Together towards Life and Evangelii Gaudium: Implications for African Child Theology today

Hannes Knoetze


This article contributes to the development of an African ChildTheology and will attend to the implications of Together towards Life (TTL)and Evangelii Gaudium (EG)for an African Child Theology. The article wants to answer the following question: What theological understanding is needed to indicate the distinct contribution of the African childto the understanding of the revelation history of God? The history of Christian mission, especially in Africa, has been characterised by conceptions of geographical expansion from a Christian centre, namely Europe, to the unreached territories (cf TTL 5). In the new understanding and new generation of mission, the church must focus on marginalised children as unreached territories, an essential group through which God conveys his love to the world.

In developing an African Child Theology, consideration must be given to applicable and relevant statements in TTL and EG. We live in a world with many spirits (TTL 25), where people are looking for joy, not as a relationship from within, but in the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience (EG 2). Within African Theologies, we concur with TTL (23) on our spiritual connection with creation. These three statements imply some specific African contextual considerations for a child theology. A classic understanding defines theology as a faith seeking understanding. In the African church, Father Augustines understanding takes the form, I believe in order that I may understand (Migliore 2014:2). It is in this regard that the article will look at African Child Theology as seeking a deeper understanding of Gods revelation through the hermeneutical lens of the African child.


Together towards Life (TTL); Evangelii Gaudium (EG); African Child Theology; children; youth;

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