Science of Religion and Missiology at the Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria: Historical overview, theological discourses and future possibilities

Cornelius J. Niemandt, Jaco Beyers
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 38, No 4 | a1663 | DOI: | © 2017 Cornelius J. Niemandt, Jaco Beyers | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 June 2016 | Published: 20 December 2017

About the author(s)

Cornelius J. Niemandt, Department of Science of Religion and Missiology, Faculty of Theology University of Pretoria, South Africa
Jaco Beyers, Department of Science of Religion and Missiology, Faculty of Theology University of Pretoria, South Africa

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The history and contributions of the Department Science of Religion and Missiology at the UP have been described with a particular focus on a discussion of the understanding of both disciplines. In the case of Science of Religion, the research covers theological discourses in the discipline, attending to issues such as secularisation as well as Theology of Religions. It is argued that, in future, Science of Religion will continue to contribute to three areas of concern, namely studying religions, secularisation and theology of religion and religions. The section concludes with a brief overview of future contributions by the Department. Missiology is defined in terms of current insights in the discipline against the background of the decline in mission studies at many universities. The research argues for Missiology to be an intrinsic part of Theology. The following discourses in Missiology are noted, namely flourishing life, ecological justice, the role of the Holy Spirit in the missio Dei, missional church, contextualisation and indigenisation, and mission from the margins. Past and future contributions from the Department are described. This includes an argument for the change of the name of the Department to the Department of Religion Studies. In terms of future developments, research into flourishing life as well as deep incarnation are noted as exciting new possibilities.


Science of Religion; Secularization; Theology of Religion; Theology of Religions; inter-religious; Missiology; Ecological justice; contextualisation; marginalization; reconciliation


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