Linking liberation Theology and community development: An engagement of the United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe | Maposa | Nova Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

Linking liberation Theology and community development: An engagement of the United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe

Richard S. Maposa


The world over, there is a religious dimension to development and reconstruction in communities. The study is guided by the following questions: Can doing theology exert an influence on developmental packages or being involved in development affect our theology? Must theology and development be done separately or is there a single process that we can call 'doing theology and development’? The study attempts to answer these critical questions by examining the experiences of the United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe (hereafter, UCCZ) among the Ndau people located in southeastern Zimbabwe The UCCZ understood its mission through a number of community projects meant to uplift the quality of life of the indigenous Nadu people. The study argues that community development that is people-centered and geostatic in ethos stands to function towards the regeneration of humanity. Accordingly, the churches, as the voice of the voiceless in society, should strive be informed by the prophetic theologies of liberation and reconstruction when engaged in sustainable developmental packages for communities. The study will utilize the poly-methodic approach that blends the phenomenological, historical and theological methods to configure how the faith-based development can transform communities in the Zimbabwean context. The study is convinced that the churches can do better to serve the grassroots people if they work together with the government under the auspices of the ecumenical movement to re-situate the values of justice, accountability, stability and integral development in communities. These ideals carry universal acclamation for liberation theology today.

Key Words: Community, Development, Liberation Theology, Ndau People, UCCZ 

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DOI Prefix: 10.20286