Original Research

Spiritual freedom and development in Africa: A theological perspective

Frederick Kakwata
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 56, No 1 | a2855 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v56i1.2855 | © 2022 Frederick Kakwata | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 March 2022 | Published: 21 September 2022

About the author(s)

Frederick Kakwata, Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


Numerous studies have shown that freedom is a constituent component and provided the principal ends of countries’ development and socio-economic well-being. However, the emphasis was placed on the physical aspects of freedom that foster development. The spiritual dimension is frequently conspicuously lacking in such interventions. Therefore, the current study postulated that development depends not only on physical aspects of freedom but also on spiritual determinants. This article is a rhetorical criticism. The author utilised the argumentation discourse and dialectical approach as the methodological framework. It sought to explore the concept of spiritual freedom and its possible implications for development within an African context of poverty. Therefore, this article proffers a fresh insight into the theological discourse in contemporary Africa to inspire further scholarly investigations into this area of research.

Contribution: This research investigated the role of spiritual freedom in development. The analytical framework’s applicability resulted in fresh discoveries and crucial findings on the potential impact of spiritual freedom on development. It is essentially the study’s key contribution. As such, the study may be used as a theoretical foundation for further investigation and applicability. This study aimed to offer a scholarly contribution by exploring characteristics of spiritual freedom that promote development using this interpretative technique that draws and improves on well-established paradigms of development studies. Furthermore, this research creates an uncommon blend of rhetorical critique, argumentative discourse, and dialectical and biblical-theological approaches toward giving a perspectival interpretation with special implications for the African context.


spiritual freedom; inner freedom; outer freedom; Africa development; theological perspective


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