Original Research

The cultural aspect in the contextualisation of pastoral caregiving ministry

Amanda L. du Plessis
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 51, No 2 | a2236 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v51i2.2236 | © 2017 Amanda L. du Plessis | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 January 2017 | Published: 31 July 2017

About the author(s)

Amanda L. du Plessis, Department of Theology, North-West University, South Africa


Due to the political changes during the last three decades in South Africa, many voices raised for the post-colonializing of sciences. This is also applicable to the pastoral caregiving ministry. Although the science of pastoral caregiving in South Africa has developed into an authentic recognised science, it seems as if the development followed in the fashion of the Western context and the call for the contextualising of pastoral caregiving for all the people of South Africa was mostly ignored. It was only at the end of the 20th century that the concept of interculturality emerged to indicate that such an approach could be more appropriate that an incultural approach. Since then many scholars wrestles with the aspect of culture in the contextualising of pastoral care and the challenge of staying true to the Word of God. In this regard, the research question concentrates on the interwovenness between the Christian faith and the different cultures of the people of South Africa: How can pastoral caregiving be contextualised in the different cultures of South Africa while staying true to God’s gospel. The central theoretical argument is that the contextualising of pastoral care rest on hermeneutical principles that form a bridge between the Bible text and its application in the circumstances and needs of the people of South Africa. The article unfolds by looking at the compatibility and/or incompatibility of Western and African cultures, the effect of monocultural ethnocentric bias, and concludes with the principles of a Christian culture and its implications for the pastoral caregiving process of addressing certain challenges in people’s experiences of life.


Pastoral ministry; Transformation; Intercultural; post-colonializing; Contextualizing


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Crossref Citations

1. Hybridisation as a Normal Process of Life: A Contribution to the “Ukuthwasa” Conversation within the Methodist Church of Southern Africa
Jacob Mokhutso
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