Steve de Gruchy’s theology and development model
Any dialogue with the African theology of reconstruction?
AbstractThe article sets out to demonstrate that Steve de Gruchy’s model of Theology and Development (T&D), as opposed to Theologized Development or Developmental Theology, is a creative and an authentic paradigm which is in continuum with African Theology of Reconstruction (ATOR) and other theological initiatives in postcolonial Africa. As a post-colonial and/or post-apartheid theologian, De Gruchy addresses cutting-edge issues facing our contemporary society such as health, poverty, environment, sustainable livelihoods, the South-North divides, fair trade, the racial equation, the reconstruction of our social consciousness; and indeed, the changing circumstances in post-colonial (south) Africa. In its methodology, the article also hypothesizes that Development and Reconstruction are two sides of the same coin, with one clear motif, though with some distinctions. It then goes on to point out the possibility that the Leadership and Development programme that was started by Klaus Nürnberger at the then University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, logically preceded de Gruchy’s Theology and Development (T&D) programme which continues to date, despite his demise in 2010. On the whole, the T&D and ATOR are largely seen as livelihoods theologies “from the other side of the river” that are geared towards sustainable living, especially with reference to the African context in the 21st century. Steve de Gruchy’s contribution to development studies is certainly critical considering that he published extensively on the same; and even headed the Theology and Development programme at the then University of Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal). His approach turns out as the beacon that maps the way out as we focus on sustainable development and the post-colonial reconstruction of Africa.
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