Just faith: Glocal responses to planetary urbanization

Volume editor
Stephan de Beer


The purpose of this scholarly book is to expand the body of knowledge available on urban theology. It introduces readers to the concept of planetary urbanisation, with the view of deepening an understanding of urbanisation and its all-pervasive impact on the planet, people and places from a theological perspective. A critical theological reading of ‘the urban’ is also provided, deliberating on bridging the divide between voices from the Global South and the Global North. In doing so, this book simultaneously seeks out robust and dynamic faith constructs expressed in various forms and embodiments of justice. The methodology chosen transcended narrow disciplinary boundaries, situating reflections between and across disciplines in the interface between scholarly reflection and an activist faith, as well as between local rootedness and global connectedness. This was facilitated by the collected gathering of authors, spanning all continents, various Christian faith traditions and multiple disciplines, as well as a range of methodological approaches.

The book endeavours to contribute to knowledge production in a number of ways. Firstly, it suggests the inadequacy of most dominant faith expressions in the face of all-pervasive forces of urbanisation, and it also provides clues as to the possibility of fostering potent alternative imaginaries. Secondly, it explores a decolonial faith that is expressed in various forms of justice. It is an attempt to offer concrete embodiments of what such a faith could look like in the context of planetary urbanisation. Thirdly, the book does not focus on one specific urban challenge or mode of ministry but rather introduces the concept of planetary urbanisation and then offers critical lenses with which to interrogate its consequences and challenges. It considers concrete and liberating faith constructs in areas ranging from gender, race, economic inequality, solidarity economics and housing to urban violence, indigeneity and urbanisation, the interface between economic and environmental sustainability, and grass-roots theological education.


  • Chapter 1
    Just faith and planetary urbanisation
    Stephan de Beer
  • Chapter 2
    Eco-critical imagination, indigenous political liberation and white settler decolonisation: ‘Animating’ accountability as the city congeals and the heat rises
    James W Perkinson
  • Chapter 3
    Babaylan healing and indigenous ‘religion’ at the Postcolonial crossroads: Learning from our deep history as the planet grows apocalyptic
    S Lily Mendoza
  • Chapter 4
    Guatemalan grass-roots theology as resistance to global sacrificial theology
    Joel Aguilar
  • Chapter 5
    Households of freedom? Faith’s role in challenging gendered geographies of violence in our cities
    Selina Palm, Elisabet le Roux
  • Chapter 6
    Churches, urban geographies and contested immigration in the United States
    R Drew Smith
  • Chapter 7
    Dwelling as just faith: Migrant housing, precarity and the activities of faith-based organisations in Tshwane and Atlanta
    Adrian J Bailey, Stephan de Beer, Katherine Hankins
  • Chapter 8
    The informal God: Outside schools of theology
    Sheth O Oguok, Colin Smith
  • Chapter 9
    At many tables of discernment: Faith and shalom in the polis
    Andre van Eymeren
  • Chapter 10
    Innovative faith in an urban planet: The use of e-trading platforms between the urban and rural poor in the Philippines – a case study
    Benigno P Beltran


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