n Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies - Homelessness and human dignity in the City of Tshwane : an encounter with personhood




Human dignity is a multifaceted, inter-disciplinary and cross-cultural topic in all ages. However, it has gained most interest and attention after the experiences of World War Two. In Africa (as with other countries), it is one of the most important questions to ask, especially in the era of post-colonialism. Africans should be able to define the question, "Who are we?" by looking through African lenses rather than repeating what has been described by the West. In this case, the vulnerable and marginalised people like the homeless of the City of Tshwane and of other cities should be given a platform on which they can make their contribution. The marginalised should be able to inform the prominent (or scholars) about how they view their situation as homeless people and how that translates into an understanding of human dignity. In this encounter, human dignity would be more contextually understood, explained and applied. Therefore, the task of the church would be to understand that human dignity is encountered as we meet and interact with people from different backgrounds, not a tag attached to personal achievements or success.


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