SOME THOUGHTS ON ‘PUBLIC THEOLOGY’ AND ITS RELEVANCE FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN CONTEXT

Ronell Bezuidenhout, Piet Naudé

Abstract


This essay explores the notion of “Public Theology” as developed in the North
American context. It is explained in terms of the effort by theologians to regain some
form of “public space” that was lost due to theology’s marginalization and
privatization after modernity. How this displacement of religion came about is
briefly explained with reference to the shift in the idea of the “public” in classical
Greek culture and modern secular societies respectively. Thereafter three traits of a
public theology is highlighted: its mode of argumentation, accessible style of
communication, and its focus on contemporary social issues. The paper closes with
a few remarks about the importance of a public theology in SA since the
establishment of a liberal, democratic dispensation.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/79-0-767

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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