Original Research - Special Collection: Urban Public Theology in South Africa

Concrete spirituality

Johannes N.J. Kritzinger
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 70, No 3 | a2782 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i3.2782 | © 2014 Johannes N.J. Kritzinger | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 July 2014 | Published: 20 November 2014

About the author(s)

Johannes N.J. Kritzinger, Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology, University of South Africa, South Africa


This article reflects on a number of liturgical innovations in the worship of Melodi ya Tshwane, an inner-city congregation of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA). The focus of the innovations was to implement the understanding of justice in Article 4 of the Confession of Belhar, a confessional standard of the URCSA. The basic contention of the article is that well designed liturgies that facilitate experiences of beauty can nurture a concrete spirituality to mobilise urban church members for a justice-seeking lifestyle. After exploring the message of Article 4 of Belhar, the article analyses eight liturgical features of Melodi ya Tshwane, showing how beauty and justice interact in those acts of worship.


Public theology; urban ministry; Confession of Belhar; Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa; Melodi ya Tshwane congregation


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