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

Towards a fusion of horizons: Thematic contours for an urban public theological praxis-agenda in South Africa

Stephan de Beer, Ignatius Swart
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 70, No 3 | a2812 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i3.2812 | © 2014 Stephan de Beer, Ignatius Swart | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 August 2014 | Published: 20 November 2014

About the author(s)

Stephan de Beer, Centre for Contextual Ministry, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Ignatius Swart, Research Institute for Theology and Religion, University of South Africa, South Africa


This article proposes a ‘fusion of horizons’ in constructing urban public theologies in South Africa. This is done through the introduction of five interrelated themes that have emerged from the on-going knowledge and idea production by a distinguishable counterpoint in contemporary scholarly, intellectual and activist engagement with the urban, in the authors’ own South African context but also wider internationally. In advancing a praxis-agenda for urban public theology, the authors subsequently identify the following, albeit not exhaustive, themes: southern urbanisms and the factor of unprecedented urban migration; ‘right to the city’ and urbanisation from below; a reclaiming of the commons; the making of ‘good cities’; and actors of faith in relation to urban social life.


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