Diversity in a Multicultural and Poly-Ethnic World: Challenges and Responses

In: Religion and Theology
Cornél W. Du Tott Research Institute for Religion and Theology University of South Africa PO. Box 392, Pretoria, 0003 Republic of South Africa

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Multiculturalism characterises today's world. The diversity of cultures and conflicting ethnic groups sharing the same territory pose a threat to local and world peace. We have come to the end of the nation' as well as the end of the 'state'homogeneous entities that are increasingly emasculated by instrumental reason qua techno-science and economic globalisation. Ethnic diversity is simultaneously a wealth and threat to African societies. African unity in the form of an ubuntu ethic offers a model to deal, with polyethnicity. Ethnocentrism is biologically rooted and operates through prejudice. Prejudice as a coping mechanism to deal with diversity has its value and limitations. It must be contained where it issues in xenophobia, ethnophobia and war. Polyethnic co-existence is a prerequisite for Africa to attain its developmental ideals as expressed in the NEPAD programme. The way in which ethno-philosophy and ethno-theology can aid this process is looked at.

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