Original Research - Special Collection: Theology disrupted - doing theology with children in African contexts

Children as theological hermeneutic: Is there a new epistemological break emerging?

Nico Botha
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 72, No 1 | a3110 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i1.3110 | © 2016 Nico Botha | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 July 2015 | Published: 15 July 2016

About the author(s)

Nico Botha, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, South Africa


Children are the great omission in theology. The objective of the article is to show that there is a growing realisation of this reality. More than that, there are attempts afoot to salvage the situation by factoring children more and more into theological writing, not in an objectified manner, but as serious agents of theology and, in the case of this article, as agents of mission. A few examples to this effect are shown in the article. The main thrust of the study, however, is to raise the hypothetical question of whether children have not become an important and indispensable theological hermeneutic themselves. The serious question is raised of whether children if, taken seriously in church and theology are not forcing a new epistemological break or a new way of believing and of theologising on the world of mission. A somewhat tentative and hypothetical conclusion is arrived at, which suggests that indeed there is a new rupture occurring in terms of how we know what we know in church and theology.


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