AT 2017 Supplementum 25

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  • ItemOpen Access
    The politics of liturgy between tradition and modernity in South Africa
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2017) Rossouw, J.
    How can Catherine Pickstock’s statement that “Traditional communities governed by liturgical patterns are likely to be the only source of resistance to capitalist and bureaucratic norms today” be interpreted in contemporary South Africa in such a way that justice and recognition are upheld? I propose to answer this question in the following four steps. First, the notion of liturgy with reference to politics will be briefly discussed. Second, modernity as an ongoing liturgical disruption, in general, and more particularly in South Africa will be discussed. Third, South Africa as a country between tradition and modernity will be addressed. In conclusion, some proposals for the facilitation of a liturgical politics in modernity, in general, and in South Africa, in particular, will be made. These proposals will be concerned with a plea for the province, the contemplative church and the contemplative university.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Radical orthodoxy and protestantism today: John Milbank in conversation
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2017) Milbank, J.
    This rough guide provides Prof. Milbank’s answers to questions from Sven Grosse for a conference, in German, held in Basel, Switzerland in 2017. This written interview will be published in German, but Prof. Milbank has kindly offered Acta Theologica the exclusive publication of this interview in English. It should be read along with the interview with Profs Milbank and Ward published in this Supplementum of Acta Theologica. What follows is not an ordinary academic paper. Instead, it is a polemical summary designed to give a general idea of Radical Orthodoxy (RO) in terms of its origins, main ideas, milieu and general cultural “feel”. If a great deal is mentioned about past thinkers and genealogies of the modern, it is not because RO thinkers suppose that this is at the heart of the modern, but rather because rival, liberal theological outlooks often, in part, depend, either openly or covertly, on stories about the past and the readings of some crucial thinkers. “Telling a different story” is then crucial to any genuinely subversive theological proposal. The majority of the stories I shall tell are based on scholarly research on RO, much thereof generally accepted by experts, if not always well disseminated. It is rather my “take” on these stories and their historical and contemporary implications that are most debatable and controversial.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Reassembling and remembering: the politics of reconciliation in South Africa
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2017) Kruger, J.
    This article proposes that the work of the French sociologist of science, Bruno Latour, that conceptualises the political process in a highly pluralist society, can provide a useful starting point for a discussion on the politics of reconciliation. It is especially Latour’s suggestion of an object-oriented politics that will be explored and applied to the South African situation. Subsequently, however, it is argued that Latour’s politics of “reassembling” should be complemented by a politics of remembering. The latter notion is understood in a Platonic-Augustinian fashion – following the interpretation of the contemporary philosophical-theological movement of Radical Orthodoxy – as a diffuse recognition of the other within the self, whereby the politics of reconciliation is, in an important sense, broadened to encompass the interior, psychic and, ultimately, spiritual aspects of the relation between the self and the other. The paper concludes with some remarks on the role of the church as the narrative embodiment of reconciliation conceived as reassembling ánd remembering.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Tradition, modernism, and apartheid
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2017) Goosen, D.
    In this article it is argued that apartheid, as idea-historical phenomenon, needs to be understood against the background of a short comparison between modern and premodern thought. Apartheid was, in many respects, a theoretical and practical manifestation of modernism. As such, it was by no means a modern anomaly, or a phenomenon that contradicted the fundamental assumptions of modern philosophical and political thought. The first section of this article addresses only a single aspect of traditional thought, namely the idea of being understood as circular event. Traditional thought understood being as emanating from, and returning to a first principle, namely the Good (Plato), the One (Plotinus), or God (Aquinas). The ensuing section discusses only a single aspect of modernism, namely its understanding of being not as circular event, but as a neutral, spatial, and linear grid upon which reality can be mapped. Once mapped on such a grid, according to modernism, being can be experienced as a “standing reserve” (or as an always available resource) to be controlled and used at will by the modern subject. In the third section of this article, it is argued that apartheid was made possible by the above ontological presupposition. According to the apartheid state, being could, in principle, be spatialised on a neutral grid, and thus directed and controlled from the vantage point of the sovereign subject. The concluding section focuses on the much-discredited community, the Afrikaners. Despite disclaimers among Afrikaners, the heavy burden of the apartheid legacy rests squarely on their shoulders. However, it will also be argued that Afrikaners, if given the opportunity, may provide us in future with important examples of a politics that moves beyond the spatialising and geometrising ambitions of the modern state. In a hermeneutical re-appropriation of their own pre-modern tradition, Afrikaners may, in collaboration with other communities, help show a way toward a traditional politics of place (rather than the modern politics of space).
  • ItemOpen Access
    Radical orthodoxy: its ecumenical vision
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2017) Ward, G.
    The first book in the Series Radical Orthodoxy (RO) was not meant to be programmatic or set out to change the direction of modern theology. There are certain shared sensibilities among its authors and, principally, an ecumenical vision. This article sketches the nature of that ecumenical vision that begins with the way in which secularism has enabled Christians to look beyond their own denominational borders and even share resources. This is bottom-up ecumenism nurtured by multiple belonging and a global understanding of Christianities that has helped “de-colonize” theology and rethink political theology. RO, it is argued, can be a resource for the South African de-colonization of Christian theology. In its critiques of modernity and secular reasoning, RO points the way towards doing theology in, through and beyond traditional and disciplinary boundaries – but South Africa has to make it its own.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Radical orthodoxy - panel discussion between Profs Graham Ward, Johan Milbank, Danie Goosen and Dr Jaco Kruger
    (Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, 2017) Goosen, D.; Kruger, J.
    Abstract not available