Original Research

Christian anthropology and the National Development Plan: The role of personhood

John S. Klaasen
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 51, No 1 | a2264 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v51i1.2264 | © 2017 John S. Klaasen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 May 2017 | Published: 29 September 2017

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John S. Klaasen, Department of Religion and Theology, University of the Western Cape, South Africa

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This article is an attempt to analyse and assess the use of personal responsibility in the National Development Plan (NDP). Some signposts that Christian anthropology can make to the enhancement of the plan will then be suggested. An overview of the development debate will include the development debate after the two world wars, the church and state attempts for social transformation and the contributions of Korten and Sen who represent the peoplecentred and capability approaches. It will be followed by a Christian anthropology that is characterised by personhood and personal responsibility. The fact that constructive and sustainable development is embedded in personal integrity and responsibility will be argued. The NDP acknowledged the shortcomings of the previous attempts by both state and church, and the global development debate. Instead of exclusive economic development, human capital and human capabilities are integral to development. Christian anthropology embeds responsibility within personhood and the two form part of an integral whole.


Responsibility; National Development Plan; Christian anthropology; Korten; Sen; Personhood


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