Original Research - Special Collection: VukaniBantuTsohangBatho - Spirituality of Black Liberation

White responses to Black Theology: Revisiting a typology

Johannes N.J. Kritzinger
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 78, No 3 | a6945 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v78i3.6945 | © 2022 Johannes (Klippies) N.J. Kritzinger | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 June 2021 | Published: 21 February 2022

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Johannes N.J. Kritzinger, Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

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This article reflects on a threefold typology of white responses to Black Theology (rejection-sympathy-solidarity) which I used in my doctoral thesis (1988). This article, which is dedicated to the memory of Vuyani Vellem, shows how the typology was used by him in a publication. It then points out a number of inadequacies in the typology and places it in a framework of encounters between the praxis of a Black Theology of Liberation (BTL) and a liberating white praxis (LWP). It uses a seven-dimensional ‘praxis matrix’ to explore such encounters, which happen along with an encounter with the praxis of the poor and the praxis of God. Since a typology of white praxes remains useful, an expanded six-fold typology is suggested to replace the previous one.

Contribution: The contribution of this article is to deepen reflection on the dynamics of interaction between white theologians and a BTL.


Black Theology; white theology; praxis matrix; encounterology; conversion; orthopathy


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