Original Research

Reformed theology in dialogue with a spirituality of creation within the context of religious pluralism in Africa

Johannes J. Knoetze
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 4 | a6336 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i4.6336 | © 2021 Johannes J. Knoetze | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 September 2020 | Published: 05 February 2021

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Johannes J. Knoetze, Department Practical Theology and Mission Studies, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

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A transforming spirituality is needed to attend to the ‘third-millennial needs’ of Africa to address issues such as relationships (tribal wars, genocide, ISIS, etc.), globalisation ([new]-colonisation and urbanisation), ecology (industrialisation and rhino or elephant poaching) and social issues (the poor, women and children). It is argued that reformed theology, African spiritualities and a spirituality of creation need to be enriched by each other to bring about transformation in Africa. To discover a transforming spirituality of creation, participants need to listen to the different spiritualities and beliefs, without attempting to create a meta-narrative. Participants need to acknowledge the differences and even tensions, and embrace these. As such, this article attends to the research question, how can a dialogue between reformed theology and spirituality of creation help to establish a transforming spirituality based on common values for the diverse African continent in ‘our third-millennial world’?

Contribution: From a multidisplinary theological perspective, the article deals with ‘historical thought’ regarding spirituality and creation. This includes both the textual history from Christianity and oral history from Africa. A missional hermeneutics is used to bring different traditions and beliefs together.


reformed theology; African; spirituality; creation; dialogue; third millennial world; transforming


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1. The non-romantic idea of nature in African theology
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