With Whose Voice and What Language?

Public Theology in a Mediated Public

in International Journal of Public Theology
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In a world with a plurality of religious voices available from a variety of different media, sources are not always reliable, good or accurate. This article focuses on three areas to ensure that theology retains a public voice: First, we need to ensure that we have a public voice which is prophetic and precautionary, proactive and reactive. We need to speak against the status quo where necessary, cautioning against potential ethical and moral pitfalls as well as dealing with such situations where they arise in a timely fashion. Secondly, whenever we make theological statements in public we must use language which is unambiguous and yet as inclusive as possible. While it is important to retain our identity as a distinctive community, we should not seek to isolate ourselves. Lastly, we must make use of the various platforms offered to us by media, both traditional and new in order to engage in discussion and debate.

With Whose Voice and What Language?

Public Theology in a Mediated Public

in International Journal of Public Theology




Rowan WilliamsFaith in the Public Square (London: Bloomsbury Continuum2012) p. 24.


Wolfgang HuberGerechtigkeit und Recht. Grundlinien christlicher Rechtsethik (Gütersloh: Chr. Kaiser Gütersloher Verlagshaus1996) p. 454.


Ibid. p. 1.


John RawlsA Theory of Justice (Oxford: Oxford University Press1971) pp. 75–77.


Piet Naudé‘In defence of partisan justice: What can African business ethics learn from John Rawls?’African Journal of Business Ethics2:1 (2007) 40–44.


Nico Koopman‘Churches, Democracy and the Public Sphere’South African Council of Churches Parliamentary Office(5 May 2005) paras 10 36. <http://www.sacc-ct.org.za/koopman.html> [accessed 31 March 2014].


Heinrich Bedford-Strohm‘Poverty and Public Theology: Advocacy of the Church in Pluralistic Society’International Journal of Public Theology2:2 (2008) 144–62 at 151.


Wolfgang Huber‘Freiheit und soziale Gerechtigkeit—Sozialer Protestantismus in der globalisierten Welt’Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (9 May 2007) <http://www.ekd.de/vortraege/huber/070510_huber_berlin_sozialer_protestantismus.html> [accessed 31 March 2014].


BoesakDare we Speak of Hope? pp. 26–8.


David FergussonChurch State and Civil Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press2004) p. 98.


Oliver O’DonovanThe Ways of Judgment. The Bampton Lectures (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company2003) p. xii.


GrahamWords made Flesh p. 177.


Roger SilverstoneMedia and Morality. On the Rise of the Mediapolis (Cambridge: Polity Press2007) p. 5.


Ibid. p. 25.


Ibid. p. 109.


SilverstoneMedia and Morality p. 27.


Ibid. p. 31.


Dirk Smit‘Notions of the Public and Doing Theology’International Journal of Public Theology1:3–4 (2007) 431–54 at 438–43.


Dirk Smit‘Notions of the Public and Doing Theology’441.


Geoffrey Stevenson‘The Media We Deserve’Public Faith. Centre for Theology and Public Issues Blog (8 January 2012) para. 3 <http://centrefortheologyandpublicissues.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/the-media-we-deserve/> [accessed 31 March 2014].


Heidi CampbellWhen Religion Meets New Media (London: Routledge2010) p. 85.

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