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

Faith community as a centre of liberationist praxis in the city

Elina Hankela
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 70, No 3 | a2768 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i3.2768 | © 2014 Elina Hankela | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 June 2014 | Published: 20 November 2014

About the author(s)

Elina Hankela, Research Institute for Theology and Religion, University of South Africa, South Africa; Department of Theology, University of Helsinki, Finland

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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 of the recent voices in the liberationist discourse. In dialogue with these scholars I, firstly, argue for the faith community to be made a conscious centre of liberationist debates and praxis. Secondly, I do this by suggesting two theoretical building blocks (i.e. critical deconstruction and radical friendship) for local faith communities that wish to grow in a liberationist fashion.


faith communities; urban theology; black theology


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