Original Research - Special Collection: P.M. Venter Dedication

Om te gee: ’n Godsdiens- en sendingwetenskaplike perspektief

Jaco Beyers
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 68, No 1 | a1289 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v68i1.1289 | © 2012 Jaco Beyers | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 June 2012 | Published: 22 October 2012

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Jaco Beyers, Department of Science of Religion and Missiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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To give: A science of religion and missiological perspective. Human nature has been depicted as being utilitarian. This means that man considers all social action in terms of an optimalisation of privilege for the self. Marcel Mauss challenged this theory by investigating the possibility of human nature as being anti-utilitarian. Man does not give in order to receive. Human social action is not necessarily motivated by what man stands to gain. The diaconate of the church can be seen as the social action of giving. There is a close connection between the diaconate and the apostolate as actions of giving by the church. This article wants to determine whether these actions by the church are utilitarian in nature. Sundermeier’s use of the concept of convivence is used to illustrate how the church acts in an anti-utilitarian fashion when engaging in the diaconate and the apostolate. The social theory of Mauss, the missionary perspective of Sundermeier and the theology on the diaconate by Moltmann are brought into conversation with one another in order to illustrate the anti-utilitarian activities of the church in society.


Utilitarianism; gift; reciprocity; missionary; diaconate


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