Original Research - Special Collection: The Commercialization and Commodification of Theological Education

The globalising effect of commercialisation and commodification in African theological education

Marilyn Naidoo
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 73, No 3 | a4577 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v73i3.4577 | © 2017 Marilyn Naidoo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 March 2017 | Published: 07 September 2017

About the author(s)

Marilyn Naidoo, Department of Philosophy, Practical and Systematic Theology, University of South Africa, South Africa


The reality of globalisation is that it has knitted the world into a single time and place and has introduced the dominant force of consumerism. In adopting this framework, it has frayed the moral fabric of theological education and has short changed students who are configured as consumers to please rather than characters to build. While the demographic centre of faith has shifted southward, its ways of thinking and engaging culture have not yet caught up with that shift. Global interconnectedness and the globalisation of knowledge together with homogenisation forces have shaped African theological education to the extent that it has absorbed the almost irreversible traits of the West. This paper highlights how transnational cultural forms have profoundly impacted the production of theological education and will attempt a response to the homogenising forces by the focus of African identity.


Theological education; globalisation; Africa; commercialisation; commodification


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Crossref Citations

1. From the tower to the pews: A call for academic theology to re-engage with the local context
Jonathan M. Womack, Jerry Pillay
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies  vol: 75  issue: 4  year: 2019  
doi: 10.4102/hts.v75i4.5622