The third public: Hermeneutical key to the theological debate on church and development?
AbstractThe aim of the paper is to answer the question whether the proposal for a third public mode of theological involvement represents the key to overcoming the current deficiency in theological thinking about the strategic role of the churches in addressing the problems of poverty and underdevelopment in South Africa. In the light of a twofold exploration into (i) historical ecumenical development discourse and (ii) the so-called generational perspective in the NGO development debate, the paper concludes with a positive answer. At the same time, however, it is argued that there is also an important role to play for the modes of the first and second publics, and that a greater interplay between the various publics is required in order for Christian theology to be effective in the field of development.
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