Original Research - Special Collection: HTS 75th Anniversary Maake Masango Dedication

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, No 4 | a5622 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i4.5622 | © 2019 Jonathan M. Womack, Jerry Pillay | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 June 2019 | Published: 13 November 2019

About the author(s)

Jonathan M. Womack, Department of Church History and Church Polity, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Jerry Pillay, Department of Church History and Church Polity, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

This article assesses the shortcomings and the disconnectedness of the current academic theological education in South Africa. It offers a brief history to provide a guiding principle for academic theology. It then proceeds to show the current disconnect and challenges between academic theology and the church, with its primary focus on academic theology. Drawing on original research and reflection on these responses, commodification, euro-centricity and rankings are seen as three traps of modern academics. These three areas have distorted the true content of theological reflection. This article thus clearly highlights the current problem and motivates the need for academic theology and the local church to reconnect with each other. With this article focussing on academic institutions, it calls for the academy to change not in nature but in content, and to draw its content for the local context.

Keywords

academic theology; local church; history of theology; theological discontent; theological renewal; correlation; original research

Metrics

Total abstract views: 503
Total article views: 765

 

Crossref Citations

1. When the Gap between Academic Theology and the Church Makes Possible the Orthodox–Evangelical Dialogue
Dănuț Jemna, Dănuț Mănăstireanu
Religions  vol: 12  issue: 4  first page: 274  year: 2021  
doi: 10.3390/rel12040274