n Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies - Deliberative public sphere - the rereading of Habermas's theory in Brazil and its significance for a public theology

Volume 43, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-9507



After considering the social and theoretical context of reception and rereading of Jürgen Habermas' concept of public sphere in sociological studies in Brazil, we engage the question about a public theology that can be developed in dialogue with his theory. Relying on the criticism of South African theologians James Cochrane and Tinyiko Maluleke against public theologies that based on Habermas reject the democratic potential of liberation theologies, we affirm that criticism and resistance are constitutive elements of democratic dialogue. This affirmation is not inconsistent with the political theory of Habermas; rather, his theory allows to identify the relevance of a public theology precisely in its connection with spheres of life in which the suffering caused by the social problems to be denounced and discussed in the public sphere are more directly perceived.

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