Mending the broken city of Pietermaritzburg through a transformative urban theological programme: A challenge to Union Bible Institute

Rapid urbanisation, globalisation, and the advancement of information and technology come as a challenge for theological education in South Africa, generally, and, specifically, in an emerging city like Pietermaritzburg. This is a city with a multitude of urban fractures: the contesting space between informal traders and the taxi industry; rife political violence; gender- based violence;..

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The ‘good city’ or ‘post-colonial catch-basins of violent empire’? A contextual theological appraisal of South Africa’s Integrated Urban Development Framework

The Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) was constructed as a ‘new deal’ for South African cities and towns. It outlines a vision with four overarching goals and eight priorities or policy levers meant to overcome the apartheid legacy through comprehensive spatial restructuring and strategic urban–rural linkages. This article is a contextual theological reflection ‘from below’,..

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Change-making in a (post)apartheid city: An auto-ethnographical essay

We reflect on living and doing ministry in a (post)apartheid South African city, negotiating ongoing demographic and sociopolitical transitions and discerning appropriate faith responses. We speak about the inevitability of these transitions, but then suggest that a view of theology and ministry as change-making is not inevitable but a vocation and art to be acknowledged,..

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Structural transformation and democratic public spaces: Reflections on Habermas and the 2014 Tshwane State of the Capital City Address

Judging by the immense global academic interaction with his work, Jürgen Habermas’s social theory, with particular reference to structural transformation of the public sphere and democracy, is one of the most constructive models for understanding the role and function of citizens in forming healthy societies. This article investigates the recent 2014 Tshwane State of the City..

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Your sister in Babylon sends her love: Towards prophetic solidarity in post-apartheid South Africa

How does a self-respecting Christian from Galilee who now finds himself based near the seat of empire relate to power in light of his faith? How are his admonishments, especially those which relate to the public arena, to be appropriated by those living on the periphery of the empire? I reflect on these questions from the vantage point..

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Living in the townships: An appraisal of Pentecostal social ministry in Tshwane

This article offers an appraisal of the social ministry of Pentecostal churches through fellowship, healing and livelihood creation in the township communities of the city of Tshwane. In meeting this aim the discussion advances a thesis of these churches as agents of social support and survival of the downcast. In particular, the article attempts to..

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Informal community-based early childhood development as a focus for urban public theology in South Africa

This article highlights important dimensions of public theology and shows how the identifieddimensions are relevant to the specific situation of informal early childhood development (ECD) facilities in a South African urban setting. The article considers the contributions andchallenges of informal community-based ECD on the basis of research conducted in the Rustenburg/Phokeng area of the North..

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Faith community as a centre of liberationist praxis in the city

Theologians speak of the silence of churches’ prophetic voice in the ‘new’ South Africa, whilst the country features amongst the socio-economically most unequal countries in the world, and the urban areas in particular continue to be characterised by segregation. In this context I ask: where is liberation theology? I spell out my reading of some..

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