Nico Botha and Missiology: Quest for Narrative Approach

John Klaasen, Demaine Solomons


This article represents the scholarly journeys of two emerging researchers who are greatly indebted to the scholarship and personhood of Professor Nico Botha. Professor Nico Botha’s narrative approach to life in general and the academy had a lasting impact on many emerging and some now established scholars. John and Demaine’s own ecclesial and academic journey has been inspired by the person and work of Professor Nico Botha. Our interest in missiology developed into our academic careers, and more specifically when we joined the Southern African Missiological Society. In this article, they fuse their journeys with that of Nico. They draw out the similarities and differences of some common themes that seem to inform our academic scholarship and our own commitment to nurture the “other” with care and compassion. Three themes have captured our imagination in our interaction with the person and work of Nico. Firstly, Nico had a strong commitment towards the poor and marginalized. Secondly, over the past decade or so, Nico has been developing a narrative theology, or, at least, a narrative approach to theology. Stories include both biblical accounts and contemporary narration of real-life situations. This second theme will be correlated with a narrative approach to theology that includes critical engagement with reason, tradition, and community. The third theme is the pastoral and praxis cycle approach to development that Nico has employed throughout his academic career. The pastoral and praxis cycle approach has four interactionist stages: insertion, social analysis, biblical interpretation, and strategic planning. The pastoral and praxis cycle approach will be compared and contrasted with the four-stage interactionist approach of Don Browning. Finally, they will offer some contours and markers for further development of Nico’s theology of missiology.


Nico Botha, narrative, marginalised, poor, missiology, migrants

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