Original Research

The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification and Social Ethics

Peter D. Langerman
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 42, No 1 | a2298 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v42i1.2298 | © 2021 Peter D. Langerman | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 May 2021 | Published: 17 September 2021

About the author(s)

Peter D. Langerman, Department of Practical Theology and Missiology, Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa


The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ) developed out of understanding of the doctrine of justification and how that doctrine relates to social ethics. The article briefly describes how the doctrine of justification and sanctification developed in various traditions and how it came to be seen in the liberal theological context of the late 19th century before a corrective in the middle of the 20th century. I examine the way in which the doctrine has been criticised by oppressed persons and how we might respond to those criticisms. Finally, a way forward is suggested that might help us to apply the significant gains of the JDDJ to the whole sphere of social ethics for us here in South Africa.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This paper seeks to integrate the work done by the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification and Systematic Theology from an historical perspective via a literature survey so as to evaluate the JDDJ’s impact on social ethics.


JDDJ; justification; sanctifications; social ethics; doctrine


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