Original Research - Special Collection: Change agency in a 21st-century South Africa

Sketching the elements of a Christian theology of change

Hannelie J. Wood
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 74, No 3 | a5061 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v74i3.5061 | © 2018 Hannelie J Wood | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 April 2018 | Published: 11 October 2018

About the author(s)

Hannelie J. Wood, Department of Philosophy, Practical and Systematic Theology, University of South Africa, South Africa


Reconciliation is a biblical concept, wherein God reconciled himself with humanity through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The concept of reconciliation remains complicated in nature, and for the church to be an agent of reconciliation, prescriptive elements such as confession, repentance, forgiveness, restoration, restitution, mercy, truth, justice, peace and reconciliation will be discussed. The elements needed for the church to be an agent of change are action-driven and include a vision for change, the acceptance of responsibility, the acceptance of failure, repentance, confession, forgiveness, action towards change justice, peace and mercy, and reconciliation. The aim of this article is to describe a possible process for reconciliation through change agency by using the biblical perspective of the concept as a foundation. The research will then focus on different perspectives of change and the church’s role as a change agent to bring about positive change in the transformation of existing and persistent forms of injustice that are problematic in society. Many theories of change exist; I will briefly refer to some theories of change and will then move on to sketching the elements that are necessary for the church to fulfil its calling as a change agent towards reconciliation as a core biblical principle.


Change agency; reconciliation; transformation


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