Original Research - Special Collection: Graham Duncan Dedication

Relationships are building blocks to social justice: Cases of biblical justice and African Ubuntu

Selaelo T. Kgatla
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 72, No 1 | a3239 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i1.3239 | © 2016 Selaelo T. Kgatla | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 November 2015 | Published: 28 October 2016

About the author(s)

Selaelo T. Kgatla, Department of Missiology and Science of Religion, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa


The entire Bible is full of themes calling humans to live justly with one another and fear God who is the author of justice. The first book of the Bible, Genesis, carries the story of God’s relationship with his people. Their relationship is bound by social justice and mutual love in reciprocity. This article argues that African Ubuntu has an affinity with the Bible’s message of justice and mutual caring for one another. Ubuntu presupposes that humans were created in God’s image and indicates that characteristics such as kindness, charity, equality, love of one’s neighbours and voluntarily dispensing justice to others are present in human life. God created humans to be bound to one another in caring love, coexistence and total dependence. In today’s world, social justice requires good judgement from those who are in privileged positions to implement it.


Justice; Ubuntu; Images; Transformation


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