SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.74 número2A postfoundationalist research paradigm of practical theologyThe paradox of being a wounded healer: Henri J.M. Nouwen's contribution to pastoral theology índice de autoresíndice de materiabúsqueda de artículos
Home Pagelista alfabética de revistas  

Servicios Personalizados



Links relacionados

  • En proceso de indezaciónCitado por Google
  • En proceso de indezaciónSimilares en Google


HTS Theological Studies

versión On-line ISSN 2072-8050
versión impresa ISSN 0259-9422


OPPENSHAW, Derek L.; NEL, Malan  y  LOUW, Liebie. Conflict resolution and reconciliation within congregations. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2018, vol.74, n.2, pp.1-11. ISSN 2072-8050.

'Being church' in today's world is frought with challenges to traditional practice and contemporaneous opportunities. These challenges, differences, dilemmas and paradoxes, when not handled effectively, have the propensity to escalate into and along a conflict continuum. Conflict can arise at any time within a congregation and needs to be understood and handled theologically. This article addresses some areas within congregations that attract or incubate conflict and provides an overview of related theory of conflict. The research explores current perceptions, understandings and behavioural responses to conflict, personal and corporate experiences and observed outcomes of conflict within congregations. The exploratory study reveals certain disconnects between individual and corporate practice. Congregations in general are biased towards conflict avoidance, peacekeeping and reconciliatory measures - frequently at the expense of long-term resolution. Attaining both resolution and reconciliation appears to be a luxury and not the natural outcome one may expect within Christian fellowship. The perception, understanding and views of most congregants are not aligned to good theological principles and practice. The resultant behaviour mostly observed within congregations does not lead to reconciliation and to a lesser extent resolution. Despite the seemingly high presence of conflict within congregations, no specified education on the understanding, appreciation and handling of conflict in commonly used discipleship resources or dedicated programme was found. The article concludes with a view towards a future praxis of discipleship and leadership, which incorporates the theological understanding and handling of conflict. Broader means of assisting congregations in or post conflict to recovery are also presented.

        · texto en Inglés     · Inglés ( pdf )


Creative Commons License Todo el contenido de esta revista, excepto dónde está identificado, está bajo una Licencia Creative Commons