Original Research - Special Collection: The Commercialization and Commodification of Theological Education

Commodification, decolonisation and theological education in Africa: Renewed challenges for African theologians

Nontando M. Hadebe
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 73, No 3 | a4550 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v73i3.4550 | © 2017 Nontando M. Hadebe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 March 2017 | Published: 25 July 2017

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Nontando M. Hadebe, Department of Philosophy, Systematic and Practical Theology, University of South Africa,, South Africa

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The commodification of higher education is a global phenomenon that many argue has reduced education into a product that serves the interests of global capitalism and perpetuates the hegemony of western knowledge. Decolonisation discourses demand for access and an Africanised curriculum constitutes resistance to commodification. Theological education as part of higher education has not escaped commodification. African theologians pioneered resistance against the hegemony of western theologies. However, there are additional factors driving commodification, such as high demand for training, that outstrip supply because of the phenomenal growth of Christianity and rise in Christian consumerism. African theologians therefore need to continue resisting western hegemony and also pursue critical dialogues with decolonisation movements as well as all stakeholders such as churches, government and civil society as resistance to commodification. The inclusive and communitarian methodology of the Theological Colloquium on Church, Religion and Society in Africa will be critically assessed for its potential as a possible model.


commodification; decolonisation; African theologies; consumerism; common good


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