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Abstract

This article sets out to compare the works of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ and Leonardo Boff’s Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor in the way in which they share a common theme to do with the environmental crisis facing our earth. The similarities include their focus on Latin America, the importance of cross-cultural dialogue, and their concern for the welfare of the poor and other created beings. Both authors argue that anthropocentrism is a misinterpretation of Scripture and that a new cross-cultural dialogue is necessary to address this issue. While Pope Francis advocates using the power of science and technology to create an ‘integral ecology’, Boff prefers to start with cosmology and develop ‘new paradigms’. A comparative study can contribute to a reflection on the relationship between Christian theology and ecology, politics, and human beings; an analysis of anthropocentrism can clarify how human beings deal with their relationship with other created beings.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
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In: International Journal of Public Theology
In: International Journal of Public Theology
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Abstract

This paper describes three basic positions that have been held in relation to the place of religious ideas and reasons in public square deliberation by outlining the arguments of major representatives of each position. The three positions are: ‘obligatory relegation’ (Robert Audi); ‘willing translation’ (John Rawls and Jürgen Habermas), and ‘unreserved declaration’ (Nicholas Wolterstorff and Charles Taylor). I conclude by offering an observation from the survey. Even as the question of the place of religious ideas in public square deliberation can be approached from either broader domains of the secularisation/post-secularisation of societies or the essence of liberal democracy, it is not the domain itself but rather specific conceptions of key ideas or notions within each domain that push the representatives to take the position that they do.

In: International Journal of Public Theology

Abstract

After his death on 11 November 2021, social media in South Africa was immediately inundated with reactions to the mixed legacy of Frederik Willem de Klerk, the last President of South Africa during apartheid (1989–1994) and the former Vice President of Nelson Mandela (1994–1996) under the democratic dispensation. In most transitional justice processes, truth is often required in exchange for reconciliatory or peace accords. With the benefits of the literature review, this article problematises the deficiency of truth-telling or its absence thereof, by beneficiaries of apartheid, with particular stress on statements made by F.W. de Klerk during and after the TRC public hearings. It focuses on truth-telling as a neglected aspect in previous studies examining the work of the TRC. It uses the biblical understanding of the concept of truth as a foundational component of reconciliation to test the authenticity of the acclaimed reconciliation after the TRC hearings.

Open Access
In: International Journal of Public Theology

Abstract

In a period of mass media emergence and renewal of Catholicism after Vatican II, the church initiated into a profound approach to its Social Doctrine on the media. With a theology of communication as a cornerstone, numerous ecclesial documents published during the Papacy of Paul VI explored the implications of the media for society and the internal life of the church. This study aims to analyse the contents on the media addressed in official documents of the Catholic Church during the Pontificate of Paul VI. The conclusions of the research show to what extent communication is a significant issue for public theology and delve into the meaning of the right to information and public opinion, the place of the media in education, the training of communicators and recipients, the importance of the media for the church, and the involvement of Catholics in the media.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
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Abstract

Public theology is a contemporary field that transcends mere trendiness; it stands as a vital imperative for the Arab Church. This imperative arises not only from the need for effective communication with its counterparts but also as a means to bridge the cultural chasm between the East and the West. Rooted in historical legacies and lived realities, Arab Christian theology boasts rich wellsprings of wisdom, yet it also confronts distinct challenges. While it shares commonalities with global public theology, the Arab Church’s presence in this pivotal region renders its public theology distinctive and profoundly significant.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
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Abstract

The covenant concept is a central theme original to the Bible and is generally defined as a formal commitment between two parties. James Torrance’s theological definition of a covenant is employed in this article to highlight two critical characteristics. It then explores Torrance’s claim of a legacy of confusion between a covenant and a contract in theology and discovers that this ambiguity is true of some historical and current scholarship. Torrance’s insights are applied to a contentious contextual example that has played out in New Zealand around the Treaty of Waitangi: the case is made for identifying how Torrance’s theological understanding of a covenant can lead into positive steps forward and thus contribute to a public theology.

In: International Journal of Public Theology