Original Research - Special Collection: Unshackled

Responsibility: A case for the homeless in the City of Tshwane

Eugene Baron
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 71, No 3 | a3085 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i3.3085 | © 2015 Eugene Baron | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 June 2015 | Published: 28 October 2015

About the author(s)

Eugene Baron, Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology, University of South Africa, South Africa


It is without doubt that the marginalised and destitute, such as homeless people, need all the help they can get to un-shackle them from poverty-stricken circumstances. Yet the reverse side of this is that marginalised, homeless people can become too dependent on such interventions, without taking responsibility for their future outcomes and consequences. The article reports on a contextual Bible study that was conducted with the homeless people in the city of Tshwane, specifically how they responded to the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9–13. Bringing their responses in conversation with the voices of theologians, the themes emerging from the encounter are discussed. Bonhoeffer’s theory of a responsible life is used as a theoretical framework. The author suggests that the homeless people as well as other relevant role players should take responsibility for the occurrence of homelessness in the city of Tshwane, South Africa, and offer solutions so as to eradicate this phenomenon in the future.


Responsibility; homelessness; Tshwane; urban mission


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