Youth emancipation and theologies of domination, resistance, assistance, and prosperity
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This essay describes the role that religion has played in South Africa and the Global South's struggle for freedom from the domination of colonial Christianity and from colonial oppression more generally. It does so by describing the nature of God and of human relationships in Indigenous African religion and the philosophy of ubuntu/botho and its clash with colonial Christianity of the 18th to 20th centuries. In the 1960s-1980s with the emergence of Black Theology, liberation Theologies, and the Black Consciousness Movement there was a liberating turn, led by young people and young theologians, that resulted in political freedom. However, in the early 21st century, these gains of religion as emancipation have been eroded as Christian faith, and young people, have embraced prosperity and reconstruction theology, which has had the effect of diluting the role that religious faith can play in bringing about emancipation and social justice for the many young people of the Global South who practice religious faith in numbers that exceed that of their Global North counterparts.