Original Research

Missio hominum guided by an understanding of Ubuntu for missio Dei: Nico Smith’s discovery

Jonas S. Thinane
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 4 | a7075 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i4.7075 | © 2021 Jonas S. Thinane | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 August 2021 | Published: 07 December 2021

About the author(s)

Jonas S. Thinane, Department of Hebrew, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


Missio hominum as a theological framework within the discipline of missiology in understanding missio Dei still lacks proper exploration. Few attempts have been made by theologians in the past but in different disciplines other than missiology. The exception is the previous studies by Nico Smith who investigated and conceptualised the subject at great length. This article builds on Smith’s perspectives on missio hominum with the aim of providing an in-depth understanding of the subject in an African context. This shall be achieved by juxtaposing missio hominum with an African concept of Ubuntu through a literary analysis. Ubuntu is imperative in understanding the significance of human beings within the Christian mission in fulfilling the purpose of missio Dei.

Contribution: This article makes two important contributions in the field of missiology – first, by illustrating through missio hominum that human beings are God’s partners in accomplishing his mission on earth, and second, by illustrating through Ubuntu that human beings should partner with one another for the same purpose.


missio Dei; missio hominum; Jesus Christ; Nico Smith; ubuntu


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Crossref Citations

1. Missio hominum in missio Dei: Biblical embodiment of missio hominum
Jonas S. Thinane
Verbum et Ecclesia  vol: 44  issue: 1  year: 2023  
doi: 10.4102/ve.v44i1.2583