Grooving with people's rage: Public and black theology's attempts at revolutionizing African love

Urbaniak, Jakub

This article offers a comparison between public theology and black theology considered as the two major "players" in the present-day South Africa. Each theological approach is being evaluated in terms of its  capacity to embrace a radically prophetic voice, one that could engage the broad public without losing its accountability to those on the underside of history. The main discrepancy between the two approaches lies in the different trajectories of their "revolutionizing effect". Public theology tends to explore the redemptive, unifying and humanizing potential of Christian love, yet fails to thoroughly deconstruct the imperial power structures which are the ultimate cause of the anger of the structurally disenfranchised majority of South African people. Black theology, rooted in a postcolonial rather than postmodern perspective, has the capacity to be vulnerable to the moods of the marginalized and organic with their rage; and yet it lacks coherence and a plan of action. I argue that Christian theology will be poised to play a constructive role in the current social transition in South Africa only insofar as it is capable of revolutionizing people's love while patiently listening to and being shaped by their anger.


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Black Theology Papers Project

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August 17, 2022