plurality and otherness, and of restorative intellectual justice. These timely essays make a unique contribution to the discourses on transformation and on theology at a public university.
Kaunda, Chammah J. “‘A Voice Shouting in the Wilderness’: Desmond Mpilo Tutu’s Contribution to African Theology of Public Prophetic Preaching for Social Justice and Wholeness.” International Journal of Public Theology 9, no. 1 (February 3, 2015): 29–46.
AbstractA substantial and definitive introduction to public theology by one of the leading experts in the field.A key text for third year undergraduate modules and MA courses in Social Ethics, Political Theology and Public Theology.
Koopman, N. N. “For God so Loved the World ... Some Contours for Public Theology in South Africa.” Dutch Reformed Theological Journal = Nederduitse Gereformeerde Teologiese Tydskrif 50, no. 3 & 4 (September 1, 2009): 409–26.
AbstractAfter a brief autobiographical outline of the author's involvement in public theology, this article argues in favour of a critical and constructive public theology, which reflects upon the role of Christian faith in public life in the young South African democracy and in other democratic societies. It offers some crucial contours for the development of public theology. It firstly calls attention to different approaches to and emphases in public theology. With different emphases and methodologies the three central questions of public theology regarding the inherent public nature of God's love for the world, the public rationality of this love, and the public implications of God's love for the world, are addressed. Public theology is secondly described as an intra-disciplinary, inter-disciplinary and transdisciplinary scholarly practice. In the formulation of a third contour the possibilities of what Public theology might become are discussed, namely a theological discipline, subdiscipline, research field, curriculum organiser, catalyst or a new contextual theology. In two final sections the publics of public theology and the contemporary agenda of public theology are discussed.
Koopman, Nico N. “After Ten Years. Public Theology in Post-Apartheid South Africa - Lessons from a Debate in the USA.” Dutch Reformed Theological Journal = Nederduitse Gereformeerde Teologiese Tydskrif 46, no. 1 & 2 (March 1, 2005): 149–64.
AbstractThis paper investigates the potential of two approaches to public theology for the description of the task of public theology in the young democratic society in South Africa. The work of two prominent scholars in the USA, namely Stanley Hauerwas and Max Stackhouse, is investigated. It is argued that both these approaches assist South African churches. Hauerwas helps with regard to determining the unique and indispensable contribution of churches in the areas of moral formation, moral decision-making, the quest for moral consensus and the constructive dealing with plurality. Moreover, his approach helps churches to discover and utilise the public significance of normal congregational practices. Stackhouse helps South African churches with regard to making narrative-based convictions accessible in the church and in the public sphere, and also with regard to identifying the moral and religious presuppositions, visions and bases of social practices and institutions, with regard to describing, analysing and evaluating the merit of various positions on public issues, with regard to identifying areas of consensus and to seeking greater consensus, with regard to dialogue and cooperation with other role players in the public sphere and with regard to persuading people in the public sphere of the indispensability of the Christian contribution.
Koopman, Nico N. “Bonhoeffer and the Future of Public Theology in South Africa. The on-Going Quest for Life Together.” Dutch Reformed Theological Journal= Nederduitse Gereformeerde Teologiese Tydskrif 55, no. Supplement 1 (2014): 985–98.
Koopman, Nico N. “Public Theology in a Suffering World?” In Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth: Essays in Honour of Abraham van de Beek, edited by Paul van Geest and Eduardus A. J. G. van der Borght, 887–95. Leiden: Brill, 2012.
Koopman, Nico N. “Public Theology in South Africa: Lessons from the Theology of Jaap Durand.” In Discerning God’s Justice in Church, Society and Academy: Festschrift for Jaap Durand, 69–80. Stellenbosch: SUN Press, 2009.
Koopman, Nico N. “Some Theological and Anthropological Perspectives on Human Dignity and Human Rights.” Scriptura: International Journal of Bible, Religion and Theology in Southern Africa 95, no. 1 (2007): 177–85.
AbstractThis paper discusses the contribution of theology to the building of a civilizing democracy, i.e. a democratic society where a life of justice to all is advanced. A society is only "civilized" where justice to especially the most vulnerable is advanced. Justice rests in dignity and co-exists with equality and equity, as well as with freedom. Theology makes a threefold contribution towards a society of justice. Theology reveals the deeper meaning-giving framework, and forces of social cohesion and moral living without which a liberal democracy cannot flourish. Theology offers richer descriptions of notions like justice, which advance the implementation and fulfilment of these features. Theology makes a contribution towards the mobilization of an activist civil society and citizenship in search of a civilizing society of justice.
Koopman, Nico N. “Vulnerable Church in a Vulnerable World? Towards an Ecclesiology of Vulnerability.” Journal of Reformed Theology 2, no. 3 (2008): 240–54.
Abstract<section class="abstract"><h2 class="abstractTitle text-title my-1" id="d357e2">Abstract</h2><p>This article argues in favour of a critical and constructive public theology that reflects upon the role of Christian faith in public life in the young South African democracy and in other democratic societies. It offers some crucial contours for the development of public theology. It first calls attention to different approaches to and emphases in public theology. With different emphases and methodologies the three central questions of public theology are addressed regarding the inherent public nature of God's love for the world, the public rationality of this love, and the public implications of God's love for the world. Second, public theology is described as an intradisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary scholarly practice. Third, the possibilities of what public theology might become are discussed, namely a theological discipline, subdiscipline, research field, organiser of curriculum, catalyst, or a new contextual theology. In two final sections, the publics of public theology and the contemporary agenda of public theology are discussed.</p></section>
Landman, Christina. “A Public Theology for Intimate Spaces.” International Journal of Public Theology 5, no. 1 (2011): 63–77.
Naudé, Piet J., and Ronell Bezuidenhout. “Some Thoughts on ‘Public Theology’ and Its Relevance for the South African Context.” Scriptura: International Journal of Bible, Religion and Theology in Southern Africa 79, no. 1 (2002): 3–13.
AbstractThis article serves as the introductory, first contribution to a special collection of articles on the theme, 'Doing urban public theology in South Africa: Visions, approaches, themes and practices towards a new agenda'. The aim of the article is to set the conceptual and hermeneutical framework for undertaking urban public theology as a very intentional, new agenda in South African theological scholarship. The authors assert that public theology in South Africa has, despite its established position today, not embedded itself in, or intentionally engaged itself with, the contextual challenges of South African cities and urban environments by and large. This assertion leads them to pay attention to the urban as a distinctive but contested development concern in present-day South Africa, to the way in which current public theological practice is lacking behind in engaging itself with this development concern, and to the important hermeneutical question of what it would entail to make an authentic, theological contribution towards meeting the challenges of the urban in South Africa in response to the current neglect. Although by no means intended as exhaustive and all-encompassing in terms of the subject matter, the authors end by appreciating the rest of the articles in the special collection as a first offer to the anticipated urban public theological agenda that they have started to identify in this article.
Tenai, Noah K. “The Poor and the Public: An Exploration of Synergies between Black Theology and Public Theologies.” DTh Thesis, Stellenbosch University, 2010.
AbstractThe title of this study is: The Poor and the Public: An Exploration of Synergies between Black Theology and Public Theologies.
In Chapter One, which is the introduction, the research question is posed namely, \What is the meaning and potential of Black Theology and Public Theologies for the calling of the church to address poverty in the world?. The chapter also outlines the structure of the study.
In Chapter Two (Poverty . Some Conceptual Clarifications), an investigation of poverty was made. The investigation covered the meaning of poverty, the way poverty is determined, causes and effects of poverty, globalization and poverty, measures undertaken to eradicate poverty, and poverty and blackness. It is shown that poverty entails injustice, humiliation, helplessness, powerlessness, and insecurity. It is patently demonstrated that poverty is a reality to a greater majority of humanity, particularly, those who live in Africa. The majority of the poor are black people and many of them are wedged in a poverty trap. Globalization also affects the poor in both positive and negative ways.
In the third chapter (A Cursory Overview of Biblical Perspectives on Poverty), it is argued that from the perspective of the Christian Scripture, poverty is an outrage and a form of oppression. Human selfishness is a hindrance to the eradication of poverty. However, God affirms and protects the poor. Therefore, the church must respond in such a manner as to make poverty history.
Chapter Four (The Place and Priority of the Poor in Black Theological Discourses) investigates the role (the place and priority) of the poor in Black Theology. The sections examine the definition of Black Theology; the development of Black Theology in both the USA and South Africa; the methods of Black Theology, which include discussions on the sources of and approaches to Black Theology; the strengths and weaknesses of Black Theology, and contemporary trends in Black Theology. An analysis of Black Theology to establish the role that the poor play in its discourses is offered. It is shown that Black Theology gives priority to the poor. It recognizes that the triune God works with the poor, as the poor learn to love themselves enough to practice their total freedom and affirm their full humanity on earth just as heaven does. Black Theology, it is further argued, employs a robust approach of dealing with poverty through prophetic speaking in various modes.
In the fifth chapter (The Place and Priority of the Poor in Public Theological Discourses), an investigation is made into the role, the place and priority of the poor in Public Theologies. The discussion includes the background of Public Theologies, i.e. origin and development of Public Theologies, its similarities and differences with other forms of theology, and some definitions of Public Theologies. This is then followed by a discussion of the sources of Public Theologies and the principles of Public Theologies, i.e. creation and liberation; vocation and covenant; moral law; sin and freedom; ecclesiology and Trinity; and Christology. An analysis is carried out of two approaches to Public Theologies namely the direct public involvement of churches and the public significance of congregational practices. Finally, the role of the poor y in Public Theology is examined. It is argued that the two approaches to Public Theologies complement each other, and that Public Theologies attend to the plight of the poor from both a perspective of the impact of congregational practices on poverty, and the more direct impact on poverty through appropriate technical analysis as well as the formulation and monitoring of public policies, which, sequentially, speak to situations of poverty.
Chapter Six (Some Lessons for Black and Public Theological Discourses), the final chapter, brings Black Theology into dialogue with Public Theologies. Public Theologies become good news to the poor when it begins to use tools such as imaginative thinking, storytelling, naming the devil, technical analysis, and public policy matters. It is argued that Public Theologies can learn from Black Theology in the area of prophetic speaking on poverty especially with regard to criticism, envisioning, and storytelling. Conversely, Public Theologies could enrich Black Theology and all theological attempts to address poverty because they offer solutions in the area of technical analysis and policymaking. Since most of the poor people, globally, are black and live in Africa, Black and Public Theologies need to empower the church to respond to a legacy of despair in Africa, the dependency syndrome in Africa, Africa‘s indebtedness and Unfair Trade, and to encourage good governance in Africa. Some general remarks and recommendations to Black and Public Theologies are also offered. By speaking prophetically on poverty through the modes of criticism, envisioning, and storytelling as Black Theology does, by speaking prophetically through the modes of participation in technical analysis and policy making as Public Theologies do, and by exploring the potential of congregational practices for addressing poverty, both Black Theology and Public Theologies – in dialogue and partnership - become good news to the poor.
Tshaka, Rothney S. “A Perspective on Notions of Spirituality, Democracy, Social Cohesion and Public Theology.” Verbum et Ecclesia 35, no. 3 (2014): 1–6.
Urbaniak, Jakub. “What Makes Christology in a Post-Apartheid South Africa Engaged and Prophetic? Comparative Study of Koopman and Maluleke.” In Theology and the (Post)Apartheid Condition: Genealogies and Future Directions, by Rian Venter, 125–55. Theological Explorations 261. Bloemfontein: University of the Free State, 2016.
AbstractKnowledge transmission and generation belong to the core mission of the public university. In democratic South Africa, the transformation of these processes and practices in higher education has become an urgent and contested task. The Faculty of Theology at the University of the Free State has already done some original work on the implications of these for theology. One area of investigation that has not yet received due attention concerns the role of theological disciplines, and especially the relation between academic disciplines and societal dynamics. This research project addresses the challenge and this volume reflects the intellectual endeavour of lectures, research fellows and a post-graduate student associated with the faculty.Each theological discipline has its own history and has already experienced reconstruction, both globally and in South Africa. Some of these genealogical developments and re-envisioning are mapped by the contributions in this volume. The critical questions addressed are: what are the contours of the (post)apartheid condition and what are the implications for responsible disciplinary practices in theology? The chapters convey an impression of the vitality of theology at the University of the Free State and in South Africa and give expression to fundamental shifts that have taken place in theological disciplines, and also of future tasks. This research project aims to stimulate reflection on responsible and innovative disciplinary practices of theology in South Africa, which, we envisage, will contribute to social justice and human flourishing.Rian VenterUniversity of the Free State
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