Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Practical Theology

First Advisor

Joel Elowsky

Scripture References in this Resource

2 Corinthians 5:17–21; Jeremiah 31:15; Genesis 1:26–27; Genesis 2:18; Genesis 11:1–9; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Romans 12:3–5; Galatians 3:28; Acts 17:26; Acts 4:12; Matthew 22:39; Luke 6:31; Mark 21:31; Galatians 6:2; Colossians 3:12-13; Romans 1:20; Romans 1:22; 1 Corinthians 1:18; John 14:8-9; Philippians 3:18; Philippians 2:6-7; Colossians 1:19–20; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Matthew 16:24; Matthew 22:37; 39; 1 Peter 2:21; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Colossians 1:21–22; 1 John 3:1; Mark 12:30–31; Romans 6:23; Romans 13:1; 2 Corinthians 5:11–21;


Shabalala, Nokukhanya, P “Truth and Reconciliation in Light of the Cross: Martin Luther’s Theology of the Cross in Relationship to the Current Ubuntu Theology of Desmond Tutu.” Master of Arts Thesis, Concordia Seminary, 2019. 97pp.

The issue of suffering in Africa has resulted in Africans attributing suffering to God’s work, ancestors’ anger and evil spirits or witchcraft’s work. This is a skewed understanding of suffering. And not only that, the suffering that has been perpetrated by the civil war has birthed the phenomenon of child soldiers resulting in Africa casting out its children. In both of these presented issues sub-Saharan Africans need to look deep into its ubuntu as a value system to find solutions for reconciliation in the region. With existing examples of reconciliation through South Africa’s restorative justice approach with their Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and Rwanda’s retributive justice approach with the Gacaca courts to borrow from for solutions, this research contends that true reconciliation between people is hard to achieve unless there has been a reconciliation with God. In providing another way for sub-Saharan Africa’s suffering, we will engage Martin Luther’s theology of the cross and two kinds of righteousness with Desmond Tutu’s ubuntu theology. Luther’s theology of the cross helps sub-Saharan Africans redefine their understanding of suffering. The two kinds of righteousness help them in understanding the vertical and horizontal relationships when it comes to forgiveness and righteousness. What this research essentially wants to point out is that forgiveness and reconciliation between the sub- Saharan communities and child soldiers, the warlords and government officials and civil war victims and perpetrators is very important but the forgiveness we should seek is God’s. As much as Africans live by ubuntu values, their understanding of ubuntu is worldly, in a sense that it only looks to the here and now, it doesn’t concern itself with the salvation of humans. Africans should be concerned about their salvation and where they will go next after this life which helps inform our role in the world now where Christ has given us a ministry of reconciliation.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.