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  • Author or Editor: Johannes N. Vorster x
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Abstract

The objective of the article is to legitimise studies concerned with religion within a radically changed perspective on the university. It is argued that if studies concerning religion are located in an interactional philosophy of meaning instead of continuing in an objectivistic philosophy of meaning, they participate naturally in disciplinary conversations conducted in a university set upon social engagement. Both the field ofreligion and the university have been approached from the theoretical perspective of rhetoric. The first part of the article explores the 'symbolic construction of social reality', and functions as a theoretical point of departure on which the argumentation of the following two sections, entitled 'From a "Uni"-versity to a "Multi"-versity' and 'The study of Religion in the university of dissensus', elaborates. It is indicated that the demise ofa unifying principle emanating from the modern university requires a shift from constative structures of meaning to performative structures of meaning, enabling the university to be yet another locus in a heterogeneous society where discourses of knowledge can be produced and exchanged. The final section argues that if the rhetoricity of religious discourses is recognised and acknowledged, the field of study not only expands, but the university of dissensus becomes the appropriate site for this exchange of knowledge.

In: Religion and Theology

Abstract

To what extent did early Christian martyr stories function as empowering the female body and contributing to an independent view of her 'self' and 'identity'? In the light of claims made, often motivated by political correctness, that certain early Christian traditions acknowledged, appreciated and promoted woman's agency in Graeco-Roman social interaction, it is argued that if the notion of a 'regulatory body' is taken into consideration, early Christian female bodies and identities were crushed both by the Roman Imperium and early Christian patriarchal leadership.

In: Religion and Theology

Abstract

To what extent did early Christian martyr stories function as empowering the female body and contributing to an independent view of her 'self' and 'identity'? In the light of claims, often motivated by political correctness, that certain early Christian traditions acknowledged, appreciated and promoted woman's agency in Graeco-Roman social interaction, it is argued that if the notion of a 'regulatory body' is taken into consideration, early Christian female bodies and identities were crushed both by the Roman Imperium and early Christian patriarchal leadership.

In: Religion and Theology

In the construction of spatiality, “partitioning” (as Foucault would have it), or the formation of the “enclosure,” allows not only for the production of an object of knowledge, but prompted by the regulative procedures of a social order, also invests spaces with an almost inherent valorisation. The relations of power active in the production of demarcated space, not only allows for the disciplined production of knowledge within the boundaries of the enclosure, but it also enacts the principle of hierarchy, rendering some parts of more value than others, evoking reasons for boundaries, evaluating types of movement and mobility, thereby reproducing social order. How a version of an interior body was embedded within a rhetoric of spatiality in antiquity is the objective of this essay. The point of departure is not a pre-discursive interior body upon which a rhetoric of spatiality has been inscribed, but an already rhetorically constructed object of knowledge in interaction with a rhetoric of spatiality. Besides exploring the interaction of bodily and spatial rhetoric with reference to specific prominent issues in the Dei Opificio Dei of Lactantius, the question whether a version of Roman masculinity tropologically functions as proposal for the construction of social order is also posed.

In: Religion and Theology

Abstract

Relocation implies recontextualisation. If the academic study of religion is to exploit its full potential, it needs to engage in conversation operating with similar terminologies. In this article it is argued that a critical awareness be developed for totalising terminologies; vestiges from a confessional or theological approach, that a sensitivity should be cultivated which could move away from a sui generis attitude. Guidelines for such a conversation are proposed.

In: Religion and Theology

Abstract

The role of religious language in the activities of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is analysed in this study. The (Christian) religious rhetoric is a limiting factor with regard to the possibilities and/or contribution of the TRC by fashioning a dichotomising discourse and terminology. It also imposes constraints, visible in the TRC's dealings with concepts such as truth, responsibility and causation. This discourse is, furthermore, an assistant to a formalistic way of arguing about history and humanity, which problematises the plurality and heterogeneity of our society.

In: Religion and Theology