Original Research - Special Collection: Unshackled

The role of urban religion in seeking peace beyond the mere absence of community conflict: A reading of Ephesians 2:11–22, with the homeless in the City of Tshwane

Reginald W. Nel
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 71, No 3 | a3128 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i3.3128 | © 2015 Reginald W. Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 July 2015 | Published: 26 October 2015

About the author(s)

Reginald W. Nel, Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology, University of South Africa, South Africa


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Abstract

Urban religion, often visible in the work of faith-based organisations which consciously aim at unshackling the debilitating realities of urban marginalised communities, needs to be consciously inclusive in all its endeavours. In particular, this is crucial for actions such as those of the Tshwane Leadership Foundation that consciously seeks the peace of the city beyond the mere absence of conflict. This inclusivity requires a sensitive, creative, but also mutually transformative dialogue. This article aims at bringing into dialogue what biblical scholar Gerald West, in his proposal for contextual Bible Study, calls ‘trained’ readers of the Bible with what he calls ‘ordinary’ readers, who are homeless in the City of Tshwane. This methodology leads to a mutually transformative encounter in the common search for peace but also to appreciating the calling of urban religious communities in South Africa. It aims to make a contribution towards an inclusive and mutually transformative dialogue in order to contribute to the quest of urban religious communities to unshackle the marginalisation, whether it be in their consciousness or their environment.


Keywords

Urban, City, Poor, Homeless, Peace, Preaching

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