Original Research - Special Collection: Faith-based action and urban regeneration

Faith-based action and urban regeneration

Stephan F. de Beer
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 74, No 3 | a5168 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v74i3.5168 | © 2018 Stephan F. de Beer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 June 2018 | Published: 19 November 2018

About the author(s)

Stephan F. de Beer, Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, South Africa; and, Centre for Contextual Ministry, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, South Africa


After describing the challenges, myths, exclusions and opportunities of urban regeneration, this article explores the potential interface between faith-based action and different forms of urban regeneration. Focusing on different South African cities, it considers how faith-based action could participate in regenerative urban work. Faith-based action will refer to the varied responses of churches and faith-based organisations to urban challenges and transitions. It interrogates whether faith-based action only represents many similar approaches that address urban problems superficially without mediating long-term, systemic change, or whether it indeed contributes to urban transformation in the sense of radical inclusivity and socio-structural spatial justice. Finally, it considers socio-theological sources that could potentially ground urban faith-based action theologically – such as an urban spirituality, an understanding of regeneration as integral liberation and mobilising socio-spiritual capital – whilst making a distinctive contribution to the processes of socially inclusive urban regeneration.


faith-based action; urban regeneration; integral liberation; four generations of development; urban spirituality; socio-spiritual capital


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