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Verbum et Ecclesia

versão On-line ISSN 2074-7705
versão impressa ISSN 1609-9982

Verbum Eccles. (Online) vol.32 no.2 Pretoria  2011 



Overcoming modernity's individualism: Becoming a community of peace in the face of violence



Andrew G. Suderman

Department Dogmatics and Christian Ethics, University of Pretoria, South Africa





Modernity's understanding of the primacy of the individual represents a significant challenge to a holistic understanding of the vocation of the church. Furthermore, individualism, that is the understanding of oneself as separate and apart from others, is often the foundation for violence against the other as the interconnectivity, and therefore the dependence and vulnerability inherent within a relationship, is lost. When the church is relegated to serve individuals as private and individualised belief systems, it is banished to a cold, dark cell of isolation. In order to respond to violence, the church needs to create communities that restore and reconcile relationships, thus embodying peace.



Full text available only in PDF format.




Competing interests

The author declares that he has no financial or personal relationship(s) which may have inappropriately influenced him in writing this article.



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Andrew Suderman
PO Box 100594, Scottsville
3209 Pietermaritzburg
South Africa

Received: 03 Mar. 2011
Accepted: 31 Aug. 2011
Published: 16 Nov. 2011



Note: This article was prepared for the 'Violence in the Democratic South Africa: A Challenge to Theology and the Churches' Conference, held by the Centre for Public Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa. Andrew Suderman is a research associate in the Department Dogmatics and Christian Ethics at the University of Pretoria,  South Africa.

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