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Re-placing Stewardship? Towards an Ethics of Responsible Care

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The churches' doctrine of stewardship has featured as both a blessing and bane for their engagement in public life to overcome economic ambiguities in contemporary society. This article discusses various critiques that are levelled at the stewardship impulse as well as some fundamental principles that should direct the churches toward an enlargement of their stewardship paradigms in ways that equip the churches for a more responsible stewardship ethic within their moral spaces. The promise of an ethics of responsible care is finally proposed as a means by which the theological resourcefulness and public impact of this biblically significant albeit controversial notion could be potentially advanced. As such it argues for repositioning the meaning and practice of stewardship in ways that better reflect its ethos of responsible care amidst economic challenges in public life.

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Theology, University of Stellenbosch, 171 Dorp Street, Stellenbosch 7600, Republic of South Africa;, Email:


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