The human dilemma of displacement: Towards a practical theology and ecclesiology of home

Volume editor
Alfred R. Brunsdon


In this book social responsive theological research converges to provide practical theological and ecclesiological perspectives on the growing human dilemma of displacement. The book presents the research of practical theologians, a missiologist and a religious practitioner whose work pertains first and foremost to the (South) African context. The different fields of expertise of the contributors within the broader field of practical theology worked towards a unique compilation of themes, each relevant to the issue at stake. The majority of chapters are theoretically orientated, except where authors refer to empirical work conducted during previous research.

The main contribution of this collaborative work is to be sought in the practical theological and ecclesiological perspectives it provides. It engages the critical questions of what kind of church we need, and what kind of care we should provide in the face of the growing predicament of human displacement. The theological and theoretical principles uncovered in the different chapters will be of use to theologians from all theological subdisciplines, as well as to religious practitioners and leaders of faith communities that are challenged with the growing realities of strangers on their doorsteps and in their pews.


  • Chapter 1
    On Becoming a ‘Streetwise Home-Church’ within the Dynamics of Social Coexistence. Reforming ‘Cathedral Ecclesiologies’ within the Migrant Dilemma of Human Displacement
    Daniël Louw
  • Chapter 2
    Negotiating nostalgia: A pastoral reflection on the notion of “home” within the context of displacement on the African continent
    Alfred R. Brunsdon
  • Chapter 3
    Complexities of migration challenges in South Africa and a theological perspective: the Good Samaritan framework
    Christopher Magezi
  • Chapter 4
    Towards understanding migrants’ coping mechanisms and development of an operative ecclesiology as church care response: home away from home migrants church care
    Vhumani Magezi
  • Chapter 5
    Evaluating ‘prophecy’ as a South African neo-pentecostal pastoral response to the challenges of xenophobia
    Marius Nel
  • Chapter 6
    The plight of unaccompanied migrant children in South Africa: A challenge to a practical theology and ecclesiology of home
    Hannelie Yates, Sinenhlanhla S. Chisale
  • Chapter 7
    A life beyond iron bars: creating a space of dignity and hope for the displaced father in prison
    Fazel E. Freeks
  • Chapter 8
    Migrants missio Dei and the church in South Africa
    Johannes J. Knoetze, Paul Verryn
  • Chapter 9
    A pastoral encounter with the stranger: the basic ambivalence of hostility to hospitality inherent to the human response
    Amanda L. Du Plessis
  • Chapter 10
    Embracing compassion, hospitality, forgiveness and reconciliation: The quest for peaceful living in the human displacement crisis
    Rudy A. Denton


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