Original Research - Special Collection: Practical Theology

Meeting the challenge of poverty and inequality? ‘Hindrances and helps’ with regard to congregational mobilisation in South Africa

Nadine F. Bowers Du Toit
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 73, No 2 | a3836 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v73i2.3836 | © 2017 Nadine F. Bowers Du Toit | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 August 2016 | Published: 22 March 2017

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Nadine F. Bowers Du Toit, Practical Theology and Missiology, Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

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The findings of an empirical study entitled ‘Meeting the challenge of poverty and inequality in the Cape Metropole: Factors impacting the mobilisation of congregations in their response to poverty and injustice’ reaffirm that the majority of congregations are still largely operating within a ‘relief and welfare’ paradigm with regard to poverty. In attempting to analyse the hindrances to churches’ mobilisation in addressing poverty from a holistic perspective, it became clear that, while there were common challenges (such as lack of capacity and feeling overwhelmed in view of the enormity of the task), several other intersectional issues (e.g. race, class and theological convictions) also play a role with regard to engagement. This article, therefore, analyses and discusses how these factors have an impact on the mobilisation of local congregations in their response to the twin challenge of poverty and inequality.


poverty; congregations; mobilisation; development


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