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HTS Theological Studies

On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422


LOVE, Curtis R.. Healing the Cartesian wound: Towards a re-membering pedagogy in theological education in South Africa. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2022, vol.78, n.4, pp.1-8. ISSN 2072-8050.

A decolonial practice and understanding of education (whether theological or otherwise) requires engaging, subverting, deposing and reimagining a whole ecology of imaginaries, practices, structures, institutionalities, traditions, power asymmetries etc.: a task that is far beyond the capacities of any individual, community or even generation. Cognisant of this reality, the article foregrounds the question of pedagogy in theological education (but only as an integral part of the colonial/decolonial ecology of education) and argues that in so far as our pedagogies in theological education treat students primarily as 'thinking creatures', we are engaging in a dis-membering pedagogy that reproduces the coloniality of being. I identify a Cartesian anthropology ('ego cogito sum') - engendering a host of dualisms giving artificial supremacy to certain dimensions of reality over others - as a key animating source of dis-membering pedagogies. Drawing on the 'pedagogical excess' (i.e. underexplored pedagogical themes) in the theological anthropology of Simon Maimela in conversation with pedagogical visions that cohere and extend his anthropological commitments, I argue that a re-membering pedagogy is, at minimum: a pedagogy of performative action, embodiment and (community based) liminality. I argue throughout the article that in the work of re-sourcing our animating anthropologies and re-imagining our pedagogies, we are engaged in the healing work of re-membering that which coloniality has torn apart: theory and practice, mind and body, the individual and relationality, the student and the teacher, the theological school and society. CONTRIBUTION: This article outlines my attempts to theoretically and theologically ground (and extend) my espoused pedagogical commitments forged at the intersection of my community work and teaching as a theological educator in an undergraduate BTh programme. This article invites other theological educators to become conscious of the theological anthropology that their espoused pedagogical commitments assume and reflect on the pedagogical commitments that their theological anthropology entails, especially as it relates to the ongoing calls for the Africanisation/decolonisation of theological education in South Africa.

Keywords : pedagogy; coloniality of being; black; african; theological anthropology; theological education; colonialism; black theology; Simon Maimela.

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