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Verbum et Ecclesia

On-line version ISSN 1609-9982

Abstract

DE BEER, Stephanus F.. Demythologising social cohesion: Towards a practical theological vision. Verbum Eccles. (Online) [online]. 2014, vol.35, n.2, pp. 1-12. ISSN 1609-9982.

This article considers the topical issue of social cohesion. It seeks to demythologise the issue bringing it into critical conversation with eight related categories. It proposes that a vision of a socially cohesive society should employ all eight categories as parallel and complementary strategies. Secondly, it proposes a practical theological vision of social cohesion that will not only embrace these eight categories but will root itself in a spirituality of the table, informed by a vision of the oikos of God, seeking shalom in the oikos and doing so through four strategic moments of engagement. INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: This article indicates that social cohesion requires an integrated approach of different strategies, not competing but complementing each other. Social cohesion requires interdisciplinary, intradisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and action. For example, exploring ways in which land redistribution inhibits or contributes to social cohesion requires multiple stakeholders and disciplines discerning together. The proposed practical theological vision implies new categories to be included in curricula and practical theological discourse for it to contribute meaningfully not only to the current debate but also to practices fostering a socially cohesive society.

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