Original Research - Special Collection: Biblical Spirituality

African spirituality in transformation: Fragments and fractures of the shifting sacred

Annalie Steenkamp-Nel
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 74, No 3 | a4941 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v74i3.4941 | © 2018 Annalie Erika Steenkamp-Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 February 2018 | Published: 30 August 2018

About the author(s)

Annalie Steenkamp-Nel, Department of Christian Spirituality, University of South Africa, South Africa


The ‘transformation’ of disciplines and organisations has been increasingly pursued by South African policymakers. Many understand community engagement or development as ‘structural’ or ‘agentive’. For most African citizens, however, transformation’s starting point is the obligation towards the divine and towards others. It will be suggested that spiritual transformation (as an aspect of African spirituality) is more appropriate for the South African setting. The article will offer the overarching foundational spiritual framework of spiritual transformation as a possible object to a future discourse. A literature review will allow the mapping of different transformational stages or movements. The dynamics of the African spiritual-based concept of joy as a bridge to new possibilities will be tracked. The findings will point to the importance of clashing or complementing spiritual experiences, directing Africans towards a new spirituality. It will be indicated how change agents can develop sustainable transformative methodologies for different contexts, relevant to the developmental challenges of communities and organisations. Successful transformation involves nurturing communities from a spiritual perspective, specifically the experience of joy as part of the original African spirituality.


African spirituality; spiritual transformation; joy


Total abstract views: 2177
Total article views: 4210


Crossref Citations

1. Transformative joy in Qohelet: A thread that faintly glistens
Annalie E. Steenkamp-Nel
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies  vol: 74  issue: 3  year: 2018  
doi: 10.4102/hts.v74i3.5126