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HTS Theological Studies

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


NGCOBO, Themba E.  and  MASHAU, Thinandavha D.. The agency of the church during COVID-19 and beyond: Koinonia and ubuntu in the context of poverty and unemployment in South Africa. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2022, vol.78, n.4, pp.1-8. ISSN 2072-8050.

The spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) disrupted, affected and changed human lives in many ways, namely: physically, emotionally, financially, psychologically and spiritually. Apart from people losing their lives and the lives of loved ones, others lost their jobs in numbers. Poverty levels and unemployment increased during this period. In order to mitigate the devastating effects of COVID-19, the South African government introduced a relief grant. As we welcome this gesture of goodwill by government, it is argued in this article that the church in every given locality and from every denomination should serve as the agency of change in order to alleviate poverty and unemployment in South Africa. The research question that this article seeks to address is: What role can the church play as a change agent in the context of poverty and unemployment in South Africa? Whilst qualitative literature study is undertaken to unpack issues of COVID-19, poverty, unemployment and church agency, this article is also approached from a broader missiological framework. Tapping into the resourcefulness of the early Christian church koinonia and the African concept of ubuntu, the article locates the church as an agent of change not only as a way of ending poverty and unemployment in South Africa, but also as a way meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 1 (UN SDG1). CONTRIBUTION: It is therefore the aim of this article not only to call for the agency of the church but to also demonstrate that Christian koinonia as a lived experience of the early Christian church and African ubuntu philosophy can serve as tools for the church to bring about transformation

Keywords : church; change; agency; COVID-19; koinonia; ubuntu.

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