SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.75 número1Reflecting on our past: Reconciling a divided nation through listening índice de autoresíndice de materiabúsqueda de artículos
Home Pagelista alfabética de revistas  

Servicios Personalizados



Links relacionados

  • En proceso de indezaciónCitado por Google
  • En proceso de indezaciónSimilares en Google



versión On-line ISSN 2304-8557
versión impresa ISSN 0023-270X


GRIFFIOEN, S.. B.J. van der Walt's concentration problem. Koers (Online) [online]. 2010, vol.75, n.1, pp.1-13. ISSN 2304-8557.

This contribution probes the concept of secularism, a key notion of B.J. van der Walt's "Transforming power" (2007). It is found that Van der Walt's interpretation of secularism rests on a double assumption. The first assumption is that human nature is intrinsically religious. Humans cannot live without putting their trust in something. The second is that this religious nature manifests itself in "concentrated" ways, rather than dispersing itself over a plurality of objects. These assumptions in tandem explain why Van der Walt holds the view that atheism, agnosticism and even overt indifference in matters of faith are at heart propelled by convictions that share the main features of positive religions. It also explains why he assumes that all these convictions tend towards one and the same goal: to gain dominance in the public realm. This article is sympathetic towards the first assumption, and skeptical towards the second. It is argued that the "concentration-thesis" fails to do justice to world and life-views that obviously do not claim total allegiance. To illustrate this point it turns to the phenomenon of "multiple religious participation", as well as to different strands within contemporary humanism. It concludes that the main problem may well be that secular culture has little to offer to satisfy the innate religious drive in humankind. Finally, an attempt is made to amend the notion of secularism in such a way as to steer clear from "Konsequenzmacherei".

Palabras clave : concentration-theme: reformational philosophy; human nature as intrinsically religious; humanism as a religion; secularisation theory; secularism.

        · resumen en Holandés     · texto en Holandés     · Holandés ( pdf )


Creative Commons License Todo el contenido de esta revista, excepto dónde está identificado, está bajo una Licencia Creative Commons