Author: Stephan de Beer

Urban Africa 2050: Imagining Theological Education/Formation for Flourishing African Cities

Africa’s staggering rate of urbanization and the silence of religion or theology in response form the backdrop of this article. Africa’s urban futures, up through 2050, are considered through the lenses of fifteen African cities and theological institutions in these cities. I employ a set of research questions, seeking to contribute theologically to a body..

Read more

Homelessness IS a Housing Issue: Responding to Different Faces of Homelessness. A City of Tshwane Case Study

This article presents the case of one local housing organisation in the City of Tshwane and its mother organisation, responding to different faces of homelessness through creating diversified housing options. It asserts that the absence of such housing options would render people homeless, or extremely precarious. It insists that homelessness is also a housing issue, challenging a..

Read more

Change agency and urban vulnerability: Theologicalecclesial paralysis or deep solidarity

Globally, cities respond differently to their most vulnerable urban populations, notably so during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In the City of Tshwane, there seems to be a general paralysis of the church and theological education in relation to urbanvulnerability. If the church and theological education are to participate as change agents to help..

Read more

Homelessness and Covid-19 in the City of Tshwane: Doing liberation theology undercover – A conversation with Ivan Petrella

Ivan Petrella argues that the goals of liberation theology can sometimes be better served by doing it undercover. This article reflects on responses to homelessness during Covid-19 in the City of Tshwane, describing and reflecting upon it from the perspective of a researcher theologian as well as activist-urbanist. It employed two lenses in its reflection:..

Read more

A reflection on Vuyani Vellem’s longing for liberation: A spirituality of life and freedom

Vuyani Vellem was insistent on fostering a spirituality that could ground and sustain resistance of death as expressed in multiple unfreedoms, and the quest for life and freedom in abundance. After naming a number of themes evident in the life of Vuyani – ranging from racism and pigmentocracy to the managerialist university and the shackled..

Read more

A practical theology of liberation: Mimetic theory, liberation theology and practical theology

In this article, the authors bring two personal journeys together: one author’s liberationist journey, sparked by a search for justice and liberation in the slums of Guatemala City, and the other’s lifelong commitment to practical theology and spatial justice in South Africa. A practical theology of liberation is the result of life experiences in countries..

Read more

Faith-based action and urban regeneration

After describing the challenges, myths, exclusions and opportunities of urban regeneration, this article explores the potential interface between faith-based action and different forms of urban regeneration. Focusing on different South African cities, it considers how faith-based action could participate in regenerative urban work. Faith-based action will refer to the varied responses of churches and faith-based organisations to..

Read more

Practising chaordic beauty: On embracing strangers in one inner city faith community

In this article I read one inner city faith community – the Tshwane Leadership Foundation (TLF) – through the lenses of literature that reflects on chaordic organisations and chaordic leadership. I explore whether an emphasis on the management of diversity, which is widespread in organisational and ecclesial practices and languages, should not be replaced with..

Read more

Discerning a theological agenda for spatial justice in South Africa: An imperative for sustained reconciliation – Stephan de Beer

A spatial turn has occurred in various disciplines over the past decades. This article holds that it has not occurred in a similar decisive manner in theological discourse and not in South Africa in particular. After considering the necessity of a spatial turn and spatial consciousness, the article examines the concept of spatial justice against the backdrop of..

Read more

Theological education and African cities: An imperative for action

Africa’s urban explosion presents a clear challenge to the way theological education in Africa is done today. The backdrop of this article is a collaborative research project that involved 15 theological institutions across the African continent, contemplating what theological education and formation should look like, considering Africa’s current and future urban realities. It proposes paradigmatic..

Read more