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HTS Theological Studies

On-line version ISSN 2072-8050

Abstract

VAN WYK, Tanya. Church as heterotopia. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2014, vol.70, n.1, pp. 1-7. ISSN 2072-8050.

This article reflects on an ecclesiastical institution as a spatial panoptic structure which domesticates representational space as a hierarchy of power devoid of a sensitivity for the 'human Other' (Autrui). The notion of heterotopia is promoted to deconstruct spatiality and linearity (time) as theological binary concepts. Being church as heterotopia does not deny the desire for the utopian dimension in religious thinking but holds on to utopian thinking amidst adversity and diversity. Therefore the concept of heterotopia is used to describe reconciliatory diversity, which is characteristic of an inclusive postmodern church which is a space where unity is not threatened by diversity, where the one is not afraid of the Other.

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