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Verbum et Ecclesia

On-line version ISSN 2074-7705
Print version ISSN 1609-9982

Verbum Eccles. (Online) vol.30 n.2 Pretoria  2009 



Being thought from beyond our borders: Towards ethical global citizenship



Johann-Albrecht Meylahn

Department of Practical Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa





This article is a response to the challenge of global citizenship in an age of global crisis. Citizenship has to do with where one feels 'at home', namely the space that gifts identity and life. What kind of narrative is necessary to transform global space into a home from where we can go beyond our borders to embrace the other in multidisciplinary research or interfaith praxis? The different models for multidisciplinary research1 are made possible by the idea that research seeks that which is beyond its borders. This search could be a common space where the different traditions can accommodate one another, but it is not a home. The dominant discourse of this common space is to seek commonality and identities across borders while being aware of but ignoring differences - identity at the expense of differences. A home founded on identity at the expense of difference will always exclude. Theology can either be interpreted as thinking beyond the borders toward the Divine, or the Divine thinking us. The Exodus, the Incarnation and the Cross are all narratives of the Other crossing borders, liberating from boundaries, deconstructing the laws and norms that exclude. The religious traditions of these sacred narratives have something to offer, namely: to be thought by the Other, to receive life and (alien) identity from the Other, the gift of a home which is continuously deconstructed by the home still to come, therefore always open for the Other.

Keywords: identity; Other; deconstruction; postmodernism; subjectivity



Full text available only in PDF format.




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Johann-Albrecht Meylahn
P O Box 14885, Lyttelton
0140, South Africa

Received: 12 Aug. 2008
Accepted: 20 Oct. 2008
Published: 25 Sept. 2009

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