Original Research

Zambezi Evangelical Church’s role in addressing poverty in Malawi: A public practical theological reflection

Vhumani Magezi, Patrick Nanthambwe
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 56, No 1 | a2894 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v56i1.2894 | © 2022 Vhumani Magezi, Patrick Nanthambwe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 July 2022 | Published: 09 December 2022

About the author(s)

Vhumani Magezi, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Patrick Nanthambwe, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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Abstract

The high poverty levels in Malawi are a cause of concern resulting in many questions being asked. Among these questions is what role the faith communities can play to meaningfully contribute towards addressing this. Importantly, these high poverty levels challenge the church to reflect on the following questions: Beyond the clerical paradigm, what role can the church play in poor communities? How can the church effectively contribute to addressing the challenge of poverty? Thus, using the case of Malawi, in this article is considered the role that the church can perform to address public social issues. It reflects on literature and empirical data that were collected from the Zambezi Evangelical Church in Malawi to assess the role that the church has been playing to address poverty in the country. The article concludes by suggesting ways that the Malawian church could consider strengthening its role in addressing poverty.

Contribution: Through using an empirical approach, this article provides insight into the contribution that churches can make to address poverty. It locates such a ministerial approach as an endeavour in public practical theology that could be employed effectively on congregational level.


Keywords

public practical theology; church and public issues; church and society; practical theology; Zambezi Evangelical Church; poverty in Malawi

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