Original Research - Special Collection: Doing Theology with Children: Exploring Emancipatory Methodologies

Doing theology with children: Exploring emancipatory methodologies

Stephan De Beer, Hannelie Yates
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 1 | a5840 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i1.5840 | © 2019 Stephan De Beer, Hannelie Yates | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 October 2019 | Published: 12 December 2019

About the author(s)

Stephan De Beer, Centre for Contextual Ministry, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Hannelie Yates, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society Sub-programme, Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


This article serves as an introduction to a collection of articles that explores emancipatory methodologies for doing theology and research with children. We focus on both the agency and the participation of children as an ethics and children’s rights imperative as well as the potential impact and outcomes of theology and research that focus on children. The article emphasises that such research should be preceded by an epistemological shift that recognises the validity of local, experiential and different knowledges while insisting on participatory approaches in generating and constructing knowledge. It emphasises a rights-based approach and provides guidelines for ethical and collaborative research with children, moving beyond the paralysis of an ethics conundrum. The life and work of Janet Prest Talbot, who embodies commitment to children’s rights, children’s participation, child justice and God’s joy over children forms a backdrop of and inspiration for this article.


Child theology; Children’s rights; Emancipatory methodologies; Research ethics; Research with children; Theology with children


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Crossref Citations

1. Children’s narrative identity formation: Towards a childist narrative theology of praxis
Jozine G. Botha, Hannelie Yates, Manitza Kotzé
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies  vol: 80  issue: 1  year: 2024  
doi: 10.4102/hts.v80i1.9575