In Racial Integration in the Church of Apartheid Marthe Hesselmans uncovers the post-apartheid transformation of South Africa’s Dutch Reformed Church. This church once constituted the religious pillar of the Afrikaner apartheid regime (1948-1994). Today, it seeks to unite the communities it long segregated into one multiracial institution. Few believe this will succeed. A close look inside congregations reveals unexpected stories of reconciliation though. Where South Africans realize they need each other to survive, faith offers common ground – albeit a feeble one. They show the potential, but also the limits of faith communities untangling entrenched national and racial affiliations. Linking South Africa’s post-apartheid transition to religious-nationalist movements worldwide, Hesselmans offers a unique perspective on religion as source of division and healing.
Reason and Passions in Political Thought
A purely political framework does not capture the complexity of the culture behind Italians’ struggle for liberty and independence during the Risorgimento (1815-1861). Roberto Romani identifies the sensibilities associated with each of the two main political programmes, Mazzini’s republicanism and moderatism, which in fact were comprehensive projects for a political, moral, and religious resurgence. The moderates’ espousal of reason entailed an ideal personality expressed by private virtue, self-possession, and a public morality informed by Catholicism, while Mazzini’s advocacy of passions led to ‘enthusiasm’ and a total commitment to the cause. Romani demonstrates that the patriots’ moral quest rested on a thick cultural bedrock, dating back to Stoicism and the Catholic Aufklärung, and passing through Rousseau and the Revolution.