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HTS Theological Studies

On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422


KNOETZE, Johannes J.. African youth, African faith(s), African environment and sustainable development: A missional diaconal calling. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2021, vol.77, n.2, pp.1-8. ISSN 2072-8050.

This article aims missional diaconate as a method of sustainable development in Africa. The focus is on the interdependence and relation between African youth, African faith(s) and African environment within the context of spirituality and religiosity. Africa is a youth continent, where 200 million of the population is between the ages of 15 and 24 years of age. Although African people are known for their religiosity and spirituality, not much attention is given to these aspects when thinking of and planning for development. Speaking about African traditional beliefs, Africans live close to nature and the environment; traditionally, they were and some still are subsistence farmers, making a living from the natural environment, while most of the youth struggle to survive in a more industrialised, modern and global world. As such, the sustainability of development, especially in the form of urbanisation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution - which hit Africa as a reality with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) - remains in question, where so many seemingly valuable developments have failed in the past.CONTRIBUTION: The research question this article wants to answer is: What is unique in the contribution of missional diaconate as method of sustainable development amongst African youth in their context? The question is answered when missional diaconate is applied to the five elements of faith formation as discussed by Weber. It became clear from this article that while development is designed to overcome material needs, missional diaconate motivated from the unconditional love of God is focused on identity, relations and values

Keywords : African youth; African faiths; African environment; development; missional diaconate.

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