In this article the most relevant features of South African society and the most
important challenges Public Theology is faced with in this context are
discussed. The most basic challenge identified is to reach agreement on the
most appropriate notion of Public Theology. It is also necessary for Public
Theology to help the churches and their members to overcome their
uncertainty about the Christian assessment of the democratic dispensation in
South Africa and the transformation policies introduced by the government.
The development of an inspiring vision of the public role churches should play
in South African society is identified as another important challenge.
Churches would however, only be able to play an effective prophetic and
constructive role in society if they embody the vision of a better society they
proclaim and in this way serve as models of a better society. Public Theology is
challenged to call the churches to be faithful to this vision and to prophetically
criticise them when they are unfaithful to it.