Stellenbosch 2016

Democracy and Social Justice in Glocal Contexts

Stellenbosch University, South Africa
24-26 October 2016

The Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University

The fourth triennial conference was hosted by the Beyers Naudé Centre for Public Theology at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, during October 2016. This particular event was the first time that a GNPT meeting had been held on the African continent. It was a great joy to see a large contingent of African delegates participating in the program and thus through their very presence testifying to the spread of a public theology.

The call for papers for the 2016 GNPT meeting invited scholars to reflect on the theme of ‘Democracy and Social Justice in Glocal Contexts’. Not surprisingly, there were various theological engagements with themes related to different issues and conceptions of justice. That this was so should not be seen as too surprising. It is in the very nature of a public theology to be responsive to specific occasional issues as they happen or begin to emerge.

The discipline is almost inevitably bound to the call to respond to the ‘signs of the times’ and those signs, and how justice might be explored, is not the same from one theogeographical context to another.

Some presenters approached the theme in terms of the public contents of different theological traditions, which included, among others, Catholic, Protestant, Islamic and Jewish participants, and their understandings of justice. Others considered the inherent public rationality of theology in relation to calls for justice in society in different contexts and social locations. There were also participants who sought to address the public impact of Christian faith in relation to notions and issues of justice and injustice in local, and more universal, contexts.

A selection of conference proceedings was subsequently published in a special edition of the International Journal of Public Theology. ↗

Source: Forster, D. (Eds.). (2018). Editorial: Democracy and Social Justice in Glocal Contexts, International Journal of Public Theology12(1), 1-4. doi: