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Koers

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

Koers (Online) vol.85 no.1 Pretoria  2020

http://dx.doi.org/10.19108/koers.85.1.2470 

Teen die agtergrond van bostaande verwerping van die regverdigings vir die muishondverskynsel en gevolglik die geskiktheid van 'n Marxistiese teoretiese raamwerk, wat in die vorige afdeling ondersoek is, is die gevolgtrekking onvermydelik dat die muishondverskynsel geen sin maak sonder konteks nie (Taylor, Walton & Young, 1973), in besonder die vraag 'whose law and whose order is being protected?'. Hierdie Marxisties-geïnspireerde vraag staan sentraal in Kritiese Kriminologie en Konflik Kriminologie, maar word selde in Korrektiewe Kriminologie aangespreek. Misdaad is inderdaad 'n probleem met 'n multivlak-kompleksiteit.

3.2 Misdaad is h multivlak-komplekse verskynsel

In dié verband wys ek op vyf aspekte van die verskynsel maar die inkopielys is natuurlik nie afgesluit nie.

Eerstens, daar is in kriminologie, veral Kritiese Kriminologie of Konflik Kriminologie, soos die vak in die globale Noorde in lande soos die Verenigde State en die Verenigde Koninkryk onderskeidelik beoefen word, 'n groeiende bewuswording dat indiwiduele aanspreeklikheid (met ander woorde oortreders wat hul vonnisse agter tralies uitdien) nie die volle prentjie van misdadige dryfvere of vrugbare misdadige teelaarde behoorlik te weerspieël nie. So voer McLaughlin (2010:155) skerpsinnig aan dat 'n "critique of correctional criminology in which the questioning of political and social control would take precedence over behavioural and correctional issues... [and a critical understanding of] the capacity of the capitalist state to criminalise problematical behaviour". Kenners soos Craig Haney (2005:81) dring daarop aan dat strukturele geweld in die vorm van "contextual, situational and structural forces", soos grootskaalse armoede, kroniese werkloosheid (28% volgens die nuutste statistieke), rassisme, seksisme en verdiepende ongelykheid (veral in 'n land soos Suid-Afrika [Piketty, 2015]), vrugbare teelaarde vir die koestering en versorging van misdadigheid is. Terwyl dit miskien nie n boodskap is wat ons politieke leiers noodwendig wil hoor nie, behoort die daadwerklike aanspreking van hierdie strukturele weersprekings n besliste voorkeur te wees. Jeffrey Reiman (1990:131-133), 'n bekende Marxistiese kriminoloog gebaseer in die Verenigde State, doen aan die hand dat nadruk op indiwiduele aanspreeklikheid noodsaaklik is in n gemeenskap wat sy eie aanspreeklikheid vir die misdadigheid wat voortspruit uit strukturele verdrukking ontken.

Tweedens, het die verskynsel van die tronk-industriële-kompleks die simplistiese begrip van misdaad heeltemal verskommel. Eric Schlosser (1998) verduidelik die idee van die tronk-industriële-kompleks as n "a set of bureaucratic, political, and economic interests that encourage increased spending on imprisonment, regardless of the actual need". Die woorde "sonder daadwerklike noodsaak" is belangrik, soos die Bosasa- korrupsieskandaal hier ter plaatse bewys het waar Angelo Agrizzi se getuienis daarop gewys het dat Bosasa meer as 12 miljard rand uit die Departement van Korrektiewe Dienste se begroting gekaap het terwyl ander ernstige prioriteite (verpakking van oortreders, salarisse, rotplae, sekuriteit) agterweë gelaat word. Die argument is, volgens tronkontbindingsaktiviste soos Angela Davis (2003, 2005) en Michelle Alexander (2012), dat die verskynsel van die tronk op ons politieke en maatskaplike toneel geensins onskuldig is in die sin dat dit as n ongeregverdigde agenda gebruik word om geld te maak (sien ook Davis & Alexander, 2012). So verduidelik Angela

Davis (2005:37-38) dat

What I have tried to do - together with many other public intellectuals, activists, scholars - is to encourage people to think about the possibility that punishment may be the consequence of other forces and not the inevitable consequence of the commission of crime. Which is not to say that people in prisons have not committed what we call "crimes" - I am not making that argument at all. [...] Those communities that are subject to police surveillance are much more likely to produce more bodies for the punishment industry. But even more important, imprisonment is the punitive solution to a whole range of social problems that are not being addressed by those social institutions that might help people lead better, more satisfying lives.

Die verskynsel van die tronk is dus geensins gehul in 'onskuld' nie. Soos Davis aandui, word dit ingespan as n maatreël om n hele kaboel onverwante maatskaplike probleme op te los of, meer op die punt af, letterlik hok te slaan. As 'misdaad' maar net een van baie redes is hoekom mense uiteindelik in die gevangenis beland, skreeu dit tot hemele dat ons ongepolitiseerde begrip van misdaad maar ver te kort skiet.

Derdens, moet die gevangenis in die 21ste eeu, in die konteks van die tronk-industriële-kompleks wat op sigself 'n wêreld-wye verskynsel van laatbloei-kapitalisme is, gesien word binne die internasionale tendens van ontwakende venynigheid in korreksies. Weiss (1998:428-429) kom dan ook tot die slotsom in sy empiriese ondersoek van gevangenisse rondom die aardbol dat daar n

[g]rowing pattern of declining liberality and growing intolerance [which] is unmistakably the most outstanding feature of world penal systems and this repressive policy derives from a common overarching reality: Prisons throughout the world are expected to manage a rapidly increasing "surplus population."

Die begrip 'surplus population' verwys dan ook na die groeiende getalle werkloses, inbegrepe saamgeflansde groepe vrygelate gevangenes, of stukwerkers (Bosworth 2010:94, 126-144, 149-150). Soos Angela Davis (2003:16) dit stel, is die rol van die tronk in die de-industralisasiefase van laat-kapitalisme om te dien as "a black hole into which the detritus of contemporary capitalism is deposited." Die verskynsel van die gevangenis moet dus geensins as onafhanklik van globale kapitalistiese behoeftes, soos die gedagte rondom die tronk-industriële-kompleks en die de-industrialisasiefase, gesien word nie.

Vierdens, is dit myns insiens belangrik om daarop te let dat die gevangenis as ons oorheer-sende straftoemetingsregime in Suid-Afrika se harde stigmatiserend-beskamingskultuur op sigself bydra tot die probleem van misdaad in ons gemeenskap (Muntingh, 2009; Davis, 2003:42-46). Soos ek hierbo aangedui het, skep die tronk in ons stigmatiserende kultuur letterlik 'n klas van onaanraakbares wat doelgerig nie hervestig kan word nie en dus net keer op keer deur die gevangenis gehersirkuleer word (Lötter, 2018:14; Alexander, 2012:95-96).

Ons gevangenisse is swaar oorbevolk en die onheilsame geweld agter tronkmure lei tot slypskole vir misdadige vakleerlinge (Sarkin, 2008). Afrika se integrerende kultuur lê hom eerder toe tot herstellende geregtigheid ('restorative justice'). Mechthild Nagel (2008:70) redeneer byvoorbeeld met reg dat daar talle nie-geweldsmisdade is wat eerder met 'buite'-strawwe aangespreek kan word. Voorbeelde hiervan is gemeenskapsdiens en, tot 'n mindere mate, boetes wat baie meer ruimhartig gebruik kan word. Ondanks Suid-Afrika se hoë en stygende tronkbevolking (160 000) het ons oorheersende straftoemetingsregime nie gehelp om ons heroortredingsyfers aan te spreek nie. Volgens Irma Schoeman (2010:81) lê Suid-Afrika se heroortredingsyfer enigiets tussen 55-97% terwyl Ngabonziza en Singh (2012:87) syfers van tussen 85 en 94% voorstel. Uit 'n volksvergelykende perspektief kan ons leer uit die ervarings van ander kulture. Let byvoorbeeld daarop dat Indië, n land met n bevolking van 1.36 miljard mense n tronkbevolking van slegs 200 000 het (Davis & Alexander, 2012) terwyl China, 'n intergrerend-beskamendskultuur en tans die land met die grootste bevolking ter wêreld, onlangs met heroortredingsyfers van 'n skrale 6-8% gespog het (Dutton & Xu, 1998:322). Dit is natuurlik so dat die politieke, maatskaplike en ekonomiese omstandighede tussen hierdie drie kulture (China, Suid-Afrika en Indië) geweldig van mekaar verskil, maar die hele doel van die proeflopie is om te demonstreer dat 'n ander werklikheid, wat die punt van volksvergelykende kriminologie is, wel moontlik of haalbaar is.

Ten slotte, het 'n Marxistiese lees van polisiëring in kapitalistiese gemeenskappe (in besonder die Verenigde State) oortuigend gedemonstreer dat n sterk vooroordeel in die stelsel ingebou is om bepaalde groepe eerder as ander onder die oog te hou en te prosesseer (Reiman, 1990:115; Alexander, 2012; Davis, 2005:37-38). Michelle Alexander (Ibid.) wys byvoorbeeld daarop dat die deurlopende polisiëringspraktyk van rasgebaseerde profilering in die Verenigde State die waarneming en toesighouding van oorheersend Swart-Amerikaans en Latyn-Amerikaanse gemeenskappe (eerder as blanke woonbuurte) is en hierdie praktyksreël, vermom as die sogenaamde 'War on Drugs', het daartoe gelei dat lede van hierdie twee minderheidsgroepe ver buite verband in die Amerikaanse gevangenis verteenwoordig word.

In die post-apartheid Suid-Afrikaanse konteks, waar ons ons hier ter plaatse grootliks duskant rasgebonde polisiëring bevind, is ons deurlopende polisiëringspraktyk op klas eerder as ras gegrond, soos die gebruik tipies in kapitalistiese gemeenskappe is. Aangesien armsaliges uiteraard minder privaatheid as ryk mense het, is hul baie makliker om te polisieer en lede van hierdie gemeenskappe is dus meer geredelik beskikbaar vir prosessering (Alexander, 2012; Reiman, 1990:80-115; Davis, 2005:37). Jeffrey Reiman (1990:129-133) verduidelik hierdie verskynsel aan die hand van die gedagte dat in kapitalistiese gemeenskappe die ideologiese oogmerk met die demonisering van die armes is om die ekonomiese bestel van ongelykheid te regverdig en aandag van die misdade van die rykes af te lei. Stanley Cohen (1973:624) sluit by Reiman se gedagtegang aan met sy redevoering dat die sodanige misdaadpleging (en daardie selfsugtige gedrag wat tot klimaatsverandering gelei het kom in besonder voor die geestesoog) "carried out by the powerful are not only not punished, but are not called 'crime'". Ons begrip van misdaad is geensins waarde-vry nie, maar wel hoogs gepolitiseerd (Box, 1983). Sodanige ingeboude vooroordeel, sowel as die ander misvormings waarna ons hierbo verwys het, verwring uiteraard ons begrip van objektiewe misdaadpleging (Quinney, 2008/1970).

Teen hierdie agtergrond ontstaan die vraag hoe stigma in die lewens van vrygelate gevangenes verskyning maak.

 

4. Hoe maak stigma sy verskyning?

So verklaar Jones-Young and Powell (2015) dat vrygelate gevangenes 'n 'highly stigmatized population' is en Nagel (2008:68) verwys na hierdie selfde groep as "some of society's most marginalized people". Chui & Cheng (2013:678,679,681 & 674) wys op n aantal negatiewe gevolge wat stigma en self-stigma by jeugdige oortreders in die konteks van post-koloniale Hong Kong het.

Maar stigmatisering en self-stigmatisering het nie net ernstige gevolge vir jeugdige oortreders se selfbeeld en hul vermoë om hul misdaadweerhoudingswaardighede op te bou nie, maar het duidelik 'n beduidende invloed op hul suksesvolle, of ten minste haalbare, hervormings- en hervestigingsmoontlikhede. Richards & Jones (2004:202) voer dan ook myns insiens tereg aan dat oortreders "[are] never allowed the opportunity to return home and start a new life. Instead [they] are processed through correctional stages where they are structured to fail, return to prison and over time become institutionalized". In my bondige oorsig van motiverings vir die stigmatisering van gewese oortreders hierbo, het ek tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat geeneen van hierdie redes enigsins water hou nie en dat die marginalisasie en diskriminasie van hierdie groep kwesbares grootliks op onkritiese en onredelike vooroordeel gebaseer is. Die vraag ontstaan dan tot watter mate vrygelate gevangenes die toets van haatspraak soos vervat in die Wet op die Bevordering van Gelykheid en Voorkoming van Onbillike Diskriminasie, Wet Nr. 4 of 2000 (ook bekend as die Gelykheidswet) slaag (Republic of South Africa, 2000).

Hierdie wet maak voorsiening vir die definisie van haatspraak en die strafregtelike vervolging daarvan. Siviele skadevergoeding kan ook in terme van die wet deur die toepaslike hof toegestaan word. Artikel 10(1) verbied die publikasie van haatspraak aan derde partye.

Terwyl die status van gewese oortreders nie uitdruklik onder die beskermde gronde ingesluit is nie, kan daar myns insiens 'n oortuigende pleidooi vir die insluiting van hierdie grond onder die algemene strekking van subartikel (b) gemaak word. Daar is immers geen twyfel daaraan dat Suid-Afrika se ongenaakbare harde stigmatiserend-beskamingskultuur die grootskaalse diskriminasie, marginalisasie en stigmatisering van vrygelate gevangenes merkbaar aanblaas en hul giet as 'n klas of onaantasbare maatskaplike groepering nie. Ooglopend beteken dit dat hierdie groep se menswaardigheid aan die pen ry.

Soos Geiger (2006:1229-1230) uitwys, is die stigmatisering van gewese oortreders gewortel in die feit dat hervorming agterweë gebly het ten gunste van waenhuisverpakking, welke probleem verder verdiep is deur 'n harde stigmatiserend-beskamingskultuur (beide in die Verenigde State en Suid-Afrika). In die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks, erken Lukas Muntingh (2002:22) die invloed van stigma op hul hervestigingsmoontlikhede en voer aan dat "[t]he reality is, however, that ex-prisoners continue to suffer from social and economic exclusion - a reflection of society's belief that those who have offended or been imprisoned cannot be part of 'good' society again". Die meeste vrygelate gevangenes verwerp hul muishond-status as ''invisible punishment'' (Henderson 2005:1240) wat verteenwoordigend is van 'n straf wat hul hofaangeduide vonnis ver oorskrei. Ten slotte verklaar John Muncie (2010:142) skerpsinnig dat "the stereotyping of them [ex-offenders] as 'spoiled' precludes their ability to return to the mainstream".

Dit blyk dus gemene saak te wees dat gewese oortreders groot struikelblokke ondervind in hul pogings om beide maatskaplik en ekonomies na hul vrylating te hervestig. Hierdie struikelblokke sluit in lang termyne van werkloosheid of stukwerk, beperkte behuisingsmoontlikhede en verdoemende maatskaplike verwerping. Daar is geen twyfel daaraan dat voormalige oortreders se lewens- en beroepsvooruitsigte deur stigma swaar aan bande gelê word nie.

Onder hierdie beproewende omstandighede, word dit ter oorweging gegee dat die maatskaplike en ekonomiese verwerping van voormalige oortreders in Suid-Afrika onder die hofie van haatspraak en -misdaad val en gevolglik ook gekriminaliseer moet word. Slegs die kriminalisering van haatspraak (d.w.s ongeregverdigde diskriminasie) gerig op gewese oortreders sal doeltreffend wees as 'n maatreël om die vergrepe van ons harde stigmatiserend-beskamingskultuur in die bek te ruk en die hoeksteen van 'n integrerend-beskamingskultuur te lê.

So sal n gegriefde voormalige oortreder byvoorbeeld in staat wees om by 'n gewraakte daad van haatspraak, 'n siviele geding by een van die takke van ons Gelykheidshowe aanhangig te maak en waar die hof teen die verweerder bevind, moet die uitspraak gepaard gaan met 'n vorm van, verkieslik aansienlike, geldelike skadevergoeding. In die lig van die Minister se pleidooi om die inwin van idees ter vergemakliking van vrygelate gevangenes se haalbare hervorming en hervestiging, word daar aanbeveel dat misdaadrekords wat tien jaar en ouer is outomaties skoon gevee word ten einde hierdie groep met werkswinning behulpsaam te wees. Tans dring wetgewing (Artikel 27B (1) van die Strafkode, 1977 [Wet No 5 van 1977]) daarop aan dat die oortreder na die afloop van tien jaar by betaling van 'n fooi aansoek moet doen vir sodanige skoonvee (Republic of South Africa, 1977), maar in die lig van die Minister se erkenning dat daar 'n merksame agterstand in die prosessering van die aansoeke is en in die lig van Suid-Afrika se harde stigmatiserend-beskamende kultuur (wat sodanige ingrypinge noodsaak), word outomatiese skoonvee na tien jaar sterk aanbeveel.

 

5. Hoekom stigma h probleem is

As die idee van die eweredigheid van straftoemeting, soos inderdaad verskans in ons grondwet, enigiets beteken, dan moet die voormalige oortreder se vonnis eindig wanneer hy/sy op parool vrygelaat word. Gesien teen die agtergrond dat duisende mense jaarliks in Suid-Afrikaanse howe skuldig pleit en gevonnis word tot tronkstraf, moet die vraag of die nie-verduideliking van stigma as deel van die oortreder se 'vonnis', wel op n regverdige verhoor neerkom (Lötter, 2018:160). Baie min mense besef die ingrypende gevolg van die lewenslange muilband wat om die oortreder vir die res van sy of haar dae in die vorm van eindelose stigmatisering, diskriminasie en marginalisasie sal hang. Artikel 35(3) van die Suid-Afrikaanse Grondwet,1996 verskans die reg tot n regverdige verhoor en sluit onder andere die volgende aspekte in:

Every accused person has a right to a fair trial, which includes the right -

(a) [...]

(n) to the benefit of the least severe of the prescribed punishments if the prescribed punishment for the offence has been changed between the time that the offence was committed and the time of sentencing; and

(o) of appeal to, or review by, a higher court. (nadruk bygevoeg) [Republic of South Africa, 1996].

n Paar opmerkings oor hierdie subartikel is in orde. Die gedagtegang, soos vervat in (n), dat straftoemeting en vonnisuitdiening eweredig is, is natuurlik ver van die werkilikheid verwyder, soos ek hierbo aantoon. Die onkritiese wyse waarop die gedagte in ons Grondwet ingesluit word, getuig van naïwiteit en 'n gebrek van voeling met werklikhede op grondvlak. Dit gee egter wel beliggaming aan die ideaal van eweredigheid van straftoemeting in die Suid-Afrikaanse reg. Hierop kan dus gesteun word in die pleidooi vir 'n billike bedeling vir voormalige oortreders na vrylating in die sin dat onbegrensde stigma die grondliggende idee by eweredige vonnisoplegging of straftoemeting belaglig maak. So voer Foucault (1991/1975:107), wie sekerlik die mees welgesproke filosoof van gevangesetting in die Weste is, dat onbegrensde ('indeterminate') straf geen punt het nie aangesien dit nie die oortreder geleentheid bied om te hervorm nie en dus vertaal as niks anders as bloot en alleen "little better than torture". Onbegrensde straf sluit sonder twyfel by voorbaat die idee van haalbare hervorming en hervestiging uit.

AsSuid-Afrika (saam met die V.S.A.)aan die eenuiterstevan die beskamingskultuurkontinuïteit lê, vind ons integrerend-beskamende kulture (soos te vinde in China en Japan) aan die ander uiterste. Wat, indien enige iets, kan ons leer van laasgenoemde se hervormings en -vestigingspraktyke?

 

6. Wie het daarin geslaag om die probleem aan te spreek en hoe?

Mao Zedong, die argitek van China se integrerend-beskamendskultuur, het in 'n beroemde toespraak van 1956 die mening uitgespreek dat 95% van alle oortreders suksesvol in wetsgehoorsame burgers herskep of hervorm kan word (Mao, 2004b/1949; 2004a/1957). Dit is natuurlik op voorwaarde dat hul deur hul gemeenskap vergewe en behoorlik hervestig word. Die verwesenliking van hierdie ideaal sal egter buite bereik bly, soos die geval tans in Suid-Afrika is, met stigmatisering as ons beskamingsmaatstaf. John Braithwaite (1989:20) doen aan die hand dat stigma beide teenproduktief en "criminogenic" is aangesien dit voormalige oortreders, wat geen sinvolle hervestiging in hoofstroomgemeenskap kan vind nie, na misdadige subkulture dryf. So dui Uggen, Manza & Behrens (2004:277) met verwysing na die frustrasie en brandende gevoel van onreg by voormalige oortreders, die geweldige verlies aan hul hervormings-/ hervestigingspotensiaal en bykomstige verlies van n weerhoudingsvaardigheidsraamwerk aan:

The bitterness underlying these comments shows the flip side of the power of community reintegration: when stigma and rejection are the dominant experience, the potentially restorative benefits of civic participation are lost.

Aan die ander kant, is daar 'n keerkant tot hierdie martelkamer wat so raak in die aanhaling hierbo omskryf word. Braithwaite (1989:9) verduidelik dat integrerende beskaming is "conceived as a tool to allure and inveigle the citizen to attend to the moral claims of the criminal law, to coax and caress compliance, to reason and remonstrate with him over the harmfulness of his conduct". Braithwaite (1989:100) redeneer dat integrerende beskaming n besliste voordeel bo stigmatiserende beskaming het aangesien laasgenoemde se steunpilaar, die muishond-beginsel, heroortredingsyfers aanblaas. Hy voer met reg aan dat integrerende beskaming noodsaaklik is in die stryd teen misdaad aangesien hierdie maatreël daarop gemik is om die oortreder te hervorm en te hervestig terwyl stigmatisering gerig is op die instandhouding van n muishond-worsmasjien en beslis hervorming en ontluikende weerhoudingsvaardighede teenwerk. In 'n latere herformulering van sy teorie (Ahmed, Harris, Braithwaite & Braithwaite, 2001), doen Braithwaite aan die hand dat beskaming noodsaaklik is in die maatskaplike hantering van misdaad, of afwyking in die algemeen, aangesien die maatskaplike hantering van beskaming die oortreder die geleentheid bied om die beskaming te bevestig of te verwerp, soos wat die geval dan ook is in onderskeidelik integrerend- beskamende en harde stigmatiserend-beskamingskulture. Integrerende beskaming bevorder meer omvattende hervestiging en versoening tussen oortreder en sy of haar gemeenskap aangesien die oortreder se erkenning van die beskaming wat hom of haar te beurt geval het, 'n "commitment to a shared ethical identity" is (Harris, 2010:113).

Teen hierdie agtergrond verwys ek vlugtig na ses idees wat in die Chinese integrerend-beskamende kultuur te vinde is en myns insiens vrugbaar in die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks tuiste sal vind.

Eerstens, voorkoming vind baie groter nadruk by die Chinese as nasorg (Dutton & Xu, 1998:299-302). Dit is dringend nodig vir die staat om haalbare aandag te gee aan strukturele vorms van verdrukking (in besonder verdiepende ongelykheid), soos ek hierbo geargumenteer het, ten einde n balans tussen indiwiduele (iets wat nou grootliks gediskrediteer is) en strukturele aanspreeklikheid as misdaadteelaarde te vind.

Tweedens, n bewussynsverskuiwing is nodig sodat ons n persoonlike tragedie soos gevangenissetting eerder as 'n proeflopie vir persoonlike ontwikkeling en groei kan sien (Allen, 1987:80). So wys R.J. Troyer (1989) daarop dat Chinese tronkbewaarders na die indiwidue in hul sorg verwys as nuwe landsburgers' terwyl hul Amerikaanse eweknieë eerder van 'geharde misdadigers' kla.

Derdens, soos die Chinese ervaring geleer het, is mediasie in burgerlike dispute belangrik om n maatskaplike samehorigheidsgevoel te vorm aangesien hierdie tipe brandpunte in misdaad ontblom indien daar nie aandag aan hul transformasie tot vreedsaamheid gegee word nie (Leng & Chiu, 1985:11). In Suid-Afrika sal die oprigting van siviele mediasiestrukture, wat die bestaande howestelsel moet voorafgaan en kan aanvul, in hierdie verband baie help om probleemsituasies vroegtydig kort te knip. Wat burgerlike meningsverskille en minder ernstige strafsake betref, moedig die Chinese bewusmaking, oortuiging en mediasie aan (Lötter, 2018:184).

Vierdens, Mao (2004a/1949:1/18; 2004b/1957:1/8), soos ek hierbo aandui, het daarop aangedring dat die oorgrote meerderheid oortreders suksesvol hervorm en -vestig kan word. Aangesien die gedagte van n stereotipe oortreder wat nie hervormbaar is nie, die tendens van stigmatisering onderlê (Lötter, 2018:184), is dit belangrik dat die Departement van Korrektiewe Dienste hier ter plaatse die boodskap uitdra dat oortreders wel hervormbaar is en die lewensgang van model vrygelate gevangenes vir die publiek ten toon stel. Die bekende Goffman (1990/1963:14) stel dit as volg, "[a] stigma, then, is really a special kind of relationship between attribute [such as criminality] and stereotype". n Goeie voorbeeld van n model voormalige gevangene wat tot n baie groot mate deur die Chinese as n voorbeeld van n suksesvolle hervormde oortreder vir propagandadoeleindes gebruik is, is die alombekende geval van Pu Yi, die Japanese sameloper wat vir n kort termyn as keiser van Mansuria gedurende die tweede wereldoorlog gedien het. Na sy hervorming, het Pu in sy gepubliseerde biografie Mao se leerstelling dat oortreders wat daadwerklik hervorm het, deur die gemeenskap terug verwelkom sal word, verkondig (Pu, 1989/1965:359).

Vyfdens, aangesien hervorming van oortreders tot n groot mate in Westerse jurisdiksies soos Suid-Afrika ten gunste van waenhuisverpakking agterweë gebly het, is dit uiters noodsaaklik dat ons die idee van hervorming weer herwin en in ons gevangenisse hier ter plaatse aan die kaak stel. Daar is talle voorbeelde van hervormingsinisiatiewe in ander kulture waaruit ons met vrug kan leer en ek lig net een hier in die Chinese konteks uit. Pu Yi (1989/1965:354-356) wys in sy nabedenkinge hoe dienende gevangenes aangemoedig word om tydens hul ballingskap hul lewensgang op skrif te stel en diep daaroor te besin. Dit is ooglopend dat so 'n binneshuise proeflopie diepgaande terapeutiese waarde sal hê in die psigiese ontwikkeling van oortreders en beslis n beter keuse is as bloot en alleen waenshuisverpakking, soos wat tans die geval is.

Ten slotte, dit is beslis 'n goeie idee om oorweging te gee aan die moontlikheid om oortreders wat daadwerklik en suksesvol hervorm het, te beloon as 'n aanmoediging vir hul voormalige eweknieë wat nog hul straf uitdien. Allen (1992:85) wys byvoorbeeld daarop dat vrygelate gevangenes wat aan die vereistes voldoen, genooi word om as tronkbewaarders by die Departement aan te sluit. Myns insiens moet die staat die leiding neem met werksverskaffing aan voormalige oortreders aangesien werksverskaffing, soos ek hierbo redeneer, sentraal staan by hul volhoubare hervestiging en houbare hervorming. Stigma en hervorming/ hervestiging is teenstrydighede.

 

7. Voorgestelde tussenkoms of ingrypings

Gevolglik, doen ek die volgende drie ingrypings aan die hand:

In die eerste plek, is dit absoluut noodsaaklik dat die publiek met bewuswordingsprogramme geskool word oor die waardevolheid daarvan om gewese oortreders wat hul vonnisse uitgedien het, daadwerklike berou getoon en hervorm het, te vergewe en te hervestig. Vir hierdie doel, is daar geen beter maatstaf as die erkenning van stigma en diskriminasie teen gewese oortreders as haatspraak (gekoppel aan daadwerkilke en aansienlike geldelike skadevergoeding) as 'n effektiewe ingryping.

In die tweede plek, gesien teen die gevolgtrekking dat stigma een van ons sterkste dryfvere is wat heroortredingsyfers aanblaas, is dit hoog tyd dat oorweging daaraan geskenk word om af te sien van gevangenisstraf as ons oorheersende strafregime. Tronkstraf voed die muishondworsmasjien ononderbroke. In plaas van tronkstraf, moet voorsittende beamptes aangemoedig word om Afrika-integrerende strawwe te oorweeg. 'n Goeie voorbeeld is gemeenskapsdiens waar die oortreder iets aan die gemeenskap wat hy of sy skade berokken het, teruggee.

In die derde plek, 'n grondwetlike uitdaging teen wat die kenner Ben Geiger 'collateral consequences' (marginalisasie, diskriminasie, maatskaplike verwerping) van stigma noem, word dringend benodig. Hierdie sogenaamde post-gevangesetting by- of newegevolge is die direkte gevolg van stigma. Te midde van die hoëvlak korrupsie in die Departement wat onlangs onmasker is en die huigelary in die breë gemeenskap, is sodanige grondwetlike uitdaging of toetssaak uiteraard belangrik. Myns insiens, kan n nie-regeringsorganisasie ('NGO') sonder winsbejag, soos NICRO ([National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Rehabilitation of Offenders] wat die belange van beide die breë gemeenskap en gewese oortreders op die hart dra), so n grondwetlike hofpleidooi in terme van hul mandaat regverdig en van stapel stuur.

In die afwesigheid van bogenoemde radikale ingrypings (ŽIŽEK, 2012:134), en beslis ook ander wat nie hier bespreek is nie en wat daarop gerig is om n meer hervestigbare en leefbare omgewing vir gewese oortreders in n gemeenskap te skep wat deurtrek is met huigelary, word die moontlikhede van haalbare hervorming en hervestiging en houbare weerhoudingsvaardighede al hoe meer beproef.

 

8. Slotsom en gevolgtrekking

Ter slotsom, moet daar akkoord gegaan word met die gewaarwording wat by die inleiding geuiter is: Die grootskaalse korrupsie en fiskale 'storting' (terwyl ander dringende voorrange agterweë bly) wat miljarde rande oor die afgelope dekade beloop het, dui onomwonde op die huigelary by die maatskaplike diskriminasie, marginalisasie en stigmatisering teen voormalige oortreders in Suid-Afrika. In ieder geval, het ons nuwe Minister van Justisie en Korrektiewe Dienste, Ronald Lamola, himself die doelwit gestel om konsepwetgewing ter tafel te plaas met die oog daarop om vrygelate gevangenes met haalbare hervorming en hervestiging by te staan. Nadat 'n teoretiese raamwerk van 'n Marxistiese perspektief op misdaad ontwikkel en geregverdig word, word regverdigings vir stigma ondersoek en bevind dat nie een water hou nie, maar bloot op die stereotipe slaan of op onregverdigbare vooroordeel slaan.

Teen die agtergrond van John Braithwaite se belangrike onderskeid tussen harde stigmatiserend-beskamingskulture (Suid-Afrika, die V.S.A.) en integrerend-beskamende kulture (China, Japan) en die Minister se bogenoemde inisiatief, is die gedagtegang wat in hierdie artikel ontwikkel word dat die inperking van stigma die belangrikste manier is om vrygelate gevangenes in Suid-Afrika se harde stigmatiserend-beskamingskultuur behulpsaam te wees (Braithwaite, 1995:280-281; Lötter, 2018:38).

Twee mooi maniere om stigma in die lewensgang van vrygelate oortreders hok te slaan is die insluiting van hierdie vorm van diskriminasie as haatspraak onder die toepaslike wetgewing. Alternatiewelik, kan die stigmatisering van gewese misdadigers as 'n onafhankilke statutêre misdaad gekriminaliseer word. Slegs ingrypende pogings soos dié verteenwoordig die eerste stap in die doel om 'n integrerend-beskamende kultuur hier ter plaatse aan te moedig. Twee verdere voorstelle om hierdie groep kwesbares te help hervestig is om werksverskaffing vir hulle vanuit staatsweë te prioritiseer en hul misdaadrekords na n tydperk van tien jaar outomaties uit te vee ten einde hul andersins met werksverskaffing en hervestiging by te staan.

My gevolgtrekking is dat ons onhoudbare hoë heroortredingsyfers direk verband hou met ons harde stigmatiserende beskamingskultuur. Ironies genoeg, ontken só 'n gemeenskap hul eie beduidende bydrae tot strukturele verdrukking (armoede, werkloosheid, verdiepende ongelykheid) tot 'n multivlak-komplekse probleem soos misdaad en pas alleen eenvoudige oplossings (grootskaalse gevangesetting wat deur stigma onderskraag word) toe, geskoei op die (grootliks) gediskrediteerde idee van indiwiduele aanspreeklikheid. Hierdie opmerking word bevestig deur die huidige huigelary in die Departement van Korrektiewe Dienste se onlangse korrupsieskandaal en gevalle van onaanvaarbare sogenaamde fiskale storting. Teen hierdie agtergrond, is daar absoluut geen regverdiging vir die stigma waaronder vrygelate gevangenes wat hul vonnisse uitgedien het, onderwerp word nie. Stigma is verder onaanvaarbaar omdat dit op die stereotipe slaan en is verder onkonstitusioneel omdat dit die grondliggende beginsel van ewewigtigheid en begrensde straftoemeting ontken of ontsê. n Volksvergelykende perspektief (met verwysing na China en Indië) bevestig dat gevangenisstraf as ons oorkoepelende strafregime nie ons misdaadprobleem daadwerklik aangespreek het of selfs kan aanspreek nie en mag inderdaad deel van die probleem wees. Hierin word die waarde van nuwe gesigspunte, soos 'n Marxistiese lees van misdaad in 'n kapitalistiese staatsbestel, in Suid-Afrikaanse kriminologie bevestig en daar word aan die hand gedoen dat so n teoretiese raamwerk sonder twyfel kritiese insigte in die stryd teen 'misdaad' sal voortplant. Ons verdiepende begrip van misdaad is inderdaad gepolitiseer selfs, en veral, as ons onbewus daarvan is.

 

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Correspondence:
casperlttr@gmail.com

Published: 1 April 2020

 

 

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns word hiermee bedank vir finansiële bystand wat die skryf en publikasie van hierdie artikel moontlik gemaak het.

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ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

HIV and me: The perception of children aged 10-12 living with HIV, and their expectations for adulthood

 

VIGS en ek: Die beskouinge van kinders in die ouderdoms-groep 10-12 wat met VIGS lewe, en hul verwagtinge vir volwassenheid

 

 

Hettie van der MerweI; Alva van der MerweII

IDepartment of Educational Leadership and Management, University of South Africa. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0736-4611
IILife Wilgers Hospital Lynnwood Ridge, Pretoria https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3403-567X

Correspondence

 

 


ABSTRACT

This article explores the understanding that children living with HIV have of their condition, ana the physical and psychosocial challenges they face in pursuit of their ideals for adulthood Analysis of the interview data, preceded by drawing-and-telling, confirmed literature findings on the importance of communication for complete disclosure and the need for repetitive discussions about HlV-related burdens to supplement medicine and treatment in pursuit of holistic well-being for children living with HIV Research findings revealed children's limited cognition of their HIV condition and their challenges with physical pain (attributable to their medicines and treatment) and psychosocial pain (stemming from family fragmentation and stigma). The children exhibited an intense desire for respect for their existence and for the realisation of their right to participate actively in communication regarding their HIV status Their ideals for adult life pertained to being of benefit to others. The findings contribute to the discourse on effecting holistic wellbeing for children living with HIV

Key words: complete disclosure, draw-and-tell technique, family fragmentation, living with HIV, physical challenges, psychosocial challenges, stigma


OPSOMMING

Hierdie artikel ondersoek die begrip wat kinders wat met VIGS lewe van hul toestand het, asook hul fisiese en psigososiale uitdagings in die nastreef van hul ideale vir volwassenheid. n Analise van die onderhouddata, voorafgegaan deur teken-en-vertel, bevestig literatuurbevindings oor die belangrikheid van kommunikasie vir volledige bekendmaking. Hierdie bekendmaking moet gevolg word deur herhaalde besprekings van VlGS-verwante struikelblokke om medikasie en behandeling te rugsteun in die strewe na holistiese welstand vir kinders wat met VlGS lewe. Navorsingsbevindinge het kinders se beperkte kennis van hul VIGS-toestand belig, asook hul uitdagings met fisiese pyn (vanweë medikasie en behandeling) en psigososiale pyn (vanweë gesinsfragmentasie en stigma). Kinders het n intense behoefte aan respek vir hul menswees, en aan die reg om aktief deel te neem aan kommunikasie oor hul VIGS-status. Hul ideale vir die volwasse lewe is daarop gemik om diensbaar te wees vir hul medemens. Die bevindinge dra by tot diskoers oor die holistiese welstand van kinders wat met VlGS lewe.

Kernbegrippe: fisiese uitdagings, gesinsfragmentasie, lewe met VIGS, psigososiale uitdagings, stigma, teken-en-vertel tegniek, volledige bekendmaking


 

 

1. INTRODUCTION

Africa is home to 60% of all humans living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and 75% of the global population of HIV-positive women, with South Africa being the epicentre of the disease: seven million people are infected, of whom 1.8 million are children (RSA, 2017). Although the influence of HIV on public health and the economy is constantly documented, the psychosocial influence on infected children requires more extensive reporting, for a better understanding of their situatedness. In this article, the focus is on the perceptions children aged 10-12 have of their condition of living with HIV and their ideals for adulthood.

The negative influence of HIV on public health and the economy, as studied and reported by the media, state authorities, the medical profession and academia, has been a topic of discussion since the emergence of the disease in the early 1980s. This coverage, which includes both epidemiology and epistemology, has improved the public's understanding of the transmission and signification of the disease, to the extent where HIV has become a chronic disease, rather than a terminal diagnosis. This changed scenario is evident in South Africa, where mother-to-child transmission declined from 3.5% in 2010 to 1.5% in 2016, and where 3.7 million people now receive antiretroviral treatment (ART) on a constant basis (PMTCT, 2019; RSA, 2017).

Despite these advances, patients and their families face significant psychosocial burdens when confronted with the disease, with children being adversely affected by practical and psychological consequences. Child-headed households are a reality, often grandparents take care of their orphaned grandchildren, and familial fragmentation occurs following the passing of caregivers, which leads to siblings being separated when the remaining family cannot care for more than one child (Cluver & Gardner, 2007). Affected children are vulnerable, as their sense of security is challenged by having to adapt to a new home with new rules while mourning the loss of their parents, and still having to deal with survivor's guilt and their own diagnosis (Maughan-Brown & Spaull, 2014). The burden orphaned children place on foster homes is significant. Many families bear the emotional and financial burden of an extra, non-biological child vying for attention and daily necessities, in addition to the responsibility of seeking treatment and visiting a clinic if the child is HIV infected. Families also deal with the reality of stigmatisation from the community as the death of each next adult confirms the disease's presence within a household (Campbell et al., 2010).

As regards children living with HIV, much research has been conducted on developing a critical consciousness and countering the stigmatisation associated with infection (Campbell & MacPhail, 2002; Campbell et al., 2010; Kawuma, et al., 2014; Plattner, 2013). Although the psychosocial influences of HIV on families have been well researched (Gachanja, 2015; Hosegood et al., 2007; Mabweazara, Ley, & Leach, 2018; Piko & Bak, 2006), only a limited number of studies have involved infected children directly in the research process. Our article contributes to the discourse on children living with HIV by understanding children's perceptions of their condition and their expectations for the future, through drawing and telling. Although the draw-and-tell technique is widely used to explore the influence of chronic diseases on children, the perceptions of children who are HIV-positive have not been studied sufficiently. Understanding children's cognition of their condition (as manifested in their daily circumstances and ideals for the future) through the draw-and-tell technique, can enable paediatricians and teachers to offer holistic support in treating and teaching children living with HIV.

Social capital theory underlying human conduct served as theoretical lens for our empirical investigation involving ten children aged 10-12, who were living with HIV and received ART, as facilitated by scheduled outpatient appointments at a paediatric HIV clinic in Bloemfontein, Free State province. The theoretical lens discussion is supplemented by comments on the need for children to be enlightened about their condition, and to voice their feelings and understandings through drawings. Our article concludes with a discussion of the research findings pertaining to children's understanding and acceptance of living with HIV, and their expectations for adulthood as engendered by their frames of reference. Our argument is that improved knowledge of children's perceptions of their HIV status and their expectations for adulthood can serve as guidelines for understanding and supporting those children in an empathetic and holistic way.

 

2. SOCIAL CAPITAL THEORY AND HUMAN CONDUCT

Human conduct is based on social capital which is acquired through the interactive functioning between the individual and society (Bourdieu, 1993). Societal functioning, which is accomplished through activities unfolding in multiple social spaces (e.g., education, medicine), is realised in social relationships. These relationships focus on constructive interaction between the individuals functioning in a particular space (e.g., children living with HIV, and the teachers and paediatricians who engage with them), to arrive at mutually acceptable performance. This performance relates to what Bourdieu (2005:43) calls "habitus", namely "permanent manners of being, seeing, acting and thinking" to represent "structures of perception, conception and action". These manners and structures serve a twofold function, namely to establish order (enabling individuals to orientate themselves in, and master, their world) and to enable communication (through a code of social exchange, whereby aspects of the individual and communal world are named and classified) (Moscovici, 1984).

Order and communication as habitus of a determinate group of human beings occupying a similar position in social space (such as children living with HIV) represent a practical systematicity, in the sense that all the elements of these individuals' behaviour have something in common (Bourdieu, 2005). This systematicity manifests as a set of acquired characteristics, which are the product of social conditions common to humans who are the product of similar social conditions (Bourdieu, 2005). In this article, these conditions represent the reality of children living with HIV, and the way in which they navigate the physical and psychosocial complications of their reality despite the uncertainties of their childhood. Living with HIV represents both "the generative principle of objectively classifiable judgements" and "the system of classification of these practices" (Bourdieu, 1994:405). The capacity to produce classifiable practices based on children's perception of their reality, to teach and treat children living with HIV holistically, and to distinguish between and appreciate these practices as constructive, is what represents habitus.

The reality of life with HIV can be considered to be an objective space, in which children express different points of view of this space, along with their will to transform this space (Bourdieu, 1994). This expression as habitus, which is internalised and converted into a disposition that generates meaningful practices and meaning-giving perceptions (Bourdieu, 1994), can manifest in an empathetic understanding which enables stakeholders to arrange holistic support for children living with HIV. In this regard, knowledgeable teachers and paediatricians can fulfil a directional role as social agents who organise social interactions that focus on providing holistic support according to empathetic systematicity. Holistic support for children living with HIV is realised through social capital resources (emotional, cognitive, spiritual, physical, financial and relationship-related) being made available to a greater or lesser extent to everyone present (Campbell, Williams, & Gilgen, 2002). Social capital resources, which are utilised through social interaction, inspire continued beneficial engagements, including an improved understanding of the reality facing children living with HIV, and offers holistic support for that reality.

 

3. DISCLOSURE TO CHILDREN LIVING WITH HIV

The desire and capacity of children to participate and be involved in decisions about their lives are increasingly acknowledged. The fact that they have sound insight into both biomedical and holistic notions of health - which they start obtaining from a young age - has prompted an acknowledgement of children's desire and right to full HIV disclosure, before any medical treatment or procedure is undertaken (Gibson et al., 2010; Piko & Bak, 2006).

Disclosure is usually prompted by children's questioning, problems related to adherence to a treatment regime, the need to maintain family trust, and cases of children's deteriorating health status. The withholding of status disclosure can be attributed to parents' desire to protect their children from psychosocial harm and is linked to their fear of negative reactions following disclosure (Vaz et al., 2010). However, the intentional withholding of information to protect a child from the burden of detail, can act as a stressor which hampers the child's capacity to interpret his/her symptoms and understand why s/he does not feel well (Gibson et al., 2010).

Shock and sadness - obvious emotions associated with disclosure - are dominated by feelings of relief when children can relate their suffering and multiple symptoms to a diagnosis (Ângström-Brännström & Norberg, 2014). A disclosure process involving one-way instruction which focuses on lifestyle and the taking of medication serves little purpose if children's health-related questions are not accommodated. By not providing complete information about their disease, and deflecting their questions with vague responses, adults discourage children from voicing their concerns, thereby heightening their vulnerability and leaving many questions unanswered. Complete disclosure is evident in open communication between healthcare providers and patients during consultations (Vaz et al., 2010).

Apart from providing complete information, Gachanja (2015) emphasises the importance of disclosure as an ongoing process which necessitates repeated discussions between the caregiver, healthcare provider and the child, while providing constant support and continued opportunity for debriefing and feedback. Considerate involvement in a child's condition enhances his/her experience of empowerment, whereas a lack of information inhibits self-worth and makes the child more concerned about the disease and its permanence (Rollins, 2005). Increasingly, children are being perceived as dignified human beings, whose opinions and reactions to major events in their lives must be respected.

As regards the general fears and stressors facing young patients who are admitted to hospital, they are especially scared when their disease - the very reason for their hospitalisation and treatment - is not explained to them (Angström-Brännström & Norberg, 2014). Children find painful procedures to be more tolerable when the information they receive from their lay parents are supplemented by professional information from medical practitioners (Livesley & Long, 2012). As primary caregivers, parents acknowledge that although they cannot completely fathom their children's experience with hospitalisation, young patients are visibly relieved when medical practitioners include them in discussions and decisions about their disease and treatment (Gibson et al., 2010). Considering the daily functioning of children living with a terminal or chronic disease (such as HIV), their struggle to cope with the disease and its implications sheds light on the importance of complete disclosure and the need for a holistic understanding of their circumstances.

 

4. HEALTH, MULTIPLE DEPRIVATION AND LIVING WITH HIV

The World Health Organisation (WHO, 1946) interprets health as broader than the mere absence of disease and infirmity, to include a condition of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing. Children confirm this holistic perception of health as relating to them feeling good and being active due to the lack of pain, and their happiness at being able to attend school and enjoy the company of friends (Piko & Bak, 2006; Vindrola-Padros, 2012). Although most children understand that the prevention of poor health can be linked to eating properly prepared food and maintaining personal hygiene, not being exposed to passive smoking and air pollution (Lowenthal, Cruz, & Yin, 2004), health as indicative of complete wellbeing is often hampered by conditions of multiple deprivation. Here, multiple deprivation pertains to any aspects that inhibit healthy living, including factors which are linked to socioeconomic disadvantage (e.g., severe poverty and the lack of an educationally stimulating environment) (Barnes et al., 2009).

The types of deprivation which inhibit physical development include having to survive on a life-limiting income, having poor/no accommodation, lacking enough food, and being exposed to a health-threatening environment. Illiteracy, a lack of morality, and limited knowledge and insight, as indicative of epistemological ownership, hamper an individual's psycho-cognitive development, which in turn negatively influences the management of health as complete wellbeing (Noble et al., 2007; Townsend, 1987). Within the South African context of multiple deficiency, Barnes et al. (2009) analysed the deprivation to which children are exposed according to five categories, with health and education-related indicators applying to each category. The category of material and income deprivation describes children who live in households with no refrigerator for the safe storage of food and medicine, and no radio or television to access information on healthy living. The category of deprivation due to unemployment includes children from households where no adults (aged 18 or over) are employed. Education deprivation pertains to households where children in the age group 7-15 are not in school or are in the wrong school grade for their age. A lack of running water and electricity, and crowded households where children share a sleeping space with several persons of different ages and genders, are indicators for the category of living environment deprivation. The category of adequate care deprivation relates to children growing up in households where both the mother and father are deceased, or where the mother and father do not live with their children in the same household (Barnes et al., 2009).

Being the children of deceased parents, older orphans are vulnerable to abuse and a lack of educational opportunities, as many are forced to leave school to find work and care for their younger siblings. The resentment of these children, at having to exchange the simplicity of childhood for caring for themselves and their younger siblings is exacerbated by fears regarding their own diagnosis, while mourning the loss of their parents (Cluver & Gardner, 2007). For many children in poverty-stricken environments, limited emotional stability (due to a lack of support from a mother or father figure) is intensified if they are physically unwell and feel ill due to having to take ART on an empty stomach (Kawuma et al., 2014). Grandparents who are left with orphaned grandchildren are confronted with parenthood as well as the physical limitations of old age - factors which are intensified by the demands of administering daily treatment and undertaking regular clinic visits with their HIV-positive grandchildren. The combination of the categories of deprivation results in children being exposed to conditions which challenge the odds of facilitating holistic wellbeing.

 

5. HIV AND STIGMATISATION

The elimination of mother-to-child transmission through immediate treatment being initiated for babies with HIV, has resulted in a growing population of young children surviving their vertically transmitted HIV infection. They now live with the chronic disease and its physical and psychosocial implications, of which coping with the stigma associated with HIV/Aids is a pertinent factor (Hosegood et al., 2007; Maughan-Brown & Spaull, 2014). Persistent perceptions of HIV as a 'monster' that is associated with death and presumed bad behaviour are formed in children from a young age. The stigma around HIV largely evolved from allegations of homosexuality and illicit intravenous drug use, to encompass misguided assumptions regarding immoral behaviour and affliction through witchcraft (Campbell et al., 2010). Despite improvements in education and the raising of public awareness, stigma continues to be a pertinent barrier to diagnosis, treatment initiation and adherence, while the fear of disclosure prevents many patients from accessing resources (Kawuma et al., 2014). The fear of persistent stigma is a prominent reason why caregivers withhold disclosure from infected children (Plattner, 2013). These children must therefore cope with their own misconceptions and that of others surrounding HIV, while battling the physical challenges associated with treatment.

The effective medical treatment of children living with HIV at specialised paediatric HIV centres, has resulted in a growing population of vertically transmitted HIV survivors. It is crucial to understand these children's situatedness, to ensure that emotional support and epistemological insights align with the medical treatment of HIV. For a collaborative understanding on the part of paediatricians and teachers of the psychosocial disposition of children living with HIV in conditions of multiple deprivation, it is crucial to determine such children's ideals for the future and their efficacy in coping with challenges. To achieve this requires effective communication. The method of drawing and telling is useful for understanding younger children's situatedness, while granting them an opportunity to communicate their insecurities. The technique engenders in children a relief at being able to express any discomforting feelings.

 

6. THE METHOD OF DRAWING AND TELLING

If a picture paints a thousand words, therapists' use of drawing as the universal language of childhood enables children to safely explore their wishes and negative impulses, without fear of real consequences. By allowing children full freedom to express themselves in their drawings, without guidance or prompting, they can relive past traumas and communicate future hopes by openly picturing their fantasies and fears (Theron et al., 2011). Valuable information is gained by interpreting children's emotions and thoughts through studying colour use, brush strokes and recurring themes. However, the risk remains of over- or misinterpretation, as picture making is influenced by the drawer's social and cultural background and his/her personal frame of reference (Horstman et al., 2008). In this regard, two children may draw similar pictures, yet each will enable a unique interpretation. Further, although children's drawings are potentially windows into their worlds, their drawings cannot reveal the entirety of their mental state on paper.

To counter constraints relating to subjective interpretation and the completeness of information, the draw-and-tell technique prompts children to draw pictures of a specific topic, followed by them telling about the details of their drawings. Although the action of drawing is focused on a topic, children have complete freedom of choice regarding the why and how of their artworks (Rubin, 2005). Discussing a drawing helps to elicit authentic interpretation and serves as an icebreaker for further questions aimed at obtaining a deeper understanding of a specific child's situatedness.

The value of drawing and telling represents freedom of expression in a way which is familiar to children, while granting them an opportunity to elaborate on their perceptions to validate their own work (Angell, Alexander, & Hunt, 2014). Drawing and telling as a child-centred approach for collecting data boosts children's confidence, allowing them to share their true emotions and perceptions about topics such as living with HIV. This enables adults (teachers, paediatricians) to gain an authentic understanding of each child's situatedness.

 

7. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

To understand children's perceptions of their condition of living with HIV and their ideals for the future, we proceeded from an interpretive paradigm using drawing and telling. As proposed by Henning, Van Rensburg and Smit (2004) and Denzin and Lincoln (2011), we selected the genre of a qualitative case study, to arrive at an in-depth understanding of the meaning the young participants derived from their situation, and of their expectations for the future. We conducted our investigation with ten HIV-positive children aged 10-12, who were receiving life-long Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Treatment (HAART) at a paediatric HIV centre in Bloemfontein, Free State, at the time of the study. The participants - to whom their HIV status had been disclosed - were five boys and five girls.

Ethical clearance from the relevant authorities ensured adherence to the overarching principles of academic integrity, honesty, and respect for everyone and every matter involved. Informed consent ensured that all participants and their caregivers were familiar with the aims of the research, what participating in the research would involve, and participants' right to withdraw from the study at any time. Prior to each telling (interview) that followed the drawing action, we obtained permission from each participant to record the interview, and participants were subsequently approached to confirm the accuracy of the transcribed data.

Being alert to the element of power relationships when adults deal with children, we adhered to prerequisites by creating a relaxed, non-threatening, quiet venue with the caregiver present (if so preferred by the participant) (Horstman et al., 2008). Based on compassion for the participants' condition of living with HIV and the quest to understand their situatedness, we were empathically focused on the participants' non-verbal communication - enough so to realise when a child was becoming uncomfortable and no longer wished to continue with the process. Each drawing-and-telling situation occurred privately and individually, with us reinforcing a participant's option to decline to participate further at any point. Throughout, we verified that the participants were comfortable and happy to continue. This aligns with the recommendations of Angell et al. (2014) about willing participation and that participants must feel empowered and involved as equals in the data-collection process.

 

8. RESEARCH FINDINGS

In drawing and talking about their pictures, each participant determined the pace at which the process unfolded. We asked the participants to think about what it was like for them to have HIV and having to come to the clinic, and to draw a picture about that. To this end, we made available a blank sheet of paper, and a wide selection of crayons and pencils. The participants did not receive any further prompts and were not interrupted. They indicated when they had finished their drawings. When it came to telling, we encouraged the participants to go into details about their drawing, and we praised them sincerely on their art and originality. The conversation about a child's drawing became the platform from which the interview was conducted, with the participant being asked what HIV is, what it feels like to visit the clinic and take treatment for HIV, and their hopes and dreams for their lives as adults.

Below, we discuss our findings, concurring with consulted literature, under the themes relating to family fragmentation, confused understanding about HIV as a condition, mixed feelings about clinic visits and the taking of medication, and participants' hopes for their lives. To ensure confidentiality of disclosure and authenticity of interpretation, the participants' drawings and verbatim commentary on their drawings (which constitute the findings of the study) are distinguished by the labels P1 to P10.

8.1 The struggles of a fragmented family

With reference to the category of adequate care deprivation (Barnes et al., 2009), none of the ten participants lived with both parents. As is typical of households which are prone to multiple deprivation, the father figure was absent in all cases. Six participants lived with their mother, two with their grandmother and two with a foster aunt. In all four cases where participants did not live with their mothers, the reason was that their mothers were deceased. Family fragmentation, as one of the debilitating effects of HIV, was clear from the drawing of P4, who had lived with her foster aunt since her mother died when she was eight years old.

 

 

 

 

Although P4's drawing depicts a normal and happy life, which includes a house, a car, outside ablution facilities and three kinds of play involving three children, the faces of the main characters are sad. These are the faces of P4, her foster aunt and her older brother returning her to her foster aunt in his car. It became clear from the interview with P4 that she was reminded of her mother and her own family when visiting her older brother and his wife. This caused her to become upset, after which being accused of having a bad attitude about having to return to her foster aunt and three cousins. Although no father ever featured in any portrayals of family life, and none of the children knew who their fathers were, P4 explained: "My aunt shouts at me when I tell my cousins that my father is not your [their] father." With the three cousins readily perceiving P4 as their elder sister, the complexity of a family life not comprising a mother and a father was exacerbated by the fragmentation caused by single parenthood, intensified by HIV-related maternal fatalities. With reference to Bourdieu (2005) on habitus and Moscovici (1984) on order in life, such fragmentation challenges both the foster child and foster family to a continuous reorientation of meaning-giving perceptions on the family as habitus within a world affected by HIV fatalities.

8.2 Confused understandings about the condition of HIV

Although each participant's HIV status was known to him/her, it was clear from the interviews that, except for P8, they did not have a basic understanding of their condition. P8 showed some understanding of the disease, explaining that "HIV is a disease that is not so bad, because when people drink tablets they get better". For P3, the reason for her regular visits to the clinic was merely "to get my injections", without any justification for this, or a valuation of the treatment. Some participants equated HIV with tuberculosis: as P5 explained, the result of acute coughing is to "spit into the bottle, the HIV is diagnosed from the spit in the bottle", with P1 concurring with this assumption, namely of receiving treatment "for my chest". HIV and tuberculosis often go hand in hand, resulting in the incorrect assumption that a person suffering from tuberculosis is necessarily also living with HIV. A disturbing answer came from P10, namely that "when you have HIV you are going to die". The countered explanation of treatment resulting in longevity engendered P10's changed perception, namely that "I am now happy to drink my medicine because it is going to cure me of HIV", which still does not represent an accurate understanding of the disease.

Adults' poor grasp of children's understanding of their disease was evident from interviews with the participants: regardless of the disclosure of their status, participants' understanding of HIV was confusing. With reference to Piko and Bak (2006) on children's desire for full disclosure, the participants' poor understanding of their condition could relate to disclosure representing a one-time event consisting of one-way instruction on how to live and take medication, without prompting any questioning on the part of the young patient. It could also relate to children's cognitive and/or verbal incapacity to express their views on a subject as foreboding as HIV, and adults' inability to adequately explain such a serious disease. Evident from the interviews was the participants' lack of proper understanding of their HIV status, and with reference to habitus as a structure of perception and conception (Bourdieu, 2005), the need for clear explanations and repeated discussions with children about their disease was deemed crucial.

8.3 Perceptions about clinic visits and the taking of medication

The participants' comments regarding their regular clinic visits varied from being positive, i.e., receiving medicine to keep them healthy (P5) and enjoy riding the lift at the clinic (P10), relishing the company of other children (P6), to being negative because of having to receive 'injections' (P9) and being bored there (P3). P3's boredom was evident from her self-portrait as an unsatisfied girl, which was related to the frustration of perpetuated inactivity while waiting to consult the doctor, which she wished could be countered by television viewing as distraction.

 

 

 

 

The persistence of stigmatisation for children living with HIV was confirmed by a comment from P1. In a drawing of him and his mother coming to the clinic for his regular treatment, P1 explained that his sad face was because "the people at the clinic are staring me down, they don't like me, I feel sad when they stare me down". P1's awareness of stigmatisation, engendered by prejudice in his surrounding environment, subconsciously influenced him to experience every situation as judgemental (including his visits to the clinic) as it persistently reinforces his HIV status. With such awareness of social stigma engendering stigma internalisation, children inculcate society's negative views of them and their illness. This has a destructive impact on their self-image and is a major contributor to the high rates of depression which are prevalent amongst HIV-infected children.

Related to the emotional struggle of coping with stigmatisation is the physical struggle of "feeling pain in my stomach" (P10) (a side-effect of ART medication, which is exacerbated by multiple deprivation in the sense of taking the medication on an empty stomach). Although P8 countered the discomfort associated with HIV treatment with the reassurance that "HIV is not so bad because when people drink tablets they get better", P10 confirmed that his crying face in his drawing is testimony to the fact that "HIVis painful", because of constantly having to live with stomach ache. In addition to stomach ache, participants complained about nausea, because "after taking the pills I want to vomit" (P1), which is exacerbated by "the bitter syrup" (P3) when the tablets are out of stock. All these experiences emphasised the challenge for children to maintain the 95% adherence level necessary for the virological control of the disease.

The act of children frequently spitting out their HIV medication, as generally reported by healthcare workers, bears testimony to the former's desperate pursuit of a comfortable physical condition which is free from pain, nausea and that bitter taste in the mouth. However, non-adherence is also motivated by psychosocial factors such as maintaining secrecy from their peers and, prompted by a desire for autonomy, a misguided attempt to take control of their own lives. With reference to family fragmentation and the fact that it is easier for children to disclose non-adherence to their own parents, they may opt to keep quiet for fear of being scolded or even suffering the abuse of a frustrated caregiver (Hosegood et al., 2007). Considering these facts, it is evident that children must have an opportunity to voice their frustrations and concerns, in order for these emotions to be considered in pursuit of a holistic support plan. The opportunity to reveal their feelings about HIV resulted in the participants eagerly sharing the discomforts associated with their treatment, as depicted by the crying face of P10.

For P7, visits to the clinic were a positive experience, because of her engagement with medical staff. In her drawing, P7 focused on her interaction with healthcare workers who asked after her health, stating "I liked that the sisters asked me questions". P7 appreciated being spoken to directly, which conveyed a message of acknowledgement and respect for the dignity of her existence. While relaying her interaction with the medical staff, she seemed proud to have been able to answer all the healthcare workers' questions, with her pride relating to self-worth for being knowledgeable about matters regarding her condition. P7 confirmed that children deserve and want to be regarded as competent social actors who, according to Bourdieu (2005) and Moscovici (1984), can master their world and communicate this world through a code of social exchange.

 

 

 

 

With reference to Bourdieu (2005) on practical systematicity depicting similarity in individuals' behaviour, children living with HIV find ways to cope with the physical and emotional pain associated with treatment during their clinic visits. The presence of other children in the same social space reassures them of their common situatedness and the prospects of improved health - these serve as encouraging stimuli enabling them to face the challenges associated with medical treatment. Crucial to their will to transform their objective space (Bourdieu, 1994) is these children's appreciation for being personally engaged in treating their disease, and being viewed as human beings with inherent dignity, who are knowledgeable about their condition.

8.4 Ideals for adult life

From participants' answers to the question what they wanted to be when they grow up, their frame of reference (as prompted by interactions with other people, objects and symbols in their immediate environment) became clear. Motivated by strong thoughts of morality and striving towards the greater good, the participants' aspirations were associated with their close contact with the medical environment at hospitals and clinics. In this regard, P2 wanted to become a doctor "to help people", with P7 opting to become a nurse "to help sick people" and P6 evaluating a career in medicine positively, because "it looks nice to help sick people". Participant aspiration was also linked to the need for policing crime-ridden environments, as P1 wanted to become "a policeman, to catch people that are evil"and P3 "a policewoman, to take care of criminals". Exposure to homes burning down in environments characterised by multiple deprivation (including a lack of electricity) prompted P10's ideal to become "a firefighter to help people when their house is on fire".

There was a pertinent sense of excitement and determination when the participants spoke without any hesitation about their anticipated occupations. This was reflected in P2's drawing of him returning from work and enjoying his meal at "seven o'clock in the evening" in a comfortable home with his cat for company. Asked whether he owns a cat, his answer was "No, but I love cats, I will buy a cat when I am a doctor". Considering Bourdieu's (1994) comments on living in an objective space with points of view of this objective space and constant interaction for the sake of betterment, it was clear that the participants aspired to become role models from a young age. It was also evident that these participants, who live with HIV, had an unyielding faith that their future would be as long and as certain as any other child's, regardless of the fears and uncertainties surrounding their disease.

 

9. CONCLUDING REMARKS

With reference to Bourdieu (1994) on systemising the classification of practices as they relate to the habitus of children living with HIV, the participants in this study exhibited an intense desire for their existence to be respected and their actions to benefit others. Given their ideals for the future, the participants wished to make a positive impact on the world. Keeping in mind the notion of establishing order to master their world (Moscovici, 1984), these children confirmed the physical and psychosocial challenges related to living with HIV and the lack of meaningful communication with adults for a better understanding of their situatedness. Linked to physical pain associated with treatment and the psychosocial pain of family fragmentation, the participants confirmed the debilitating effects of the persistent stigma associated with HIV. A crucial part of establishing order (Moscovici, 1984), was evident in these children's attempts to strive for self-worth and realise their right to actively participate in communication about their HIV status. Meaningful communication about children's HIV status is contingent on adults' cognition of children's understanding of their HIV situatedness.

Considering human expression of the will to transform dispositions within an objective space (Bourdieu, 2005), children's understanding of their HIV status represents a platform for meaningful discussions on the physical and psychosocial challenges pertaining to treatment, family fragmentation and stigma. Based on interaction between individuals functioning in the same objective space (Bourdieu, 1993), consistent age-appropriate means of communication can establish trusting relationships and channels of communication, allowing all stakeholders to form a holistic understanding of, and offer appropriate support for, children living with HIV. To this end, the draw-and-tell technique enhances adults' understanding of children's cognition of the virus living in their bodies and attacking their immune systems, which, due to its abstractness, eludes younger children's verbal ability to convey any cognitive perception of their situatedness.

Based on improved understandings of children's HIV disposition, directed by the will to generate meaningful practices and meaning-giving perceptions (Bourdieu, 1994), holistic support in dealing with physical and psychosocial burdens should include progressive communication at the clinic and school level. At school, interaction between infected peers - arranged by teachers through discussions in an environment where children can voice their feelings freely and openly - can contribute to a habitus which is focused on countering the physical and psychosocial challenges associated with HIV. In the clinic setting, discussing physical and psychosocial burdens as a routine part of consultations with paediatricians can enhance children's perception of their self-worth, motivating them to become active participants during consultations. The joint endeavours of teachers and paediatricians, to communicate HIV-related matters empathically while demonstrating respect for human dignity and a consideration for personal circumstances, steered by compassion for children's HIV situatedness and passion for their holistic well-being, can result in an improved habitus for HIV-positive children. Understanding younger children's situatedness for improved habitus can be arranged by using the draw-and-tell technique, to prompt them to participate in the free and open communication of their emotions and concerns. Further research should explore the specifics of a joint intervention programme (by paediatricians and teachers) to contribute in a holistic way to the wellbeing of children living with HIV.

 

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Vaz, M.E., Eng, E., Maman, S., Tshikandu, T. & Behets, F. 2010. Telling children they have HIV: Lessons learned from findings of a qualitative study in sub-Saharan Africa. AIDS Patient Care and STDs, 23(4):247-255. https://doi.org/10.1089/apc.2009.0217.         [ Links ]

Vindrola-Padros, C. 2012. The everyday lives of children with cancer in Argentina: Going beyond the disease and treatment. Children & Society, 26:430-442. https://doi.org/10.1111/jM099-0860.2011.00369.x.         [ Links ]

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Correspondence:
vdmerhm@unisa.ac.za
alva@kidzdoc.co.za

Published: 2 April 2020

 

 

The authors, being a teacher and a paediatrician respectively, embarked on this study jointly, with H. van der Merwe (the teacher) directing the literature study and A. van der Merwe (the paediatrician) the empirical investigation. The authors mutually share the pursuit of holistic support to children living with HIV.

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ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

Building resilient communities in the midst of shame, guilt, fear, witchcraft, and HIV/AIDS1

 

 

Dr P.J. (Flip) Buys

School for Ecclesiastical Science, North-West University. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5038-8248

Correspondence

 

 


ABSTRACT

One of the most challenging issues in dealing with HIV/AIDS is breaking through the stigmas surrounding the disease and building resilience in communities where large numbers of people are infected with and affected by the HIV pandemic. This article explores the relationship between shame, fear, guilt, witchcraft and HIV/AIDS stigmatization with specific reference to a rural community in South Africa. This will be done by looking at key features of the African Traditional worldview and culture. Predominant witchcraft, beliefs and how it manifests in community attitudes towards PLWA as we have observed it over a period of 10 years in the KwaNdebele region will be pointed out. The influence of prevailing beliefs in witchcraft and the way it aggravates the experience of fear, shame, and suffering of stigmatization by people infected and affected by HIV will also be highlighted. Approaches to Christian HIV/AIDS counselling and intervention have to be contextualised to be culturally sensitive and relevant. At the same time, the article wants to stress that a Christian approach to HIV/AIDS intervention may be enriched and become more holistic when the aspects of the Christian Gospel dealing with God's merciful covering of the shame of his children and Christ's victory over and disarmament of all evil spiritual powers and authorities are believed and embraced


 

 

1. CHALLENGE

There is no doubt that HIV and AIDS - especially in sub-Saharan Africa - is still the most horrific epidemic that the human race has ever seen. Just a quick look at some of the frightening statistics is enough to establish this fact.

In a 2013 report of the World Bank it is stated that since AIDS first appeared in 1981, more than 65 million people have been infected and more than 30 million people have died of AIDS-related causes. (World Bank, 2013). Worldwide, 2.5 million people became newly-infected with HIV, and 1.5 million died of HIV-related causes in 2011 (World Bank 2013).

UNAIDS figures published in 2018, reveal that although there have been significant reductions in deaths due to AIDS-related illness the downward trend is not enough to reach the General Assembly's 2020 milestone. The annual number of global deaths from AIDS-related illness among people living with HIV has declined by 34% but reaching the 2020 milestone will require further declines of nearly 150 000 deaths per year (cf. UNAIDS 2018: 120).

Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 68 per cent of all new infections and nearly half of all deaths globally in 2010 occurred in Southern Africa. (World Bank 2013).

It is shocking and painful to see that several researchers have pointed out that in terms of the absolute number of people living with HIV, South Africa had the largest number in 2016 with more than 6.3 million (Rosser & Ritchie 2018).

In 2011, South Africa already had 2.09 million children orphaned from AIDS deaths. (Rosser & Ritchie, 2018). A research report of a project of 2010, funded by the German Development Bank in collaboration with the National Department of Social Development (DSD), South Africa indicated that there was a growing phenomenon of child-headed households in South Africa (Mogotlane et al., 2010).

Unlike other disasters, AIDS is taking more lives, impacting the health of more people and leaving more children and orphans homeless than any hurricane, earthquake or tsunami (Keeba & Ray, 2002:20; Kilbourn, 2002:10).

The effects on people affected/infected by HIV/AIDS in rural areas like the KwaNdebele region are compounded by other desperate needs. The 500 000 people living in the Thembisile and Mkobola Municipal areas in the Ngankala District of the former KwaNdebele homeland (around KwaMhlanga) in the Mpumalanga Province, suffer dire consequences as the results of poverty, unemployment and general underdevelopment.

The desperate needs of this community (Thembisile Local Municipality, 2006:35; Martin, 2006:15) are highlighted by the fact that:

80% of the households have no hygienic toilets.

90% of the households have no refuse removal.

20% of the households have no piped water. Generally water provision is a problem in itself. Water supplies are cut off for months (including for those who have access to piped water).

20% of the people have no schooling.

Only 8% of the people have completed Grade 12.

2% of the community continue with tertiary education.

27% of the population is economically active in the public sector.

43% households earn less than R1000 per month - which is considered as living below the poverty line.

Only 24% households earn more than R1800 per month; this means that 76% of this population earn less than R1800 per month.

39% of people/households have access to electricity for cooking.

The health facilities range from average to poor and are generally understaffed. The one and only hospital in KwaMhlanga is substandard and only provides very limited services. Four additional clinics are required for this area. There is a need for more ambulances. More equipment and medicines are needed at the clinics.

Social services have limited transport and social workers cannot cope with the number of orphan cases reported.

50% of the children are below the age of 18.

63% of the population is under the age of 24.

 

2. PROBLEM STATEMENT

In a Fact Sheet on Stigma and Discrimination of UNAIDS in 2003 and confirmed in a new report in 2018, it has been pointed out that all over the world, the AIDS epidemic is having a profound impact, bringing out the worst when individuals are stigmatized and ostracized by their loved ones, their family and their communities, and discriminated against individually as well as institutionally (UNAIDS, 2003, Fact Sheet).

Stigma and discrimination continue to play a huge role in the HIV response by hampering access to and uptake of critical HIV services, such as in Botswana where 50% of pregnant women don't feed their babies with formula (a key substance for survival) so as to not to identify their HIV status (Brown, Trujillo & Macintyre, 2001:12).

The way in which individuals discover and disclose their HIV status to others, as well as how they cope with their HIV status, is influenced by cultural and community beliefs and values regarding causes of illness, learned patterns of response to illness, social and economic contexts, and social norms (Brown, Trujillo & Macintyre, 2001:20).

This article wants to consider the relationship between resilience and the predominant worldview of the people in the communities suffering from the HIV AIDS pandemic.

Within the African context life is perceived holistically. An individual is perceived to be in a continuous relationship with his community and the super-natural world, both of which has a distinct influence on the individual's life. The joys, struggles, and sufferings are interpreted within this scheme of relationship networks and there ought to be an equilibrium between individuals and their environment. Disturbing this balance causes sickness and suffering. This super-natural perception of sickness and suffering poses a pastoral care challenge in Africa and the pastoral counsellor may need to interpret God in terms of these supernatural perceptions and experiences (Magezi, 2007:657).

2.1 What is resilience?

Resilience can be defined as a process of adapting successfully in the context of a threatening situation (Germann, 2005: 42). In this paper resilience is understood as the ability to bounce back and learn from an adverse experience to such an extent that the ability is gained to reach out to others in adverse experiences and comfort them to deal with their challenges. From a Christian perspective resilience is described in 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

This requires a holistic approach as illustrated in the following image:

 

 

This article wants to contribute to the present discussion by investigating the influence of shame, guilt, fear, and witchcraft beliefs on HIV/AIDS interventions, with specific reference to the predominant worldview in a rural community in South Africa. This will be done by looking at features of the African worldview and culture and at the relevance of the Christian Gospel in this regard. Although the literature consulted refers to Africa and rural areas in general, this study has been done in the context of the Mukhanyo Community Development Centre NGO, functioning in the wider KwaMhlanga area in the former KwaNdebele homeland, where we have been involved in the care of 1000+ OVC's through day care centres linked to churches and foster mothers and care for 500+ PLHA's (People Living with HIV and AIDS) through home based care visits as well as a step down centre caring for 300+ terminally ill AIDS patients per year (Mukhanyo Community Development Centre, 2009).

In 2009 Mukhanyo Community Development Centre (MCDC) contracted the professional Chiastolite Professional Services to lead a baseline survey in the Vlaklaagte extension 2 in KwaMhlanga, Mpumalanga area. This baseline survey aimed to assess the current situation, identify existing needs and trends and provide as baseline for planning and monitoring and evaluation. (Mukhanyo Community Development Centre, 2009b).

The findings of the baseline survey confirmed the findings of the HIV/AIDS Bureau that one of the most challenging issues in dealing with HIV/AIDS is breaking through the stigmas surrounding the disease. The stigma related to HIV/AIDS appears to be more severe than that associated with other life-threatening conditions. This also confirms the experience of this researcher who has done pastoral ministry to many terminally ill HIV victims and their relatives. The MCDC survey also revealed that a significant number of people in the area relate HIV/AIDS to witchcraft and believe traditional healers (called witchdoctors or sangomas) have the power to heal HIV/AIDS.

It became clear that HIV/AIDS-related stigma compromises the well-being of people living with the disease. Stigmatised individuals may suffer discrimination and isolation that lead to loss of employment and housing, estrangement from family and society, and even increased risk of violence. HIV/AIDS-related stigma also fuels new HIV infections because it can deter people from getting tested for the disease, make them less likely to acknowledge their risk of infection, and discourage those who are HIV-positive from discussing their HIV status with their sexual and needle-sharing partners.

In the South African context the following negative effects and observations could be added to the problems referred to above:

People in South Africa are still extremely afraid to reveal their HIV status or the status of their relatives.

People living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) are so afraid of stigmatisation and try to hide their illness for such a long time, that it becomes too late to seek medication that could have made a huge difference.

Fear of witchcraft still prevents open and honest discussion and much needed counselling for patients and their relatives. In a research paper on AIDS, Witchcraft, and the Problem of Power in Post-Apartheid South Africa, Adam Ashforth (2001:5) argues convincingly - based on field research and statistical proof - that as the epidemic of AIDS sweeps through this part of Africa, isidliso ("sickness" caused by witchcraft spells and ancestral spirits2) is the name that springs to mind amongst many in the epidemic's path. To the extent that this occurs, the epidemic of HIV/AIDS becomes also an epidemic of witchcraft. For when suspicions of witchcraft are in play in a community, problems of illness and death can transform matters of public health into questions of public power, questions relating to the identification and punishment of persons deemed responsible for bringing misfortune to the community, that is: witches.

Traditional healers sometimes exploit the fears of PLHA and impoverish them and their families and endanger their lives.

PLHA are marginalized from communities and often suffer in loneliness without care.

Vulnerable children and orphans cannot ventilate their grief nor receive proper Christian bereavement and resilience counselling because of the stigma surrounding the illness and death of their parents.

Sex education and HIV/AIDS education are hampered because of the shame surrounding HIV/AIDS

Judgment and indifference, rather than compassion, continue to characterise the church's response to HIV/AIDS.

This researcher has experienced that several patients who left the Nakekela Step-Down Centre that MCDC has established, to go home came under such pressure of relatives to add traditional witchcraft potions to their ARV medication that although they left the step-down centre after some weeks of care with much improved health then soon died with symptoms of full blown AIDS.

Parker and Aggleton (2003:34) examined the influence of the broader contexts of culture in AIDS-related stigma and accompanying denial, and concluded that stigma could not be fully examined outside the cultural contexts that give it meaning. In a 3-year project funded by UNAIDS to develop a new direction for HIV/AIDS prevention in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, culture was one of the five key domains that was recommended to become central in HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support, particularly in Africa (UNAIDS, 1999). Magezi (2007:658) rightfully states that a pastoral counsellor in Africa should be aware of the crucial role played by the African worldview in order to make meaningful diagnosis. The worldview provides the schema for probing and interpreting the conversation.

 

3. CENTRAL THEORETICAL ARGUMENT

This researcher has a hypothesis that will form the central theoretical argument of this article namely that one of the key aspects of the predominant African worldview in rural and semi-rural communities in South Africa - like the former KwaNdebele - is that it is a shame and fear culture and that approaches to Christian HIV/AIDS counselling and intervention have to be contextualised to be culturally sensitive and relevant in this regard. The researcher also has a hypothesis that the key message of the Christian Gospel provides clear perspectives to deal with fear, shame and stigmatization and thus may make a huge contribution to the call made by UNAIDS in 2003 with regards to stigma and HIV/AIDS: "Live and let live. Help us fight fear, shame, ignorance and injustice worldwide" (UNAIDS, 2003: Fact Sheet).

 

4. CULTURAL ISSUES

4.1 Unique characteristics of the African worldview and culture

Although it entails an enormous generalisation to speak of "African Culture and World View" several researchers (Mbiti, 1969; Mbiti,1970; Turaki,1997, Van der Walt, 2006; Van Rooy, 1995, O' Donovan,1995:21, Van Rheenen,1991:45) have pointed out that there are typical aspects of African culture that are generally found on the continent of Africa.

Turaki (2012:10) summarized it as follows:

The details of African Traditional Religion vary from region to region, but all variants share five fundamental beliefs: belief in impersonal powers, belief in spirit beings, belief in divinities or gods, belief in a Supreme Being, and belief in a hierarchy of spiritual beings and powers.

Georges explained that guilt, shame, and fear in the worldview of people are the moral emotions that they use to organize the distribution of resources between people. With the circle illustration below Georges visually depicts how a person (in the centre) acquires essential resources (the outer ring), and the three potential emotional barriers.

 

 

Following Mbiti, Turaki, Nyirongo and others, Van der Walt (2006) summarizes the uniqueness of African culture over against typical Western culture by means of the following seven characteristics:

1. Unique ideas about God; Africans believe that their creator god is far away and not interested in them.

2. Unique world views; For Africans the spiritual world determines the physical world - every visible event has a spiritual cause.

3. Unique views of society; Africans have communalistic views of society as opposed to Western individualism.

4. Unique views on and ways of experiencing time; Africans have an events-oriented vision of time opposite to the chronological (clock) time of the West.

5. Unique ways of thinking; Africa thinks more holistically, synthetically, while Westerners are more analytically oriented.

6. Unique ways of communication; Africans prefer a more indirect way of communicating and experience the direct way of communication of the West as rude.

7. Another aspect of traditional African worldview that has a bearing on the encounter with HIV/AIDS is the Idea of the Limited Good. Van Rooy (1999:236) has pointed out that many phenomena and aspects of African spirituality can be explained from the presupposition of the idea of limited cosmic good. Good in this case does not refer in the first place to goods in the sense of material possessions, but rather to vital force, power, prestige, influence, health, good luck.

4.2 Guilt, shame, fear and culture

Van der Walt (2006:6) points out that of the first researchers who used the model of guilt and shame to understand Western and non-Western cultures, was Benedict (1946) who made it applicable to the American and Japanese cultures. Since then numerous followers have used her model and worked it out in more detail. He also says that Lienard (2001) pointed out that it is more accurate to speak about an honour orientation versus a justice orientation. This is confirmed in an article of Mbuvi (2002:310) who argues that African Theology should be developed from the perspective of honour and shame. Only after an offence against the community is exposed does a person in an honour-oriented culture experience shame, while a justice-oriented person experiences guilt after transgressing the norms, even when it has not been exposed and known by the community. The honour of the first-mentioned must be restored by the community, while in the last case care must be taken that justice is done.

In his well-documented doctoral dissertation of 521 pages (with a bibliography of not less than 64 pages) Hans Wiher provides a treasure of information. He documents in detail and analyses the origin and development of this approach in a variety of subject fields (psychology, cultural anthropology, philosophy, theology and missiology). He further devotes a chapter to shame and guilt in the Bible dealing with a wide variety of biblical examples and perspectives and insights (Wiher, 2003:179-281). He uses biblical perspectives in treating Western and African cultures critically. The value of this book is enhanced when it transpires that the writer knows the African context very well (he has been a medical doctor as well as lecturer in theology for more than 20 years in Conakry, Guinea).

Wiher's point of departure is the human conscience which shapes and influences human existence and culture. At the same time he does not deny that the surrounding culture forms a certain type of conscience in the individuals.

Magezi (2007:661) also states that the challenge of pastoral diagnosis in Africa is to develop an interpretational frame in which assessment focuses on interpreting the influence of the complex network of relationships. A "shame-oriented conscience", is linked to honour and status in the community. A "guilt-oriented conscience" is linked to offence as a result of the transgression of norms which the individual accepts as binding. Wiher (2003:45) believes that the acceptance of God's authority (by living according to his ordinances) plays a vital role in forming and transforming the consciences of individuals.

A possible weakness in Wiher's dissertation is that he did not deal with the very important role of fear and witchcraft in the traditional African worldview.

Georges and Jayson express the opinion that three responses to sin in human cultures can be identified: guilt, shame, and fear. According to him these three moral emotions have become the foundation for three types of culture: (1) guilt-innocence cultures are individualistic societies (mostly Western), where people who break the laws are guilty and seek justice or forgiveness to rectify a wrong, (2) shame-honour cultures describes collectivistic cultures (common in the East), where people shamed for fulfilling group expectations seek to restore their honour before the community, and (3) fear-power cultures refers to animistic contexts (typically tribal or African), where people afraid of evil and harm pursue power over the spirit world through magical rituals.

These three types of culture are like group personalities defining how people view the world. Just as individual people have a personality, cultural groups share a groupality. Groupality refers an "organized pattern of behavioral characteristics of a group." A person's cultural orientation, or groupality, shapes their worldview, ethics, identity, and notion of salvation, even more than their individual personality does. For this reason, awareness of culture types helps us anticipate cultural clashes and communicate the gospel three-dimensionally to the world (Georges 2017:129).

In an in depth PhD dissertation Thias Kgatla came to the conclusion that

... witchcraft discourse in South Africa has increasingly permeated all social structures, thereby becoming a real threat to the process of reconstruction and development. The neglect of witchcraft accusations and their resultant consequences can cause the country to lose all it gained as a result of the liberation struggle (Kgatla 2000: iii).

Watertight categories can of course not be applied as Wiher (2003), Van der Walt (2005), Magezi (2007) and (Georges 2017) repeatedly state. A measure of guilt, shame and fear is present in every culture. In general people have mixed conscience orientations with a tendency towards the dominance of either guilt, shame or fear. In other words, people may have a strong guilt-orientation combined with a weak shame and fear orientation or the other way round. Therefore it would be wrong for one cultural group to think that another (foreign) culture does not have a conscience - they merely have a different kind of conscience. In personal interaction with the people in the KwaNdebele region and personal pastoral interaction with many people infected with and affected by HIV this researcher is of the opinion that the majority of the people has a fear as well as a shame cultural orientation.

4.3 African communalism, shame and fear orientation

Several African researchers have come to the conclusion that African culture and worldview are imbedded in a communalist understanding of society. Nyirongo (1997:102) agrees with Mbiti (1969:108) that a person's individuality is fulfilled through his or her participation in the tribe. The individual is not a person until he or she has been accepted by the community.

Because Africans believe that everything that exists is in an organic relation to everything else that exists, the same applies to how human beings interact.

Turaki (2012:19) formulates:

People are not individuals, living in a state of independence, but are part of a community, living in relationships and interdependence.

In traditional life, the individual does not and cannot exist alone except corporatively. He owes his existence to other people, including those of the past generations and his contemporaries ...The community must make, create or produce the individual; for the individual depends on the corporate group. Physical birth is not enough ... I am because we are, and since we are, therefore I am (cf. also Setiloane 1976:36 and Setiloane 1986:67).

In Africa the issue of human relationships is a matter of primary importance. Relationships determine ethical norms, modes of conduct and principles of education.

In communalist societies the community thus is of the utmost importance. Therefore a very high premium is placed on interpersonal relationships and harmony among people. It is important to emphasise here that it is what the community does to the individual that matters most, not the individual's view of him or herself. This identity is gained step by step, through various rites, but it is the initiation ceremony which truly incorporates the individual into the social group. Without this transition, one remains a child, an outsider, a "half" person or a nobody. Individuals will not fully enjoy the privileges of the community on their own. The community sets the norm and ideal for human existence. Consequently it is all-important to be honoured and accepted by one's own people.

Turaki (2012:14) made it clear that fear of spiritual powers and of the unpredictable contingencies of life, before which humans are powerless is a fundamental psychological belief in Africa.

Traditional religious rites, rituals, ceremonies, sacrifices and offerings provide only temporary comfort. Indeed, they often enhance fear, rather than reducing it, especially when they have to be repeated time after time (Turaki 2012:14).

The communal character of moral principles is reflected in the ethical code and education of African people. Characteristics which are inculcated to children in traditional education are those which would facilitate human relationships and prevent disunity in the community, such as respect for authority and seniority, humility, modesty, politeness, friendliness, willingness to compromise, sharing with others what one acquires, helping people in need, hospitality (Setiloane 1976:67). Harmony and acceptance mean honour and lead to a good conscience. A bad conscience arises when one has not met the ideals of one's group. When this is discovered a person subsequently loses status and honour. To be marginalised by one's group leads to a personal identity crisis.

In an individualistic culture living correctly (obedience to internalised norms) leads to a good conscience. Transgression of this norm gives rise to a painful feeling of guilt (even psychological depression) or a bad conscience.

Someone who has committed an offence in a communalist culture is never directly called to account or in the presence of others - definitely not someone with a high status - since it tarnishes his or her good reputation. Such an insult is even more serious than murder. Sanctions by the community thus take place in a more indirect manner, like gossip, stories, proverbs, parables, dramas and other symbolic actions.

In summary the difference between a shame-oriented conscience culture and a guilt-oriented conscience culture is the following (cf. Wiher, 2003:60): In the case of an individualistic guilt oriented conscience culture the transgression of norms leads to a feeling of guilt and fear of punishment. In the case of more communalistic cultures failing to meet the ideals of society leads to fear of rejection and, when it is discovered, to a feeling of disgrace or shame.

In their holistic approach traditional Africans believe that fear of being marginalized by your group a person can access spirit power by consulting specialists who have access to these powers through rituals, divination, ceremonies, sacrifices, incantations, symbolism, witchcraft, sorcery, charms, fetishes, and white and black magic (Turaki, 2012:23).

4.4 Implications of the high sensitivity for the opinion of the group.

The feeling of shame is a very serious matter with far-reaching consequences because it hits the individual hard and disturbs him or her deeply. It leads to a loss of status, low self-image, an emotional feeling of inferiority, little or no confidence, uncertainty and deep depression that may even lead to suicide.

Instead of hiding or removing oneself from the community the opposite can also happen: great anger may be stirred up and that could lead to efforts to take revenge on those who publicized one's offence and in this way caused one to lose face and be disgraced in the community.

Stating it in the first person, the whole process can be summarized as follows: My (1) fear that my offence will be discovered, at (2) discovery changes to (3) shame because I (4) have failed to meet (5) my duties according to the ideals of my community, (6) and consequently I have lost esteem/honour, (7) am open to ridicule, contempt and rejection by my own people, which lead to attempts to (8) withdraw/hide myself and (9) even clearing away myself completely (suicide) or (10) revenge myself on those who brought shame on me. Consultation of specialists like witchdoctors or wizards who have access to a wide range of spiritual powers is seen as a very important means to solve life challenges.

Ashforth (2001:13) also explains how painful feelings of shame through marginalization from the communal and social group is aggravated by suspicion of witchcraft. He relates his experience in Soweto that no-one wants to publicize the fear and suspicion that they have been cursed. Such publicity would not only be embarrassing, but dangerous, because it would enable the witch that has caused the sickness to gain intelligence of the efforts being made to counteract his or her occult assault. Such knowledge allows the witch to redouble his or her efforts or seek out other avenues of attack; for this reason, traditional healers typically enjoin their clients to silence. The experience of our home based care workers in the squatter villages in KwaNdebele is that they are often called aside and then someone would almost whisper to them that a relative or friend also has had "caffir poison" (referring to suspected witchcraft as the cause of someone being infected with the HI virus).

4.5 Difficulties in giving and receiving forgiveness

To replace the feelings of pain of a guilty conscience to the restored joy of a good conscience in shame cultures, is very complicated. Both repentance and forgiveness are problematic (cf. Wiher, 2003:151). Firstly, acknowledging guilt and repentance (confession) is difficult, since the guilty one thereby further disgraces himself or herself. Therefore the offence, especially in the case of an important person, is preferably hidden as long as possible. If the offence can no longer be hidden (usually as a result of gossip) the guilty person will not himself confess his guilt but make use of a mediator (someone who does not share the shame) to acknowledge the offence publicly in his/her name and to negotiate about reconciliation.

Those thought to be wayward are asked to look within to find out where they had broken harmony or relationships, and are then told to do restitution by offering gifts and sacrifices to restore peace and find forgiveness. In the traditional world view, sin is viewed as a lack of harmony or a broken relationship with the ancestors, spirits and the natural world. Atonement is the way to restore harmony and relationships (Turaki, 2012:17).

Secondly, it is not only difficult after acknowledgement of guilt to offer forgiveness, but even to accept forgiveness. For if the affronted person forgives the guilty one, he is indirectly saying that the guilty one is a bad person. And for the guilty one the acceptance of forgiveness implies the acknowledgement that the other person is so much better than himself or herself!

Since the process of reconciliation can be so laborious in shame cultures it is often easier to sweep an offence under the carpet, keep silent about it with the hope to eventually forget it. The cultural trait to just keep silent about sensitive issues aggravates stigmatization.

4.6 The impact of fear and a shame oriented conscience on HIV/ AIDS infected and affected people

Based on extensive research done in Soweto, Ashforth (2001 :12) expresses a strong view when he says:

To talk of a "stigma" attached to AIDS in contemporary South Africa without understanding the witchcraft dimensions is, in my view, to risk misunderstanding both the nature of community power relations and the impact of the epidemic.

Belief in witchcraft is stimulated and confirmed by the idea of the limited good. As soon as a person prospers because he or she is somewhat more hardworking than the neighbours, that person is almost automatically suspected of drawing away the life force of someone else through witchcraft and that is what black magic amounts to. If the children of one man by different wives differ in their health, prosperity, scholastic and other achievements, the less fortunate ones will naturally suspect the others of witchcraft (Van Rooy, 1999:235-253)

In our daily encounters with HIV/AIDS patients in KwaNdebele, we often found patients who have been marginalized from the community and left without any care because they were suspected of being bewitched. To be in touch with them is seen to be dangerous because the evil spirits of bad luck might affect you, the caregiver, as well. That made it extremely difficult to break through the stigmas surrounding AIDS.

Because group identity is of such vital importance for the experience of personal identity the fear of being marginalized and losing one's place within a group leads to the fact that many PLHA would rather die than speaking openly about their status. When their condition cannot be hidden any longer it is often too late for them to receive antiretroviral treatment.

The strong beliefs in the healing powers of wizards and witchdoctors also often prove to be detrimental for patients and their families. Families who are already very poor because of a lack of income as a result of the effects of the disease may slaughter their last goat or cow or chicken in an effort to pay for the services of a sangoma in order to win the healing power of ancestral spirits in cleansing rituals. Ashforth (2001:11) has convincingly argued that "traditional healing" in South Africa is usually more expensive than Western medical treatment. Some of the sangomas communicate the idea that they have traditional healing medicines or potions that can heal AIDS or at least raise the CD 4 count levels of terminally ill patients. Patients and their relatives may then sometimes dump themselves in deep debt in order to buy such potions. We have seen traditional healers who have thrown sand or dirt on open bedsores or wounds of patients or encouraged them to replace their use of antiretroviral medicine with traditional cleansing laxatives which then cause diarrhoea and death.

The idea of the limited good also explains the strong feeling of obligation to reciprocity, repaying benefits with other benefits, as is practised in customs of brideprice or in loans and gifts. This is then also applied to ancestors. The widespread beliefs in the power of ancestral spirits to guarantee health, wealth and happiness lead to very elaborate funeral rituals. This means that many Africans in rural areas bury their economic future with these expensive funeral rites. In a rural area like KwaNdebele funeral parlours are mushrooming and business in this regard is flourishing.

There seems to be a fear of being suspected of witchcraft or being marginalized or ridiculed by the group if a "proper" (large scale) funeral is not organized.

Shame implies that in the conscience of many people - one does not feel emotional pain of transgressing God's laws and biblical norms for morality until it is discovered. As long as it is hidden and not spoken of nobody feels bad about it. This sometimes leads to the phenomenon that fear of disapproval from one's family/tribe is more extensive than fear of God's wrath over sin. Where that happens, it makes communities extremely vulnerable for peer group pressure, especially young people in the practicing of sexual morals. In fact, one must even tell lies just to avoid offending one's people. One's consciousness of the shame and disappointment experienced by one's family - especially one's elders and ancestral spirits - is more painful than fear of God's wrath. Various aspects of the shame culture make it very hard to break through the stigmas around HIV/AIDS.

 

5. The Christian Gospel removes both guilt, shame and fear

Wiher (2003:179-281) gives an elaborate discussion of the two above-mentioned and contrasting consciences in the light of the Bible.

After the fall Adam and Eve were ashamed and tried to hide from God. God restores personal relations with Himself and covers shame.

He forgave the iniquity of your people and covered all their sins (Ps 85:2)

Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. (Ps 85:11)

As far as the New Testament is concerned, Christ's death of atonement on the cross was interpreted in Western Christendom by most theologians merely from a guilt-oriented conscience. Christ paid for or made good in our place the guilt of our disobedience to God's commandments. But Wiher (2003:151) repeatedly shows that this is a one-sided understanding of the cross.

Georges (2017:158 -160) also explains that the gospel is a many-sided diamond, and God wants people in all cultures to experience his complete salvation. But despite the multifaceted nature of Christian salvation, Western Christianity emphasizes one aspect of salvation. He then illustrates his argument with examples from the book of Ephesians to explain "the unsearchable riches of Christ" (3: 8), which involves each of the three components of salvation of Christ forgiving guilt -"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins" (1: 7a). Christ taking shame away "when we were dead in transgressions" (2: 5) and in love God predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ" (1: 5) so that we are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household" (2: 19, cf. 2: 12-13). The fear-power emotions are addressed in that God's "power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at this right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion" (1: 1921). Therefore Christians can be "strong in the Lord and in his mighty power and put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes" (6: 10-11). Three aspects of salvation also emerge from Paul's central prayer: "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe" (1: 18-19). The gospel always remains an indivisible whole, but examining the facets individually provides a more complete understanding of salvation. Reading Ephesians three-dimensionally may help Christians to fully perceive "the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding" (1: 7-8).

Wiher also shows by means of numerous examples how different Bible characters dovetailed with the particular conscience orientation of their audiences. Christ Himself approached Nicodemus, a man of the law, in a direct way (cf. John 3). But in the very following chapter (John 4) He approached the Samaritan woman (a shame-oriented person, rejected by her own community) first in a subtle, indirect way before asking her an outright question about her husband.

After careful analysis of a wealth of biblical material Wiher (2003:159) can conclude convincingly that the Word of God does not make a choice between cultures, but prefers a balanced guilt and shame-orientation. According to him (Wiher 2003:178) both are necessary. For in our relationship towards God and our fellow men/with other people we have to live honourably (in love) otherwise we act shamefully; and in our relationship to God's norms (which have greater authority than our social values) we have to live correctly (in obedience) otherwise we are guilty.

This biblical balance however does not mean a mere compromise between various conscience orientations. Apart from finding links, Christ also criticises. He bluntly rejects the legalism of the guilt-ridden Pharisees, because they have forgotten the most important thing - love. Likewise He cannot accept the ordinary people's admiration for status, honour and esteem (typical of a shame conscience) but calls them (including his own disciples) to humility and to regard others more highly than themselves.

 

6. The role evangelical churches living and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ ought to play in dealing with HIV / AIDS

From an evangelical faith perspective, the following solutions are offered for consideration:

Evangelicals believe that the gospel is the power unto salvation. It is also the power for transformation of lives and communities (Rm 12:1,2). It is an unmatched power to bring about the end of AIDS stigmatization and prevent new infections.

If the evangelical church cares for the sick and the dying, comforts the orphan and widow, shares its message of redemption, victory over all evil spirits and transformation, disciples its members and works for justice, then the worth and truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ will shine like a light on the hill and the nations will stream towards it.

Holistic mission and ministry implies that the Church of reconciled believers living from grace, forgiveness and assurance of shame being covered and taken away, and assured of access to the power of the Holy Spirit, needs to work towards creating an environment of hope and spiritual transformation in the midst of desperate suffering, poverty, fear and despair.

Believers from the diverse classes and races of a local village or region must unite in sacrificial fellowship and service to insure that the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of the people in the community are met, and to make God's tangible love for the poor and suffering a reality. The church ought to work hard at being a place where everyone, including the poor and PLHA and affected relatives, feel welcome and valued. Corporate worship, small group ministry and culturally appropriate outreach are vital in a Christian response to AIDS.

Indigenous leadership development is an absolute necessity. Community people and leaders must be encouraged and developed to bring spiritual, moral and economic renewal to their communities. This is fundamentally the work of holistic disciple-making.

Holistic ministry implies that the church should provide servant leadership in a community-determined way, and model healthy Christian lifestyles.

The following comments need consideration:

Evangelical Christians ought to recognize that all people are made in the image of God and that all Christians are sinners saved by grace alone. All people are equal and have innate value, whether they are young, aged, disabled, or illiterate. Living from grace alone in the power of The Holy Spirit, will stir up the strength to not only forgive one another as God has forgiven us in Christ (Eph 4:32), but also that love covers a multitude of sins (Jam 5:20) and that as children of God they have overcome evil spirits, "for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (1Jn 4:4-5).

It is necessary to affirm that all people have a vocation. God has a calling on each person's life that requires them to be an agent - and not just a client or a lifelong beggar. Some of our best workers at MCDC were PLHA's who have come to a saving knowledge of God's grace in Christ forgiving our sins and covering our shame, and though the Holy Spirit fills us with power to live healthy lives (taking ARV's) of service to other people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.

In a Christian response to AIDS we ought to recognize that all people have gifts and talents - which they have to use to the glory of God both in the church and in the community.

A Christian response to AIDS should emphasize that labour and employment affirm dignity and contribute to our identity. We work not just to earn money - but it is a fundamental way in which we participate in the activity of God in the world.

Evangelical Christians believe in a personal relationship with God as well as the unique communion of the saints, the fellowship of believers and our common call to serve humanity around us with compassion and service. In this regard the African concept of ubuntu may be enriched with the biblical concept of koinonia. Within this paradigm it is possible to accommodate those who have grown up in a predominantly shame oriented conscience cultures - to seek solutions for challenges through communal action.

The only way to overcome fears of witchcraft is a sure knowledge and an overwhelming conviction that Christ did not only forgave our sins when he died on the cross but also disarmed all spiritual powers and authorities, and, triumphed over them, (Col 3:15; Wolford,1999). An experiential understanding that all power in heaven and on earth has been given to Christ (Mt 28:18; De Visser, 2000) drives away fear and instils assurance that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rm 8:38,39)

 

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World Bank, 2005. Data. http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTHEALTHNUTRITIONANDPOPULATION/EXTHIVAIDS/0,,-contentMDK:20345949-menuPK:4676419-pagePK:148956-piPK:21 6618-theSitePK:376471,00.html Date of access: 7 March 2009.         [ Links ]

World Bank, 2013. World Bank and HIV/AIDS: The Facts. http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/hivandaids/brief/world-bank-and-hivaids-the-facts Date of access: 13.11.2018.         [ Links ]

 

 

Correspondence:
buys.flip@gmail.com

Published: 21 April 2020

 

 

1 Paper delivered at the IAPCHE All Africa Conference from 6-8 November 2018 in Potchefst-room.
2 In a web blog Antje Ramotswe explains the widespread reasoning of links between AIDS and isidliso as an illness caused by witchcraft: "Pneumonia, diarrhea, weight loss and other symptoms that appeared by having AIDS are similar to the symptoms of Isidliso, an illness that is caused by witchcraft. The people don't speak about the illness not only because they are afraid of the illness, not only because they don't want to be known as sexual excessive, it is because they are not allowed to speak about witchcraft. The person who witched you shouldn't know he's known as a witch, because then the healing could fail." http://ramotswe-antje.blog.com/1347614/

^rND^sGermann^nS.E.^rND^sLienard^nR.^rND^sMagezi^nV.^rND^sMbuvi^nA.M.^rND^sMartin^nD.^rND^sParker^nR.^rND^sAggleton^nP.^rND^sVan Rooy^nJ.A.^rND^sVan Rooy^nJ.A.^rND^1A01^nJanine^sLewis^rND^1A02^nJan^svan der Merwe^rND^1A01^nJanine^sLewis^rND^1A02^nJan^svan der Merwe^rND^1A01^nJanine^sLewis^rND^1A02^nJan^svan der Merwe

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

Archaeology of time - activation of installation space by the spect-actor

 

Ho epolloa ha lintho tsa khale nako: ts'ebetso ea sebaka sa tlhomamiso ke moetsi oa spect-actor

 

 

Janine LewisI; Jan van der MerweII

IDepartment of Performing Arts Tshwane University of Technologyhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-3681-567X
IIDepartment of Fine & Studio Art Tshwane University of Technologyhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-2125-466X

Correspondence

 

 


ABSTRACT

An artistic installation implies theatre in situ, in that a/the space is transformed into a potential experiential encounter through design and scenography. This potential space then only requires the spectator to activate the full experience through embodied engagement with the installation, inciting visceral meaning-making. This embodied activation implies that the spectator then also becomes a performer, as they are simultaneously the ones physically causing the theatrical experience and the ones experiencing the elements designed for (their) interpretation. In this manner a heightened sense of becoming what Boal (1992) coined the 'spect-actor' is achieved By activating the space through physical engagement with/in the installation where all the sensory receptors trigger a visceral response in the spect-actor, meaning-making occurs through phenomenology and implies a knowing body through personal- and socio-cultural interpretation. For this paper, the installations by renowned South African artist Jan van der Merwe are used as examples to argue for the emergence of the spect-actor in the role of activator. As an installation artist, Van der Merwe creates large artworks of intricately recreated tableaux often composed in discarded, rusted found material. Van der Merwe calls the found objects "artefacts of our time". Thus, they assume an archaeological quality and become relics of a way of life, a civilisation degenerated and fossilised though time and rust. The spect-actor is both then the site and cite of activation where the time and space converge into an ephemeral experience.

Keywords: Installation art, Jan van der Merwe, embodied perception, spect-actor


KHOTSO

Boetsi ba bonono bo ikhethileng ka tshebediso ya ditshwantsho sebakeng ho bontša hore ho na le liketsahalo tsa sethala, ka hore sebaka se fetoha sebopeho se nang le phihlelo ka ho qaptjoa le ho shebahala. Sebaka sena se ka etsahala habonolo feela se hloka hore mmoheli a khone ho etsa boiphihlelo bo feletseng ka ho khomahanya ka ketsahatso, e leng tsela ya ho khothalletsa ho etsa moelelo oa visceral. Tshebetso ena e ncha e fana ka maikutlo a hore motho ea shebellang le ena o fetoha sebapali, kaha ka nako e tšoanang o etsa hore ho be le boiphihlelo ba papali ho ba nang le likarolo tse etselitsoeng tlhaloso ea bona. Ka tsela ena ho ba le kutloisiso e phahameng ea ho ba seo Boal (1992) a ileng a se bitsa hore ke mmohi-sebapali se fihlelloe. Ka ho futhumatsa sebaka ka tsela ya ho sebelisa mmele har'a mosebetsi wa bonono o pampiri ena e baung ka ona, e leng ona o lokollang li-receptor tsohle tse utloahalang hore li hlahise karabo ea visceral ho mmohi-sepali. Ho etsa moelelo o etsahalang ka phenomenology ho bolela mmele o tsebang ka litlhaloso tsa setso. Bakeng sa pampiri ena mesebetsi ea bonono ea moetsahatsi oa Afrika Boroa ea tummeng, Jan van der Merwe, e tla sebelisoa e le mohlala ho pheha khang ka ho hlaha ha mmohi-sebapali karolong ea motho ea futhumatsang le ho etsahatsa mosebetsi wa bonono ka nako eo o etsahalang ka yona. Joalokaha moetsahatsi oa bonono, van der Merwe o etsa litšoantšo tse kholo tsa sekalitšoantšo tse entsoeng ka mokhoa o rarahaneng o atisang ho etsoa ka thepa e lahliloeng, e bolileng. Van der Merwe o bitsa lintho tse a lifumaneng ho etsa mosebetsi oa hae "lintho tsa nako ea rona". Ka hona, ntho tsena linka seemo sa lintho tsa khale tse epollotsoeng ebe lifetoha litšoantšo tsa mokhoa oa bophelo, tsoelo-pele e ileng ea khutlela moraho le ho khitloa nakong. Ha hole joalo, mmohi-sepabali eba sebaka le moetsahatsi wa futhumatso tsebetsong moo nako le sebaka li fetohang phihlelo ea ho iphelisa.


 

 

Installation art has an established history that spans the twentieth century and is firmly rooted in the twenty-first century. According to De Oliveira, Oxley and Pety (2003), over the last decade installation art has achieved mainstream status within contemporary visual culture and has given rise to new terms and affected not just art but also fashion, movie design, and club culture. Theatre has also embraced the sites of installation performances with such works being coined as 'immersive theatre' that include works such as created by the British Punch-Drunk company. "The new 'immersive' installation reflects a desire for sensual pleasure, as the viewer is totally enveloped in a hermetic and narcissistic artwork... The culmination of these processes has made the audience itself the key site of the Installation" (DeOliveira et al., 2003: ii).

Leading up to these developments has included the realisation of the importance of the spectator's role in engaging with the installation. Artworks such as paintings can exist beyond the need for interaction or participation from a/the viewer, but an installation is stimulated by, or in turn stimulates the site and space in which the installation is created and requires activation through embodied involvement by the spectator to fully awaken visceral or meaning-making value. The spectator needs to engage: walk into/onto/amongst, intimately witness and intuitively experience; and only though this activation does the artwork truly come alive.

The installation exists in space until the moment of activation, and each spectator's (re) action to the space enlivens the artefact and makes for meaning interpretation. For this article, installation artworks are used as the focus of interpretation as sites/cites for sensory embodiment by the spectator. Works by renowned South African artist Jan van der Merwe are used as examples to argue for the emergence of the spectator in the role of activator of installation artworks.

 

1. Installation art

Installation art can be described as a dialogue between the artist and space. Although this strategy is often viewed as a recent (1970 onwards) development in the visual arts (Bishop, 2005: 8), it springs in fact from a very long tradition of cave painting, religious art and architecture where space is manipulated to convey meaning. In this manner, a/the space for the installation is transformed into a potential experiential happening through the art of representing objects in perspective, especially as applied in the aspects of design. Where, "a gallery has ceased its conventional activity of showing objects and become a place to experience experience" (Archer,1994: 29).

The genre of installation has proved to be useful by which to rhetorically speak of and investigate life, where the installation artist has become a means to reflect the experience of life - its complex issues, aspects, and appearances (Rosenthal, 2003: 27). The installation is tangible in space and yet evokes a sense of the ephemeral nature of the theatrical when activated by a spectator who experiences it through time. This renders the installation design as potential scenography1. This heightened theatrical space requires the spectator to activate the full experience through embodied engagement with the installation and by meaning-making. This activation implies that the spectator then also becomes an active participant (a performer or actor2 in the theatrical experience if you will) as they are simultaneously the ones physically causing the experience and the ones experiencing the elements designed for their interpretation. In this manner a heightened sense of becoming what Boal (1992) coined the "spect-actor" is achieved - where the provocative artwork elicits activation from a personal- and socio-cultural association in such a way as to cause a sensory experience which triggers meaning-making and may further cause discussion and debate with other spect-actors3. The spectator is "transformed into a protagonist in the action, a 'spect-actor', without ever being aware of it. [S]he is the protagonist of the reality [s]he sees (Boal, 1992: 241). The "spect-Actor is not fictional. [S]he exists in the scene and outside of it, in dual reality in this way the spectator becoming the Spect-actor is democratically opposed to the other members of the audience, free to invade the scene and appropriate the power of the actor" (Boal, 1974: xx- xxi). This is akin to Goffman's (1981; Burns, 1999) philosophy that we as humans are all actors (Laitman & Ulianov, 2011: 156).

In opposition to the ideological gaze associated with a cinema audience, within theatre, the nature of the production-reception relationship remains an investigation. Bennet (1997: 86-87) further suggests that:

... the energies of theatre semiotics have not resulted in a codification of the elements of theatrical practice but have established the multiplicity of signifying systems involved and the audience role of decoding these systems in combination and simultaneously. Neither theories of reading nor theatre semiotics, however, goes far beyond the issues of facing an apparently individual subjectivity. Neither takes much notice of reception as a politically implicated act.

In this article, however, it is not the intent to explore installation art as theatrical. Therefore, the references to the relationship between production and reception in such a context (attitude toward/perception of/relationship offering potential social interaction), or positioned within and against cultural values (Bennett, 1997: 86) is not the focus of the investigation. However, the perception of spectators within a performative context in which they may interact and/or participate as a potential 'actor' or activator is relevant, especially the individual's subjective responses to the interaction. Also, Coppieters' (1981) four conclusions about aspects of audience perception are considered, the third one entailing objects is pertinent toward installation art: "Inanimate objects can be personified and/or receive such strongly symbolic loadings that any anxiety about their fate becomes a crux in people's emotional experience".

As Merleau-Ponty (1964) states: a spectator as human cannot look at the artwork and separate it from their lived experience of the world, the installation exists in the spectator's perception of it. Therefore, it can be concluded that a spect-actors' activation of an installation reflexive artwork is a phenomenological one. Merleau-Ponty further quotes Cézannne in that "nature is inside us" and clarifies this from his philosophical vantage point by adding "quality, light, colour, depth, which are all before us, are there only because they awaken an echo in our body and the body welcomes them" (Merleu-Ponty, 1964: 164). Hustvedt (2013), in turn, describes this phenomenon as 'art as a memory' where "Every painting is always two paintings: the one you [the spectator] see, and the one you remember". DeOliveira (2003: 213) comments on memory as: "In a rapidly changing world, time and memory become key concerns... where spaces of memory may be constructed". Hustvedt (2012: 213) further advocates the first-person experience as:

[The first-person experience is] an embodied one. I [the spectator] don't only bring my eyes or my intellectual faculties or my emotions to a picture. I bring my whole self with its whole story. The relation then is between an I and an it and partakes of the artist's being as well, his entire being, which is why we treat art in a different way to utilitarian objects like forks.

Rosenthal (2003: 28) proposes a classification of installation art with four poles: enchantments and impersonations (filled-space installations), and interventions and rapprochements (site-specific installations). Van der Merwe's installations can be situated within these strategies, especially with reference to filled-space installations.

 

2. Jan van der Merwe's installation art

South African artist, Jan van der Merwe, is celebrated for his installations in which he incorporates found objects with rusted tins. Many artists work in the field of objét trouvet - the 'found object' where the 'rescue' items are salvaged from being dumped or, ironically, from being properly used, only to re-assign such objects as works of art. In Van der Merwe's case, it is not the object, but spoilt rusted matter littering the countryside that is found and redefined. Through time, oxidation and deterioration occur, these rusted tins and items became discarded by everyone as unusable and undesirable. Through deftness and patience, befitting an accomplished weaver, Van der Merwe reformulates these unlikely materials into desirable 'textiles' and surfaces, finally to 'stitch and sew' them into garments and objects of deeper significance.

Material carries metaphorical meaning in contemporary art. Since Picasso introduced collage as fragment of real life into art at the beginning of the 20th century, the range of materials utilised by artists has opened up and the choice of materials and technique has become arbitrary, often depending on the meaning the artist intends to convey. The choice of materials is very specific in Van der Merwe's artwork. Working primarily in rusted metal, Van der Merwe has developed a language that speaks subtly yet eloquently of the South African psyche. Often his inspiration is drawn from highly personal sources to develop themes that can be universally appreciated but more intensely so by viewers familiar with the peculiarities of South Africa - its art, society and history. Van der Merwe often refers to his work as 'monuments'. Like conventional monuments some of the installations impose on a significant amount of space and the viewer is enticed to step up or step into/onto/ amongst and towards the installation for closer examination. These 'monuments' are anonymous or broadly universal; they refer to the memory of the unknown by many. The installations seem like abandoned film sets without actors.

Several of Van der Merwe's installations juxtapose public spaces with private spaces. Examples of installations where intimate or private and public spaces are played off against each other include Baggage Arrival, 2001 - the carousel with baggage is a public space where passengers gather, but the bags and suitcases contain their personal belongings and is private property, and Guests/ Gaste, 2000 - a dining room table with four chairs. In the table surface are four television monitors (almost like place mats or plates) with the audio-visual image of a repetitive gunshot. The private space of the family dining room is invaded by violence or pressures from society outside of the home. Uitverkoping/Sale, 2009 represents a men's clothing shop. The space of the shop is public, but the moment the spectator enters the curtained fitting room, the space becomes private.

Van der Merwe's working process is also significant. He describes himself as a compulsive collector who takes objects discarded by others to his studio where it could be transformed into part of his installations. The tins that he collects are sometimes already rusted; but if received still new and shiny, Van der Merwe transforms them by initiating the rust process with a mixture of salt, water and vinegar. He covers the large solid objects such as furniture with the rusted tins using small nails. Clothing is created in a process like sewing where he attaches each piece of tin to the next with thin wire and the final finish is created by adding bitumen4 and sand to create smooth transitions from one part to the next. This technique allows the artist to 'shift time', rendering the objects into 'archaeological finds'.

At present I work with artefacts of our time and attempt to transform them into archaeological remnants... The tin cans are ordinarily used for preservation. The fragile rusted tins in these works become metaphors for waste, loss and consumerism. Their use may be seen as an attempt to 'preserve' something transient and vulnerable (van der Merwe, 2011).

Van der Merwe may also make use of technology in his art works that becomes part of the archaeology. Images viewed on a screen are second-hand experiences to the viewer, yet evoke a visceral response to a first-hand memory or intrinsic knowing. There is a contrast between the tactile experience of the visitor to the installation (the emphasis on texture and the many real mundane objects) and the images viewed on screen - the contrast between the real and illusion. To Van der Merwe, images projected on screen also have a spiritual quality, where, as humans, people have developed technology to assist in the study and (re) discovery of ancient origins and to search the unknown such as in deep space. Perhaps this need for study and discovery mirrors a spiritual quest that is symbolised by the illusionary quality brought to the installations through technology.

 

3. Immersive installation activation: Die Einde/The End, 2006

Delving into the immersive nature of the spect-actor's experience, emphasis is placed on the installation: Die Einde/The End. This installation was exhibited for the first time in 2006 in the Albert Werth Hall in the Pretoria Art Museum during the retrospective exhibition entitled The Archaeology of Time, and for the second time in the Reservoir of the Oliewenhuis Art Museum in Bloemfontein during the exhibition Time and Space in 2013.

The exhibition space/s that contained the installation Die Einde/The End were transformed to resemble a film theatre and comprise a hundred and eight film theatre chairs arranged in rows. On the seats of the chairs are various individuals' personal belongings: hats, gloves, handbags, purses, spectacle cases, keys, briefcases - all representing ordinary people. The objects contain the lives of their owners. These objects allude to people, but the people themselves are absent, as if they have left their belongings behind in the theatre. All the objects are covered in rusted metal, and appear frozen in time, creating a sense or awareness of absence.

 

 

This rusted patina as a method by means of which contemporary objects are placed into 'archaeological time', and while it may have a nostalgic effect on the spect-actor, forces the spect-actor to consider, scrutinise and respect contemporary life, especially the ordinary. The commercial metal tin is ordinarily used to preserve food, in this case an attempt is made to 'preserve' vulnerability and transience. The use of rusted tins in this installation is a further metaphor for recycling - to rust is to go back to the original matter, the end of a process and the start of the new. Also notable is that the chemical process of rust is a physical battle against time, which is in contrast to the preservation and (re)cyclical interpretations of time alluded to in the installation.

The placement of the chairs in rows is suggestive of the layout of old graveyards, with separate spaces dedicated to children, soldiers and ordinary citizens. The backs of the chairs resemble gravestones, emphasised by the order of the layout and the markings and decay on their surfaces like the marks left by water and the elements through the passing of time, on gravestones. Each chair in this installation becomes a monument to the ordinary and represents the faceless, the unknown with his/her personal struggles, and references the human struggle against natural forces which are overpowering, such as: war, disease, and power. The visitor to an old graveyard is gripped by nostalgia and is aware of emotions effected by loss, the passing of time and an awareness of vulnerability - the artwork attempts to echo these ephemeral qualities. This installation may be viewed as an opportunity to reflect - a monument to anonymous people.

 

4. Van der Merwe's intended activation of Die Einde/The End

When the filmgoer enters a movie theatre, he/she enters a public space, but the moment the lights dim, and the film begins, the experience becomes private and personal. In this installation, the spect-actor, now in the role of filmgoer-viewer who enters the already darkened space from the back of the 'theatre', is momentarily blinded by 108 small lights, attached to the back of each chair, dimly lighting the objects on the chair in the parallel row directly behind them. The lights also resemble stars in a dark sky and transport the viewer to an imaginative space. When the spect-actors eyes adjust to the barely lit room, the installation becomes visible. As the viewer moves to the front of the installation and looks back, the lights at the back of the chairs are invisible, but the objects and chairs are bathed in soft light resembling the dim effect of sunrise. This light effect suggests the contrasts between day and night, darkness and light.

The layout of the objects echoes the conventions in old bioscopes where children sat in the front, and there is a block for adults and for soldiers; but also, as mentioned, the work as a whole resembles a graveyard with designated sections. The spect-actor can walk between the rows of seats and can see the seat numbers stencilled on the floor. The 'journey' between the rows of seats resembles a walk in a maize or a pilgrimage with stations. The objects on the seats are remnants or evidence of lives and suggest units like frozen film frames where private, personal narratives unfold.

The spect-actor moves slowly among the rows and looks down to inspect the objects on the seats. In the last row at the back is a chair with a notebook on the seat and a jacket draped over the back, as if left behind by a film critic. Van der Merwe dedicated this chair to the memory of South African art and theatre critic, Barrie Hough (1953-2004). In row 9, on the 11th chair lies two folded 'paper' planes, made of rusted metal - a reference to the violence and loss of the American terror attack events of 11 September 2001. Although there is an allusion to the outside world and disaster on a global scale, a personal memory is also evoked by the inclusion of such items as intimate and fragile toys of a young child. These objects are also dedicated to a specific young family member who lost his life at a very young age and who left a memory of a game with two toy aeroplanes, and thus also has a strong visceral sensory memory of a specific person. The knowledge of these literal connections is, however, not revealed to the spect-actor. Their relevance is to the evoked interpretation, both from the sincere and insightful handling by the artist, to the reflective reception induced in a spect-actor.

 

 

As in a film theatre the chairs are placed viewing a large screen. Footage consisting of a continuous loop of images of various versions of the words 'the end', indicative of the endings of films in various fonts and sizes, is projected onto the screen and forms the only luminous lighting in the installation, cascading between bright illumination and more muted tones. The use of multiple fonts contributes to a sense of diversity and adds to the universality of the installation. The repetition of the words, as with the repetitive pattern formed by the chairs, and the decay and aura of decomposition may also suggest cycles: in history and in human lives.

This installation uses pop culture (where the cinema and Hollywood culture are conjured) as a metaphor, but the outward glossy layer that is typical of popular culture is stripped away to reveal the decay underneath, or it may refer to something more spiritual than the ephemeral world of pop culture. In a sense the fault line between the real and the illusionary is the focal point of this work: that experience of all moviegoers when the make-believe is shattered by the words: The End and the real world has to be faced. The end is also the beginning of the real.

 

5. Spect-actors' embodied activation in Van der Merwe's installation art

Being intrigued by the audience/performer relationship in experiential and theatrical spaces, performance-maker Lewis keenly reflected and observed general public's (re) actions as a visitor and observer during Van der Merwe's The Archaeology of Time exhibition in the Pretoria Art Museum in 2006.

 

 

The section that follows is reflexive and reflective, and includes ex-post facto data gathering, where a random sampling of the visitors who attended the exhibition were interviewed. It was a first first-hand experience of installation art for some of the visitors, and the often-unexpected adaptation of spaces was also new to all public present. The transition from mere viewing spectators into the role of witnessing and activating spect-actors was perceptible. Noticeable role acquisition was especially evident with reference to these installations at the exhibition: Confessional/Biegbak (2003), Eclipse (2002), and Die Einde/The End (2006).

To frame the understanding of the observed experiential visceral responses, it is helpful to frame these experiences within a framework of three artworks. As with all Van der Merwe's installations, these three were striking in their simplicity yet provoked profound individual responses. Die Einde/The End has been detailed above, and the activation by spect-actors is discussed later. The other two installations Confessional/Biegbak 2003, and Eclipse 2002 are described below.

Confessional/Biegbak (2003) is installed in the corner of the exhibition space and 'walled' and 'curtained' off so that the viewer must enter a small room. Inside a kitchen sink (basin) with dishes, dish cloths, oven gloves and an apron all covered in rusted tin are seen. Built into the basin is a television monitor with the image of hands continuously cleaning a pot and above the sink is the projected image of a window through which rain on a courtyard is visible. The audio-visual images are intended to lend a nostalgic atmosphere to the work and refer to repetitive processes in nature and in everyday rituals.

 

 

Van der Merwe here comments on the fact that each generation 'cleans up' and tries to start afresh; the cleaning or purifying ritual can also have religious connotations. In contrast to this private experience, Eclipse (2002) reflects a very public space. A grave side is represented as an altar at an end of a long avenue of white gravel stones laid out as a pathway between temporary fencing with barbed wire across the top, the type of wire often used by police or security to enforce crowd control measures. There are articles of military uniforms covered in rusted tin littered against the fencing, almost as if they had been flung there, or were caught in a net. These represent many soldiers whose lives have been lost in the line of duty. The stark flood lighting focussed on the fencing deliberately alludes to exposing and shedding light on aspects that require interrogation.

 

 

The individual spect-actors approached the confessional installation and ventured in, beyond the small curtain, and those that have stood and washed dishes at the kitchen sink, found themselves in a familiar position where they were met with a memory jogged by physical activation of moments spent in reconsideration and reflection. The enclosed room becomes, for a time, a small personal and poetic space. As a spectator, the visceral response generated from the physical embodied memory of time/s spent in such a position is further enhanced by the reality of the situation, where the 'actor' is (re)assuming a familiar role, and reflecting on the reflections of their memories. The realisation also is further impacted when the spect-actor is faced with the symbolism found in the title Confessional/Biegbak, and even if they have never literally experienced being in a catholic confessional booth (and if they have, this compounded the experience), they certainly can attest to the reflective emotional engagement they have with the intimate private space - a spiritual experience. When the spect-actors emerged, their demeanour and expression had changed. Many had a sense of calmness and expressed a wistful gaze. Some were quite emotional and spent almost as much time outside the booth in quiet contemplation as they had inside. The personal experiences and emotional memories were engaged through the embodied activation of the space.

Eclipse being a more public environment allowed for a more comprehensive observation of the spect-actor's reactions. The installation elicited interaction. All who entered the space needed to approach the altar situated at the far end, and to do so they naturally followed the pathway set out for them. This is where the activation and role-play took place. Many spectators 'arrived' at the space jovial and chatty with their contemporaries, some ventured swiftly onto the gravel pathway, others less rushed, but invariably all slowed down. The physical feeling of the crunching stones beneath their feet, as well as the sound it created seemed to have a mesmerising effect on all who encountered it - through a heightening of their senses, changing these spectators into active participants in the experience, and causing them to slow down the time of viewing and focus on their environment. Some spectators stopped before they encountered the pathway and one could observe the deliberation they were having within themselves, deciding whether or not they felt they could/should invade the 'privacy' of this public space. Some of these deliberators respectfully waited for others to finish their interaction with the installation, rendering them witnesses to the experience, before they began to participate and ventured on the gravel pathway. Only a few chose to walk alongside the gravel. These spect-actors that walked alongside the gravel walked faster than their counterparts and often rushed to the end and quickly returned, all the while being hunch over and exuding almost a guilty or 'I'm sorry' expression. For these, it may have been the interrogatory lights caused a different role to be assumed, and they did not experience or take as much reflective time at the altar as those spect-actors who had walked along the gravel.

 

6. Spect-actor's embodied activation of Die Einde/The End

As an active participant in the installation, Lewis entered the Die Einde/The End and experienced the initial feeling of arriving late at the cinema where the film had already started, generating a sense of wanting to apologetically quickly find your seat without too much disturbance. Fighting this urge to move through the dark cinema, she hung back in the darkness until her eyes had acclimatised to the sparse lighting, during which time the awareness of the silence despite the flickering screen became numbing. This silence is the opposite of a conventional cinema experience where the surround sound is key. The only sounds that could be heard came from the hushed rustling movements of other participants in the installation, reminiscent of audience members in a public arena, making the environment more 'real'.

During the build-up to the exhibition, Lewis had discussions about the preparation process with Van der Merwe and was therefore aware that the seats had been repurposed from an old theatre that had been refurbished. Having frequented the original theatre, this new experience of the installation was impacted by the memory of the original seating arrangement and a sensory memory generated the desire for Lewis to return to the familiar seat to find comfort and assure a safe vantage point. These sensations soon gave rise to the nostalgia of the overall experience in the space and a palpable sense of loss and longing.

As spect-actors entered and exited the playing space all contributed to the ensemble, everyone's initial (re)action giving way to a shared experience. Nobody could really make eye-contact in the dim light, but each person's simultaneous presence and absence could be felt. The spect-actors assumed the roles of the humans that were absent in the space. The passing between the rows caused the physical moving bodies to block out the small lights behind the chairs, casting shadows that added to the witness experience for other spect-actors in the room. The spatial-relationship the individual spect-actor had with the seating, and within the need to pass between the rows allowed for personal narratives to be formed and alliances made. Through immersion, these relationships of shared experience and intertwined visceral knowing was eternally forged between both the spect-actors and the objects as well as between each other.

 

7. Conclusion

As spectators of artwork (performance or design), one's personal cultural experiences and memories influence one's perceptions, but when that perception is disrupted by active experiential involvement there is an overwhelming embodied, visceral, sensory flooding. The activation of installations as theatre by association invokes: "the only place where the mind can be reached through the organs and ... understanding can only be awakened through our senses" (Artaud, 1977).

Activation, through participation and involvement places the spectator in the role as an active participant in the art-making, an actor who is both creating and recreating simultaneously. The combination of the two aspects (spectator and actor) to form a spect-actor is both inevitable and vital for installation art to fully be activated, and the culmination of immersion into the artwork is unavoidable. However, there is a subtle difference between creating an artwork deliberately geared for the spectator to immerse themselves in; or creating an artwork that triggers a need or willingness to engage on the part of the spectator to experience the reflections of life from the artists vantage point. The space for the spectator to find themselves submerged in their own personal-cultural grappling's of the situation from their own vantage point of the slice of life presented. The first immersive stance allows for a wallowing or narcissistic interaction that implies a sense of control over the process by the spect-actor. The second implies an unwitting participation and experience where there is no objective control over the (re)actions the involvement will elicit. In installation artworks it is the later that needs to be activated, where there is no intentional manipulation of the emotional outcome which may be argued to be intentional within a truly theatrical experience.

The only conscious decision on the part of the spectator is to assume an active role, take part, and be the participatory actor in anonymity. The resulting spect-actor concretises the experience. Inside the spect-actor the work lives in different ways, and the work of art they carry around with them is a further and continued memory or an imprint of the emotional recall from the embodied activation.

 

Works cited

Artaud, A. 1977. The Theatre and Its Double. 2nd ed. London: John Calder Publishers Ltd.         [ Links ]

Bennett, S. 1997. Theatre Audiences: a Theory of Production and Reception. 1st ed. Oxon: Routledge.         [ Links ]

Bishop, C. 2005. Installation Art: A critical History. London: Tate Publishing.         [ Links ]

Boal, A. 1974. Theatre of the Oppressed. English ed. London: Pluto Press.         [ Links ]

Boal, A. 1992. Games for Actors and Non-Actors. 1st ed. New York: Routledge.         [ Links ]

Burns, T. 1999. Erving Goffman. New York: Routledge.         [ Links ]

Channel, L. 2013. Art is a Memory [Interview] (13 May 2013).         [ Links ]

Coppieters, F. 1981. Performance and Perception. Poetics Today, 2(3), pp. 35-38.         [ Links ]

DeOliveira, N., Oxley, N. & Pety, M. 2003. Installation Art in the New Millennium. London: Thames & Hudson Ltd.         [ Links ]

Goffman, E., 1981. Forms of Talk. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.         [ Links ]

Hustvedt, S., 2012. Living, Thinking, Looking. London: Hodder & Stroughton Ltd.         [ Links ]

Laitman, M. & Ulianov, A. 2011. The Psychology of the Integral Society. Cape Town: Laitman Kabbalah Publishers.         [ Links ]

Merleau-Ponty, M. 1964. Eye and Mind. In: J. Wild, ed. The Primacy of Perception. Chicago: Northwest University Press.         [ Links ]

Rosenthal, M. 2003. Understanding Installation art: from Duchamp to Holzer. New York & London: Prestel.         [ Links ]

Van der Merwe, J. & Lewis, J. 2011. Archaeology of Time - Activation of Installation Space by the spect-actor. Pretoria, BODY / SPACE / EMERGENCE A Conference endorsed by the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies, New York. 17-19 January 2014. University of Pretoria, Drama Department.         [ Links ]

 

 

Correspondence:
lewisj@tut.ac.za

Published: 4 May 2020

 

 

Author contributions
The authors had a discussion regarding intent for installations; drafted a few iterations of information and insights; presented it together initially at a conference in 2016; then Prof Lewis formalised the article from all preceding conversations and Q&A and interviews; again iterations on corrections of intent from Dr van der Merwe and his research on space and time.
1 Scenography refers to the art of representing objects in perspective, especially as applied in the design and painting of theatrical scenery.
2 There is a long-standing debate in the theatre academic fraternity regarding the difference (if any) between performing and acting where it is argued that performing encompasses all art forms in which a person conveys artistic expression through their face, body and/or voice. Acting commonly relies on facial gestures, body and voice to depict a character.
3 Theatre activist Augusto Boal coined the term spect-actor. As the name implies, a spect-actor is a figure who deliberately and self-consciously inhabits both worlds: fictitious and reality; as observer and actor in both.
4 Bitumen is a black sticky substance used as part of tar.

^rND^sCoppieters^nF.^rND^sMerleau-Ponty^nM.^rND^1A01^nCC.^sWolhuter^rND^1A02^nJ.L^svan der Walt^rND^1A01^nCC.^sWolhuter^rND^1A02^nJ.L^svan der Walt^rND^1A01^nCC^sWolhuter^rND^1A02^nJ. L^svan der Walt

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

Indiscipline in South African Schools: the Parental / Community Perspective

 

 

CX. WolhuterI; J.L van der WaltII

IUnit for Education and Human Rights in Diversity, Faculty of Education, North-West University. https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4602-7113
IIProfessor Emeritus, Unit for Education and Human Rights in Diversity, Faculty of Education, North-West University. https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9243-5973

Correspondence

 

 


ABSTRACT

South Africa is struggling with the problem of indiscipline in schools. The issue of indiscipline in South African schools has been subjected to research for almost two decades. This research has revealed that learner (in)discipline in a school is related to six sets of factors, namely learner-related factors, teacher-related factors, school-related factors, education system-related factors, parent-related factors, and society-related factors. All of these factors have now been researched in respect to the situation in South Africa, with the exception of the parent / community factor. The aim of this article is to report on research that was done regarding this outstanding factor with regard to learner (in)discipline in South African schools. The constructivist-interpretivist approach was employed, in order to recast information gleaned from available international literature into a theoretical framework. The South African context was then analysed by using the theoretical framework. It was found that within the parentalcommunity factor in determining the state of learner-discipline in schools four sub-factors can be distinguished, namely parental style, parental model as example, family stress and parentschool relations. These have definite life-philosophical underpinnings, which are also outlined in analysing and interpreting the South African situation.

Keywords: community; education; learner discipline; parenthood; South Africa.


 

 

1. Introduction and problem statement

South Africa, nearly a quarter of a century after the advent of full democracy in 1994, is still struggling with the problem of indiscipline in schools. Learner indiscipline, to be distinguished from teacher indiscipline, still constitutes a major problem in schools, as evidenced by the following incidents recently reported in the daily press and in research. On 9 March 2018, a video was released of a teacher at the Three Rivers Secondary School at Sedibeng being hit by a book thrown by a pupil (Slatter, 2018; Dhlamini, 2018). In other incidences, a teacher was stabbed to death by a pupil in Zeerust, North West Province, and a 15-year-old student from Eldorado Park, Johannesburg, was arrested for pointing a gun at a teacher and threatening to shoot (Daniel, 2018). A recent Google search (2018) revealed a fairly large number of incidences that attest to ill-discipline in South African schools: a learner stabbing a teacher over a "feeding" argument (2018), a pupil stabbing another (2018), two pupils killed during a knife fight in KwaZulu-Natal (2018), a fatal stabbing of a pupil in a Durban school (2018), and a pupil injured in a knife fight outside the school (2014).

The problem of indiscipline is not limited to the actions of the learners. A school guard recently (2018) allegedly sexually abused 87 girls in a Soweto high school, and to add insult to injury, the police officer investigating the matter allegedly forced two of the girls to undress in a classroom and then molested them. Early in 2017, a Parktown Boys' High School assistant sports coach was charged with sexually grooming more than 20 learners aged between 15 and 16 (Mabuza, 2018). Violence and unrest at the Klipspruit West Secondary School south of Johannesburg starkly illustrate the nexus between indiscipline in a community and the indiscipline displayed by the learners in a school. Because of dissatisfaction on racist grounds with the appointment of a new school principal, the community made the school ungovernable. Community members went so far as to take over the professional management of the school in order to be able to decide who should be the principal, where to buy books and who should be used as service providers. The Department of Education in the end had to appoint a new principal and replace the entire staff. While the parents, the teachers and the school management were engaged in this turmoil, the pupils loitered around on the school grounds, gambled and used drugs on the school premises, gangsterism raised its head, racist actions were perpetrated, pupils arrived late at school and left early, and teachers were insulted and assaulted (Osman, 2017).

The issue of indiscipline in South African schools has been subjected to research for almost two decades. Learner discipline at schools also has been the theme of two special editions of KOERS (68(4) of 2003; 78(3) of 2013). The research so far revealed that learner (in)discipline in a school is related to six sets of factors, namely learner-related factors, teacher-related factors, school-related factors, education system-related factors, parent-related factors, and society-related factors. All of these factors have now been researched and surveyed in respect to the situation in South Africa, with the exception of the parent / community factor. The aim of this article is to report on research that was done regarding this outstanding factor with regard to learner (in)discipline in South African schools. The discussion will be augmented by the results of research beyond the borders of South Africa in order to gain a deeper understanding of the situation.

 

2. Research method

The constructivist-interpretivist approach was employed in the research process. People entertain subjective theories based on their personal cognitions about what should be seen as acceptable behaviour on the part of learners in a school. Each researcher has his or her understanding and interpretation of what constitutes acceptable and hence disciplined behaviour. In other words, each person creates his or her own reality regarding what should be understood under the term "disciplined behaviour". A researcher constantly assigns his or her individual meaning to an event or an experience, and based on that experience expects learners to behave in a certain way in accordance with the image that the former has created about the learners and their situation, including the parental home and the conditions prevailing there. In this project, the information gleaned from an overview of available literature was interpreted and recast into the theoretical framework presented below (Leutwyler, Petrovic & Mantel, 2012: 111-112). The roots of the problem of indiscipline in schools are firstly traced back to the entire community in which a school is situated, and thereafter specifically to the conditions in the parental homes that form part of that community. This is then followed by the contention that many South African communities and parental homes still lack the necessary social capital as well as the moral compass required for guiding them towards a solution to the current spate of violence and indiscipline in communities and in schools.

The percipient reader will notice the role that the social space and ethical / moral action or behaviour theory is playing in the background throughout the discussion: the discussion constantly centres on the social space occupied by the relationship between the school on the one hand, and the parental home and the surrounding community on the other; reference is also constantly made, on the one hand, to the lack of a moral compass and to moral bankruptcy of the community (in the form of immorality, anti-social behaviour, anomie, corruption, nepotism and state capture, to mention only a few of the features of this bankruptcy) and in many parental homes, and on the other, to the imperative that all the parties occupying this particular social space should apply themselves to a revival of, and a return to moral values which, as will be argued, are imbedded in some or other religious commitment. It is also important to note the distinction between ethics, in other words a code of conduct imposed from "outside" an individual, a parental home or a community (for instance, imposed by the Constitution and the laws of the country, the Bible [The Ten Commandments and the Great Commandment], the Koran [The Hadith, the Book of Sayings which calls humans to reach out to others and to maintain concern for fellow human beings], the Upanishads [the call to follow the Noble Eightfold Path and the Five Precepts], to mention only a few)(cf. McDowell & Brown, 2009), and morality, a set of precepts for acceptable behaviour that comes from "within" a person, a family or a community and that the individual or group willingly abides by as a matter of course.

 

3. Theoretical framework

3.1 Lack of a moral compass and concomitant moral bankruptcy

Christianity still enjoys a dominant presence in South Africa, both in terms of absolute numbers and percentage of the total population. According to the 1996 and 2001 census statistics, the number of professing Christians in South Africa increased from 30.0 million in 1996 to 35.8 million (from 76.6 percent in 1996 to 79.8 percent in 2001) (RSA, 2004). (The 2011 census did not include religious affiliation.) According to Scheepers and Van der Slik (1998: 679), research has revealed that religious characteristics count among the strongest predictors of moral attitudes. Despite the dominant position of Christianity in South Africa, anomie seems to be reigning supreme in South Africa. The moral bankruptcy of the nation can be observed in the fact that people no longer honour hard work and service to the community; perpetrate injustice and indulge in self-enrichment in the form of favouritism, nepotism, corruption, white collar crime and even state capture. The explosion of the mass media and of social media has exacerbated the situation in that some of the programs watched by students promote pornography, indiscipline and violence (Ngwokabuenui, 2015: 70-71).

The possibility of possessing a moral compass of course is not restricted to Christians alone; all the major religions in South Africa, from Buddhism through Islam, Judaism, Hinduism to Sikh, possess an understanding of what it means to behave morally, in other words to behave in such a way that the interests of others in the community (and the school) are protected and promoted (Revision World Networks, 2018). Also those who reject a theonomous (God-centred; faith-based) understanding of morality and hence favour a heteronomous (originating beyond the self, for instance in the Constitution and the laws of the country) understanding, seem to be lacking the desired moral compass at this juncture in the history of South Africa.

3.2 A complex phenomenon

Each (in)discipline problem, like every student / pupil / learner, is individual, stemming from a complex set of circumstances directly linked to the child / person causing the problem. Harris (2017) mentions the following as possible contributors to the problem: the conditions at the offender's home, the influence of peers, perceptions of reality that the offender and those around him or her might entertain, and also disabilities that might offer favourable conditions for indiscipline to raise its head. According to some observers, the violence in schools might be a reflection of the conditions in South African society generally. According to the National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA), "such incidents (in schools) are symptoms of society. All over South Africa, the society is violent. We can't expect that our children will be different" (Dhlamini, 2018). The current Minister of Education concurs: "There is a correlation between high levels of criminality in the community which is transported into schools. Guns come from communities; the knifing and anger come from communities" (Daniel, 2018). The complexity of the phenomenon can further be illustrated by showing how the parent/community factor is only one among many that might play a role in indiscipline in schools.

3.3 The parent/community factor only one among many

An international survey revealed that the state of learner discipline in schools can be traced back to six sets of factors, namely learner-related factors, teacher-related factors, school-related factors, education system-related factors, parent-related factors, and society-related factors (Wolhuter & Steyn, 2003).

Firstly, the incidence of disciplinary problems appears to be related to the ages/phases of pupils. These problems seem to both occur more frequently, and to be of a more serious nature on secondary school level than in primary schools (National Centre for Education Statistics, 2002; Wolhuter, Oosthuizen & Van Staden, 2010). Secondly, teacher-related factors, such as the level of competency of a teacher, the extent to which the teacher is a role model for learners, and teacher-learner relationships also have a bearing on the state of learner discipline (Department of Education and Science and the Welsh Office, 1989:67-72; De-Klerk Luttig & Heystek, 2007; Eloff, Oosthuizen, Wolhuter & Van der Walt, 2013). Thirdly, school-related factors relate to school management arrangements, school leadership, school infrastructure, class size (i.e. the student-teacher ratio), organisation climate and organisational culture at the school (Department of Education and Science and the Welsh Office, 1989:12, 13, 17; Van der Westhuizen et al., 2008). The fourth and the fifth sets of factors are respectively parent-related factors and society related factors. This article deals with these two sets of factors.

3.4 The parent / community factor as part of the complex of conditions and circumstances

As mentioned, the discipline problems in schools in South Africa could arguably be connected to the circumstances prevailing in the broader community surrounding a school. Life in many communities is characterised by a lack of social capital, by moral bankruptcy (looking after own interests, often at the expense of others), large-scale unemployment leading to loitering, gambling, theft, looting, attacks, drug abuse and many other forms of anti-social behaviour. In some communities, the socio-economic conditions are deplorable (Osman, 2018). If life is like that in the community, according to NAPTOSA, "we can't expect that our children will be different". The violence and bullying happen differently in wealthier communities: "The child bullies the teacher and says 'my mom pays your salary'" (Dhlamini, 2018). A Government spokesperson agrees that indiscipline in schools is a "societal issue"; "We need parents and communities to play a central role in instilling a sense of right and wrong in our children". Most South African political parties, education stakeholders and ordinary members of the public agree that the issue of violence in schools is a knock-on effect of community-based violence perpetrated throughout society, especially in impoverished areas (Daniel, 2018). Children do not see adults in their community behaving accountably and responsibly (Osman, 2018).

Empirical research done in the Cameroon by Ngwokabueni (2015: 64, 69) revealed that society-based factors indeed play a significant role in the perpetration of indiscipline in schools. The study showed that the most common types of indiscipline such as disobedience to teachers and school prefects can be traced back to student-based, society-based and school-based causes. Among the society-based causes of indiscipline in schools count: a poor value system (the moral bankruptcy and the lack of a moral compass referred to above) (reported by 86% of the respondents); injustices perpetrated in society (84%), the unwholesome effect of the mass media (81%), unsatisfactory conditions at home (81%), parental over-protection of children (87%) and parental rejection of children (46%). These findings have recently been confirmed by empirical research in South Africa. The Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention (CJCP) (2017)'s investigation revealed that one out of every six children at primary and secondary schools have experienced some form of violence while still at school, including threats of violence, assault and robbery, and that they had easy access to alcohol, drugs and weapons in the school. One in three pupils know classmates who have been drunk at school, while more than half of them know learners who smoke dagga at school. The CJCP concludes: "These findings must be contextualized within the family and community environments in which the learners live".

Parental homes are located in communities. The parental home as a societal relationship is important since this is the context into which the child is typically born, and where he or she spends most of their early years under the guidance of the parents as primary (first in the life of the child) educators. As is widely known, many of the parental homes in South Africa are not intact in the traditional sense of the word, namely consisting of a father and a mother and a number of own and / or legally adopted children. A plethora of conditions have changed the situation: parents divorced, absconded or deceased, leaving the children (occasionally even a group of them) in the care of a grandparent or of an older child. The reasons for the dysfunctionality of parental homes are widely known and need not be discussed any further. It is more important for purposes of this discussion to mention that analysis of the research findings of the CJCP (2017) "shows a strong association between the home environment and violence at school, with one in ten primary school learners reporting parental use of illegal drugs, a similar percentage reporting their caregivers or parent had been in jail, and one in five secondary school learners reporting siblings who had been in jail. These factors, together with learners' experience of corporal punishment at home and at school, all impact significantly on the likelihood of violence at school". Ngwokabuenui (2015:71) mentions similar unhealthy home conditions: children experiencing feelings of frustration and insecurity at home; parents being too busy to involve themselves with their children; the bad company kept by children; parents having no idea where their children are or what they are doing; the children having no respect for rules and regulations; disrespect for authority; loose morals.

The Editor of the influential national newspaper The Star agrees with the above diagnosis of the problem: "I doubt their parents even know where they are or what they get up to. Until there's a shooting or a stabbing at school, by which time parenting has failed... Our kids have become criminals. It is a reflection of us as a country" (Daniel, 2018). The Federation of School Governing Bodies of South African Schools (FEDSAS) also puts the blame for the indiscipline squarely on the shoulders of the parents: "...the violence that has shocked the country over the past week has more to do with what happens at home. Parents ... have not taken responsibility for the upbringing of their children. (In) by far the majority of cases, ... the ill behaviour of a child can be directly linked to problems at home" (Dhlamini, 2018b).

 

4. The parental factor in more detail

Having laid the connection between the indiscipline in schools with problems that might prevail at the learners' parental homes we can now enter into a discussion of what the parental factor might entail in the indiscipline of learners.

Parents play a crucial role in shaping the attitudes that produce good behaviour in schools. Family stress (this term covers both the emotional and material problems from which families may suffer, such as marital discord, poverty and bad housing) is indicated by research evidence to be conducive to behavioural problems in children at school (Department of Education and Science and the Welsh Office, 1989:135). Children from families in the lower socio-economic strata are more exposed to these conditions; therefore the incidence of misbehaviour among children from these families tends to be higher than the occurrence of misbehaviour among children from middle-class or upper-class families (Bear, 1998).

Studies also indicate a positive correlation between parental involvement in school activities and the disciplined behaviour of their children at school (Department of Education and Science and the Welsh Office, 1989:124-127).

As has been indicated above, the nature of society or the community of which the parental home forms part has a bearing on the state of learner discipline in schools. It has been demonstrated above that the extant lack of social capital and the moral vacuum in the country are detrimental to learner-discipline in schools (Van der Walt, Potgieter & Wolhuter, 2009). Examples of violence, racism and other antisocial behaviour which people perceive via the media (especially television and video programmes) could be a cause of misbehaviour and disciplinary problems (McHenry, 2000).

The education system may also play a role in determining the state of learner discipline at schools. Methods to maintain discipline in schools are prescribed by the education system, and the education and Common Law environment. The education system makes available support services to teachers in their efforts to maintain sound discipline in schools. It can reasonably be expected that defects in the administrative sub-system of education in South Africa (Wolhuter, Van Jaarsveld & Challens, 2018), such as the non-delivery of textbooks on time or poor maintenance of infrastructure will be detrimental to the maintenance of discipline in schools. The same applies for the Ministry of Education's unceasing negative comments on teachers that undermine the morale of teachers, and for the never-ending stream of change, reform and restructuring, policy-uncertainty and litigation (conflict between national and provincial ministries on the one hand and school governing bodies, on the other).

The parental / community factor furthermore comprises four variables: the parenting style, the moral example parents set to their children, the family structure and dynamics, and parent-school relations as well as parental involvement in school matters (Wolhuter & Steyn, 2003).

4.1 Parenting style

Baumrind (1966) distinguishes between three parenting styles: authoritarian, permissive, and authoritative. The authoritarian parent attempts to shape, control and evaluate the behaviour and attitude of the child in accordance with an absolute standard, often derived from rigid religious beliefs (Baumrind, 1966: 890). The permissive parent attempts to be non-manipulative, acceptant and affirmative with respect to the child's impulses, desires and actions (Baumrind, 1966: 889). The authoritative parent attempts to direct the child's activities in a rational issue-oriented manner (Baumrind, 1966: 891). Cramer (2002) distinguished a fourth style, namely the neglectful or uninvolved parenting style.

The Parenting Styles and Dimensions Questionnaire (PSDQ; see Robinson, Mandleco, Olsen, & Hart, 2001) based on Baumrind's typology has been widely utilized to examine parenting styles. This questionnaire and the scales used to interpret responses were later reconceptualised by Kimble (2014) to also include Cramer's fourth category. Much research has been done regarding the relation between parenting styles and the behaviour of children. Relationships have been demonstrated. However, parenting style is far from being the only determinant of behaviour of children. The relation is also context contingent (Baumrind, 1966; Adubale, 2017: 112). The research findings pass a negative verdict on both the authoritarian and permissive styles of parenting, and are more positive regarding the authoritative style. The authoritarian style of parenting tends to result in children becoming rebellious and adopting problematic behaviour (Sarwar, 2016). The permissive style, on the other hand, correlates with high levels of self-confidence in children, but also with anxiety-related problems in children when at school, and also with problems of delinquency and lack of attention in classes (Cramer, 2002; Adubale, 2017: 119). Uninvolved parenting is a predictor of disruptive behavioural disorders (Niccols, 2009), while absent parenthood gives rise to anxiety and disruptive behaviour (Osofsky & Chartrand, 2013). The body of evidence points to the fact that authoritative parenting can achieve responsible conformity with group standards without a loss of individual autonomy or of the self (Baumrind, 1966: 905; Rivers et al, 2012).

Their life and world philosophy forms part and parcel of parents' style. It has been suggested in both scholarly literature (e.g. Christie, 1992) and in the public discourse (e.g. Grootes, 2018) that the "old" apartheid South Africa was a conservative society and that particularly the Calvinist philosophy, at least as understood by the Afrikaner component of the population, was conducive to an authoritarian style of parenting. This approach had found its way into the schools for all the different sections of the pre-1994 population, thereby stamping an authoritarian style on school education.

4.2 The parental example

The moral example that parents offer their children plays a crucial part in forming children's personalities and attitudes (Department of Education and Science and the Welsh Office, 1989: 133). Parents are the primary educators of their children and their examples of self-discipline and moral qualities will not only be pivotal during the first five years of the lives of their children, but will continue to exert a powerful force during the school attendance years of their children. The correlation between parental example and child behaviour has been demonstrated by several empirical studies (Acar, Evans, Rudasill & Yldiz, 2018: 879). The fact that South African society displays a concern-raising level of anomie and anti-social behaviour even up to the highest echelons of government (Van der Walt & Wolhuter, 2018; Wolhuter et al., 2018) does not bode well for this sub-factor of the parental role in fostering in future a culture of well-disciplined learners in South African schools.

4.3 Family stress

The Elton Report on learner discipline in schools in England indicated a positive correlation between levels of family stress and discipline problems of children at school (Department of Education and Science and the Welsh Office, 1989: 135). This stress includes both material and psychic or emotional stress. While there is, as far as could be ascertained, no published research that has investigated these co-variations on South African soil, the extant lack of social capital (Van der Walt et al., 2009), the number of broken families and the widespread material deprivation do not bode well for this aspect of parenting. There are currently around 85 000 child-headed households in South Africa (South African Institute of Race Relations, 2017: 67), 505 008 maternal orphans, 1 587 168 paternal orphans and 559 116 double orphans among the children of South Africa (Van der Walt et al., 2009: 68). The current living arrangements of children in South Africa are as follows: only 34.9 percent are staying with both parents (this includes both biological and foster parents), 40.6 percent are staying with their mothers only, 3.7 percent are staying with their fathers only, and 20.8 percent have other living arrangements (Van der Walt et al., 2009: 69). The murder rate in the country is 31.9 per 100 000 people per year (the corresponding figures for Colombia, the United States of America and the United Kingdom are respectively 31.8, 3.8 and 1.0) (Van der Walt et al., 2009: 847). Sixteen point nine percent and 35.8 percent of the population live on less than respectively US$1.90 and US$3.10 per day (the two international poverty datum lines) (World Bank, 2017: 24).

4.4 Parent-school relations; parents' involvement with the school

An essential ingredient for parents and schools collaborating in shaping children's behaviour is the establishment of an effective working relationship between parents and schools (Department of Education and Science and the Welsh Office, 1989: 133). Put differently, parental involvement occurs in a unique social space between the parental home and the school. This space is characterised by refraining from encroaching on the special competence area of the other party, and calls for reciprocal respect for the autonomy of the two parties, namely the parental home and the school. Parents may, for instance, not usurp the professional management of the school. They may, however, through serving on the school governing body, exert influence regarding (for instance) the religious or life-view character of the school and the education offered therein. Working together in this social space entails the construction of strong links between parents and schools, and parents becoming involved in school matters, without encroaching on the professional autonomy and space of teachers and the school. (This is contra the behaviour of the parents and community of the Klipspruit West School where they usurped the professional management of the school.)

South Africa has a history of placing a high premium on parental involvement in the schools of their children being part of the basic philosophy of education and schooling. The Dutch education system, which was transplanted to South Africa in the years after 1652, was founded as part of the Dutch (Protestant) revolt against Spanish (Catholic) rule. At the Synod of Dordt (1618-1619) during the Dutch National War of Liberation (1568-1648), the basic plan for a Dutch Public Education System was drawn up, allocating indispensable roles to the state, the church and the parents in the affairs of schools (Venter & Verster, 1994). This appreciation of the parents as partners in the school education of their children has continued right up to the current dispensation, where parents are for example given a place in the school governing bodies of schools (Lewis, Colditz & Brown-Ferrigno, 2011). A number of manuals containing guidelines for parental involvement in schools in South Africa have been published through the years, such as those of Van Schalkwyk (1983, 1990).

Research revealed, however, that parent involvement in South African schools has always left much to be desired. More than three decades ago, Postma (1986) found that even in pre-1994 apartheid South Africa, in the exclusively white schools at that point in time, both parents and teachers were sceptical about reciprocal contact, that communication gaps existed between these two stakeholders, and that both parties were not knowledgeable regarding the potential benefits of parent-teacher collaboration in the (school) education of children. Michael, Wolhuter and Van Wyk (2012) also discovered that parents and teachers tended to be apathetic and to be sceptical about parental involvement in schools.

From a specifically learner-discipline perspective, Robarts (2014) reported that 77 percent of teachers were of the view that disruptive behaviour in classrooms could be ascribed to poor discipline at home. Marais and Meier (2010) discovered that foundation phase teachers believed that disrespectful behaviour towards teachers in schools could be traced back to what children learned at home. Segalo and Rambuda (2018) quite recently reported that teachers' authority was undermined by the parents siding with their children in cases of learner indiscipline at school.

Meier and Lemmer's (2015) investigation revealed that parents were satisfied with what schools did and how they functioned (regarding school culture, school-parent communication, classroom instruction and classroom organisation). According to Mncube (2009) and Schoeman (2018), inadequate parental involvement in schools could be ascribed to the poor education levels of many parents, especially in poverty-stricken areas or to the fact that, due to racially segregated residential areas, many parental homes are situated geographically far from their children's schools.

 

5. Conclusion

There can be no doubt that parents and the community surrounding the parental home play a key role in the indiscipline currently experienced in South African schools. The discussion above revealed that the following actions on the part of the parents tend to play into the hands of this phenomenon that has such deleterious effects on school education and the results thereof: parents over-involved in the affairs of the school, even to the extent of taking over the professional management of the school where they have no right to interfere; parents uninvolved or under-involved in the activities of the school, thereby leaving the schooling of their children entirely in the hands of teachers, a cohort of educators in South Africa that is itself currently still suffering from its own brand of indiscipline; parents not understanding and resultantly neglecting their duties as primary educators of the children at home, leading to the problem of children being left to their own devices; children not receiving the correct guiding, leading, equipping and unfolding on the basis of a sound moral compass rooted in some deep religious commitment, thereby contributing to the lack and loss of moral capital in society, and to the moral bankruptcy of South African society; the dysfunctionality of many parental homes, in some cases unavoidable due to the death of parents, also contributing to the problem. By actively doing some morally deplorable things (such as interfering in school affairs where they have no right) or through the neglect of their duties (such as leaving the education of their children to others), the parent / community factor contributes to the indiscipline currently prevalent in South African schools. In light of this conclusion, it is important for parents to gain insight into the social space where they have to interact with the school and its affairs and also into the fact that their actions in that space should be morally justifiable in that all of those actions should be to the advantage of the parental home itself, the learners, and all the other stake-holding parties in the school.

 

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Correspondence:
Charl.Wolhuter@nwu.ac.za

Published: 14 May 2020

 

 

This article came into being through the combined efforts of the authors, with each contributing 50%.

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ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

AfCTA and the Trajectory of Industrialisation and Development Sustainability in Africa

 

 

Prof Dr. OS. Sibanda

Faculty of Management and Law University of Limpopo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5547-9600

Correspondence

 

 


ABSTRACT

In 2018 the African Union Commission launched the first "Africa Industrialisation Week" to promote regional value chains development in Africa, to provide "A Pathway for Accelerating Africa's Structural Transformation, Industrialisation and Pharmaceutical Production" This paper will investigate the trajectory and key elements of Africa's industrialisation. In particular, the paper will look into how the industrialisation will promote and enhance its sustainable development. Considered also will be harmonisation and regional integration; economic strategies beneficial for African countries; appropriate regulatory and policy regime; and issues structural transformation including reallocation of economic activities from less productive to more productive industrial sectors

Keywords: Agenda 2063; Economic Acceleration; Economic Beneficiation, Harmonisation; Industrialisation, Intra-Africa Trade, Regional Integration, Regional Value Chains, Sustainable Development


 

 

1. Introduction and Context

In this paper we deal with the possible trajectory of Africa's industrialisation and the sustainability of development in Africa, particularly following the conclusion of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). In particular, the paper looks into how the industrialisation will promote and enhance its sustainable development in Africa. Key industrialisation and development considerations are discussed such as industrialisation regulatory framework, Africa's comparative advantage, structural transformation in both industry and governance structures, and labour re-orientation in the wake of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). Industrialisation is an ever-present imperative for Africa to meet the objectives of Agenda 2063. It is a driver of sustainable economic growth in Africa (Opoku and Yan, 2018). Other drivers of sustainable and accelerated industrialisation include, but are not limited to, harmonisation and regional integration; economic strategies beneficial for African countries; appropriate regulatory and policy regime; and issues structural transformation. It should be noted, however, that the continent's countries will have different primary drivers of growth, which should be the starting point for industrialisation. In North Africa, for example, the Kenyan economy obtains major earnings from oil and gas, thus industrialisation must focus on these commodities (Khan, 2014). Similarly, in Sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria's economic growth is driven by its hydrocarbon resources (Downie, 2014). Zambia, known as copper belt of Africa, has a strong copper output. Copper contributes 75% of total Zambian exports (Downie, 2014).

AfCFTA aims to create Africa and the world's largest single market for trade in goods and services (Phakathi, 2019), which is now the largest free trade agreement worldwide (Phakathi 2019; Disenyana 2019) designed to achieve intra-African economic cooperation and integration. Important to note is that from 19 - 23 November 2018 the African Union Commission (AUC) launched the first Africa Industrialisation Week to promote regional value chains development in Africa. The idea behind this initiative is to provide A Pathway for Accelerating Africa's Structural Transformation, Industrialisation and Pharmaceutical Production. The Pathway also aligns to the objectives of AUC Africa's Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want, to transform and develop Africa by 2063, and also to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This an interesting development given the fact that both the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) count Africa as one of the continents that has not leveraged its development on industrialisation and historically has the lowest Manufacturing Value Added (MVA) performance compared to other continents. Africa to date remains unindustrialised and the continent's development and economic wealth remain dependent mainly on "exporting primary commodities and importing manufactured goods" (Moyo, 2016:141. See also Dinh, 2016). Cilliers (2018) expressed a concern that Africa has been de-industrialising or "under-industrialised" and the "GDP in Africa has stagnated or contracted since the mid-1980s" (Cilliers, 2018:6). She juxtaposes Africa with Asia, where the latter benefits from rapid manufacturing as its most productive sector, and pursued the "growth-inducing structural transformation from low-productivity subsistence agriculture to high productivity manufacturing..." (Cilliers, 2018:4). On 29 July 2016, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed that the period 2016-2025 as the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III), and calling on UNECA, UNIDO, AU Commission, and NEPAD "to develop, operationalize and lead the implementation of the programme for the Third Decade, under its mandate and through voluntary contributions" (UNIDO, 2017).

 

2. Principles and Foundational Basis for Economic Development

Several theories exist as the foundational basis for economic and development studies, from classical theories to neoclassical and modern theories. Notable for this study are: North's institutional change theories (North, 1990), Adam Smith's theory of comparative advantage (Merlitz, 2003; Weder, 2003; Wacziarg & Wallack, 2004; Sibanda, 2013; Sejkora & Sankot, 2017) amplified by Porter's model for geographic competitive advantage (Kaufman, Gittell & Merenda, 1994; Shehaan & Foss, 2009); Marx's historical materialism theory of development (Meir, 1994), Walt Rostow's economic growth theory (Rostow, 1960), and Porter's development driver's modes (Bakhshinejad, 2014). Furthermore, this study is based on liberal and modified economic theoretical framework, which assumes that productive efficiency will be achieved once states rationalise costs and process of their production by undertaking economic production in areas where there is relative production advantage. It also conforms to the view that today no single theoretical framework can be used to understand the effects, challenges and opportunities presented by FTA such as AfCFTA.

The theoretical framework in this study is particularly informed by two consideration identified by Hoff and Stiglitz (1999), namely the forces that can explain the difference in GDPs across countries, and the possible implications the nature of the interventions designed to promote development. Furthermore, the execution of this study takes cognisance of the questions: Can a country experience sustained growth based solely on production and export of primary resources? Can a country experience long-term growth without industrialisation? If the country cannot do without industrialisation to reach the required level of development, how is industrialisation critical to sustained growth? (Ciarlie & Maio, 2013).

North's theory posits that "one should examine institutions, changes in them, and their impact on economic performance over time through analyzing their interplay between entrepreneur agents (organizations) which are agents for change within (formal and informal) institutions" (Mizo, 2018:19). Given the topic of this paper about Industrialisation and the sustainability of development in Africa, this study relies primarily on the adjusted modernization theory of Walt W. Rostow, economic growth theory- The Take -off into Self-Sustained Growth theory, as it addresses aspects of both development and sustainability irrespective of the development drivers in question. Rostow's theory is, in essence, the modification of Marx's stages theory of development, according to which capital accumulation to create economic growth is performed through both domestic savings and foreign investment (Meir, 1994). The Rostow model sets five stages of development through which an economy goes, namely: "the traditional society, the pre-conditions of take-off, the take-off, the drive to maturity, and the age of mass consumption" (Rostow, 1990). Africa has progressed beyond the Traditional Society stage, in terms of which development is characterized by a labour intensive subsistent, and agricultural-based economy with little trading practices. The Take-off stage is relevant to Africa in the context of AfCFTA because it speaks to a stage of intensive growth led by industrialization, which may lead to Drive to Maturity stage that will take place over some time supported by increased use of technology increases, economic growth and diversification.

Hunter articulates that economists agree that capital accumulation is not, and should not be, the only driver of economic development (Hunter, 2012). Other relevant models of development that considers the "cultural, political, social, institutional and geographical factors" (Hunter, 2012) are also relevant. In the light of this realisation, Murray Hunter points to Michael E. Porter's linear stage model of a country's economic development drivers is relevant. Porter's model looks into the country's development drivers and maintains that:

factor-driven economy gains its competitive advantage from natural resources, favourable conditions for growing crops, and low-cost labour sources, an investment-driven economy from the willingness of firms and individuals to invest in a modern plant, equipment, and technologies, an innovation-driven economy based on firms creating novel processes, products, and business models, and a wealth driven economy (also one in decline) where investment is based on the accumulated capital in low-risk ventures and activities like shopping centres (Hunter, 2012:26).

The above postulation by Porter fits the examination of development in Africa, though with limited adjustment. Hunter posits, and correctly so, that national economic development model is not a linear process. Therefore, economic development theories must not be cast in stone and must consider some realities such as the level of economic development of countries, unequal distribution of resources, the suitability of local topography, geographical location and infrastructure (Hunter, 2012). A typical example of the existing different levels of development in Africa is the view that Botswana and Mauritius are reputably known to be successful in fostering development, and are regarded as "as extraordinary cases of economic and political development in Africa" (Mizero, 2018:7).

 

3. Sustainable development and industrialisation explained

The concept of sustainable development has been the subject of many commentaries, academic discourses and explanations (Sampath, 2017). It suffices for this paper to state that sustainable development is a "common concern to both the developed and developing world" (Simuyi, 2014:374). Also that it is essentially an expression community and future humanity interests; an integrative principle which is an important part of the socio-economic development agenda (Simuyi, 2014; Oni et al, 1999).

Industrialisation can take many forms, in particular, export-orientated or imports-orientated industrialisation (Peters, 2013). A discussion on what industrialisation entails must, in my view, also include a reference to technological innovation and progresses as main drivers of "aggregate economic growth and improvements in living standards over the long term" (Bruckner, LaFleur & Pitterle, 2017:4). In simple terms, industrialisation denotes an "economy driven by high-productivity activities in the manufacturing sector" (Moholwa, 2017:11). There has been extensive discussion in the economic literature about industrialisation as a sine qua non for development. Most prominent has been about the economies of scale and the controversy whether industrialisation displaces labour or lead to a re-allocation of labour (see generally Caraleo & Pastore, 2010). The latter concern particularly relates to the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) - digital revolution to differentiate it to other three revolutions - and its "impact on inclusive and sustainable industrial development" (Dinh, 2016:4). The other revolutions are first revolution (1IR) of the 19th century when steam power was used to supplement human labour; the second industrial revolution (2IR) which saw electricity been crucial to production; and the third industrial revolution (3IR) that heralded the internet age and information technology as pillars of growth and development. The current industrial revolution, the 4IR, brings all the revolutions full cycle, with technological and human capacities nested in innovations and production. There is, for example, 3D printing in manufacturing/production prototypes, big data analytics and self-driving vehicles (See Schäfer, 2018; Xu David & Kim, 2018).

The technological revolution of the 4IR is viewed in the light of its impact on the labour market, be it "job destruction" or "job creation" (Bruckner, LaFleur & Pitterle, 2017:1). The view is that industry mechanisation and productivity gains from technology-led business models may lead to declines in certain areas of employment such as the agricultural sector and those industries reliant on manual labour (Bruckner, LaFleur & Pitterle, 2017). The consequences of industrialisation will vary based on the industry type and how it is implemented. Industrialisation is not always the cause of declines in employment. Moholwa (2017), for example, reports that the South African economy has been experiencing de-industrialisation and rising levels of inequality, unemployment and poverty. The country's economic growth is dependent primarily on the export of primary commodities and household consumption. This state of affairs promoted the South African Government to adopt a National Industrial Policy Framework (NIPF), realised through the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) to promote re-industrialisation (Moholwa, 2017).

 

4. AU and the quest for industrialisation

Numerous studies have affirmed the importance of industrialisation and its varying degrees of importance. For example, industrialisation is said to be: a major contributor to the country's income levels (Moyo, 2016, quoting Owusu & Samatar, 1997:3); a source of generation of employment and enhancement of development (Moyo, 2016); enabler and promoter of economic diversity that can shield the country's economy to "negative external shocks" (Moyo 2016:143); and other inhibitors of progressive development. Industrialisation is equally a political issue as it is an economic issue (Moyo, 2016). The interconnectedness of economic growth and political stability is often revealed through the fragility of the country's economic performance when there is governance uncertainty, labour and political unrest. The economic activity that will always experience tremors as a result of these conditions will be investment and currency performance. According to Abaayo (1999) "bad governance has contributed to the slow pace of development in Africa, which has been demonstrated through many things including unrealistic development policy framework". This has also been consequent to issues of political legitimacy of certain government (Schatzber, 2001). Thus, it remains both a topical and contentious issue. Other issues that have stunted Africa's development, such as conflicts that have had destructive impacts on the continent's economic and social fabric, will not be discussed in this paper as they have been addressed sufficiently somewhere (see Bakare, 2014).

Before the launch of the first-ever Africa Industrialisation Week, the AU has already had discussions and some commitments on the need for industrialisation. For instance, the 10th African Union (AU) General Assembly held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in January 2008, was dedicated to the industrialisation of Africa (Moyo, 2016) and ended with the adoption of the Action Plan for Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa (AIDA). State Parties also acknowledged the centrality of the development of the intense industrial sector to achieving socio-economic welfare (Moyo, 2016). It is noted, for example, that the 2009 economic crisis hit adversely countries such as Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Congo DRC and Kenya, which were "[r]esource-dependent and primary-commodity exporters" (Moyo, 2016:141) in their developmental and economic welfare designs.

The African Development Bank's Africa Economic Outlook of 2018 reflects African economies as resilient, having recovered their growth stimulus specifically in non-resource-intensive economies and regained momentum since the 2009 economic crisis (AfDB, 2018). According to the Bank, the "[r]eal output growth is estimated to have increased 3.6 percent in 2017 and to accelerate to 4.1 percent in 2018 and 2019" (AfDB, 2018:4). However, industrialisation as the driving force behind this growth and development is still lagging. The causes of retardation of industrialisation in Africa and nullification of the continent's comparative advantage have been identified to include variables such as "[i]nsufficient stock of productive infrastructure in power, water, and transport services..." (AfDB, 2018: xvi). For example, over 640 million Africans are reported to be without access to electricity and the proportion of electricity access rate in Africa is more than 40 percent low globally compared (AfDB 2018). For instance, the per capita consumption of electrical energy in "Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) is 180 kWh, against 13,000 kWh per capita in the United States and 6,500 kWh in Europe" (AfDB, 2018:68). This statistical information further demonstrates the challenge of Africa been left behind concerning industrialisation. Though South Africa is excluded from Sub-Saharan Africa's per capita consumption of electrical energy, a conclusion must not be drawn that the country is far ahead of others in terms of technological achievement in sustainable electricity supply sector.

 

5. Key industrialisation and development considerations

5.1Sound Industrialisation Strategy, Regulatory and Policy Framework

There is going to be a need for a continental industrialisation strategy around which AfCFTA industrialisation and sustainability objectives will be realised. Such a strategy, which must trickle down to national authorities, must have certain minimum conditions and/or characteristics. Yet, it is also important that the country-specific context is always taken into account (Joffe, Kaplan, Kaplinsky and Lewis, 1995). Factors other than economic considerations must be taken into account. The following four aspects of industrial strategy highlighted by Best (1990:265-6) are noteworthy and important to consider: (1) the encouragement of competition, (2) the seeking of a balance between co-operation and competition, (3) no planning industries of the future, but rather an examination of the requirements for sustaining competitive success and work to ensure that firms, which provide the real dynamic thrust, can respond quickly as new markets emerge, and (4) the need for independence, but hands-on industry studies and the integration of 'thinkers and doers' from different institutions that are able and willing to think long term.

5.2Leveraging on Comparative Advantage

Adam Smith's theory of absolute advantage from his pioneering work, Unders0gelser om National-Velstands Naturog Aars ag (Wealth of Nations) and later modified by David Ricardo as a comparative advantage (CA) in the work Principles of Economics, proposes that a nation must trade in goods it can produce relatively cheap or services it can render at affordable wages (Sejkora & Sankot, 2017; Sibanda, 2013; Wacziarg & Wallack, 2004; Weder, 2003; Merlitz, 2003; Porter, 1990). Comparative advantage "exists for an economy if the cost of producing that good or service is relatively lower for that economy than of any other economy" (Sibanda, 2013:822). In terms of CA, for example, South Africa should leverage export of maize meal instead of rice because it has a comparative advantage for producing maize by industrialised and technologically advanced farmers compared to rice that is produced by small subsistence and/or small-hold farmers (Sibanda, 2013). Rice production and exportation must be left to high-yielding areas of irrigated rice found in China, Egypt, Thailand, and the Senegal River Valley in Africa, for example. Moholwa (2017:63) argues that "South Africa must use its comparative advantage by focusing on "product-enhanced structural transformation in the manufacturing sector (trade, transport, and mining sectors)" to promote and stimulate economic growth and development.

In Ethiopia, for example, agriculture contributes 45% of the GDP and thus the largest revenue generator of the country, yet the country is the net food importer with increasing food import dependency (Cilliers, 2018). In my view, this should not have been the case. Ethiopia must invest in the structural transformation of its industrial section making it more technologically efficient, and consequently a sector that can give it a comparative advantage. But, it may depend also on the labour costs in Ethiopia. Poor African countries are known to have high labour cost (Cilliers, 2018), making them unable to leverage their comparative advantage in certain sectors and to industrialise. Another example, Senegal, may harness its comparative advantage in a certain sector. The country is a middle-income country with very modest economic growth (Sejkora & Sankot, 2017). But the empirical study by Sejkora & Sankot (2017) revealed that Senegal has a sector with CA related to chemicals, which in my view must be highly industrialised to give Senegal a competitive edge. Chingarande Mzumara and Karambakuwa (2013) report that Kenya is a specialist producer of green tea compared to Uganda that produces black tea. Furthermore, Kenya has CA in cut flowers while Uganda specialises in roses (Chingarande Mzumara & Karambakuwa, 2013). Therefore in between them, Kenya must import black tea and export green tea, while Uganda must export black tea and import green tea. Kenya may dispense with a nursery of roses and import them from Uganda.

To optimally benefit from the AfCFTA arrangements member states must prioritise developing their industries and trading in products they possess the competitive advantage in.

5.3 Structural Transformation: Infrastructure, Manufacturing and Production Structures

Structural transformation (ST) broadly understood includes the reallocation of economic activities from less productive to more productive industrial sectors. The idea is that transformation must generate more value add, including increased job creation and poverty reduction. According to the AfDB, there has been a slow pace of ST in Africa, and little has been done in bringing large and permanent changes to the structure of production that exclude the extractive industries (AfDB, 2018). In the agricultural sector, for example, there must be more investment, modernisation of production processes, and introducing other measures aimed at developing agricultural value chains (AfDB 2018). ST may need huge base funding giving the level of development of African countries and their budgetary abilities (AfDB, 2018).

High-quality, effective and efficient infrastructure is critical for Africa to realise the SDGs, Agenda 2063, and the High Five Goals of the AfDB. Just to note, Agenda 2063 sets manifold objectives some of which a critical to industrialisation. For instance, it calls for the establishment effective and efficient transport and logistics infrastructure in the form of air and maritime transport Network, a continental road and rail network, education, adequate health facilities, and modernised communication network (AfDB, 2018). Sustainable economic growth and development are highly dependent on infrastructure. "If transport, electricity, or telecom services are absent or unreliable, firms face additional costs (buying power generators, for instance) and struggle to adopt new technologies. Better transport increases the effective size of labour markets," noted the African Development Bank (AfDB, 2018:65). UN Goal 9 on Industry, innovation and infrastructure makes it clear that investing in infrastructure and innovation is important to drive economic growth and development (WEF, 2019).

According to the UN Economic for Africa Index Sudan has the least developed and modest infrastructure while South Africa ranks the highest in the continent regarding economic infrastructure (Phakathi, 2009). The situation needs to change to enable activation of AfCFTA goals and objectives on continental economic integration and growth.

5.4Structural Transformation: Democratic Governance Structures

Ezechukwunyere (2018) makes a compelling argument on the struggle still experienced by the AU in meeting its sustainable development and economic integration objectives. This, in my view, remains a concern even with the implementation of AfCFTA. According to Ezechukwunyere (2018), the problem is attributable to the democratic governance deficit in the organisational architecture of the AU portrayed through the weak governance structure and without the political will to implement organisational objectives, for example. Interestingly, Ezechukwunyere (2018) points to a connection between the sustainability of development in Africa and democratic governance. Thus, the author calls for the prioritization of democratic governance as a necessary pre-condition and /or complementary to economic development particularly within the framework of Agenda 2063.

Osabu-Kle (2000) argues that "only a democracy compatible with the African cultural environment is capable of achieving the political conditions for successful development in Africa." A similar view is held by Solomon and Liebenberg (2000), who refers to the South African experience of democratization, express a viewpoint of African democratization that is undergirded by African realities and challenges. This viewpoint is debatable, at least from the position of an economics scholar. Admittedly, African cultural contexts cannot be ignored when considering the democratic culture of institutions that will implement AfCFTA. For instance, Sibanda (2012) uses the principles of Ubuntu to demonstrate how the World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute settlement processes can invoke African justice paradigms, and how a reference to morality in Article 20 of General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) can cover morality in terms of the values and principles of uBuntu (Sibanda 2005). A similar position can be taken concerning dispute settlement under AfCFTA as discussed below.

5.5Re-Orientation of the WorkForce

Related to ST and industrialisation in the age of FTAs has been a concern that labour may be re-allocated and the rate of unemployment increased. A study by Caraleo and Pastore (2010) indicated otherwise, who argues that: "During periods of structural change, worker reallocation is more apparent, but it reduces at later stages...Several possible explanations have been raised of the spatial correlation between the degree of reallocation of labour and unemployment: first is the higher degree of structural change; second is the presence of asymmetric effects of aggregate disturbances..."(Caraleo and Pastore, 2010:42043). The reality is that industrialisation will always involve re-allocation of labour, and in some cases, it may even include displacement of the workforce. It is therefore important that the current workforce is fully prepared for industrialisation. This is particularly imperative in the light of the 4IR, which has at the centre of the production mechanisation and IT tools. Industrialisation as economic growth and development strategy will impact employment scales.

 

6. Conclusions, recommendations and the way forward

Considered jointly and severally, A Pathway for Accelerating Africa's Structural Transformation, Industrialisation and Pharmaceutical Production and the industrialisation and development demands of the AfCFTA present yet the dawn of another period of an attempt at the wide-scale development of the African continent. To emancipate Africa from being the begging child of global nations. It is hoped the industrialisation and sustainable development introduced and/or raised in many African instruments including NEPAD will for once bear fruit.

Of course, much will have to be done to see to it that tangible results are achieved. Among others, African governments have clear industrialisation policy options to follow, with their associated short and long term plans. Part of the plans must be to address all structural transformation issues. They must be the "the right kinds of policies for overall sustainable development "by creating a balance between environment, development and equity" (Sampath, 2014:541). There is also a need to revisit labour standards and employment condition taking into account the need to secure jobs on the one hand and striking the right kind of balance between technology and human skills (Sampath, 2014). Most importantly, the AU to take lead in implementing credible and committed leadership based on sound economic development principles. To this end, there must be a strong political will from AfCFTA countries to implements the Agreements and its associated protocols and side agreements.

 

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Correspondence:
Omphemetse.sibanda@ul.ac.za

DATES: Published: 4 December 2020

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ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

Christian Religious Education and Integrity: a Case Study of Babock University, Nigeria

 

 

Isaiah AbolarinI; Jame 'Toyin' BabalolaII

IBabock University, Nigeria https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3276-684X
IIBabock University, Nigeria

Correspondence

 

 


ABSTRACT

The goal of education, especially Christian religious education, is to restore human beings to the image of God in which they were created. This is achieved by inculcating moral values into students and using education to build their character that it might reflect the character of God. One of the major moral values that is highly needed in Nigeria society is integrity. Babcock University as a Christian institution practices religious education in which the Christian faith is integrated into every fabric of her educational practices. Since inception, Babcock has had integrity as part of her core values. This has been promoted, encouraged practised and coached by the university personnel. This study investigated the level of integrity and the process of its attainment. Since religious universities constituted about two-thirds of private universities (about 45% of the total private institutions in Nigeria), there is a high need of building integrity in these universities in order to promote integrity in the nation. The study adopted qualitative research method using interview as means of data collection. The study found that leadership and freedom are essential factors in ensuring integrity.

Keywords: Christian religious education, integrity, faith, image of God, moral values, educational practices


 

 

1. Introduction

Nigeria as a nation is struggling to restore her past glory and virtues of which integrity is prominent (Adelakun, 2018). In order to achieve this, different efforts have been made such as establishing regulatory bodies and government agents. Different organizations-religious and non-government-have been used to educate people's understanding and imbibing integrity. Despite all the efforts integrity is still a mirage in the country (Jeremiah, 2020). This is more pertinent when institutions of higher learning are devoid of integrity because they are the ones supposed to build young people who ought to uphold and live integrity. Education generally is the means through which character is built, beliefs are woven with behaviour and virtues inculcated into young people who will eventually take over from the current leaders in every sphere of the nation (2017).

There have not been encouraging reports regarding integrity in higher institutions involving many students, lecturers and other stakeholders. Okebukola (2015), an ex-secretary of the NUC, the regulatory body for higher institutions of learning in Nigeria, revealed the level of dishonesty in term of plagiarism among undergraduate students in Nigeria to be 70%. He added that even at the doctoral level, the extent of dishonesty is intolerably high, and many students no longer engage in original thinking. Another symptom of lack of integrity in the Nigeria tertiary institutions is examination malpractice which has become a norm in many institutions of higher learning. The situation is worse as a growing number of lecturers get involved in dishonest practices such as plagiarism, cooking data for research without conducting the studies, lateness to class, absenteeism, and alteration of examination results (Okebukola, 2015). The situation in the academic environment has reached a level when different dons fraudulently received academic awards (Kperogi, 2019).

Lack of integrity in institutions of higher learning in Nigeria is also revealed in dishonest professorial candidates' assessments, inaccurate reports of financial and academic data, admitting numbers of students more than the carrying capacity of an institution, non-adherence to the regulations guiding admission, political interference in admission processes, sales of examination questions, gratification and inducement to manipulate award of marks/grades, writing examination by proxy, direct cheating in exams and many more acts of dishonesty (Agbaje, 2019; Dada, 2017; Francis, 2015; Okebukola, 2015; Omojuwa, 2019). This has led to uncultured, unskilled, and uneducated graduates - and this is a serious paradoxical reality in the Nigeria higher education (Lawal, 2013; Olatunji, 2018; Olukoju, 2014; Omojuwa, 2019; Uriah & Wosu, 2012).

Fortunately, all hope is not lost regarding integrity in the higher institutions in Nigeria. There is a ray of hope shining through from private institutions of higher learning, especially the faith-based ones, specifically Christian institutions which are demonstrating a high level of upholding moral standards. Christian religious institutions are concerned with building students who are disciplined and understand their heritage plus creativity, logical rigour and self-critical honesty (Holmes, 1975). Christian religious education grounds its educational worldview, philosophy and practice on the tenet which is directly linked to a Supreme being who is just and faithful and desires the same attributes from all who serve Him everywhere including educational institutions (Knight, 2016; Ward, 1995).

Mentorship in character and lifestyle, including integrity, is an important factor in Christian religious education institutions. The objectives of such institutions are to prepare people who would have the characteristics of the Supreme being, able to weave beliefs into character, who would experience holistic education (intellectual, social, and spiritual), and be able to face the challenges of life (Garber, 1996; Knight, 2016). Being a Christian religious institution and having integrity as one of her core values has existed for 60 years and has gone through different developmental stages with effort to uphold moral standard and to project the same among many other institutions of higher learning in Nigeria. Therefore, this study examined the level and process of ensuring integrity in Babcock University.

1.1 Integrity

Integrity is the act of being consistently honest and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values even when no one else does. It is a state of steadfastly adhering to high moral principles or professional standards. These moral principles involve human ways of life, which may include finance, justice, relationship, and academic. Integrity generally can also be seen as a personal trait of being fair in every situation that someone finds him/herself. It is a trait every human being should admire. Integrity comes from personal moral conviction of doing the right thing in all circumstances. The Merriam-Webster dictionary (2019) presents integrity as firm adherence to a code of moral or values. It is a condition of being incorruptible, unimpaired, and undivided. In other words, a person who lacks integrity is corruptible, ethically impaired, and divided. According to Tracy (2019), integrity is doing the right thing only because it is the right thing to do. It is living by one's word without compromise. Integrity involves not being afraid to tell the truth. It requires putting personal agendas aside to focus on the common good of others (Bauer College of Business, 2019; Tracy, 2019).

The traits found in people with integrity, according to Brown (2018), include humility, goodness, authenticity, honesty, trustworthy, giving credit, value people's time, not arguing rudely, giving second chances, emotionally intuitive, apologetic, accountability, genuinely apologize when one has gone too far, ensure the team gets the credit, do not name call, and have patience. Amster (2017), stated that to build integrity is easy but to maintain it is a difficult experience. Therefore, he suggested some ways by which people can strengthen their integrity. The ways include: fulfil promises, keep appointments, soberly reflect before making commitments, be comfortable with saying no, examine how you react to fearful situations, polish your communication skills, identify the skills to be developed and develop them, avoid people with no integrity as much as possible.

1.2 Integrity and academia

Academic integrity is loyalty to a state of high moral principles and values in scholarship and this entails teaching, learning and research (Okebukola, 2015). It is an important factor to a functional education and specifically in academic life. Academic misconduct is the violation of academic policy and integrity in a given institution. The violation includes cheating, which is generally known as plagiarism, misrepresentation, lying, stealing in exams, copying other people's projects, untruthfulness in data collection and analysis of the data (University of Ontario, 2016). Therefore, integrity in academic life is considered to be a commitment to honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage even in the face of adversity (Valdosta State University, 2018). These six factors are referred to as fundamental values of integrity. They are explained as follow:

1. Honesty - this is expected to occur within individuals in an academic environment. When it happens, it is easier to maintain learning and teaching, between teachers and students. Irrespective of institutional policy, if individuals do not possess personal integrity it is difficult to entrench integrity in the system especially between teachers and students. In an institution where there is dishonesty, the welfare of the institution is at risk and the value of the academic degree is reduced.

2. Trust - this is primarily a value that is promoted by the faculty of an institution of higher learning. The faculty is to set clear guidelines for every expectation from students and the modality for assessment. There should be consistency and fair treatment.

3. Fairness - this another important value within integrity. Impartial and accurate evaluation is essential in the educational process. Students desire predictability, clear expectations, and a consistent and just response from teachers and everyone who deals with them. Every department and person in an institution of higher learning has a role in ensuring fairness, and a lapse by any member of the institution cannot justify misconduct by another.

4. Respect - respecting other people's intellectual property and ability is an essential value of integrity. Proper citation of any information taken from another person's intellectual product is necessary. This also calls for respect of the view of others even in the class. No looking down on anyone, rather everyone is treated as a person.

5. Responsibility - each person in the academic community is responsible for upholding the integrity of scholarship and research. Dishonesty is to be abhorred by all the members of an academic community. Honesty among all members of an institution of higher learning results in building trust over time.

6. Courage - it takes courage to stand alone where others have fallen. Integrity requires courage especially in the current existing academic system where value has been excluded from academic (University of Ontario, 2016; Valdo-sta State University, 2018).

Every institution of higher learning builds its reputation not only on teaching, but also on research and in other areas of the institution's system. The credibility may be reflected in both the students who graduate with degrees and the researchers at the institution, but every member of the community is a reflector of the credulity and integrity that exist in the institution. The level of credibility of an institution can influence many things concerning the institution such as accreditation, ranking, type of employees (staff and faculty), research grants and publication by faculty members, external support, admission, and advancement and employability of the graduates (Bauer College of Business, 2019). In essence, integrity in an institution of higher learning is important to individuals, to enhance the success of each person especially the faculty and students. It saves students from being expelled and faculty from sanction. It is important to the university to build and maintain its reputation (Western Sydney University, 2019).

1.3 Christian Religious Education

Christian religion education is the type of education in which the curriculum, teaching and other educational practices are determined by a Christian religious worldview (Miracle, 2015), which holds that there is a supreme being who is responsible for the existence of everything, seen and unseen (Coe, 1978). Christian religious education, according to Tracy (1978), is the culture and training of the intellect, the emotion, and the will, so as to make the three function in a highest possible way in every situation in a holistic harmony. This is to result in students knowing the truth, appreciate the beautiful, and will the good. In essence, Christian religious education is to help students develop in all the three domains of learning which are cognitive, behavioural, and affective. It directs students along the path of harmonious development.

Christianity agrees that religious education is to develop personality after its Teacher, that God may be glorified in the expansion of his spiritual kingdom (Tracy, 1978). If Christian religion believes that humans were created perfect and that sin came and marred the perfection in which they were created, and that religion is to connect people back to God (Adetunji, 2012), then the ultimate goal of its education could be to bring students back to the image of God in which they were created (White, 1903) and this takes a process that cannot but go through its leader (Jesus Christ). Since the connection to the Creator cannot be an abstract, Christian religious education prepares students to have positive impact on communities, societies and cultures (Itulua-Abumere, 2013). This kind of education has important roles to play in building a nation for moral development and creating law and order (Miracle, 2015).

Christian religious education is an interactive engagement that intentionally attends to the interests of students' growth in a Christian environment as revealed by God (2015). Christian religious education aims at bringing students into a right relationship with God as they discover and appreciate the Christian truth through the process of education. Its concepts and practices are motivated by the Christian worldview that is theocentric and brings individuals into the right relationship with God and one's fellows in the context of Christian truths about life (Miller, 1995). Christian religious education, according to White (903), is more than the acquiring of a degree; but is the holistic development of students that fits them for service to humanity and to God. It is equipping students to weave together what they believe with how they behave that there will be no dichotomy between believe and behaviour (Garber, 2007, White, 1903). This type of education is more than training students for careers, but also for character and moral development.

Some of the character and moral development expected of students in Christian religious education include integrity, justice, and values; it is being true to the word of God and relevant to the needs of people and the society (Estep Jr., Anthony & Allison, 2008; Itulua-Abumere, 2013; Plueddemann, 1995).

A Christian worldview answers philosophical questions of what is real, what is true and what is good; it proceeds to also answer the question of what to do from theocentric point of view. It is the worldview that determines the beliefs, values, and behaviour (Figure 1). Christian education is particular about behaviour which is the product of the education.

The Christian worldview is informed by a Biblical worldview that is concerned with choices people make and the impact of such choices on society. The biblical worldview helps an individual's values system and the priorities each one sets for him/herself (Figure 2). The result of all these is character and value building for the purpose of impacting society positively. Such education cannot exist without integrity. The need for this kind of education is expressed by Okunoye (2019), in his lament on the moral and spiritual decadence in Nigeria and the role Christian religious education could play. He claimed that there is a need to emphasize Christian religious education that upholds the principles of integrity.

1.4 Christian Religious Education and Integrity

Since religion, according to Adetunji (2012), affects every aspect of a nation-politics, education, economy, morality, and relationship-and religious education is a system of education in which religious tenets are incorporated into curriculum and ethos of an educational institution, the issue of integrity in such system should be a thing of concern. And according to Upton (2006), Christian religious education cannot stand without integrity, because it is the foundational pillars on which the educational system stands. Integrity does not stand on its own, it is nurtured and demonstrated in harmonization with other virtues. In Christian religious education, integrity signifies purity of heart and obedience to moral principles in thought and action by the persons involved in the educational practices. It holds integrity in high esteem in its philosophy.

In Christian religious institutions, it is imperative for personnel to model integrity in every aspect-moral, finance, and academic (Abolarin, 2015). The contribution, especially in moral and integrity, made by Christian religious education in the past history of Nigeria calls for a need to encourage Christian religious institutions to build a true Christian religious educational system. Some of the past contribution of Christian religious education include strong and modern society that was capable of transforming the lives of Nigerians in the aspect of economy, education, and social. The people of Nigeria were able to take their place as equals in the world community. The educational system brought people of different ethnic backgrounds together in unity for common purpose (Okpalike & Nwadialor, n.d.).

 

2. Babcock University

Christian religious education was introduced into Nigeria in the 1800s by the missionaries and mission agencies to end the slave trade and convert indigenes to Christianity. This was done by establishing schools and hiring instructors to educate and to spread Christianity through missionary enterprises (Paracka, 2002). In the early 1800s, Seventh-day Adventist missionaries arrived in Nigeria. Following the general approach by other missionaries, the Seventh-day Adventist missionaries also started primary and later secondary schools as a means of propagating their message and converting people to their faith. When the Adventist mission became larger, there was a need for more teachers and Bible workers to handle to expanding mission work.

In October 1959, the Adventist College of West Africa (ACWA) was established for the purpose of meeting the need for a ministry with training beyond the secondary school level (Agboola, 2001). In 1975, the name of the institution was changed to the Adventist Seminary of West Africa (ASWA) in response to the dynamics of the socio-political terrain of the nation. And when the Federal Government of Nigeria gave accreditation to the institution in 1999, the name then became Babcock University (BU) (Abolarin, 2015, Babcock University, 2019), in memory of the first Seventh-day Adventist missionary to Nigeria whose name was David C. Babcock. It became a pioneer private university in Nigeria (Babcock University, 2019). The institution has always practised Christian religious education in keeping with the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Being a Christian institution, moral and character building of the students is paramount along with intellectual development. One of the core values of Babcock University is integrity. Other ones include excellence, accountability, team spirit, servant leadership, autonomy responsibility, and the Adventist heritage. The core values are recited not only by the students but also by the faculty and staff of the institution in every major gathering (Babcock University, 2019).

 

3. Methodology

This study adopted a qualitative research method. The objective of the study was to investigate the phenomenon of integrity in Babcock University. The study enquired on the understanding of integrity and the process of ensuring continuous integrity in the institution. An interview guide was the instrument used for data collection; it allowed for an in-depth understanding of the phenomenon being studied. Some administrators and key individuals from different units of the university (bursary, procurement, human resources, academic, institutional effectiveness, and students' development) whose duties call for interactions with other personnel and students, were interviewed. In all, 14 people were interviewed when the procedure ended due to saturation of information.

The interview was on a one-on-one basis. Each interviewee was met in his/her office and the interview protocol was followed. The interview was conducted after permission was secured from the Babcock University Human Research Ethics Committee (BUHREC), the body that sees to the ethical issues on every research project in the institution. The responses from the interviewees were recorded using pen and paper. The data were examined and thematically analysed. Categories and themes from each of categories of the responses were identified. Five categories with different numbers of themes emerged from the responses.

The research questions for this study included:

How can you rate the level of integrity in this university?

How is integrity ensured in the university? What is the relationship between integrity and quality of education in Christian religious educational system, especially Babcock University?

How diligent is the university to the threshold and standard given by the NUC in term of admission?

The study focused on establishing the importance of integrity in Christian religious education especially in the 21st century Nigeria when corruption is the common theme in the educational system (Agbaje, 2019; Francis, 2015). The names used in this study are pseudonyms so as to ensure anonymity of the interviewees.

 

4. Findings

The responses from the participants of this study were analysed and grouped according to the emerged categories and themes. This section contains mostly the paraphrase of the responses from the interviewees. Five categories emerged with each one having a cluster of themes.

4.1 Type of Educational Practice

The idea of the type of education being practised may look superfluous as the university is owned by a Christian organization. The reality is that there are those who do not consider the type of education being practised there as Christian. Some people stated that it is difficult to call the university a Christian one because it has become more secular than Christian (Alex, Olumide & Bolu, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). According to Olumide (personal conversation, August 21, 2019), there are departments and sections of the university where the practices there do not reflect Christian organization. The religiousness of the educational system of the university according to four of the interviewees, has been compromised. There are taints of secularism in the system due to financial needs to maintain the university and the type of employees who are being recruited (Akin, David, Solo, & Tait, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). At the same time some respondents especially among the administrators, indicated that the type of education practised at Babcock University is Christian religious education (Chuks, Moni, Alos, Okafor, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). According to some of the administrators, since the inception of the institution, the focus has always been the practice of an educational system that corresponds with the philosophy of the Seventh-day Adventist Church which is the organization that owns the university. The aim of the education, according to one of the administrators, is to restore in students the image of God in which they were created (Okafor, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

Still under the type of education, the educational system is not only focussed on the intellectual development of the students. The education is a holistic one, a tripartite education which is concerned with the mental, physical and spiritual aspects of the students. The focus is not only the intellectual, but also on the physical and spiritual well-being of students which makes the educational system different from secular system of education. The educational practices in Babcock University are guided by biblical principles (Okafor & Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

The Christian nature of the educational system in Babcock University is further demonstrated by the general courses on Christian religion that every student offers at every level of study before graduation (Head, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). Students are also exposed to both hall and church worship programmes. The university, according to one of the administrators, is "deliberate" about inculcating the word of God into students and staff. This is also done by conducting annual weeks of spiritual emphasis and by having morning devotional programmes for all staff every morning, and prayer meetings for faculty members (White, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). Other measures for ensuring spiritual development include annual orientation and colloquia for personnel. In essence, Babcock University is a Christian institution of higher learning in both precepts and practices (Okafor, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

4.2Understanding of Integrity

Understanding of integrity is the second category of response. Integrity is viewed differently by the respondents. It is perceived as "sticking to rules without compromise" or "maintaining standards" (Okafor, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). It is also understood to be "uprightness" which is "doing right because it is right"; being faithful, trustworthy (White, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). Integrity is being "the same everywhere every time irrespective of the situation" (Tait, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). It is the ability to "show and prove beyond reasonable doubt that what you say is what you do." It is being predictable and honest. Integrity is also "what you are when nobody is watching". It is not paying lip service (David & Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

Many of the interviewees said that Babcock University has policies and principles that promote and encourage integrity. Those who are the leaders, "especially the Vice-Chancellor and the Bursar are the epitome of integrity". They talk and promote the same in every given opportunity (Yinka, Solo & Okafor, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). While these people represent integrity in the university, regrettably, there are individuals who do not uphold the high standards of integrity as promoted by the institution. These individuals include some staff and lecturers who engage in anti-integrity behaviour. Though, on the general level, the university has high level integrity compared to a good number of higher institutions in the country; but the situation can be better (Akin, Alex, Head, Tait & Solo, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

4.3Integrity and Education

The relationship between integrity and education is the third category of response. In Babcock University, there is no dichotomy between education and integrity; although some "bad eggs" collude to cheat the university, even some lecturers extort students, and this is a national problem (Okafor, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). Ideally, integrity should not be isolated from education. A true education is to build integrity because every aspect of education carries integrity with it (David, Okafor & Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). "There cannot be Christian education without Christian principles. Christian principles include integrity. Since Christian values cannot be the same as worldly values, Christian education values cannot be like any other education" (Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). Christian education based its values and principles of God's word. A true education should be that which promotes and practices integrity in all it does. "The bedrock of education should be integrity" But the sad thing is that not everyone in the university is a "Christian", this shows in their lack of integrity (Akin, David, Solo & White, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

4.4 The System for Ensuring Integrity

The fourth category of response is the system put in place to ensure integrity. The respondents were in agreement with the fact that Babcock University has strong systems put in place to ensure integrity. The system has different components that form the themes for this category.

There is freedom of expression in Babcock University which allows everyone, including students to voice out any concern or frustration being faced. If anyone feels cheated or oppressed, the individual has the opportunity to speak and whatever is said will reach the appropriate body that will deal with the issue. There are good communication channels for every aggrieved person to air his/her concern. This makes people courteous of every decision and act. Babcock University promotes simplicity of life so that no one does more than his/her ability; but there is still a competitive spirit in some people who love to oppress others. There are some people too who still find it difficult to speak out because of the fear of being dismissed (Alex, Alos, Akin, Chuks, David, Head, Okafor, Solo & White, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

Babcock University is a Seventh-day Adventist Church institution. This indicates that there is no single individual who has the final say when it comes to decision-making. There is the hierarchy of power from the institution to the world headquarters of the church. This also promotes integrity in the university (David, Okafor, Solo & Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). Babcock University works hard to maintain integrity because the Seventh-day Adventist Church is a church that promotes and upholds integrity in all precepts and practices. But the workers are not all members of the church, so there is no perfect level of integrity in the practices. This is not to say that only the non-members violate the rules of integrity. Many who are members also do that (Okafor & Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

The university operates committees and bodies systems that allow for many people to be part of decision-making in the university. Each committee handles different matters that have to do with the running of the university. The committees include a disciplinary committee, procurement committee, and welfare committee. The different committees promote inclusive administrative systems that permit objective involvement thereby ensuring integrity (David, Okafor, Solo & Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). "There is no unilateral decision-making in Babcock University but the truth is that some, though not often, still find ways of bringing personal bias into committee decisions" (Okafor, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

Another system that helps Babcock University to ensure integrity is the sanction system. When anyone is found guilty of any act of indiscipline or misconduct, the person is sanctioned. The sanction serves as a deterrent to others from falling into similar error. And every individual is accountable for his/her action without compromise (David & Okafor, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

In addition, there are departments that work to ensure quality, fairness, and integrity. Some of the departments include Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Academic Planning, and BUHREC. They work to ensure quality and integrity in some areas like research, teaching, attendance in class, teachers' attitude and behaviour, and examinations (Okafor & Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

There are programmes through which the consciousness of the people-students and staff-is opened to the need to maintain integrity in Babcock University. Some of the programmes include annual weeks of spiritual emphasis where both students and workers gather for a week-morning and evening-for spiritual messages (Okafor & Solo, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). There is a students' week of prayer in which students gather in different groups for a week for spiritual messages. There are also weekly faculty prayer meetings, and daily morning devotion for staff (Okafor & Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). Annual colloquia and orientation are another avenue by which personnel are motivated to develop and impact values on campus (David, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). "Everyone who works in Babcock is encouraged to see him/herself as working for God. Babcock University has zero tolerance to vices. Integrity has given Babcock University an edge over some other universities in the nation" (David & Okafor, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

Although the university has the system put in place to ensure integrity, "there are some human factors that may make the execution difficult, because some individuals may not live up to the principles of the institution" (Solo & Tait, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). This does not mean that Babcock tolerates lack of integrity in her system. "In all, there is the fear of God in Babcock University" this is a major factor for ensuring integrity in the university (David & Solo, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). Because of financial challenges of the university, sometimes there are violations of NUC standards in the area of not admitting students more than the capacity of the facilities. There are some semesters when students would be more than the available spaces; which is a dent in the integrity, though the university quickly handles this when it happens (Solo & Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

4.5 Improving on the Level of Integrity

Despite the level of integrity in Babcock University, there are still some things that could be done to improve on what is being done (David, Alos, Chuks, Moni & Bolu, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). Some of the things that could be done to improve the level of integrity in Babcock University include praying. As a Christian education institution, Babcock University neds to pray more and allow the Holy Spirit to take over the entire university (Okafor, Olumide & Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). And there should not be any distraction from the mission of the university (David & Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

Babcock University is to be mindful of "who to employ as workers in the university" (Solo, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). The university has to ensure that the people who are employed are those who will uphold standards and integrity. And the opinions of the lower rank staff on important issues are to be considered before decisions are taken in order to make everyone part of decisions and to hold everyone accountable (Solo, Tait & Yinka, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

Another thing that can be done to improve the level of integrity is to train directors and officers in their area of engagement. This is to ensure effectiveness in carrying out one's duty. Effectiveness promotes integrity. Babcock University needs to make sure that the right people are engaged in the right duty and in the right places; putting "square peg in a square hole" (Solo & Tait, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

There is a need also to improve compensation. When people are compensated appropriately, they will uphold integrity and work hard for an organization. Promise also needs to be fulfilled to those that have been promised one thing or the other. When this is done, integrity can be promoted with ease (Solo, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). Parents and community (where the university is situated) should not be eliminated totally from issues regarding the running of the institution. When the community and parents are involved, "there is no secret or anything to hide." This will encourage the stakeholders to be opened to the university, thereby promoting integrity (David, personal conversation, August 21, 2019). The university is to demonstrate faith by upholding the NUC standard. There should not be more admissions than the available facilities and admission allow, and it should be closed at when due (Solo & Tait, personal conversation, August 21, 2019).

 

5. Discussion and Conclusion

Christian religious education is the type of education in which a Christian worldview is the basis of educational practices. This kind of education focuses not only on intellectual growth of students but on holistic development which aims at helping students to grow belief, values and exemplary behaviour. It helps students to develop physically, intellectually and spiritually. Biblical worldview is the determinant of every principle and policy of such institution; because the goal is to connect students back to the image of God in which they were created and to teach students to weave together beliefs and behaviour preparing them to meet the societal challenges with sincerity and an objective mind, impacting society positively.

Integrity is a crucial factor to accomplish the goal Christian religious education has to achieve. Integrity cannot be separated from Christian religious education, it is the bedrock of a true education. Contrary to the understanding of employees at Babcock University, every employee should understand the type of education being practised is Christian education, so as to know how each one fits into the system. The recruitment of workers is an important factor that determines how integrity is valued in Christian higher institution. Administrators in the Christian educational system should employ those who will be willing to uphold the standard (Abolarin, 2017).

Babcock University practices Christian religious education and it has integrity as one of its core values. As a Christian religious institution, Babcock University has different activities and programmes in place to expose students to biblical teachings and principles. Some of such activities are church worship, hall worship, and weeks of spiritual emphasis. There are programmes too for the faculty and staff to keep burning the flame of the Christian nature of the university. Despite all these measures, there are still struggles on how to really establish integrity on the campus due to some individuals who place personal interest above the institutional interest.

Although there are some leaders who exemplify integrity in Babcock University, this same approach should be true of every other leader (all principal officers, directors, deans, and heads of departments). When all these people uphold integrity, there is a possibility that other workers will emulate them. The administration should listen to the voices of the lower cadre of workers.

Before a Christian religious education could truly be, integrity should take priority. Christian religious education by its name indicates the link with a higher being-God-and all that is done in the system should show the linkage. Every religion promotes integrity which is demonstrated by being truthful, sincere, trustworthy, maintaining standards always, and standing for the right irrespective of the consequence. Integrity should be a core value in Christian religious educational systems. It should be promoted and practised. Without integrity, a Christian religious education ceases to be religious. Unfortunately, perfection is a scarce commodity, even in Babcock University with all the factors to ensure integrity, it is still not at a perfect level. And recruitment can play a major role in the ethos of an organization; therefore Babcock University and every other Christian educational system should take recruitment as important as the running of the institution. The importance of integrity in educational system should be promoted and pursued in Christian religious education. This will influence the product and the society at large.

5.1 Recommendations

1. People who believe and are ready to exemplify integrity should be made leaders of Christian religious educational systems by the governing councils; and by extension, to other institutions of higher learning.

2. The administration should employ people who are ready to live the life of integrity in Christian institutions of higher learning.

3. Inclusive systems of leadership should be practised by the administration by putting departments and committees that could promote integrity in place. Community and parents should be made to feel part of the ownership of institutions of higher learning.

4. Administration should ensure the implementation of integration of faith and learning in every aspect of the institution's life.

5. Administration should ensure freedom of speech with quality control so as to allow for self-expression that will promote integrity.

 

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Correspondence:
abolarini@babcock.edu.ng

DATES: Published: 14 December 2020

 

 

Author Contributions
The two authors considered the need for the study and came up with the title and the objectives based on one of the current issues on education in Nigeria. Both author sought sources participated in data collection. Abolarin analysed the data and put the work together. Babalola read the analysis and contributed to the discussion.

^rND^sAdelakun^nA.^rND^sAdetunji^nA. F.^rND^sCoe^nG. A.^rND^sDada^nB.^rND^sFrancis^nD. I.^rND^sItulua-Abumere^nF^rND^sJeremiah^nK.^rND^sKperogi^nF.^rND^sLawal^nY. O^rND^sMiller^nR. C.^rND^sMiracle^nA.^rND^sOkebukola^nP. A.^rND^sOkpalike^nC.J.^rND^sNwadialor^nK. L.^rND^sOkunoye^nJ. O.^rND^sOlatunji^nO. M.^rND^sPlueddemann^nJ. E.^rND^sUriah^nO. A.^rND^sWosu^nJ. I.^rND^sWard^nT.^rND^1A01^nLetlhoyo^sSegalo^rND^1A01^nLetlhoyo^sSegalo^rND^1A01^nLetlhoyo^sSegalo

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

Learner pregnancy in secondary schools in South Africa: Have attitudes and perceptions of teachers changed?

 

 

Letlhoyo Segalo

Department of Educational and Professional Studies Faculty of Humanities Central University of Technology. https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8625-6450

Correspondence

 

 


ABSTRACT

Many secondary schools in South Africa have elaborate school policies on learner pregnancy Many of these policies state that in the event of a female learner falling pregnant, the said learner will be suspended from the school. The application of these policies has been challenged in the courts of law either by the parents of the learners or the Department of Basic Education in South Africa. The study used a qualitative research approach to explore the perceptions of Life Orientation teachers with regards to learner pregnancy policies and their efficiency. A purposive sample of nine Life Orientation teachers was chosen, and a focus group was used to collect data from the respondents. There were five female and four male teachers in total who participated in the study. Their age ranged from 27 to 52 years with an average teaching experience of 15.3 years. The study showed that despite the legislation stating that schools should be supportive of the needs of the pregnant learners at the school, teachers interviewed demonstrated their unwillingness to adhere to the law. As a result, pregnant learners are advised or coerced to stay at home for the remainder of their pregnancy as the school environment is not tolerant towards them.

Keywords: coerce; learner pregnancy; Life Orientation; policy; school; suspension


 

 

1. INTRODUCTION

It is a taboo in many communities for a school going child to fall pregnant while still being a learner. It is further insisted that learners falling pregnant are not participating in protective sex. Sithole, Manwa and Manwa (2013:68) refer to traditional leaders (church leaders) as being the conservative groups in society that abhor teenage pregnancy, especially among school going girls. Early teenage pregnancy results from unprotected sex which also exposes affected learners to a number of dangerous infections such as the Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (Prinsloo & Moletsane, 2013:11; Selesho & Modise, 2012:185; van Rooyen & van der Berg, 2009:93; Vivancos, Abubakar, Phillips-Howard & Hunter, 2013:55). South Africa, being one of the African countries experiencing high levels of HIV/AIDS infections, is subject to high costs of medical care and other government interventions. The future of the learners who fall pregnant might remain bleak as some might drop out of the education system as they might not receive support from their parents and the community in which they live (Nash, 1990:149; Pitso & Kheswa, 2014:539; Willan, 2013:145). Based on Willan's (2013) assertions, there could be a lot of pressure put on learners who fall pregnant to terminate the pregnancy by way of abortion as is allowed in terms of The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act, 92 of 1996. The termination of pregnancy by teenagers might further put learners at risk due to unscrupulous street doctors who claim to perform legal abortions (Constant, Grossman, Lince & Harries, 2014:303). The sex pedagogy in public schools continues and is focused on aspects such as life skills and sex education (National Education Policy Act, 27 of 1996).

Matlala, Nolte and Temane (2014b:85) point out that despite a consistency of the sex pedagogy in schools, the number of learners who fall pregnant continues to rise. Cohorts of factors have been singled out as the source of learner pregnancy. Chinyoka and Naidu (2013:203), Kheswa and Pitso (2014:564), Molosiwa and Moswela (2012:268), and Mphale (2014:186) maintain that poverty, single-headed homes and substance abuse are the main reasons why female learners are likely to fall pregnant. Furthermore, Naong (2011:906) claims that the child support grant in South Africa has deliberately encouraged young girls to fall pregnant in order to receive a monthly stipend or grant from the government. The view of Naong (2011:906) is that the government social grant provided for defeats the means to teach teenagers to abstain from sexual intercourse at an early age. As a deterrent, the South African Schools Act (SASA), 84 of 1996, gives the school governing bodies (SGBs) the authority to adopt a learner code of conduct to regulate the behaviour of learners legally.

 

2. LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Learner school pregnancy policy

Learner school pregnancy policy in this study is contextualised within the legal framework. In terms of section 8 (1) of SASA, a governing body of a public school must adopt a code of conduct for the learners after consultation with the learners, parents and educators of the school. Furthermore, section 8 (2) specifies that a code of conduct must be aimed at establishing a disciplined and purposeful school environment dedicated to the improvement and maintenance of the quality education. It is the view of this study that SGBs who suspend learners who fall pregnant are creating a negative environment that does not enhance a purposive learning and disciplined environment. Against the rationale provided for suspending pregnant learners, it must also be taken into consideration that section 3 of SASA stipulates that learners in South Africa are compelled to attend school, and it is an offence for anyone who prevents such a learner from attending school without a just cause. Any person found guilty of such an offence could be imprisoned for a period not exceeding six months or be fined by a court of law. Similarly, SASA permits pregnant learners to stay in school throughout their pregnancy and to return to school after childbirth. In addition, the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, 4 of 2000 stipulates that school learners who become pregnant should not be unfairly discriminated against.

Phaswana-Mafuya, Tabane and Davids (2016:423) and Moyagabo and Chireshe, 2013:145) are of the view that learner pregnancy policies could be regarded as discriminatory as they are silent about teenage fathers. As such, many learner pregnancies could be a reflection of the societally engendered prejudices and the girl who becomes pregnant is responsible for the pregnancy, hence the punishment. It is the view of this study that learner pregnancy policies are punitive measures to curb the spread of female learner pregnancies and could be seen as a response to the corrective measure on sex pedagogy in public schools. This assertion is based on the notion that learners who fall pregnant are likely to leave the school on their own account, their parents' decision, or are coerced to leave because the schooling environment might be unbearable for that particular learner (Malahlela & Chireshe, 2013:145; Matlala, Nolte & Temane, 2014a:5; Mazibuko & Nkune, 2014:383).

Moreover, the schools force the learners to leave the school by applying their code of conduct which might articulate that no learner should fall pregnant while being a learner. Mashishi and Makoelle (2014:377) view this form of suspension of pregnant learners from the school as a form of deliberate exclusion. This view is supported by the Welkom High School and Harmony High School learner pregnancy policies which were challenged by the Free State Department of Education in the Free State High Court. According to the leaner code of conduct, the policy stated that learners who fall pregnant while being learners at the school should be suspended. The two schools suspended two learners who fell pregnant while being learners at their schools as per their learner code of conduct. The Department of Education argued that the school policies violate section 29 of the Constitution (RSA), the right to education, and section 3 of the South African Schools Act, 84 of 1996, which refers to compulsory attendance at school. Subsequently, the Head of Department (HOD) for the Free State Department of Education ordered the two school principals to allow the two suspended learners to return to the schools. The defence of the Harmony and Welkom schools' governing bodies was that they were within their legal authority as per section 8 of SASA, which compels the SGBs to adopt a learner code of conduct. The Free State High Court ruled in favour of the two schools stating that the Free State Department of Education's HOD acted ultra vires in that the department did not have the authority to overrule the decisions of the two school governing bodies.

Faced with possible expectations from other schools, the Free State Department of Education took the matter to the Constitutional Court to challenge the decision of the Supreme Court. Early in March 2013, the Constitutional Court overturned the Supreme Court's decision and ruled that the SGBs' code of conduct for learners impaired the right of pregnant female learners to education as stipulated in section 29 of the Constitution (RSA). The Constitutional Court for the case 'The Head of Department: Department of Education Free State v Welkom High School and Harmony High School' stated that the pregnancy policies and the decisions based on them were indeed unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid. Furthermore, the judge contended that the SGBs' policies which resulted in pregnant female learners being suspended from school defeated the provisions of section 9 of the South African Schools Act, 84, 1996 and section 29 of the Constitution. The decision of the Constitutional Court in the aforementioned case has set the precedence that should be followed and implemented by public schools in South Africa until such time that another court of the same status decides otherwise. Consequently, South African public schools are faced with the challenge of aligning their school policies on learner pregnancy to conform to SASA and the Constitution (RSA).

 

3. METHODOLOGY

3.1Research questions

The study sought to address the following research questions:

What is the nature of the perceptions of Life Orientation teachers towards learner pregnancy policies in public schools?

What are the perceptions of teachers towards learner pregnancy in schools?

How effective are the learner pregnancy policies in secondary schools in the Lejweleputswa district of the Free State Province?

3.2Research design

The study used a qualitative research approach to determine and analyse the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of Life Orientation teachers with regards to learner pregnancies in their schools. This view is consistent with Babbie (2011:323), Hennink, Hutter and Bailey (2011:19), and Silverman (2011:59), stating that qualitative research endeavours to portray a socially constructed nature of reality and seeks to answer questions that stress how social experiences are socially constructed and given meaning.

3.3Sample

Nine Life Orientation HODs were sampled using a purposeful sampling technique (Flick, 2018:19). There were five female and four male Life Orientation HODs (N=9). Data was recorded through a voice recorder and was later transcribed. A sample of nine learner school policies were also used to triangulate the responses of the Life Orientation HODs.

3.4Data collection

A focus group interview was conducted with nine Life Orientation HODs. Various researchers (Gill, Steward, Treasure & Chadwick, 2008:292; King & Horrocks, 2010:213; LeBlanc, 2010:1622, Madriz, 2003:378) posit that focus group interviews allow the researcher to gain insight into the opinions, views, attitudes and experiences of the interviewees. The responses of the Life Orientation HODs were followed by document analysis of the relevant learner pregnancy policies.

3.5Ethical considerations

Flick (2014:48) infers that conducting research with human beings should be a moral inquiry. King and Horrocks (2010:107) refer to utilitarian epistemology as a case of benevolence, where the researcher's responsibility is to secure the well-being of the participants by avoiding harm. Permission to conduct the research was sought from the Free State Provincial Department of Education and from the school principals. The research participants completed an informed consent form and the purpose of the study was explained to them. Hammersley and Traianou (2012:76) agree that research participants should not be forced to participate in the research study or participate under false pretence.

3.6Data analysis

Data were thematically analysed by employing open coding procedures (Flick, 2018:154). The thematic data analysis organises, categorises and summarises data in meaningful themes in order to gain the understanding of the Life Orientation teachers interviewed. The themes were assigned codes and data was categorised.

 

4. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The findings of the study were divided into two sections, namely the document analysis of the nine school policies reviewed and the categories of themes that emerged from the focus group interviews.

4.1Learner pregnancy policy

Under this theme, the sub-themes that were interrogated included the availability of the policy, learners being aware of the policy, and parents and teachers being aware of the policy. Seven out of the nine learner pregnancy policies at the nine schools sampled did not have specific learner pregnancy policies. The five that had learner pregnancy policies would not elaborate on how the policies are implemented and how the rights of learners to education are safe-guarded. More so, the Life Orientation teachers seemed not to know whether learners were aware of the policies affecting them or not.

4.2Learners' pregnancy policy and discrimination

Life Orientation teachers were asked whether the learners' pregnancy policy included male learners or targets only female learners. Studies conducted show that in most cases, female learners are discriminated against and male learners who impregnate female learners are exonerated from taking the responsibility. As such, there is an extensive pressure placed on the shoulders of female learners to take the blame and responsibility for the pregnancy. In some cases, as indicated in the research, unsupported, pregnant female learners are forced to secretly perform illegal and unsafe abortions.

4.3Effectiveness of the policy

This theme concentrated on the efficiency of the school policy to discourage early learner pregnancy at the school. As previously indicated, interviewed Life Orientation teachers claimed that their schools had learner pregnancy policies, however, the review of their policies showed that their policies were not specific and convincing on how they wish to address this behavioural problem at the school. Consequently, their school policies could not be viewed as being effective. This view is supported by a 44-year old male teacher with 16 years of teaching experience by observing the effectiveness of the learner pregnancy policy by stating:

The pregnancy policy is not that effective, because it does not have control over the learners as to what they want to do with their bodies. It is difficult, because learners will engage in sexual activities anyway outside the school premises; this is not the problem of the school alone, it is the societal problem.

The view expressed by the male teacher is consistent with researchers who have observed that there are a number of contributing factors that lead to learner pregnancy, such as a lack of discipline at home, pressure from the media, as well as availability and exposure to explicit sex material and pornography which can be easily accessed through various avenues. However, van Rooyen and van den Berg (2009:91) are of the view that teachers are not sufficiently trained to implement learner pregnancy policies in their schools. This view is supported by Phasa and Megogo (2012:325) who state that some teachers are unwilling to teach learners about sex, HIV/AIDS and teenage pregnancy because of their own conservative values.

4.4Effectiveness of the life skills programme at the school

In order to curb the increase in learner pregnancy in schools, the Department of Basic Education in South Africa introduced a life skills programme through the Life Orientation curriculum to teaching learners about their bodies. Amongst other contents covered in the Life Orientation curriculum, sex pedagogy and life skills are taught to learners and the aim of this approach is to encourage all subject teachers to teach it across the curriculum. However, research shows that not all teachers are capable of covering these subject matters in their classes. Other teachers do not have enough experience as to how sex education should be taught to learners. This is the view of a 56-year old male veteran teacher with 32 years of teaching experience:

Talking about sex to the teenage learners is a waste of time, these kids they already know what you are talking about and in some instances, they seem to know more than you do. So for them, it see who knows more than whom. It is really difficult, at times they will just giggle because you are talking about something that excites them and they do not feel ashamed about it.

This view is supported by another 34-year old male teacher with nine years' teaching experience when he said:

From my experience, it is important that I don't waste time by talking about sex issues in the class. It might be viewed as if you are encouraging learners to be more aware or be involved in sexual activities. So, it is important that I concentrate on the subject that I am teaching.

4.5Teachers' efficacy to deal with pregnancy cases

It is the general assumption that teachers should act in loco parentis towards their learners, that is to care for their well-being and instil discipline in them. However, it emerged that not all the teachers are capable of this. In general, teachers are trained and taught to teach didactic subjects that they specialise in. Though it is expected that they should assist and counsel learners who fall pregnant at the school, not all of them are capable or willing to do this. The interviewed teachers showed concern as they are under pressure to perform well in the subjects that they teach and not to look after the pregnant learners at the school. It was stressed that they could only comfort and show support for them. A relatively young female teacher (28 years) with five years' teaching experience says:

I think it is the responsibility of the pregnant female learner which must take care of her, and not that of teachers, we do our part as teachers and the school, finally the family of the learner must take responsibility of their kid. I feel teachers are sometimes blamed or expected to take responsibility for things that are outside their scope of their work.

Furthermore, a 44-year old female teacher with 14 years' teaching experience echoed:

I think the classroom should not be turned into a maternity ward where teachers are expected to be nurses. Teachers should not be pressured to play the role of nurses. When a female learner falls pregnant, it is not a mistake, there are clinics all over and birth control measures are easily available for them to use should they decide to be adults. If a learner falls pregnant being a learner at the school, such a learner should be encouraged to take maternity leave from the school and stay at home with her parents to look after.

This statement was supported by a 52-year old female teacher with 28 years of teaching experience and is also the Head of the Department for Life Orientation at the school:

You see, not all the schools are having enough resources to look after pregnant female learners, there are no sick rest rooms at the school where I teach. My experience tells me that pregnancy is a complicated process and sometimes there are complications and the school is unable to respond immediately to the emergency. This might be blamed on the school and not the learner who is pregnant.

4.6Learner pregnancy as a barrier to learning

During the focus group interview, teachers showed a concern that learner pregnancy at the school was a serious barrier to effective learning for the particular learner concerned. Most of the prenatal period is monitored by health workers at the local clinics. This results in female learners being absent from school for several days and they fall behind in their lessons as teachers are not readily willing to offer extra classes.

A 42-year old female teacher with 16 years of teaching experience reflected:

Though one will want to assist female pregnant learners with extra classes for the lessons they missed, it is not always possible. In my experience, very few learners make it at the end of the year, many come back the following year to repeat the grade they failed. In some instances, others do change schools because of the stigma that is associated with early motherhood.

This statement shows that many public schools in South Africa are not conducive and enabling environments for learning to take place. According to Temane and Osher (2014:3), when learners feel emotionally unsafe they are likely to avoid school or opt to drop out of school. This view is embraced by van Vollenhoven and Els (2010:109) who state that HIV/AIDS infected learners as well as pregnant learners are likely to face violation of their rights to dignity and being treated equally by teachers and learners alike. Matlala, Nolte and Temane (2014a/b:87) elaborate that pregnant learners are pressured to quit schooling as a result of the shame they suffer.

4.7Learner pregnancy as a violation of the rights of other learners

Although the basic education policy on prevention of learner pregnancy at schools and the ruling of the Constitutional Court in the case of the Harmony and Welkom Schools are highlighting that pregnant learner' rights to education should not be infringed or violated, it is yet to be argued how pregnant learners violate the rights of other learners (van Vollenhoven & Els, 2010:110). When questioned about the extent to which they believe other learners' rights to education are violated by the presence of pregnant learners at the schools, the interviewed teachers showed a sense of uneasiness and discomfort. A 27-year old male teacher with four years' teaching experience responded by stating the following:

I don't think a pregnant learner violates the rights of other learners at the school, particularly in the classroom, though I feel more attention and focus is based on the pregnant learner. However, I do feel that it is the learner who is pregnant in the class whose rights are more violated as she is mostly teased, looked at differently by teachers and learners and gossiped at behind her back. I pity those learners who fall pregnant because they go through a lot. It is only a few with tough skins who are able to survive the period of pregnancy while being at the school, and academically they perform badly.

Matlala, Nolte and Temane (2014a/b:88) and Willan (2013:53) allude that teachers are encouraged to advise parents to withdraw their pregnant children from school, especially when they suspect that the health of such learners is at risk.

4.8 Parental support and aid

It is the responsibility of each parent to make sure that his/her child does not fall pregnant while being a learner at school. This responsibility is shared with the teachers at the school through various life skills programmes and instilling discipline amongst the learners. In a study conducted by Selesho, Twala and Modise (2012:128), it was found that teachers identified parental support and role as a barrier in the fight against teenage pregnancy in most of the public schools. As such, it is expected that parents should visit the school to report the pregnancy of his or her child to teachers and the school (Haglund, 2006:373). However, the school policy on learner pregnancy reviewed did not elaborate on the role that the parents should play in the event that their child falls pregnant. Moreover, the interviewed teachers emphasised that it is primarily the responsibility of parents to make the necessary arrangements for their child with the school in the event of pregnancy.

A 43-year old female teacher with 15 years of experience responded:

The school should know upfront what the parent is going to do with his or her child and what kind of support are going to be given to the learner. It should be left to the school alone as if the school has all the answers that parents do not have.

This view is supported by Matlala, Nolte and Temane (2014a/b:88) as well as Lutya (2012:89) who state that parental communication is important for the purpose of interacting, supervising, guiding and teaching their teenagers about issues that affect their lives from an early age. The view of Lutya (2012:89) suggests that parents should take full responsibility for their children and not leave the problem up to the school.

 

5. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

The findings of this study suggest that learner's pregnancy policies in secondary schools are perceived with mixed feelings by the teachers. Despite efforts by the Department of Basic Education in South Africa, it seems that the perceptions and attitudes of teachers have not changed towards pregnant learners in public schools. Furthermore, the study reveals that teachers perceive learner pregnancy negatively and believe they do not possess the skills to effectively deal with the problem. This is of great concern since the rights of pregnant learners to continue with their education seem to be violated by teachers who disregard the law as well as the school policies. In addition, it appears that schools continue to be unconducive places for learning for pregnant learners as they continue to be faced with discrimination, labelling, and feelings of embarrassment. Respondents in this study further affirm that parents should take full responsibility for the upbringing of their children should a child fall pregnant while being a learner at school.

 

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Matlala, S., Nolte, A.G.W. & Temane, M.A. 2014b. Secondary school teachers' experiences of teaching pregnant learners in Limpopo Province, South Africa. South African Journal of Education, 34(4): 1-11. https://doi.org/10.15700/201412052112.         [ Links ]

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Correspondence:
lsegalo@cut.ac.za

DATES: Published: 10 December 2020

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ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

...Glaubensgerechtigkeit"1 Calvins Begründung der Reformation2

 

"... Justification by faith" Calvin's grounds for the Reformation

 

 

Victor Ε. d'AssonvilleI, II

IUniversity of the Free State (UFS), Faculty of Theology and Religion Department of Historical and Constructive Theology. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6070-4603
IIRTS Heidelberg

Correspondence

 

 


OPSOMMING

Op die jong ouderdom van 30 skryf Calvyn in 1539 n brief aan Kardinaal Jacopo Sadoletus, beroemde geleerde en verteenwoordiger van die Roomse Kerk. Hierdie brief van Calvyn wat hy op die dringende smeekversoek van die stadsraad van Geneve geskryf het, het hom baie roem laat inoes. Calvyn weerlê met hierdie skrywe Sadoletus se aanklagte teen die Reformasie en tree daarmee in die bresse vir die stad wat hom die jaar vantevore verban het. Daarby begrond hy die kern van die Reformasie en die noodsaak daarvoor. Sedertdien staan hierdie brief nie slegs bekend as een van die mees befaamde apologetiese geskrifte van die Reformasie nie maar is dit selfs beskryf as die mees kragtige en teologies suksesvolle verdediging daarvan in die sestiende eeu. In hierdie artikel word Calvyn se verklaring van die kern van die Reformasie bespreek teen die agtergrond van sy verhouding met Martin Luther en beide van hulle se respek vir mekaar. Volgens Calvyn is die hart van die Reformasie die regverdigmaking deur genade alleen. Dit gaan ten volle oor geloof in Christus alleen. Vir sy verklaring van die regverdigmaking deur genaue en geloof calleen beroep Calvyn hom konsekwent op die Skrif as Woord van God. In hierdie Christologiese benadering - waarvoor Luther volgens n getuie waardering uitgespreek het - staan Calvyn en Luther dig bymekaar

Kernbegrippe: Luther, Calvyn, Sadoletus, regverdigmaking /regverdiging, Reformasie, genade alleen, geloofalleen


ABSTRACT

In 1539, at the young age of 30, Calvin wrote a letter to Cardinal Jacopo Sadoleto, an eminent scholar and proponent of the Roman Church, in answer to the latters letter earlier that year to Geneva. This answer of Calvin, as requested urgently by the City of Geneva, is very well-known for the way how Calvin refuted Sadoleto's arguments against the Reformation and thus took up the cudgels for the very city that banned him only a year before. This Calvin did by justifying the quintessence of and necessity for the Reformation. Since then, this text has not only been known as one of the most famous defences of the principles of the Reformation of the sixteenth century but even has been described as probably the most powerful and systematic successful apologetic Reformation writing of that age as such. In this article, Calvin's analysis of the core of the Reformation is discussed against the background of his relation to Martin Luther and their appreciation for each other. According to Calvin the "heart" of the Reformation was justification by grace alone. Ultimately it is only a matter of faith in Christ alone. For his explanation of justification by grace and faith alone, Calvin refers consistently to Scripture as the Word of God. In this Christological approach - for which Luther according to a witness expressed his appreciation - Calvin and Luther are very close to each other indeed

Key concepts:Luther, Calvin, Sadoleto, justification, Reformation, grace alone, faith alone


 

 

Dieses Dogma, die Rechtfertigung aus Glauben, ist das Herzstück der Religion".3 (Calvin, im Brief an Kardinal Sadolet, 1539, CStA 1.2,374,20ff.)

 

1. Der französische Luther 4

Jean Calvin, le Luther frangais" (Calvin, der französische Luther") - so lautet ein Artikelhinweis auf der Titelseite des französischen Sprachmagazins écoute" zum Calvinjahr, 2009 (Anon., 2009). Aber stimmt das? Es ist eine Kuriosität und gerade im deutschsprachigen Raum wahrscheinlich nur wenigen bekannt, dass Calvin als junger, unbekannter Mann mal als Lutherien", also als Lutheraner, bezeichnet wurde.

Dass dies gerade im deutschsprachigen Raum ungewöhnlich erscheint, liegt nicht zuletzt unter anderem an Stefan Zweigs berüchtigter Verleumdung Calvins in seinem Buch Castellio gegen Calvin oder ein Gewissen gegen die Gewalt aus dem Jahre 1936 (Zweig, 1985), in dem er mit einer phantasievollen aber leider nicht der Wahrheit entsprechenden Schilderung die Rolle Calvins in Genf ganz irreführend und negativ wiedergab. Mit seiner Darstellung von Vorgängen im 16. Jahrhundert verfälschte Zweig sie und instrumentalisierte die von ihm absichtlich anders dargestellte Geschichte in Genf, um Hitler und den Nationalsozialismus anzugreifen, ohne sich um die historischen Fakten der Genfer Geschichte zu scheren. Dieses Thema wird an anderen Stellen gründlich behandelt (vgl. Selderhuis, 2008b:3; sowie Freudenberg 2008:490-498). Freudenberg schreibt hierzu: Die Wirkung von Zweigs Zerrbild Calvins reicht bis in die Gegenwart, fand gelegentlich Eingang in Schulbücher und beeinflusste bisweilen das Calvinbild populärer Nachschlagewerke". (2008:496.)

Aber zurück zu Calvin selbst. Die Tatsache, dass der junge Calvin in Frankreich nicht nur als Lutherien" bezeichnet wurde - was damals als Schimpfwort galt -, sondern dass er gerade als ein solcher Lutheraner" sogar nur knapp seiner Verhaftung und möglicherweise dem Tod entkam, als er Ende 1533 übereilt aus seiner französischen Heimat fliehen musste, spricht für sich.

So wie Luther die Bezeichnung Lutheraner" abgelehnt hätte, hat Calvin seinerseits die Bezeichnung Calvinist" abgelehnt. Denn für beide Reformatoren ging es nicht um irgendeine neue Lehre", die sie vertraten, sondern um den gleichen Glauben der Alten Kirche, ja des Neuen Testaments, der Heiligen Schrift selbst. Als der 26jährige Calvin nicht zuletzt im Jahre 1536 auf der Frankfurter Buchmesse wegen des Erfolgs seiner Institutio als Apologet der Reformation schlagartig bekannt wurde, trat er dementsprechend nicht für irgendeine Splittergruppe der heranwachsenden reformatorischen Bewegung ein, auch nicht für einen alternativen Zweig einer französischen oder gar regional begrenzten Reformbewegung in Kirche und Staat - im Gegenteil, Calvin trat ein für das reformatorische Anliegen an sich, für die Reformation schlechthin. Ohne Wenn und Aber setzte er sich für die führenden Reformatoren ein, von denen der 26 Jahre ältere Luther, damals doppelt so alt wie sein französischer Nachfolger, selbstverständlich der bei weitem bekannteste und berühmteste war.

Nicht mit Wittenberg oder mit Zürich legte sich der französische Exilant an, als er 1535 die Erstausgabe seiner Institutio in Basel verfasste, sondern mit Rom. Gegenüber Roms Behauptung, dass die reformatorische Lehre neu sei, betonte Calvin gleichsam stellvertretend für die gesamte Reformation, einschließlich Wittenberg, das Gegenteil. Dem französischen König Franz I. schreibt er in seinem Widmungsbrief, der der Institutio vorangestellt ist, die reformatorische doctrina - d.h. das reformatorische Bekenntnis, der reformatorische Glaube - sei nur denjenigen neu, denen auch Christus und sein Evangelium neu seien (vgl. d'Assonville, 2001:77). Wer wisse, dass die Predigt des Paulus (OS III,15,13-15)5 durchaus alt sei, der werde bei den Evangelischen nichts Neues entdecken ... (OS III,15,9-13). Laut Calvin würden die römischen Gegner Gott aufs schwerste beleidigen, dessen Wort es nicht verdiene, der Neuheit beschuldigt zu werden, wenn sie die reformatorische doctrina neu nennen würden.

Am 14. Oktober 1539 ließ Luther dann über den Straßburger Reformator Martin Bucer (1491-1551), mit dem Calvin zu dieser Zeit zusammenarbeitete, Calvin grüßen. Er habe gerade mit Genugtuung die zweite Ausgabe der Institutio Calvins, die gerade noch im Jahre 1539 von Calvin überarbeitet worden war, und dessen Brief an Sadolet gelesen. Sechs Jahre später sollte Crodelius Calvin an diese Wertschätzung Luthers erinnern (CO 12,40).6Auch schätzte Luther Calvins Schrift an Kaiser Karl V. vom Jahre 1543 (CO 6,435-534)7 sehr und urteilte freundlich über die lateinische Übersetzung von Calvins kleinem Traktat zum Abendmahl" (Selderhuis, 2008c:59).8

Dass die Kirchengeschichte manchmal spannender als ein Krimi sein kann, zeigt uns allerdings ein - auch für Calvin - unerwartetes Vorgehen. Der einzige uns bekannte Brief, den Calvin an den Wittenberger Professor schrieb, wurde nämlich nie zugestellt. Den genauen Grund kann man nach so vielen Jahrhunderten natürlich nicht mehr ganz vollziehen, aber anscheinend wagte es Melanchthon, dem als gemeinsamem Freund der beiden der Brief anvertraut wurde, nicht, Luther den Brief zu übergeben. Aus diesem Brief Calvins - der erhalten ist - an den großen deutschen Reformator an dessen Lebensabend gerichtet - geht Calvins großer Respekt vor Luther hervor. Calvin nennt Luther den bedeutendstenHirten und Lehrer der christlichen Kirche, seinen hochgeschätzten Vater (CO 12,7).9 Auch nach Luthers Tod im Jahre 1546 sollte das günstige Urteil Calvins über Luthers historische Bedeutung nicht ab-, sondern eher noch zunehmen. Dies nimmt nicht weg, dass es natürlich auch Unterschiede zwischen beiden gab, sowohl persönlicher als auch theologischer Art. Dabei ist zu bemerken, dass die Person Calvins unter seinen kirchlichen Erben, den Reformierten, einen bescheidenen Platz hat; er stellt kein vergleichbares ,Heiligenbild' dar, wie Luther innerhalb der lutherischen Theologie. Andererseits wurde Calvins Theologie für die reformierte Tradition normativer als Luthers Lehre für die lutherische Tradition." (Selderhuis, 2008b:5.)

Vor dem oben genannten Hintergrund erschien vor 38 Jahren, im Jahre 1982, in den Niederlanden ein Band mit Blick auf 1983. Das Jahr 1983, genau fünfhundert Jahre nach der Geburt Martin Luthers, stand weltweit im Zeichen der Reformation und besonders Luthers. In diesem Band zum Lutherjahr lesen wir, dass es ... für den reformierten Protestantismus alle Gründe gibt, zu gedenken, was Luther bedeutete, zuerst für die Kirche und die Christenheit, aber auch für unsere Kultur und Gesellschaft" (Graafland et al., 1982:5). Dies ist bemerkenswert, denn einem Reformationsforscher fällt eines auf: In Deutschland wird häufig den Eindruck vermittelt, dass die Gegensätze - manchmal auch Scheingegensätze -zwischen Luther und Calvin bzw. zwischen Nachfolgern Luthers und Nachfolgern Calvins auf Kosten ihrer Gemeinsamkeiten hervorgehoben oder sogar überbetont werden. Im Ausland treten aber gerade jene Gegensätze zurück und oft werden eher Gemeinsamkeiten zwischen den beiden wichtigen Reformatoren unterstrichen. Die Rede ist eher von komplementären oder sich ergänzenden Rollen als von Polen, die einander gegenüberstehen. Darüber hinaus bemerkte der bekannte Calvinforscher Willem van't Spijker, der übrigens auch eine vielbeachtete Lutherbiographie geschrieben hat (Van't Spijker, 1983) und vor allem zuerst als Bucerforscher bekannt geworden ist, zum Verhältnis zwischen Luther und Calvin: "More than once in the past this theme has intrigued investigators and quite often Calvin has been regarded as a faithful pupil of Luther" (Van't Spijker, 1986:83).

Aber seien wir mal, etwa fünfhundert Jahre nach dem berühmten Thesenanschlag, ehrlich. Wie gerne hätten wir uns nicht eine Begegnung zwischen Luther und Calvin gewünscht? War der eine doch maßgeblich für die Entwicklung der deutschen Sprache, vor allem der Schriftsprache, verantwortlich, der andere für das Französische, das bis dahin noch nie auf einem solchen wissenschaftlichen Niveau benutzt worden war. Ihre unterschiedlichen Rollen in der Durchsetzung, Festigung und Verbreitung der Reformation stehen außer Zweifel. Aber außer einem oder mehreren Treffen würden viele sich natürlich einen ausführlichen Briefwechsel zwischen den beiden wünschen, gerade zu bestimmten Themen und Fragen, mit denen heute gerungen wird. Wie sehr manche sich danach sehnen, zeigt eine deutschsprachige Neuerscheinung eines Buches mit erfundenen Briefen zwischen dem Wittenberger und dem Genfer Theologen (Rödding, 2009).

Bei einem Vergleich der Ansätze und des Hauptanliegens der beiden Theologen stellt sich heraus, dass unterschiedliche Akzente nicht selten eher auf andersartigen Hintergründen - Luther im Osten, Calvin im Westen usw. (vgl. Weber, 1962:258)10 - und damit zusammenhängenden, unterschiedlichen Fragestellungen beruhen als auf nicht miteinander zu vereinbarenden Auffassungen in den Hauptpunkten des reformatorischen Ansatzes. Man kann aufgrund einer Analyse der Geschichte zu dem Schluss kommen, dass vielmehr manche Schüler bzw. Nachfolger beider Reformatoren sich theologisch auseinandergelebt haben, als dass die theologischen Unterschiede zwischen beiden von gegensätzlicher, unüberbrückbarer Natur gewesen wären.

Es verwundert nicht, dass besonders zum Reformationsjubiläum im Laufe der letzten Jahre und Jahrzehnte viele zusätzliche Studien zu diesem Thema erschienen sind. Exemplarisch ist auf der einen Seite eine Sammlung von Artikeln von Heiko A. Oberman (Oberman, 2003). Auf der anderen Seite steht Thomas Kaufmann (2008:149-150), der zwar weniger tief auf Calvin eingeht, aber dafür umso mehr besonders die (ältere) deutsche Sekundärliteratur beachtet (vgl. dazu auch Balke, 1982; Van't Spijker, 1983 sowie Kaufmann, 2016).11 Wilhelm Neusers umfassende Monografie zum jungen Calvin stellt im letzten Jahrzehnt eine wichtige Etappe zum Thema Luther und Calvin, gerade in Calvins Frühzeit dar (Neuser, 2009:86ff). Günter Frank wiederum behandelt einen Aspekt, bei dem er nicht nur Luther und Calvin vergleicht, sondern auch Melanchthon heranzieht (Frank, 2012). Auch Christian Lehmann behandelt das Verhältnis der beiden Reformatoren im Blick auf das Lutherjahr 2017. Er geht auf wichtige theologische Themen ein und stellt Berührungspunkte und Gemeinsamkeiten bzw. Unterschiede dar, allerdings beschränkt, was den Umfang angeht, was nachvollziehbar ist, da es sich bei seinem Beitrag um einen Vortrag handelt (Lehmann, 2016). Was aktuelle Veröffentlichungen angeht, ist die Studie von Christian Link vom Jahre 2016, Calvin. Reformator Westeuropas, die in der Reihe Studienhefte zur Reformationsgeschichte und zu Martin Luther" beim Luther-Verlag erschienen ist, am ausführlichsten (Link, 2016). Auf eine ausgewogene Art behandelt Link Calvin historisch und theologisch, wobei dem Verhältnis zu Luther, historisch wie theologisch, nicht zuletzt wegen des Anliegens der Reihe, besondere Aufmerksamkeit zukommt (Beese et al. 2016:9).

Obgleich die oben angeführte Einleitung relativ umfangreich ist, ist das Ziel dieses Beitrages ein anderes. Der Fokus ist nicht, ähnliche oder die erwähnten Studien zu wiederholen bzw. alte Fragestellungen hinsichtlich theologischer bzw. historischer Vergleiche zwischen Luther und Calvin neu zu bearbeiten, sondern lediglich, einen zentralen Aspekt des gemeinsamen reformatorischen Ansatzes zu beleuchten, nämlich die Rechtfertigungslehre, und zwar wie Calvin sie in seinem berühmten Schreiben an Kardinal Sadolet erläutert und begründet.

 

2. Die Verteidigung der Reformation

Im Jahre 1924 erschien in München ein kleines, unscheinbares Büchlein. Vielleicht wurde es in den turbulenten 20er Jahren in Deutschland nicht sonderlich zur Kenntnis genommen; trotzdem war es durchaus bedeutender, als man vermuten könnte. Denn zusammen mit drei anderen berühmten Schriften der Reformationszeit12 enthielt diese unscheinbare Publikation (Simon, Hg., 1924) auch die deutsche Übersetzung einer apologetischen (Verteidigungs-)Schrift, die im 16. Jahrhundert große Wellen geschlagen hatte. Es handelt sich um Calvins Antwort an den römisch-katholischen Kardinal Sadolet aus dem Jahre 1539.

Bekanntlich vollendete Calvin in Straßburg, gerade einmal 30jährig, am 1. September 1539 diese berühmte Antwort, in der er freilich Genf, aber vor allem die Integrität der gesamten Reformation verteidigte - eine Apologie der Reformation, die ohne Vergleich in der an großen Texten nicht gerade armen theologischen Literatur der Zeit" steht, ... ein rhetorisches Meisterwerk" (Link in CStA 1.2,337). Calvin trat für den gesamten reformatorischen Ansatz ein. Daher der überaus treffende Titel der späteren deutschen Übersetzung dieser Schrift aus dem Jahre 1954: Mußte Reformation sein?" (Vgl. Gloede, 2009.)

Ein Glaubensflüchtling wurde also zum Anwalt der gesamten Reformation. Ein französischer Vertriebener verteidigte das Anliegen Luthers, der aus Wittenberg hervorgegangenen ebenso wie der oberdeutschen einschließlich der schweizerischen Reformation, ja das Anliegen der Reformation schlechthin. Dieser Verteidigungsschrift der Reformation aus der Feder Calvins kommt eine Schlüsselstelle in der Reformationsgeschichte" zu (Gloede, 2009:3). Sogar in der römisch-katholischen Geschichtsschreibung wird sie als eine der glänzendsten Streitschriften" Calvins eingeschätzt, die je aus seiner Feder geflossen" seien (Kampfschulte, 1869:354). Diese Schrift war es, welche auch Luthers Herz für den welschen Rivalen erwärmte." Damals konnte Melanchthon nach Straßburg melden, dass Calvin" gerade in Wittenberg hoch in Gnaden stehe" (Kampfschulte, 1869:355). Kampschulte urteilt: ... hatte Sadolet die dogmatischen Differenzen kaum oberflächlich berührt, so stellt Calvin diese in den Vordergrund und entwickelt in der Verteidigung des neuen Glaubenssystems eine Kraft der Rede, eine Gewandtheit der Beweisführung und eine Fülle der Gedanken, welche die rhetorischen, sentimentalen, oft auch inhaltsarmen Phrasen des Gegners um so mehr in ihrer Schwäche zeigen." (Kampfschulte, 1869:355.)

Aber wie kam es dazu, dass Calvin sich zu dieser Schrift genötigt sah? Im Verlauf der Kirchengeschichte sind kirchenpolitische und persönliche Ambitionen immer wieder im theologischen Mäntelchen dahergekommen. So auch 1539, als der Kurienkardinal und Bischof von Carpentras, Sadolet, beauftragt wurde, einen Brief an den Rat und die Bürger der Stadt Genf zu schreiben. Man wollte von Seiten Roms unbedingt verlorenes Terrain zurückgewinnen (Link in CStA 1.2,338). Die alte Religion" sollte in Genf wieder etabliert werden (Link in CStA 1.2,338). Schon 1518 war dieser Kardinal Jacopo Sadoleto (1477-1547) als wichtigster Korrespondenzpartner der päpstlichen Diplomaten in Deutschland" am Prozess gegen Luther beteiligt gewesen (Link in CStA 1.2,339). Im Rahmen verschiedener Maßnahmen zur Eindämmung der Reformation (Opitz, 2009:69) stellte sein Brief, der infolge einer von Papst Paul III. einberufenen bischöflichen Konferenz in Lyon geschrieben wurde, ein wichtiges Glied in der Kette jener Maßnahmen dar.

Am 26. März 1539 war es soweit (CO 21,245). Sadolets Schreiben - ein Meisterstück geschickter Diplomatie" (Gaberel in Link, CStA 1.2,339) - wurde dem Rat der Stadt Genf überreicht. Aber der Genfer Rat wusste nichts damit anzufangen. Die Verlegenheit war groß, die Stadt völlig überfordert. Nicht nur war der Brief in elegantem Rhetorikerlatein" (Opitz, 2009:69) verfasst - was bestimmte Ansprüche an die Fähigkeiten des Rates darstellte, während bekanntlich der beste Latinist Genfs und einer der besten seiner Zeit, Calvin, im Jahr zuvor der Stadt verwiesen worden war - sondern auch der Inhalt war dermaßen eloquent versöhnlich-werbend" (Opitz, 2009:69) und theologisch gewandt, dass es niemand auf Anhieb wagte, darauf einzugehen. Das Dilemma für die erst seit 1536 offiziell reformatorische Stadt war offensichtlich. Ein Keil sollte zwischen die unterschiedlichen Unterstützer der Reformation eingetrieben werden. Teile und herrsche" lautete die Devise Roms. Da Sadolets Schreiben ebenso eindringlich wie verständlich formuliert war, dürften viele diesem Lockruf damals wie heute zunächst willig Gehör geschenkt haben." (Gloede, 2009:4.)

Sehr geschickt verstand es Sadolet, bei dem Rat und den Bürgern Genfs die Reformation in Frage zu stellen. Sein Ziel war klar: Genf sollte wieder in den Schoß Roms zurückkehren. Dazu lud sein Schreiben ein. Ausgerechnet das Herzstück der Religion" (CStA 1.2,374,25; OS I,469), das reformatorische sola fide, d.h. die Rechtfertigung durch den Glauben allein, wurde von Sadolet verzerrt präsentiert. Den reformatorischen Ansatz griff er frontal an, indem er die Schriftlehre und ihren Bibelbezug umdeutete. Nach Sadolet reiche Glaube allein nicht (OS I,446,12-18). Ja, die Lehre von der Rechtfertigung ,allein aus Glauben' sei nicht nur geeignet, alle Sittlichkeit zu untergraben und, wie die Erfahrung zeigt, Aufruhr zu stiften, sie sei sogar bewußt zu diesem Zwecke konzipiert worden." (Vgl. Link in CStA 1.2,341 und besonders OS I,452,11ff.)

Schließlich griff die Stadt Bern ein. Bern hatte durchaus Interesse - theologisch wie auch politisch - an einer gründlichen Widerlegung Sadolets. Immerhin war Bern nicht nur eine der ersten eidgenössischen Städte, die die Reformation durchgeführt hatten, sondern auch eine Art Schutzmacht Genfs. Und obwohl die Stadt nicht unbedingt für ihre Liebe gegenüber Calvin bekannt war, entschied man, aus begründetem Zweifel an der Fähigkeit der Genfer Pastoren" (vgl. Link in CStA 1.2,341),13 Calvin zu überreden, den Brief Sadolets zu beantworten. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt hielt sich der aus Genf vertriebene Calvin in Straßburg auf.

Im August 1539 erhielt Calvin die Bitte Berns. Zuerst zögernd, entschied sich Calvin letztendlich, trotz persönlicher Gefühle der Anfrage nachzukommen. Auch von Freunden wurde er dazu gedrängt (vgl. d'Assonville sr., 1988). Innerhalb von nur sechs Tagen verfasste er seine fundierte, aber auch knappe und differenziert-artikulierte Antwort (Responsio"), für die er außergewöhnliche Anerkennung und Achtung erlangen sollte.

Calvins Antwort an Sadolet ist ein Musterbeispiel dafür, wie völlig gesamtprotestantisch Calvin zeitlebens gedacht und gehandelt hat" (Gloede, 2009:4).14 Mehrere theologisch wichtige und für die Kirche höchst bedeutsame Themen werden in dem Brief angesprochen. Obwohl sich Calvin in seiner Erwiderung auf nahezu alle Einwände und Unterstellungen Sadolets" einlässt (Link in CStA 1.2,342), spitzt er das Ganze auf einen einzigen Punkt zu. In den Worten Gloedes: Mußte Reformation sein?" (2009:4) Oder, wie Link den springenden Punkt charakterisiert: Warum brauchen wir eine Erneuerung der Kirche?" (Link in CStA 1.2,342.) Mit Berufung auf die Apostelbriefe sowie die Propheten gilt für Calvin, dass sie, die Apostel und die Propheten, dem Wort immer den ersten Platz" einräumten (CStA 1.2,366,12f; OS I,465).15

 

3. Wort und Geist: Grundlage für die Reformation

Gerade da, wo vom Wort Gottes die Rede ist, legt Calvin bezüglich der Irrlehre seinen Finger direkt in die Wunde. Wie ein erfahrener Facharzt liefert er in seiner Antwort an Sadolet eine sorgfältige Diagnose, mit der er den Irrtum präzise identifiziert. Für die folgenden Jahrhunderte und über die theologische Problematik des Reformationszeitalters hinaus sollte diese Diagnose gleichsam als Maßstab für alles theologische Denken, für die Theologie an sich, Geltung haben. Zuerst beruft er sich auf einen wichtigen Kirchenvater der Alten Kirche, um klarzustellen, wie der Heilige Geist sich an sein Wort, die Schrift, gebunden hat: Recht hat ... Chrysostomos mit seiner Mahnung, all die abzuweisen, die uns unter dem Vorwand des Geistes von der einfachen Verkündigung des Evangeliums abbringen wollen. Denn der Geist ist uns nicht zur Offenbarung neuer Unterweisung (doctrina) verheißen, sondern um die Wahrheit des Evangeliums den Herzen der Menschen einzuprägen" (CStA 1.2,366,16-20; OS I,465).16

Daraufhin fährt Calvin fort, indem er sich auf die aktuelle Situation seiner Zeit, besonders auf die Gegner der Reformation und ihren gemeinsamen falschen Ansatz bezieht: Wie notw endig diese Mahnung gewesen ist, erfahren wir in der gegenwärtigen Lage. Von zwei Parteien werden wir bekämpft, die, so sieht es aus, voneinander so verschieden sind, wie nur möglich. Denn was hat die des Papstes - äußerlich gesehen - mit der der Wiedertäufer gemeinsam? Und doch ... führen beide die gleiche Hauptwaffe, mit der sie uns mürbe machen. Indem sie nämlich bis zum Überdruß den Geist im Munde führen, haben sie kein anderes Ziel, als Gottes Wort zu unterdrücken und zu Grabe zu tragen und stattdessen für ihre eigenen Lügengebilde Platz zu schaffen. Und Ihr, Sadolet, müßt nun gleich beim ersten Ansturm das Schandmal büßen, das Ihr dem Heiligen Geist durch die Trennung vom Wort eingebrannt habt ..." (CStA 1.2,366,20-29; OS I,465.)17

Es handelt sich also um den Vorrang des Wortes in seinem Verhältnis zum Heiligen Geist. Allerdings ist dieser Ansatz der Reformation, der heute als das sola Scriptura bekannt ist, nicht bloß eine Frage der Autorität des Wortes Gottes, sondern betrifft auch die Pneumatologie im tiefsten Sinne. Ein Sich-Berufen auf den Heiligen Geist ohne die Schrift sei ein Abweichen vom Evangelium. Laut Calvin begehen beide Gegner der Reformation, Rom und die Wiedertäufer, den gleichen Fehler: Sie trennen das Wort vom Heiligen Geist. Nach Ansicht Roms habe die Kirche, also Rom, zu entscheiden, was der Geist wolle oder nicht, statt alles am Wort zu messen. Die Wiedertäufer wiederum meinten, im Menschen, also subjektiv, zu fühlen, zu hören, zu wissen, was der Geist wolle, statt alles am Wort selbst zu prüfen. In beiden Fällen werde das Wort nicht nur vernachlässigt oder abgewertet, sondern unterdrückt und zu Grabe getragen.

Die Auseinandersetzung zwischen Sadolet, dem formidablen Diplomaten Roms, und Calvin, dem noch jungen Flüchtlingspfarrer, hatte nicht nur lokalpolitische Bedeutung. Calvins Plädoyer für die Integrität und die Notwendigkeit der gesamten Reformation hatte ungeahnte Wirkung, nicht nur im protestantischen Bereich, sondern über die Grenzen der Reformation hinaus. Seine Responsio sollte für die Kirchengeschichte der folgenden Jahrhunderte prägend sein. Bis heute gilt sie zu Recht als eine der brillantesten Verteidigungsschriften der Reformation überhaupt." (Strohm, 2009:57.)

Mit diesem Schreiben bekannte sich Calvin zum Anliegen der Reformation im Ganzen, um der Heiligen Schrift als Wort Gottes den absoluten Vorrang zuzuerkennen. Es geht um das reformatorische Prinzip. Das heißt, wenn es um die Frage der Wahrheit bzw. des Wahrheitsanspruches geht, spricht Christus immer das letzte Wort. Das Wort Christi, die Heilige Schrift, ist die oberste Autorität - dazu bekannten sich die Reformatoren in ihrem Werk, in ihrer Verkündigung, in ihrer Theologie und in ihren reformatorischen Bekenntnissen.

 

4. Sola fide" - Die Rechtfertigungslehre

Im Gegensatz zur anspruchsvollen Theologie der Reformation sei die römische Theologie, sprich die Theologie Sadolets und seiner Kollegen, eine allzu gemütliche Theologie", wie Calvin in seinem Brief an den Kardinal sagt. Der Grund dafür sei, dass fast alle Vertreter Roms niemals durch die Schule ernsthafter Gewissenskämpfe gegangen sind" (CStA 1.2,399,21-23; OS I,478).18

Auf diesem Hintergrund präsentiert Calvin in jenem Schreiben die Drei- bzw. Vierteilung der wahren Kirche: Drei Stücke sind es, die die Unversehrtheit der Kirche ausmachen und worauf sie sich vornehmlich stützt: Bekenntnis (doctrina), Kirchenordnung (disciplina) und Sakramente. An vierter Stelle kommen noch die äußeren Formen hinzu, die das Volk zu gottesdienstlichen Handlungen anleiten." (CStA 1.2,370,10-12; OS I,467.)19 Im Rahmen dieser Unterscheidung erläutert Calvin dann zuerst die doctrina (das Bekenntnis - CStA 1.2,372,10ff; OS I,467ff), bevor er zu den Sakramenten" (CStA 1.2,382,23ff; OS I,472ff)20 und zur Ordnung" übergeht (CStA 1.2,390,22ff; OS I,474ff).

Beim ersten Stück (doctrina) werden von Calvin wiederum drei zentrale reformatorische Dogmen hinsichtlich ihrer jeweiligen Unterschiede zur Lehre Roms dargestellt: (1) Rechtfertigung aus Glauben" (CStA 1.2,374,18-378,20; OS I,469-470), (2) Glauben und Werke" (CStA 1.2,378,21-380,17; OS I,470f.)21 und (3) Erwählung aus Gnade" (CStA 1.2,380,18-382,21; OS I,471f.).

Obwohl seine Wahl, als erstes die Rechtfertigungslehre zu behandeln, von Calvin selbst an Sadolets Schreiben verknüpft wird (CStA 1.2,374,20f.; OS I,469),22 hat diese Reihenfolge auch programmatische Bedeutung. Er unterstreicht nämlich dadurch, dass er in seiner systematischen Behandlung der doctrina dem Lehrstück Rechtfertigungslehre" in seiner Antwort an Sadolet Vorrang beimisst. Er hält die Rechtfertigung an sich für wichtig, denn ... darüber führen wir ja auch den ersten und härtesten Streit mit Euch." (CStA 1.2,374,21f.; OS I,469.)23

Bekanntlich war das sola fide"24 die prägnante Antwort der Reformation auf eine zentrale Frage des 16. Jahrhunderts, die Frage nach der Rechtfertigung. In dieser Hinsicht waren sich Luther und Calvin einig. Die Rechtfertigungslehre war für Calvins Theologie nicht weniger entscheidend als für Martin Luthers" (Pitkin, 2009:284-295,290). Schließlich prägte sie nicht nur die Darstellung der anderen theologischen Themen in der Institutio, sondern auch seine exegetischen und apologetischen Werke, zum Beispiel seinen Kommentar zum Römerbrief (1540) und seine Antwort an Sadolet (1539).

In seinem Brief an Genf schrieb Sadolet zur Rechtfertigungslehre: Wir erlangen dies Gut unserer ... Seligkeit allein durch den Glauben an Gott und Jesus Christus. Wenn ich sage ,allein durch Glaube', dann verstehe ich es nicht so wie diese Erfinder von Neuerungen es tun, dass dabei die Liebe und alle übrigen Christenpflichten ausgeschlossen wären ..." (CO 5,374; OS I,446.)25

Als Antwort darauf reagiert Calvin dann unmissverständlich und ganz klar: Die Rechtfertigungslehre ist die summa der Religion." (CStA 1.2,374,25; OS I,469.)26 Ähnlich wie bei Luther geht es für Calvin dementsprechend um den Glauben allein als entscheidende Hauptsache der Religion".

Zum Beginn seiner Erläuterung und Begründung der reformatorischen Rechtfertigungslehre erwähnt Calvin den Katechismus,27 ... den ich selbst für die Genfer zusammengestellt habe, während ich noch bei ihnen als Pastor tätig war." (CStA 1.2,376,3f.; OS I,469.) Drei Worte würden ... genügen", sagt Calvin, um Euch, besiegt, verstummen zu lassen. Gleichwohl will ich Euch hier in Kürze darlegen", wie wir über die Rechtfertigungslehre reden (CStA 1.2,376,5f.; OS I,469). 28

In seiner Darstellung der reformatorischen Rechtfertigungslehre unterscheidet Calvin zwischen zwei Hauptpunkten: (1) Die Selbsterkenntnis des Menschen (CStA 1.2,376,7ff.; OS I,469) und (2) die Barmherzigkeit Gottes (CStA 1.2,376,13ff.; OS I,469). Der Mensch solle mit seiner Selbsterkenntnis den Anfang machen, führt Calvin aus, und das nicht leichtfertig oder oberflächlich, vielmehr soll er sich mit seinem Gewissen vor Gottes Richterstuhl stellen." (CStA 1.2,376,7f.; OS I,469.)29 Und wenn er dann vom Zustand seiner Ungerechtigkeit sattsam überführt ist, soll er zugleich auch die Strenge des Urteilspruchs bedenken, der über alle Sünder ergeht. So wirft er sich, durch sein Elend aus seiner Fassung gebracht und zu Boden geschlagen, vor Gott und demütigt sich: Er läßt alles Selbstvertrauen fahren und seufzt, als wäre er dem äußersten Verderben preisgegeben." (CStA 1.2, 376,8-12; OS I,469.)30 Daraufhin erwähnt er die Barmherzigkeit Gottes als einzigen Ankergrund seines Heils. Diese Barmherzigkeit wird uns in Christus dargeboten". In ihm sei alles erfüllt, was zu unserem Heil gehört". (CStA 1.2, 376,12-15; OS I,469.)31

Calvins Beschreibung der Rechtfertigung, in der das sola fide in seiner Verbindung mit dem sola gratia dargestellt wird, ist in seiner Klarheit, Einfachheit und Dichte besonders deutlich und kann in seiner Verständlichkeit kaum überboten werden: Weil also alle Sterblichen vor Gott als Sünder verloren sind, nennen wir Christus unsere einzige Gerechtigkeit: Er hat mit seinem Gehorsam unsere Übertretungen getilgt, mit seinem Opfer Gottes Zorn besänftigt, mit seinem Blut unsere Flecken abgewaschen, durch sein Kreuz unseren Fluch aufgehoben, mit seinem Tod für uns alles beglichen. Auf diese Weise also, lehren wir, wird in Christus der Mensch mit Gott, dem Vater versöhnt: nicht durch irgendein Verdienst, nicht durch die Würdigkeit seiner Werke, sondern allein durch unverdiente Gnade.32 Weil wir aber im Glauben Christus umfassen und gleichsam in Gemeinschaft mit ihm eintreten, nennen wir diesen Glauben33 nach der Weise der Schrift Glaubensgerechtigkeit (fidei iustitiam)."34(CStA 1.2, 376,15-23; OS 1,469.)

Hinsichtlich Sadolets Vorwurf, dass die Reformatoren für die Werke keinen Raum lassen würden, betont Calvin nochmal: Wenn es um die Rechtfertigung des Menschen geht, bestreiten wir ihnen auch nur ein Haar breit Geltung." (CStA 1.2, 376,25-378,1; OS I,469.)35Dass die Schrift überall unüberhörbar davon redet, dass alle verloren seien, wird immer wieder von Calvin hervorgehoben (CStA 1.2,378,1f.; OS I,469).36 Keine Hoffnung bleibt uns übrig als allein Gottes Güte, die uns die Sünde vergibt und Gerechtigkeit zuspricht: so lehrt uns dieselbe Schrift." (CStA 1.2,378,2-4; OS I,469f.)37 In dieser Besprechung der reformatorischen Rechtfertigungslehre wendet Calvin an, was er früher zum Verhältnis zwischen dem Heiligen Geist und dem Wort Gottes ausgesprochen hat (CStA 1.2,366,1629; OS I,465).38 Die Autorität, mit der er Sadolet jedes Mal widerlegt, ist die Heilige Schrift. Seine ganze Darbietung der reformatorischen Rechtfertigungslehre wird mit der Schrift begründet. Die Gerechtigkeit bezieht es nämlich nicht auf die eigene Gerechtigkeit des Menschen, sondern auf Gottes Güte, die den Sünder gegen sein Verdienst annimmt und ihm Gerechtigkeit verschafft, und zwar dadurch, dass sie ihm seine Ungerechtigkeit nicht anrechnet. Darin, sage ich, besteht unsere Gerechtigkeit, wie sie Paulus beschreibt, dass Gott uns mit sich selbst in Christus versöhnt hat." (CStA 1.2,378,9-12; OS I,470.)39

Die Frage, wie wir dieser Gerechtigkeit teilhaftig werden, wird daraufhin von Calvin angesprochen: Dass wir durch den Glauben dieses Gutes teilhaftig werden, zeigt [Paulus] schließlich, indem er feststellt, dass der Dienst dieser Versöhnung im Evangelium beschlossen liegt." (CStA 1.2,378,13-15; OS I,470.) Letztendlich handelt es sich um die Verknüpfung Verheißung und Glaube: Paulus verbindet den Begriff Glaube, sooft er ihm das Vermögen unserer Rechtfertigung zuschreibt, alsbald mit der unverdienten Verheißung göttlicher Zuwendung, hält ihn aber von jeder Beziehung auf die Werke fern." (CStA 1.2,378,16-20; OS I,470.) Seine Erläuterung sowie Begründung der evangelischen Rechtfertigungslehre bringt Calvin schließlich zu dem Schluss, indem er sich auf Paulus, Röm 11,6,40 bezieht: ... si fide, ergo non operibus. Rursum si operibus: ergo non fide." (CStA 1.2,378,19-20; OS I,470.)41

Wie das sola fide in seiner Verknüpfung mit dem sola gratia dann genau mit der Frage der guten Werke zusammenhängt, behandelt Calvin im nächsten Abschnitt noch eindringender. Er verbietet sich den Vorwurf Sadolets, dass man unter dem Vorwand Christi Gnade gute Werke ..." verwerfen würde (CStA 1.2,378,21f.; OS I,470).42 Dafür beruft Calvin sich - mit Hinweis auf Sadolets Vorwurf (OS 1,446) - direkt auf Titus 2,1114, besonders auf Vers 14:43 Wenn man also genau verstehen will, wie unzertrennlich Glaube und Werke zusammengehören, muß man auf Christus sehen, der uns, wie der Apostel lehrt,44 zur Gerechtigkeit und Heiligung gegeben ist" (CStA 1.2,380,2-4; OS I,470).45Calvins christologischer Ansatz sticht sehr eindeutig in seiner Schlussfolgerung hervor. Wo immer sich also diese Glaubensgerechtigkeit findet, die wir als ein Geschenk der Gnade verkündigen, dort ist auch Christus. Wo aber Christus ist, da ist der Geist der Heiligung, der die Herzen zu neuem Leben umschafft." (CStA 1.2,380,4-7; OS I,470.)46

Noch einmal geht Calvin auf Sadolets Argumente und dessen angeführte Schriftstellen gegen die reformatorische Rechtfertigungslehre ein, besonders auf die Behauptung, die evangelische Lehre lasse fleischlichen Begierden die Zügel schießen" (CStA 1.2,380,14-15; OS I,471)47 und kommt, nach deren Widerlegung und bevor er zum Thema Erwählung aus Gnade hinübergeht, zu dem Schluss: Wenn Ihr sie [die angeführten Schriftstellen] also dazu mißbrauchen wollt, die Rechtfertigung aus Gnaden niederzureißen, dann habt Ihr Euch verrechnet." (CStA 1.2,380,16-17; OS 1,471.)

 

5. Fazit

Aus den oben von Calvin eingesetzten Argumenten gegen Sadolets und Roms Verständnis der Rechtfertigungslehre und der damit in Zusammenhang stehenden Darlegung der evangelischen Rechtfertigungslehre stellt sich heraus, dass Calvin - wie Luther - eine Gerechtigkeit nur aus Gnade, der man nur durch den Glauben teilhaftig wird, vertritt. Die Gerechtigkeit vor Gott kommt aus dem Glauben an Jesus Christus. Es kommt auf Gottes Gnade allein an. Was der Mensch tut, auch das Beste, auch das Hervorragendste, kann nicht das Geringste zu seiner ewigen Seligkeit beitragen. Dennoch ist Gehorsam gegenüber Gott und seinem Wort notwendig, allerdings nicht als Leistung, um etwas zu erwerben, sondern als daraus hervorgehende Dankbarkeit Gott gegenüber - für seine allesumfassende Gnade in Christus.48

Dadurch, dass Calvin sich mit den von Sadolet angeführten Schriftstellen auseinandersetzt und sie entsprechend der ganzen Heiligen Schrift auslegt, überzeugt seine Widerlegung Sadolets sowohl in seiner Differenziertheit als auch in seiner gründlichen exegetischen und systematischen Behandlung des Themas. Bei Calvin bildet Christus den Schwerpunkt der Rechtfertigungslehre oder, anders formuliert, sein Ansatz ist christologisch. Die Frage zum Verhältnis Gerechtigkeit, Erlösung, Rechtfertigung, Wiedergeburt und Heiligung wird theologisch und pneumatologisch von Christus her verstanden und gelöst: Darin ... besteht unsere Gerechtigkeit, ... dass Gott uns mit sich selbst in Christus versöhnt hat" (CStA 1.2,378,9-12; OS I,470).49

 

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D'ASSONVILLE, V.E. 2017. ... quicquid statuat iustum esse. Bemerkungen zu Buße und Versöhnung mit Hinweis auf Calvins Kommentar zu Psalm 51. (In Großhans, H.-P., Selderhuis, H.J., Dölecke, A. & Schleiff, M. Hg. Schuld und Vergebung. Festschrift für Michael Beintker zum 70. Geburtstag. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017. S. 31-55.         [ Links ])

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Correspondence:
vieddas.3@gmail.com

DATES: Published: 14 December 2020

 

 

1 Vgl. CStA 1.2, 376,23; OS 1,469: "... vocamus fidei iustitiam."
2 Hierdie artikel is gebaseer op 'n voordrag gelewer by 'n kongres ter herdenking van 500 jare Reformasie, 27 tot 31 Oktober 2017, in Thüringen, in die ooste van Duitsland. 'n Oorspronk-like weergawe is gepubliseer in Kaiser (2018:144-163) wat met die toestemming van die redakteur (Kaiser) verder verwerk en aangepas is vir publikasie in KOERS.
3 Vgl. CStA 1.2,374,20ff.: Über
die Rechtfertigung aus Glauben" führen wir den ersten und härtesten Streit" mit der Kirche Roms. Gehört sie etwa zu jenen spitzfindigen und unnützen Fragen? Nein, wenn ihre Erkenntnis verschwindet, ist Christi Herrlichkeit erloschen, die Religion abgeschafft, die Kirche zerstört und die Hoffnung auf unser Heil völlig gescheitert."
Text auch in OS 1,469. "Fidei iustificationem primo loco attingis: de qua nobis primum et acerri-mum certamen vobiscum est. Estne illa spinosa et inutilis quaestio? At, sublata eius cognitione, et Christi gloria exstincta est, et abolita religio, ut ecclesia destructa, et spes salutis penitus eversa. Dogma ergo istud, quod in religione summum erat, dicimus fuisse a vobis nefarie ex hominum memoria deletum."
Grundsätzlich dient für diesen Beitrag der lateinische Text der Calvin-Studienausgabe als Grundlage. Im Allgemeinen wird von der deutschen Übersetzung jener Ausgabe Gebrauch gemacht, außer wenn ich anderer Meinung bzgl. einer zutreffenden Übersetzung bin.
4 Bei diesem Teil zu Luther werden zum Teil Fragestellungen angeschnitten, die auch früher von mir behandelt wurden. Dabei greife ich bei diesem Beitrag auf frühere noch nicht veröffentlichte Forschung von mir zurück und mache auch gelegentlich von eigenen früheren eingesetzten Formulierungen - allerdings nur in populär- bzw. nicht-wissenschaftlichem Rahmen
- Gebrauch. Bei letztgenannten handelt es sich um eine Serie von kurzen Artikeln von mir, die in den Jahren 2009 und 2010 aus Anlass des Calvinjahres 2009 in der populären Zeitschrift Bekennende Kirche erschienen sind.
5 Iesum Christum mortuum propter peccata nostra, resurexisse propter iustificationem nostram (Rom. 4)
- OS III,15,13-15.
6 CO 12,40.
7 Supplex exhortatio ad invictissimum Caesarem Carolum quintum et ... Principes ..., CO 6,435- 534.
8 Petit traicte de la saincte Cene de nostre Seigneur Iesus Christ (1541), CO 5, 429-460. Lateinische Übersetzung, 1545: Libellus de coena Domini.
9 CO 12,7: Excellentissimo christianae ecclesiae pastori [doctori] D. [doctori] Martino Luthero patri mihi plurimum observando ...
10 Weber, 1962:358: Die
deutsche Reformation [hatte] im ganzen einen nomistischen Gegner ... Die westliche Reformation hatte es dagegen weithin mit einem libertinistischen Gegner zu tun
11 Trotz seiner Beherrschung der Lutherforschung fällt bei Kaufmann (2016) in seiner Behandlung von Calvin in dieser Monographie auf, dass Kaufmann wichtige Sekundärliteratur nur beschränkt bzw. gar nicht behandelt. Deswegen sind seine Ausführungen zu Calvin nicht auf dem neuesten Stand. Ein Beispiel ist seine Behandlung der Rektoratsrede von Nicolas Cop.
In diesem Bereich gibt es entscheidende neue Forschungserkenntnisse, die fehlen und die er hätte beachten sollen, z.B. u.a. Neuser (2009).
12 (1) Widmung des Unterrichts in der christlichen Religion an Franz I. 1536; (2) Der Genfer Katechismus 1542/1545; (3) Mahnschreiben an Karl V. 1543.
13 Vgl. besonders OS I,452,11ff., vgl. Link in CStA 1.2,341.
14 Vgl. Gloede, 2009:4 - Wie schon oben erwähnt ließ unter anderen aufgrund dieses Schreibens kein Geringerer als Luther schon im Oktober 1539 Calvin seine Wertschätzung ausrichten. Sechs Jahre später erinnert Crodelius Calvin nochmals an diese Hochachtung von seiten des Wittenberger Reformators; CO 12,40.
15 CStA 1.2,366,12f; OS I,465: primum semper locum verbo assignant.
16 CStA 1.2,366,16-20; OS I,465: Bene ergo Chrysostomos, qui repudiandos monet omnes, qui sub praetextu spiritus sit promissus non ad novam doctrinam revelandum, sed imprimendam hominum animis evangelii veritatem.
17 CStA 1.2,366,20-29; OS I,465: Ac nos re ipsa hodie experimus, quam fuerit necessaria admon-itio. A duabus sectis oppugnamur: quae inter se plurimum videntur habere discriminis. Quid enim papae simile in speciem cum Anabaptistis? Et tamen, idem utrique praecipuum telum habent, qui nos fatigant. Spiritum enim quum fastuose iactant, non alio certe tendunt, quam ut oppresso sepultoque Dei verbo locum faciant suis ipsorum mendaciis. Tuque, Sadolete, in primo limine impingendo, dedisti poenas eius contumeliae, quam spiritui sancto inussisti, quum separasti ipsum a verbo ...
18 CStA 1.2,399,21-23; OS I,478: Hinc animadverto, Sadoleto, nimis otiosam te habere theologiam: qualis est fere eorum omnium qui seriis conscientiae certaminibus nunquam fuerunt exercitati. Zum Theologiebegriff Calvins, vgl. d'Assonville (2012).
19 CStA 1.2,370,10-12; OS I,467: Quum tribus partibus constet ac fulciatur potissimum ecclesiae incolumitas, doctrina, disciplina, et sacramentis; quarto loco accedant caeremoniae, quae pop-ulum in pietatis officiis exerceant.
Link (vgl. CStA 1.2,371,13ff.) übersetzt
doctrina" mit Lehre" und disciplina" mit Verfassung". Aufgrund einer früheren Analyse des Begriffes doctrina" bei Calvin wären Glaubensbekenntnis" bzw. Kirchenordnung" als Wiedergaben der Begriffe doctrina" bzw. disciplina" meines Erachtens an dieser Stelle zutreffender. Vgl. d'Assonville (2001).
20 Ab CStA 1.2,382,23ff; OS I,472ff.
Die Reihenfolge der Behandlung der Hauptstücke von Calvin entspricht nicht seiner Auflistung am Anfang, CStA 1.2,370,10-12; OS I,467. Das Thema
Sakramente" wird nämlich zuerst behandelt, dann die Kirchenordnung".
21 CStA 1.2,378,21-380,17; OS I,470f.
22 CStA 1.2,374,20f.; OS I,469: Fidei iustificationem primo loco attingis ...
23 CStA 1.2,374,21f.; OS I,469: ... de qua nobis primum et acerrimum certamen vobiscum est.
24
Durch den Glauben allein" oder allein aus Glauben" bzw. allein durch den Glauben" - vgl. Luthers Übersetzung von Röm 3,28.
25 CO 5,374; OS I,446: Assequimur porro bonum hoc nostrae perpetuae universaeque salutis, fide in Deum sola et in Iesum Christum. Quum dico fide sola, non ita intelligo, quemadmodum isti novarum rerum repertores intelligunt, ut seclusa caritate, et caeteris christianae mentis officiis...
Vgl. CStA 1.2,375, Anm. 21:
Wir erlangen dies Gut unserer ... Seligkeit allein durch den Glauben an Got und Jesus Christus. Wenn ich sage ,allein durch Glaube', dann verstehe ich es nicht so wie diese Erfinder von Neuerungen e stun, dass dabei die Liebe und alle übrigen Christenpflichten ausgeschlossen wären ..."
26 CStA 1.2,374,25; OS I,469.
Summa" kann übersetzt warden als das Herzstück" oder die Hauptsache".
27 Hierzu erläutert Link in CStA 1.2,377, Anm. 22:
Calvin bezieht sich auf eine wichtige Vorstufe des Genfer Katechismus, den im Zusammenhang mit dem Reformationsprogramm der Genfer Prediger (1537) erarbeiteten Auszug aus der ersten Insitutio (1536), auf den die Bürgerschaft laut Magistratsbeschluß vom Juli 1537 vereidigt werden sollte: CO 5,313-362."
28 CStA 1.2,376,5f.; OS I,469. ... tribus verbis victus obmutesceres. Breviter tamen hic tibi expe-diam, quo modo et de re loquamur.
29 CStA 1.2,376,7f.; OS I,469: Primum, iubemus hominem a sui recognitione incipere, et illa quidem non levi nec defunctoria, sed ut conscientiam coram Dei tribunali suam sistat: ...
30 CStA 1.2, 376,8-12; OS I,469: ... et quum suae inquitatis satis convictus fuerit, simul iudicii illius severitatem reputet, quod in omnes peccatores edicitur: ita miseria sua confusus ac perculsus, coram Deo posternatur, et humilietur: abiecta omni sui fiducia tanquam ultimo exitio perditus ingemiscat.
31 CStA 1.2, 376,12-15; OS I,469: Tum unicum salutis portum esse ostendimus in Dei misericordia, quae nobis in Christo exhibetur: quia omnes salutis nostrae partes in eo sunt adimpletae.
32 Das sola gratia der Reformation.
33 Das sola fide der Reformation.
34 CStA 1.2, 376,15-23; OS I,469: Quum ergo universi mortales perditi sunt coram Deo pecca-tores, dicimus Christum unicam esse iustitiam: quandoquidem obedientia sua transgressiones nostras abolevit, sacrificio iram Dei placavit, sanguine maculas abstersit, cruce maledictionem nostram sustinuit, morte pro nobis satisfecit. In hunc ergo modum dicimus hominem Deo patri in Christo reconciliari, nullo suo merito, nulla operum dignatione, sed gratuita dementia. Quum autem fide amplectamur Christum, et veluti in eius communionem veniamus, hanc, secundum scripturae morem, vocamus fidei iustitiam.
35 CStA 1.2, 376,25-378,1; OS I,469: Certe in homine iustificando negamus vel pilum unum valere.
36 CStA 1.2,378,1f.; OS I,469: Ubique enim scriptura vociferatur omnes esse perditos, et sua quem-que conscientia graviter accusat.
37 CStA 1.2,378,2-4; OS I,469f. Nihil spei reliquum esse docet eadem scriptura, nisi in sola Dei bonitate, qua peccata nobis ignoscuntur, iustitia imputatur.
38 CStA 1.2,366,16-29; OS I,465. Vgl. Punkt 3 oben (Wort und Geist: Grundlage für die Reformation).
39 CStA 1.2,378,9-12; OS I,470. Vgl. 2. Kor. 5,19. Zum Verständnis der Versöhnungslehre Calvins vgl. d'Assonville (2017).
40 Röm 11,6: Ist's aber aus Gnaden, so ist's nicht aus Verdienst der Werke, sonst würde Gnade nicht Gnade sein. Ist's aber aus Verdienst der Werke, so ist die Gnade nichts, sonst wäre Verdienst nicht Verdienst." Vulgata:
Si autem gratia, iam non ex operibus: alioquin gratia iam non est gratia.
41 CStA 1.2,378,19-20; OS I,470: ... wenn aus Glauben, dann nicht aus den Werken, und umgekehrt: Wenn aus den Werken, dann nicht aus Glauben.
42 CStA 1.2,378,21f.; OS I,470: Atqui iniuria fit Christo, si praetextu gratiae eius repudiantur bona opera: quum venerit, ut redderit populum Deo acceptabilem, sectatorem bonorum operum.
43 Titus 2 11Denn es ist erschienen die heilsame Gnade Gottes allen Menschen 12und erzieht uns, dass wir absagen dem gottlosen Wesen und den weltlichen Begierden und besonnen, gerecht und fromm in dieser Welt leben 13und warten auf die selige Hoffnung und Erscheinung der Herrlichkeit des großen Gottes und unseres Heilands, Jesus Christus, 14der sich selbst für uns gegeben hat, damit er uns erlöste von aller Ungerechtigkeit und reinigte sich selbst ein Volk zum Eigentum, das eifrig wäre zu guten Werken. Vulgata: Titus 2 11apparuit enim gratia Dei salutaris omnibus hominibus 12erudiens nos ut abnegantes impietatem et saecularia desideria sobrie et iuste et pie vivamus in hoc saeculo 13expectantes beatam spem et adventum gloriae magni Dei et salvatoris nostri Iesu Christi 14qui dedit semet ipsum pro nobis ut nos redimieret ab omni iniquitate et mundaret sibi populum acceptabilem sectatorem bonorum operum.
44 Gemeint ist hier 1Kor 1,30: Durch ihn aber seid ihr in Christus Jesus, der für uns zur Weisheit wurde durch Gott und zur Gerechtigkeit und zur Heiligung und zur Erlösung, ...
45 CStA 1.2,380,2-4; OS I,470: Proinde si trite intelligere libet, quam sint res individuae, fides et opera, in Christum intuere: qui, et docet apostolus, in iustitiam et sanctificationem datus nobis est.
46 CStA 1.2,380,4-7; OS I,470: Ubi ergo cunque ista quam gratuitam praedicamus fidei iustitia est, illic est Christus. Ubi Christus, illic Spiritus sanctificationis: qui animam in vitae novitatem rege-neret.
47 CStA 1.2,380,14-15; OS I,471: ... non est, quod frena carnis libidinibus laxari nostra doctrina conqueraris.
48 Schon am 4. September 1517 formuliert Luther einen ähnlichen Ansatz auf dialektische Art mit der These 40: Wir werden nicht dadurch gerecht, dass wir gerechte Handlungen vollbringen, sondern nachdem wir gerecht geworden sind, vollbringen wir gerechte Handlungen. (Luther, 1959:358.)
49 CStA 1.2,378,9-12; OS I,470: Illa ... est nostra iustitia, ... quod Deus nos sibi in Christo reconcilia-vit.

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ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

Verhelderende perspektiewe vir die pastoraat vanuit traumanavorsing rakende getraumatiseerde kinders

 

Illuminating perspectives for the pastorate from trauma research on traumatized children

 

 

Prof Wentzel Coetzer

Departement Praktiese Teologie Noordwes-Universiteit https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3657-29?

Correspondence

 

 


OPSOMMING

In hierdie artikel word daar op die Ingrypende langtermyn Impllkasles van onverwerkte trauma gedurende die kinderjare gefokus. Hierdie implikasies kan liggaamlik emosioneel of geestelik van aard wees. Die belangrike rol van herhalende traumatiese herinneringe word vervolgens aan die orde gestel asook h aantal verdere tipiese gedragspatrone asook uitreageergedrag Blootstelling aan die onverwerkte trauma aan die hand van verskeie blootstellingstegnieke tydens die begeleidingsproses word ook bespreek. Belangrike aspekte met betrekking tot h aantal terapeutiese strategieë kom vervolgens aan die orde terwyl moontlike pastorale implikasies deurgaans gereflekteer word. In hierdie verband word byvoorbeeld op die gebruik van h joernaal, voorspelbare roetines en rituele, kind-gesentreerde spel, die kind se identiteit in Christus, die belangrikheid van na die kind te luister, die opstel van h tydlyn en die terapeutiese waarde van tekentake gefokus. Vanuit die resultate van navorsing op die gebied van trauma blyk uiteindelik dat daar h verskeidenheid van bruikbare komponente en perspektiewe is wat effektief deur pastorale beraders en spelterapeute in die pastorale begeleiding van getraumatiseerde kinders geïnkorporeer kan word

Kernbegrippe: Getraumatiseerde kinders, Pastoraat, Traumanavorsing


ABSTRACT

This article focuses on the profound long-term implications of unresolved trauma during childhood. These implications can be physical, emotional or spiritual in nature. The important role of recurring traumatic memories is discussed as well as a number of further typical behavioural patterns as well as acting out behaviours. Exposure to the unresolved trauma using various exposure techniques during the counselling process is also discussed. Important aspects regarding a number of therapeutic strategies are then discussed, while also reflecting on possible pastoral implications. In this regard, for example, the focus is on the use of a journal, predictable routines and rituals, child-centred play, the child's identity in Christ, the importance of listening to the child, setting a timeline and the therapeutic value of drawing tasks
From the results of research in the field of trauma, it eventually appears that there are a variety of useful components and perspectives that can be effectively incorporated by pastoral counsellors and pastoral play therapists into the pastoral counselling and guidance of traumatized children

Key concepts: Traumatized children; Pastorate; Trauma research


 

 

Binne God se volmaakte plan het Hy die gesin en dan ook die uitgebreide familie as 'n veilige hawe en milieu daargestel waarbinne hierdie kind veronderstel is om alles te ontvang ten einde uiteindelik tot 'n jong volwasse persoon te kan ontwikkel wat vir die uitdagings van die wêreld daar buite toegerus is. Soos wat egter vanuit die res van hierdie artikel sal blyk, het hierdie Goddelike plan in talle kinders se lewens, as gevolg van 'n verskeidenheid van redes, nie altyd gerealiseer nie. Talle van hierdie kinders is in 'n vroeë stadium in hul lewens reeds moedeloos en talle het al 'n einde aan alles gemaak.1

 

1. Metodologie

Die basiese vertrekpunt in hierdie artikel is dié van 'n literatuurstudie. 'n Literatuurstudie is 'n integrale deel van navorsing (De Vos et al., 2011:123) terwyl Louw (2014) ook beklemtoon dat 'n literatuurstudie tesame met kritiese beredenering en bespreking 'n aanvaarbare navorsingsbenadering binne die terrein van die Praktiese Teologie is.

Nadat die probleemstelling vervolgens aan die orde gestel is, word eerstens op 'n aantal belangrike perspektiewe vanuit traumanavorsing gefokus. Daarna word 'n aantal terapeutiese merkers geformuleer en ten slotte word n aantal belangrike riglyne met betrekking tot die pastoraat aan die orde gestel.

 

2. Probleemstelling

In 'n studie waarby 90,000 tieners betrek is, het dit geblyk dat meer as 7% van hierdie groep gedurende die vorige 12 maande probeer selfmoord pleeg het (Meier et al., 2005:81). In hierdie selfde verband word gestel dat statistieke rondom selfmoord, aborsies, dwelm- en alkoholmisbruik asook ander soortgelyke negatiewe gedrag gedurende die voorafgaande 10 jaar met 75% onder tieners toegeneem het. Verder, gebaseer op vroeëre studies, blyk dit dat, ten opsigte van al die vermelde faktore, daar n 300% toename in vergelyking met 50 jaar vroeër was.

Trollinger (2007:73) haal statistieke aan wat daarop dui dat selfmoord onder tieners en jong volwassenes sedert die vyftigerjare met 60% toegeneem het. In Suid-Afrika hou 9% van alle tienersterftes met selfdood verband, en hierdie syfer is besig om te styg. Binne die ouderdomsgroep van 15-24 is selfdood die oorsaak van die tweede meeste sterfgevalle (SADAG, 2020).

Dit alles dui op n oorweldigende probleem wat tegelykertyd die noodsaaklikheid van toerusting en kennis by beraders beklemtoon ten einde in staat te kan wees om kinders wat reeds op n vroeë ouderdom getraumatiseer is, sinvol tot heling en emosionele balans te kan begelei.

Die klem is vervolgens op n aantal belangrike perspektiewe vanuit die traumanavorsing met betrekking tot die begeleiding van getraumatiseerde kinders.

 

3. Belangrike perspektiewe vanuit traumanavorsing

3.1 Die belangrike bydrae van die "Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACE)"

Die ACE Studie het in die grootste studie van sy soort wat ooit uitgevoer is, ontwikkel. Daar was 17,000 respondente betrokke en dit het oor 'n periode van 50 jaar gestrek. Hierdie studie het gevind dat n onverwagte hoë getal van die deelnemers (volwassenes wat na die Department of Preventive Medicine in San Diego vir n omvattende mediese ondersoek gekom het) beduidende misbruik tydens hul kinderjare ervaar het of binne 'n disfunksionele huislike milieu opgegroei het (Felitti, 2002:44).

Op grond van die resultate is 'n vraelys opgestel om vervolgens enige persoon se sogenaamde ACE-telling te bepaal. Van die belangrikste bevindinge was dat in vergelyking met persone wat 'n ACE telling van byvoorbeeld 0 het, was diegene met 'n telling van 4x of meer, twee keer meer geneig om later in die lewe rokers te wees, 12x keer meer waarskynlik dat hulle selfdood sou probeer pleeg het, 7x keer meer waarskynlik om 'n alkoholis te wees en 10x keer meer waarskynlik om straatdwelms te gebruik (Felitti, 2002:45). Gedrag wat tipies deur die gemeenskap as problematies beskou sou word, hou egter aan aangesien dit as korttermyn oplossings2 funksioneer ondanks die feit dat dit vernietigende langtermyn effekte het (Felitti et al, 1998:249).

3.2Trauma gedurende die kinderjare en latere fisiese probleme

Die verbindingsfaktor tussen aftakelende kinderjare ervarings en gedrag wat 'n gesondheidsrisiko tydens die volwasse jare inhou, blyk volgens Felitti et al. (1998:251) rondom aspekte soos rook, alkohol en dwelmmisbruik te sentreer (vgl. ook Hartney, 2020). Hoë vlakke van blootstelling aan aftakelende ervarings tydens kinderjare sal na verwagting ook aspekte soos angs, woede en depressie by kinders tot gevolg hê met 'n kritiese prys wat uiteindelik op die langtermyn betaal word. 3

3.3Herhalende traumatiese herinneringe

By getraumatiseerde kinders is die voorkoms van herhalende traumatiese herinneringe en oorweldigende gedagtes gewoonlik baie akuut - dit manifesteer heel dikwels ook in drome en lei tot heelwat angs en spanning. Navorsing bevestig dat dit ook dikwels tot 'n versterking van die posttraumatiese stres sindroom (PTSD) lei (Steele & Raider, 2001:19). Getraumatiseerde kinders is gewoonlik nie in staat om emosies te gebruik as riglyne vir aksies en optredes nie omdat hulle emosioneel te oorweldig voel.

Van der Kolk et al. 4 (1996:419) stel dat, as gevolg van vermelde proses, PTSD daartoe lei dat sulke kinders hul interne wêreld as 'n gevaarsone ervaar wat met traumaverwante gedagtes en gevoelens gevul is en dat dit ten alle tye vermy moet word. Die belangrikste aspek van die terapeutiese proses met sulke kinders is gevolglik om hulle te laat begryp dat hulle eintlik besig is om hul vroeëre onverwerkte ervarings te herhaal deur dit uit te reageer5. Hulle moet gevolglik gehelp word om nuwe maniere te vind om emosioneel te kan oorleef - dit vind plaas deur nuwe verbintenisse tussen hul ervarings, hul emosies en hul fisiese reaksies te plaas. Met betrekking tot hierdie kwessie maak Van der Kolk (2004:405) die volgende belangrike stelling:

Unfortunately, all too often, medications take the place of helping children acquire the skills necessary to deal with and master their uncomfortable physical sensations.

3.3.1Intervensie met behulp van blootstelling aan onverwerkte trauma

Steele en Raider (2001:20) maak 'n krities belangrike stelling wanneer hulle stel dat "... re-exposing the trauma victim to his experience has remained a core component of trauma intervention". Volgens Van der Kolk et al. (1996:420) is die mikpunt met terapie en begeleiding van die getraumatiseerde slagoffer dat traumatiese herinneringe aangepas en getransformeer moet word ten einde hul regmatige plek binne 'n sinvolle narratief te verkry. Wanneer die slagoffer gevolglik tydens die terapeutiese proses weer aan die oorspronklike trauma blootgestel word, is die doel van hierdie blootstelling dat die fragmente van die traumatiese ervaring hul krag gaandeweg sal verloor en dus nie weer gedrag sal sneller wat met die oorspronklike trauma verband hou nie - sodanige gedrag hou gewoonlik geensins met die teenswoordige omstandighede verband nie (vgl. ook Sinclair, 1993:58).

3.3.2Blootstellingstegnieke

Indien traumatiese geheue nie geïntegreer is nie volgens die proses soos hierbo beskryf, gaan hulle steeds voort om as snellers te dien. Blootstellingstegnieke help die slagoffer egter om mettertyd te besef dat vermyding hiervan nie langer meer nodig is nie. Die vermoë om te leer hoe om die intense vrees en emosionele reaksies, gekoppel aan n traumatiese ervaring te hanteer, is dus 'n kritiese deel van die herstelproses. Korrigerende inligting moet gevolglik verskaf word sodat die slagoffer 'n nuwe narratief kan vorm wat die traumatiese gebeure tot die tydsfase waarbinne dit hoort terug verplaas - die traumatiese ervaring word nou nie meer veralgemenend op elke stressituasie van elke dag toegepas nie (Steele & Raider, 2001:21).

n Brein wat in n permanente staat van vrees verkeer, is byvoorbeeld tipies die resultaat van 'n kind wat kroniese dreigemente tydens die ontwikkelingsjare ervaar het (Perry & Hambrick, 2008:40). Hierteenoor is dit so dat kinders wat aan konsekwente, voorspelbare, versorgende en verrykende ervarings blootgestel is, neurobiologiese vermoëns ontwikkel wat hul kanse tot gesondheid, geluk, produktiwiteit en kreatiwiteit verhoog (Brookes, 2011).

3.3.3Die belangrikheid van die kind se geskiedenis

Teen bovermelde agtergrond is dit van kritiese belang om deeglike insig in die kind se ontwikkelingsagtergrond te verkry. Hier gaan dit veral om die "key insults, stressors and challenges present during development" (Perry & Hambrick, 2008:40). Dit gaan verder ook oor die tydsberekening, aard en intensiteit van hierdie ontwikkelingsuitdagings, en Perry en Hambrick (2008:40) verwys in hierdie verband ook na die 'developmental load' wat so kind uiteindelik met hom/haar kon saamgedra het en wat vervolgens geïdentifiseer moet word.

3.3.4Die belangrikheid van h veilige omgewing met sinvolle verhoudings

Daar moet vervolgens ook op al die huidige verhoudings waarbinne die kind hom/haarself bevind gefokus word. Daar is gewoonliksigbare vordering bykindersmet stabiele verhoudings en by wie daar ook n verskeidenheid van gesonde en positiewe volwassenes betrokke is (Clark & Henslin, 2007:193). By kinders wie se lewensomstandighede egter voortdurend aan die verander is, by wie daar chaotiese en onvoorspelbare gesinsverhoudings bestaan asook n gebrek aan ander goeie verhoudings is, is daar in die algemeen nie vordering nie, selfs al sou hulle aan die beste terapieë blootgestel wees. "The healing environment is a safe relationally enriched environment"(Perry & Hambrick, 2008:43; vgl. ook Herman, 1997:155).

Die psigiater, dr Bessel van der Kolk, maak die stelling dat trauma, wat mishandeling en verwaarlosing tydens kinderjare sou kon insluit, waarskynlik die enkele grootste gesondheidsuitdaging in die VSA is. Vanuit die duisende kinderslagoffers wat jaarliks aangemeld word, blyk dit dat meeste gevalle hul oorsprong tuis het. "The vast majority of people (about 80%) responsible for child maltreatment are children's own parents" (Van der Kolk, 2004:402).

3.3.5Die belangrike invloed van gesinsverhoudinge met betrekking tot die latere hantering van trauma

Die kwaliteit van 'n kind se verbintenis aan ouers en belangrike ander volwassenes bepaal grootliks die latere neuropsigologiese risikovlak wanneer hierdie kind aan trauma blootgestel word - die mate waarin hulle dus in staat is om die stres en spanning, as gevolg van die trauma, te hanteer (Rasmussen, 2012:71; Gingrich, 2020:61). In hierdie verband verwys Siegel en Payne Bryson (2018:82) na die vestiging van veerkragtigheid (resilience) by so kind. Verder het dit ook n invloed op hul latere vermoëns om intieme verhoudings te vestig en te handhaaf.

A secure attachment with a primary caregiver allows the infant to develop the neurological connections that will eventually allow the child to regulate their own affective states (Creeden, 2006:400).

3.3.6Die belangrikheid van voorspelbaarheid en kontinuïteit

Voorspelbaarheid en kontinuïteit is krities belangrik vir 'n kind ten einde 'n aanvoeling en vermoë vir kousaliteit (oorsaak en gevolg) te kan ontwikkel en om ervarings te kan kategoriseer. n Kind het nodig om kategorieë te ontwikkel ten einde in staat te wees om enige spesifieke ervaring binne 'n groter konteks te kan plaas. Slegs dan sal hy/sy in staat wees om te kan evalueer wat aan die gebeur is en uit n verskeidenheid van opsies n keuse kan maak wat die uitkoms van die gebeure kan bepaal. "Imagining being able to play an active role leads to problem-focused coping"(Streeck-Fischer & Van der Kolk, 2000:915).

Wanneer professionele persone en volwassenes in die algemeen nie op die hoogte van kinders se behoefte is om by stresvolle omgewings aan te pas nie en vervolgens van sulke kinders verwag om volgens volwasse standaarde van outonomie en selfstandigheid en rasionele keuses te funksioneer, lei sulke getraumatiseerde kinders se wan-aangepaste gedrag dikwels tot weersin en verwerping deur die betrokke volwassenes as gevolg van hul onkunde. "Ignorance of this fact is likely to lead to labeling and stigmatizing children for behaviors that are meant to ensure survival" (Van der Kolk, 2004:405).

Bruce Perry (2017) wat 'n bekende outoriteit rakende die area van getraumatiseerde kinders is, beklemtoon in hierdie verband dat hoe meer die berader op die hoogte ten opsigte van binding en bindingsprobleme (attachment problems), normale ontwikkeling en ook abnormale ontwikkeling is, hoe meer gaan hy/sy in staat wees om die korrekte intervensies toe te pas ten opsigte van gedrag en nie problematiese gedrag verkeerd interpreteer nie.

3.3.7Interaksie met getraumatiseerde kinders moet in ooreenstemming met hul emosionele ouderdom plaasvind

Kinders wat mishandel, misbruik en verwaarloos is, se emosionele en sosiale ontwikkeling sal dikwels vertraag gewees het. Wanneer hulle ook al gefrustreerd is of vrees beleef, sal daar heel moontlik ook regressie plaasvind. Dit impliseer dat op enige gegewe moment kan n tien jaar oue kind emosioneel soos n tweejarige reageer. Dit is die tye wanneer daar interaksie volgens hul emosionele vlak met hulle toegepas moet word en waar enige komplekse verbale argumente met betrekking tot die gevolge van hul onvanpaste gedrag geensins produktief sal wees nie (Perry, 2017).

3.3.8Wees konsekwent, voorspelbaar en herhalend (repetitive)

Mishandelde kinders met bindingsprobleme is uiters sensitief ten opsigte van veranderinge rakende skedules, nuwe oorgange, verrassings, chaotiese sosiale situasies en basies enige nuwe situasie. Dit alles kan deur sulke kinders as wanordelik, oorweldigend en verwarrend beleef word. As gevolg van hierdie redes moet alle pogings aangewend word om die reëls en daaglikse roetines van sulke kinders deurgaans konsekwent, voorspelbaar en herhalend toe te pas - dit dra grootliks daartoe by dat sulke kinders gevoelens van veiligheid en sekuriteit ervaar (Perry, 2017).

3.3.9 Die rol van trauma eggo's

Rasmussen (2012:66) beskryf trauma eggo's as boodskappe vanaf die oortreder deur wie hierdie kind êrens in die verlede getraumatiseer en/of geviktimiseer is. Hierdie boodskappe is in die onderbewussyn geregistreer en binne teenswoordige situasies waar daar 'n ooreenkoms met die oorspronklike traumatiese situasie is, 'hoor' die slagoffer as't ware weer dieselfde boodskap en herbeleef hulle die ervaring weer. Hierdie trauma eggo's is geneig om die slagoffer se denke te beïnvloed en kan tot wan-aangepaste prosesse van self-destruktiewe en/of aftakelende (abusive) gedrag teenoor hulself of ander aanleiding gee.

Die trauma eggo's tesame met die denkfoute wat daaruit voortspruit, kan verhinder dat die betrokke individu verantwoordelikheid vir hul eie gedrag aanvaar en dit kan ook die momentum van 'n potensiële genesingsproses blokkeer (Rasmussen, 2012:67). Ongelukkig is dit so dat stukkende ouers wie se eie emosionele verwonding sedert hul jeugare nooit hanteer is nie, dikwels verantwoordelik vir bykomende skade in hierdie verband is.

 

4. h Aantal belangrike terapeutiese strategieë

Teen die agtergrond soos in die voorafgaande bespreking geskets, word daar vervolgens op enkele belangrike terapeutiese strategieë in die begeleiding van die getraumatiseerde kind gefokus.

4.1Die gebruik van h joernaal

Die terapeutiese waarde van in 'n joernaal skryf, word in die literatuur sterk beklemtoon (vgl. Kraft, 2019; Ackerman, 2020; Purcell, 2016; Schupp, 2004:90).

Die beradene word aangemoedig om te skryf soos wat hulle sou praat. Hulle kan selfs in dialoogvorm oor 'n gesprek met iemand skryf wat nog lewe of reeds oorlede is en wat 'n groot impak op hul lewens gehad het. Dit is n kragtige wyse om die goeie en minder goeie tye in herinnering te roep en selfs tot 'n groot mate verwerking van konflikte en onafgehandelde sake te ervaar. Perschy, (2004:67) beskryf die impak hiervan soos volg: "... a powerful asset in acknowledging, naming, expressing one's innermost thoughts and feelings, honoring them, and moving through them"(vgl. ook Jacobson, 1990:5).

4.2Die vestiging van voorspelbare roetines en rituele

Kinders wat deur gekompliseerde trauma geraak is, het hulself gewoonlik binne 'n chaotiese en onvoorspelbare omgewing bevind wat alles tot n toestand van vrees en verlies van kontrole bygedra het. Sorgdraers en terapeute vervul gevolglik n essensiële rol in die vestiging van n sin van veiligheid en sekuriteit deur die vestiging van voorspelbare roetines en rituele in sulke kinders se lewens (Arvidson et al., 2011:42).

Die liefde en passie vir kinders is 'n voorvereiste om met hulle te kan werk. Indien dit vir die berader moeilik is om tot op die vlak van n kind te kan daal en dit ook moeilik vind om hul terminologie dienooreenkomstig aan te pas, gaan hulle moeilik tot hierdie kind deurdring en ook moeilik terapeutiese deurbrake behaal (Brookes, 2011).

4.3Die belangrikheid van kind-gesentreerde spel

Blootstelling aan trauma kan die kind se normale ontwikkelingsgang ontwrig aangesien so kind gedwing word om op sy/haar fisiologiese en emosionele oorlewing te fokus (Arvidson et al., 2011:44). Die gebruik van kindgesentreerde spel wat binne n bindingsverhouding (attachment relationship) ingebed is, kan 'n belangrike rol in die ontwikkeling van kompetensie en innerlike vermoëns by sulke jong kinders vervul wat met vermelde leemtes worstel. Spel is die primêre wyse waardeur jong kinders hul innerlike ervarings kommunikeer, waardeur hulle ontwikkelingstake bemeester en waardeur hulle ook die innerlike self reguleer. Verder bied dit ook aan hulle die geleentheid om te leer hoe om probleme op te los (Arvidson et al., 2011:44; Goldman, 2001:112).

4.4Die berader/sorgdraer as n spieël vir die ontwikkeling van identiteit

Die ontwikkeling van n positiewe self word deur die sorgdraer ondersteun wat sekere positiewe kenmerke by die kind identifiseer, daaroor reflekteer en dan aan die kind bevestig dat hy/sy effektief en bekwaam is. Sodoende beleef die kind 'n navigeerbare en voorspelbare wêreld waarbinne hulle suksesvol voel. Die sorgdraer dien ook as n spieël vir die jong kind en reflekteer aan die kind sy/haar uitdrukkings en gevoelens terug. Deur hierdie spesiaal gefokusde verhouding ontwikkel die kind n sin vir beide die 'ander' en die 'self' (Arvidson et al., 2011:45).

Talle verwaarloosde en misbruikte kinders weet nie hoe om in interaksie met ander persone te verkeer nie en ook in hierdie opsig moet die sorgdraer en die berader n rolmodel vir die kind wees en deurgaans verduidelik wat jyself besig is om te doen en ook waarom. "Become a play-by-play announcer" (Perry, 2017).

4.5Maak tyd om te luister en met getraumatiseerde kinders te praat

Een van die mees produktiewe aksies met getraumatiseerde kinders is om tyd te maak om by hulle te sit, na hulle te luister en met hulle te speel. Dit is byvoorbeeld die ideale geleentheid om hulle ook ten opsigte van verskillende emosies by elke persoon te onderrig (Perry, 2017). Sulke situasies bied aan die versorger/berader die geleentheid om ope kommunikasie te fasiliteer sonder om die kind met n oormaat van inligting of moeilike besluite en keuses te belas (Stuber & Mesrkhani, 2001:189; Wright, 2011:342). Dit is ook belangrik om in gedagte te hou dat kinders op n ongekompliseerde vlak funksioneer en dat dit gevolglik meeste van die tyd ongekompliseerde metodes en benaderings is wat die maklikste tot hulle deurdring (Brookes, 2011).

Die feit dat volwassenes bereid is om te luister maak dit uiteindelik vir die kind maklik om te aanvaar dat God ook sal luister. Wanneer volwassenes nie luister nie voel God ook ver (O'Connor, 2004:46; Cloud, 2001:338).

4.6Terapeutiese ingrepe in ooreenstemming met die intensiteit van die trauma

In die begeleiding van getraumatiseerde kinders sal die strategie gewoonlik deur die intensiteit van die trauma bepaal word. In hierdie verband word die volgende drie pertinente fases gewoonlik onderskei (vgl. Perry & Hambrick, 2008:42):

Waar die intensiteit van die trauma hoog is, soos in gevalle van gekompli-seerde trauma, is vrees gewoonlik 'n baie prominente faktor. Intense en oorweldigende vrees setel gewoonlik in die breinstam en limbiese area en oor hierdie tipe emosies het die kind geen beheer nie. In sulke gevalle word herhalende liggaam-sensoriese aktiwiteite as deel van die terapie toegepas en dit kan aspekte soos die gebruik van musiek, beweging (dans), asemhalingsoefeninge, 'drumming (tegnieke en lirieke rakende drom slaan) en terapeutiese massering insluit. Die mikpunt hier is om die kind te help om uiteindelik beheer oor selfregulering te verkry. Omdat die emosie van vrees so diep gesetel is en die kind dit self ook moeilik kan verwoord, is 'n aksie soos gebed ook hier baie toepaslik en effektief.6 (vgl. Hawkey, 2000:9; Gibson, 1992:165).

Sodra die berader begin bespeur dat daar vordering ten opsigte van selfreg-ulering tydens die eerste fase (byvoorbeeld beheer oor impulsiewe emosio-nele response) plaasvind kan die terapeutiese werk na probleme skuif wat meer met verhoudings verband hou. Hier kan van meer tradisionele spelen kunsterapie gebruik gemaak word.

Namate basiese interpersoonlike tegnieke en vermoëns verbeter, kan daar gaandeweg al meer na verbale, insig georiënteerde en kognitiewe terapeu-tiese tegnieke beweeg word.

Hierdie uiteensetting van die drie fases sluit ook nou by Siegel en Payne Bryson (2018:22) se onderskeiding tussen 'n 'grondvloer' en 'n 'boonste verdieping' in die brein (om dit meer verstaanbaar te maak) aan. Die 'grondvloer' sal op die bovermelde eerste kategorie van oorweldigende emosies, wat in die meer primitiewe dele van die brein lê (breinstam en limbiese area), van toepassing wees. Die 'boonste verdieping' hou meer met die bovermelde tweede en derde kategorieë verband - dit is daardie gedeelte van die brein wat nog grootliks onder 'konstruksie' gedurende die jeugare is en dit beheer uiteindelik ook die meer komplekse denkstrukture asook emosionele- en verhoudingsvaardighede.

Herhalende chaotiese aktiwiteite wat telkens volgens dieselfde patroon, veral gedurende sensitiewe fases van die kind se ontwikkelingsjare geskied, lei tot die skepping van chaotiese en disfunksionele patrone in die brein. Senuweesisteme kan egter deur middel van toegewyde hoeveelhede van gefokusde, herhalende en positiewe aktiwiteite verander. 'n Voorbeeld van sulke herhalende intervensies, is positiewe, versorgende interaksies met betroubare maats, onderwysers en versorgers, veral vir verwaarloosde kinders wat nie voldoende senuwee en breinstimulering gehad het ten einde die kapasiteit te ontwikkel om met andere te bind nie. Die keerpunt sal eers plaasvind wanneer hul breinstam deur veilige, voorspelbare en herhalende sensoriese insette gereguleer word (Perry & Hambrick, 2008:43).

4.6.1 Gefokusde aktiwiteite

Vervolgens word gelet op enkele gefokusde aktiwiteite in die begeleiding van getraumatiseerde kinders.

4.6.1.1Die opstel van h tydlyn

Die opstel van n tydlyn kan getraumatiseerde kinders help om hul huidige probleme binne die konteks van hul groter lewensverhaal te plaas (Rasmussen, 2012:71; Thorpe, 2008). Die kinders word vervolgens gevra om 'n lyn op 'n stuk papier te trek en op hierdie lyn toon hulle vervolgens sekere gebeure aan - positief en negatief - wat hulle in die verlede ervaar het. Aan die onderkant van die lyn toon hulle telkens aan wat die emosies was gekoppel aan die spesifieke gebeurtenis direk bokant die lyn. 'n Opdrag soos hierdie kan grootliks bydra dat hierdie kind sy/haar viktimiserende en uitreagerende gedrag as gevolg van al die trauma van die verlede soveel beter verstaan en uiteindelik beheer daaroor verkry.

4.6.1.2Die terapeutiese waarde van teken

Vlakke van trauma kan steeds hoog by kinders wees selfs jare na die blootstelling aan die oorspronklike traumatiese gebeure. Die teken van prente het byvoorbeeld geblyk n besondere funksie te vervul as deel van trauma ontlonting waar sensories gebaseerde metodes geïdentifiseer is as besonder waardevol in die ontrafeling en oplossing van krisisse (Malchiodi, 2001:21; Goldman, 2001:117). Dit kon in talle gevalle ook tot 'n verandering van denkwyse met betrekking tot hulself bydra. "The change from victim thinking to survivor thinking lessened the impact of these additional traumas" (Steele & Raider, 2001:29).

Op n effektiewe wyse bring tekeninge posttraumatiese kwessies na die oppervlakte en bevorder sodoende die helpende professies se vermoë om in te gryp, terwyl dit ook die effektiwiteit van die interaksie tussen die terapeut en die kind bevorder (Malchiodi, 2001:26). Waar daar pastoraal met sulke kinders gewerk word, kan sulke teken-take ook vir die berader tersaaklike insigte na vore bring - dit sou byvoorbeeld ook met vrae oor God se rol ten opsigte van die trauma verband kon hou.7

Van der Kolk en Fisler (1995) stel dat traumatiese geheue nie noodwendig in verbale formaat gestoor word nie maar eerder in somaties-sensoriese formate. Verbale tegnieke gaan dus in die algemeen baie minder effektief in die prosessering en verwerking van pynlike emosies en herinneringe wees. Nieverbale tegnieke gaan inderdaad meer effektief wees, soos die beoefening van 'n kunsvorm soos skilder of teken of spelterapie, en ook verskillende vorme van beweging soos byvoorbeeld dans.

Teen hierdie agtergrond kan daar weer eens op die effektiwiteit van 'n aksie soos gebed vir die getraumatiseerde kind gewys word - die praktyk het dikwels bevestig dat dit tot 'n groot mate van innerlike kalmte en rustigheid lei en dat dit die algemene helingsproses kan bevorder (vgl. Seamands, 2001:123-162).

 

5. Gevolgtrekkings en toepaslike perspektiewe met betrekking tot die pastoraat

Vanuit die voorafgaande bespreking kan ten slotte die volgende aantal perspektiewe geïdentifiseer word wat besondere waarde vir die pastoraat kan hê:

In die lig van die navorsing deur Dr Felitti (ACE projek) blyk dit nodig te wees dat die kind se verhaal van trauma en onverwerkte emosionele pyn geïdentifiseer en saam deurgewerk word. Angs, woede en depressie sou ook hiermee verband kan hou. Daarna moet die detail van hierdie verhaal ook stap vir stap in gebed deurgewerk word met die oog op emosionele en geestelike heling.

Die effektiwiteit van gebed as deel van 'nie-verbale tegnieke' het geblyk van besondere waarde in die begeleiding van die getraumatiseerde kind te wees.

Dit is belangrik om die kind se ontwikkelingsagtergrond te verkry ten einde al die onderskeie areas en punte te identifiseer waar hulle emosioneel verwond en kwesbaar geraak het. Hier gaan dit ook belangrik wees om enige 'trauma eggo's' by die kind te identifiseer en te hanteer. Die krag van die leuen moet in hierdie verband verduidelik word en die leuen moet met die waarheid vervang word.

Dit het geblyk dat die vermoë om te leer hoe om intense vrees en emosio-nele reaksies aan 'n traumatiese ervaring gekoppel te hanteer, 'n kritiese deel van die herstelproses is. In hierdie opsig kan pastorale beraders (as deel van 'n multidissiplinêre span) byvoorbeeld 'n belangrike taak vervul deur die getraumatiseerde kind se identiteit in Christus te help vestig en hom/haar te begelei ten einde God se groter plan met hul lewens raak te sien.

Daar moet teen 'n oormatige afhanklikheid van medikasie ten koste van gesonde introspeksie gewaak word. Bied egter aan die getraumatiseerde kind 'n veilige ruimte waar hulle hul eie traumas in volle perspektief kan kry sonder om dit weer uit te reageer.

Pastorale spelterapeute kan 'n deurslaggewende rol in die ontlonting van trauma vervul deur tegnieke soos tekenopdragte, sessies by 'n sandbak, deur met klei te werk, ens. te gebruik.

Die rol van die ouerhuis, die kerk, die skool en beraders as bydraende komponente tot n stabiele ondersteuningstruktuur van veiligheid en sekuriteit vir die jong ontwikkelende kind het geblyk van kardinale belang te wees.

In die dissiplinering van kinders ten opsigte van onaanvaarbare gedrag moet daar seker gemaak word dat daar geen onderliggende onverwerkte trauma, depressie of angs is nie - die onaanvaarbare gedrag sou 'n uitrea-gering van hierdie emosies kon wees en rigiede en outoritêre dissipline sal die kind net verder traumatiseer.

'n Stabiele, gebalanseerde en gesonde gesin is deurslaggewend ten opsigte van die daarstel van 'n veilige milieu vir kinders ten einde gemaklik deur hul ontwikkelingsfases te kan beweeg - dit dien onder andere as teenvoeter vir latere risiko's op neuropsigologiese vlak. Die reëls en daaglikse roetines van emosioneel verwonde kinders moet ook deurgaans konsekwent, voorspelbaar en herhalend toegepas word omdat dit sekuriteit bied. In hierdie opsig kan die kerk, die pastoraat, die skool en Christen ouers 'n kardinale bydrae lewer.

Kinders moet met 'n 'innerlike kaart' toegerus word waarteen hulle alles kan meet en kontrasteer. O'Connor (2004:25) verwys in hierdie verband na 'n geestelike en emosionele kompas. Ook hier kan die pastoraat rigtingge-wende kontoere bied.

Die liefde en passie vir kinders is n voorvereiste om met hulle te kan werk.

Hoe jonger die getraumatiseerde kind is, hoe belangriker is die noodsaak-likheid van insig by die berader om nie met behulp van rasionele en insig georiënteerde metodes die kind te benader nie - eerder nieverbale tegnieke soos spel, teken, sandbak, klei, musiek, dans, gebed, ens.

Die berader funksioneer as 'n spieël vir die ontwikkeling van die getraumatiseerde kind se identiteit. In hierdie opsig is die berader dan ook 'n beeld-draer van Christus en kan die getraumatiseerde kind hom/haarself teen die beeld van Christus spieël.8

Wanneer kinders ervaar dat volwassenes werklik luister, word die weg vir hulle gebaan om uiteindelik te kan glo dat God ook sal luister.

Wat die opstel van n tydlyn ten opsigte van die getraumatiseerde kind se lewe betref, kan dit vir die proses van pastorale begeleiding ook as n besondere hulp dien. Op hierdie wyse kan daar op elke spesifieke traumatiese situasie in die kind se lewe gefokus word en ook seker gemaak word dat dit deur gesprek en gebed hanteer word.

 

6. Samevattend

Trauma en verliese gedurende die kinderjare wat nie hanteer is nie het geblyk oorweldigende emosionele en fisiese gevolge tydens die latere lewensjare te hê. Pastorale berading kan in hierdie verband 'n krities belangrike rol vervul in die identifisering hiervan en die begeleiding van beradenes. As deel van 'nieverbale metodes' wat veral effektief met betrekking tot getraumatiseerde kinders is, kan gebed n belangrike rol vervul terwyl pastorale spelterapeute se rol ook onontbeerlik in hierdie proses is. Getraumatiseerde kinders moet op hierdie wyse die boodskap kry dat iemand werklik luister en dit sal hulle uiteindelik ontvanklik maak vir die gedagte dat God ook luister.

 

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Correspondence:
wentzel.coetzer@nwu.ac.za

DATES: Published: 2 December 2020

 

 

1 Wan (2019) toon aan dat vanaf 2007 tot 2017 die aantal selfdoodgevalle onder persone binne die ouderdomsgroep van 10-24 met 56% gestyg het.
2 In hierdie verband gebruik James, Friedman & Matthews (2002:83) die frase 'korttermyn energie ontladings-gedrag' met verwysing na die uitreageergedrag by kinders waar daar onverwerkte trauma en verliese is. By talle is daar 'n magdom van pynlike emosies wat nooit verdwyn nie en wat uiteindelik 'n tydbom word wat net onder die oppervlakte lê en wag vir die verkeerde stimulus om dit te sneller (vgl. ook Trollinger, 2007:53, 54, 63).
3 Aansluitend hierby is die feit dat in die verlede daar nie noodwendig altyd genoegsaam op kinders gefokus is wanneer gesinne en families deur krisisse, trauma en verliese geraak is nie. In hierdie verband word daar soms na kinders as 'the forgotten grievers' verwys (vgl. Horsley & Patterson, 2006:131).
4 Prof Bessel van der Kolk is 'n psigiater wat betrokke is by die Mediese Skool van die Universiteit van Boston en ook mededirekteur van die National Child Traumatic Stress Network Community Program in Boston.
5 Rothschild (2017:71) toon byvoorbeeld aan dat jong kinders geneig is om hul traumatiese ervarings uit te reageer eerder as om dit te verbaliseer.
6 Dit herinner aan die woorde van Paulus in Romeine 8:26: "... ons weet nie wat en hoe ons behoort te bid nie, maar die Gees self pleit vir ons met versugtinge wat nie met woorde gesê word nie."
7 Die woorde van Spreuke 20:5 sou veral hier van toepassing kan wees: "A person's thoughts are like water in a deep well, but someone with insight can draw them out" (Good News).
8 Vergelyk in hierdie verband die woorde in 2 Korintiërs 3:18: "... Ons word al meer verander om aan die beeld van Christus gelyk te word. Die heerlikheid wat van ons uitstraal, neem steeds toe..."

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REVIEW ARTICLE

 

Kuyperania in 2019

 

 

Steve Bishop

City of Bristol College https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4547-0597

Correspondence

 

 


ABSTRACT

This article looks at new works published in 2019 by or about the Dutch polymath Abraham Kuyper.

Key Concepts: Abraham Kuyper, Christ's kingship, Common grace, education, international relations


ABSTRAK

Hierdie artikel kyk na nuwe werk gepubliseer in 2019 deur of oor die Nederlandse polimaat Abraham Kuyper.

Kernbegrippe: Abraham Kuyper, Christus se koningskap, gemeenskaplike genade, opvoeding, internasionale betrekkinge


 

 

1. INTRODUCTION

B.B. Warfield, it is alleged, learnt Dutch so he could read Kuyper. Fortunately, English monoglots no longer have to do so, thanks to the efforts of the Abraham Kuyper Translation Project. Three large, beautifully produced, volumes were published in 2019. It is these I will examine first.

 

2. TRANSLATIONS OF KUYPER

2.1 Common Grace volume 2

The details in the style of Kuipers (2011) of this translation are as follows.

01 Common Grace

God's Gift for a Fallen World Volume 2

The Doctrinal Section

Bellingham, WA, Lexham Press 2019. 600 pp., 18.8 x 6.1 x 25.9 cm, - £31.65/ $49.99

Translation of: 1903.13 De Genentech Gracie. Tweede deel. Het leerstellig gedeelte.

Translator: Nelson D. Kloosterman and Ed M. van der Maas

Edited by Jordan J. Ballor and J. Daryl Charles

Introduction by Craig Bartholomew

Binding: Hardback

Published: April 2019

ISBN 9781577996699

A key question Kuyper poses at the start of this second volume is: 'Why does the world turn out to be better than expected and the church worse than expected?' (see, for example, Kuyper 2019a:10, 19, 29, 30). The answer Kuyper proposes, unsurprisingly, given the topic of this book, is common grace. As in the previous volume, Kuyper maintains a sharp distinction between common and particular grace. The main function of common grace is 'temporarily mitigating and restraining human self-destruction' (2019a:24). However, there is an intimate link between the two:

... particular grace presupposes common grace, and .. common grace is the broad pedestal on which particular grace is erected (2019a:109).

And

... particular grace cannot exist apart from common grace for even a moment (2019a:777).

Kuyper situates common grace in predestination:

Only what has its roots in predestination can find its rightful place in the dogma of the church and in the theologians study (2019a:112).

He notes that failing to do this has, in some measure, resulted in the neglect of common grace:

Virtually the only thing that was seen in predestination was particular grace that concerned the elect and the lost, and consequently common grace wandered outside the gate, unable to find a place of its own (2019a:112).

To remedy this he first presents a 'more general discussion of the nature of predestination' (2019a:113). He questions the view that predestination is exclusively concerned with the fate of the individual. This limiting view of predestination, Kuyper argues, predated Reformers such as Johannes ä Marck (1656-1731) and Wilhelmus ä Brakel (1635-1711). Kuyper identifies it in Aquinas, though Aquinas's view of regeneration is very different from a Reformed view.

It is against this one-sided and limited notion of the decree of predestination that we must lodge our protest, not least in the name of holy Scripture itself. For in this way we isolate humanity from the rest of creation (2019a:119).

Only when we take "all things" together do we have the whole work of God before us. God did not create angels and humans and in addition all kinds of superfluous things. In God's creation nothing is secondary, nothing is superfluous, nothing can be dispensed with (2019a:123).

Kuyper then looks at the connection between common grace and Christology. He asserts that the administration of justice is seen as common grace in action (cf. Ch 21).

The time when Jesus came is attributed to common grace-but this could also be seen as God's providence. There is much overlap between the providence of God and common grace; indeed some have insisted that common grace can be explained in terms of God's providence (see, for example, Brummel, 2018). Kuyper explores the links between the two.

Providence flows from God's decrees and common grace is determined by God's providential plan (Kuyper, 2019a: ch. 3). Both operate outside of saving grace; however, as he rightly points out, belief in providence outside of saving faith is closer to deism than Christianity. He thus laments that among believers there is not a 'clear discerning insight into the essence of the doctrine of providence'. The ideas seem to be more pagan than biblical. He warns:

We must seriously guard against the danger of adopting pagan notions and then mixing them with the content of revelation (2019a:417).

He goes on:

The task before us is precisely the opposite to analyse the content of Scripture as clearly as possible in constructing doctrine, and through this analytical process to exclude all that is unchristian and foreign (2019a:417).

Providence is not a determination of what will happen, but rather the execution of what has already been decreed. It is the maintenance and governance of all things, not a pagan notion of seeing ahead (pro vide). A proper understanding of the providence of God is

...the confession that the counsel and decrees of God are all-embracing, that the eternal counsel of God encompasses all things, and that nothing can be named or imagined - regardless of how large or small - that is not included in and does not proceed from the decrees of God (2019a: 420).

He warns against two extremes associated with wrong notions of providence. A deistic framework where creation and providence take up two separate identities, so that we become independent of God. If creation has an independent existence it leads to atheism via Pelagianism and deism. On the other hand, if the distinction between them is dissolved it leads to panentheism. Our independent existence becomes an illusion. This is false mysticism. God is absorbed into the being of the world. A biblical perspective holds to the truth of an independent existence of things outside the being of God and that this independent existence is possible only because it rests in the will and power of God.

Providence, Kuyper is very clear, is not to be seen as a continuing creation. Creation causes things to 'come into existence outside of God' whereas providence entails existing things to exist and develop. Providence, therefore, is not a supplemental creation. The corollary of this is that miracles are not to be viewed as a second creation.

Providence depends on common grace, without common grace, 'no providential ordination if God would be manifest at all.' But also common grace 'is encompassed entirely by God's providential order and hence arises from it'.

Kuyper also examines the relationship of God and suffering. Much suffering also has its origin in the curse, the curse was the result of God's ordination, yet we can also see the working of Satan in it. Thus some suffering comes on the one hand as God's will and yet on the other 'as something against which his compassion does battle'.

Kuyper is clear:

The Christian duty not only to combat suffering that has come upon us but also, where possible, to avert through precautionary measures the suffering that could come upon us ...we must fight against all suffering, and suffering that can be prevented must be averted by precautionary measures (2019a:598).

Which leads Kuyper on, in chapters 62-63, to discuss vaccinations (on this see Bishop 2019b). In the 1870s there were some vehement objections against the use of it. Many thought the imposition of compulsory vaccinations was a denial of civil liberties and many also thought it was ineffective. In The Netherlands the debate also took on religious overtones. These views Kuyper suggests were based on misguided and errant piety. He advocated vaccinations but disagreed that the government should make them compulsory, as this was an overreach of the government.

Kuyper concludes volume 2 by re-examining the relationship between particular and common grace, once again reiterating that particular grace enriches common grace and common grace is presupposed by particular grace.

He makes it clear that preparation for heaven is not the ultimate goal of life on earth, but rather it is the glorification of God's name. We are therefore not to withdraw from the world, because we are to bear witness to the world, and to manifest the power of kingdom in the life of the world. In this the working together of particular and common grace is required:

And indeed the working of the one can never reach its ultimate goal without the working of the other (2019a:749).

Another volume published in 2019 by the Abraham Translation Project is the third and final volume of Pro Rege.

2.2 Pro Rege Volume 3

The details in the style of Kuipers (2011) of this translation are as follows.

02 Pro Rege

The Kingship of Christ Volume 3

The Kingship of Christ in its Operation

Bellingham, WA, Lexham Press 2019. 482 pp., 18.8 x 6.1 x 25.9 cm, - £31.65/ $49.99

Translation of: 1912.01 Pro Rege of net Koningschap van Christus. Derde deel. Het Koningschap van Christus in zijn werking.

Translator: Albert Gootjes

Edited by John Kok and Nelson D. Kloosterman

Introduction by Rimmer de Vries and Jordan J. Ballor

Binding: Hardback

Published: July 2019

ISBN 9781683593126

This, the final translated volume of Pro Rege, has four main sections:

Christ's kingship and society

Christ's kingship and the state

Christ's kingship and knowledge

Christ's kingship and art

The previous volume ended with chapters on the family, here before examining the state, Kuyper looks at society. He identifies four independent factors in human life: family, society, the state and church.

Social life forms a terrain of its own, and is too a terrain that Christ enters with his kingly majesty in order to rule it (2019b:6).

In this section he discusses topics as diverse as money, play and women. His views on women show how much he was a person of his time. They display patronising, stereotypical views on women assuming their main role is in the home.

As ever, Kuyper sees the lordship of Christ as comprehensive:

Christ's kingship extends over all things, extends to every part of human life, also in society. Only when we recognize and honour the fact that Christ's kingly dominion extends also over society can we stand strong in it (2019b:6).

In the second section Kuyper discusses the state. He sees the state as being the consequence of the fall:

... the state never would have existed had the fall into sin never occurred; that in the state we only have an aid to counter the consequences of sin; that the state will accordingly exist only for so long as sin continues to roil about; and that in the kingdom of heaven there will no longer be any division into states, so that the human race might once more be revealed as a unity (2019b:190).

This view is an Augustinian view and one has not accepted by all Kuyperians, many would see the state and government as part of creation (see, for example, the discussion in Min 2009: ch 2).

Looking back from the present to the past, people are easily inclined to imagine that the state has always existed This is not, however, how it was, nor could it have been; and according to Scripture, this is also not how things were (2019b:189).

The genesis of the state he places at Babel. This marked the division into of a united human race into separate parts. These separate parts were later, when populations increased, to develop into states (194). Patriarchy gave way to kingship and thus established a state (202). The characteristics of a state he sees as being one land, one people, one law, one leader, one language, and be independent of every other earthly power (204).

Kuyper sees the role of the state as being a consequence of common grace:

That the unity of the world be expressed in a plurality of independent states was sought by God and fostered and realized through common grace. In its sinful condition the world was no longer able to master its own future as a powerful unity If higher development of human life was to prove possible, division and separation were indispensable; and only the formation of states could provide the separated groups with the bond and stability they needed for achieving a higher form of human life (2019b:206).

He notes that it wasn't until recently, until the French Revolution that an attempt was made to spurn common grace (2019b:204).

Part three deals with knowledge. He distinguishes between immediate knowledge and experiential knowledge. Kuyper begins by comparing and contrasting humans' immediate knowledge with Jesus'. He rejects the idea that Jesus' knowledge displayed in the Gospels is because of his omniscience, rather it is evidence that humans have lost or dimmed some forms of knowledge such as intuition, tact and wisdom. He briefly discusses some unusual forms of knowledge such as presentiments, clairvoyance and hypnotism, while recognising these can be demonic illusions seems to suggest that they can be real forms of knowledge.

He then moves on to discuss science and Science. As regards the latter he remarks:

As Science this power presents itself as a queen who considers the entire existing world to be her domain In fact, not infrequently Science is presented as an oracle, a goddess by whom all human beings are expected to swear And with the cry "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" [Acts 19:28], the fame of this goddess of knowledge is spreading ever more widely (2019b:310).

He provides a profound discussion of the idolatry of Science. Typical of his comments is this:

Whatever the dispute may be, Science is expected to resolve the matter And more telling yet is that Science, and Science alone, is held to be what sets the tone for all our thinking, and for our entire life- and worldview That is why Science ultimately had to end up where it did, attempting to wrest the crown from Christ (2019b:310-311).

In the final section, Kuyper looks at art in its 'entirety'. He stresses that art is not merely a human fabrication but is a 'function of the human mind that God himself placed in our lives' (383). It 'cannot be anything but a gift of God' (383). Here he develops the notion that art is a gift of God that shows itself in an ability, which portrays beauty and can be enjoyed by all.

2.3 On Education

03 On Education

Bellingham, WA, Lexham Press 2019. 352pp., 17.8 x 25.4 cm, - £42.99/ $44.99

Translation of: Numerous of Kuyper's parliamentary speeches and newspaper articles.

Translator: Harry Van Dyke

Edited by Wendy Naylor and Harry Van Dyke

Introduction Charles L. Glenn

Binding: Hardback

Published: December 2019

ISBN 9781577996774

This volume opens with a bold key statement from the editors:

Abraham Kuyper, accomplished much over the course of his lifetime, but perhaps his most lasting contribution to Dutch society was a radical restructuring of the Dutch school system according to the principle of religious liberty (Naylor, in Kuyper 2019c:xi).

This volume provides much evidence for the veracity of that statement.

The school struggle as it became known was the fight for parents, and not the state, to control the education of their own children. Kuyper's Anti-Revolutionary Party's policy was that 'the government should not be operating schools as a rule but only by way of exception' (Kuyper, 2019c:45). It was a decades long struggle and one that Kuyper soon realised was to require political change.

The introduction by Naylor, provide the historical and cultural context of Kuyper's time and examines some mountains Kuyper faced in attempting to reform the school system. As Naylor notes Kuyper's programme involved a 'multifaceted rationale' (xiv) for his pluralistic educational programme.

Kuyper's multifaceted rationale for a pluralistic approach consisted in freedom of conscience, the role of core beliefs, taking education out of politics, the unity of the child, sound pedagogy, parental rights, church rights, preparation for future service to society, free initiative and civil society, justice for the poor, national unity, and Dutch culture and heritage. All these are ably discussed in the introduction. Naylor concludes by looking at the North American situation and sees taking place a similar scenario to that of the Dutch

struggle.

On Education primarily contains writings that deal with the practical issues of the school struggle rather than Kuyper's educational philosophy. Kuyper draws on the key emphases in his philosophy, most notably on sphere sovereignty. As this quote illustrates:

The school should belong, not to the church, not to the state, but to parents (2019c:198).

One key argument that persisted was the distinction between subsidy and restitution. Kuyper argued that restitution was required for parents who set up private schools rather than a subsidy. This was because restitution implies a refund to the private schools of the expenses that saved the state rather a hand out. Or as Kuyper put it:

Why are we so opposed to subsidies? Why do we despise them with all our might? The reason is obvious. A subsidy is an arbitrary allowance given by the rich to the poor, depending on his whim and caprice (2019c:249).

Kuyper argued, convincingly, that the private schools meant that the parents had saved a great deal of money, because it meant the state had fewer schools to fund. His arguments or reasons for private education that are scattered through this anthology include (in no particular order) the following.

The harmony between home and school will be much stronger than in a state school

They produce results at least as good as the state schools-without the state schools 'Kantian deism and its doctrine of moral autonomy' (262)

Child rearing and thus education is the role of the parents and not the state-it should be an issue of parental choice

It is an issue of equality: 'There must be equality in the country, both for those who hold to the Christian and for those who hold to the modernist worldview' (286).

Education is not neutral, state education flattens and demeans religious faith: 'There is no neutral education that is not governed by a spirit of its own. And precisely that spirit of the religiously neutral school militates against every positive faith' (290).

All teachers and educationalists operate from a set of theoretical and pre-theoretical frameworks; neutrality is impossible.

The need for diversity in education to represent the different cultural and religious worldview within The Netherlands.

State education and the arguments for it are, Kuyper insists, products of moral autonomy, and thus a rejection of the sovereignty of God; it was a deification of the state, and although he does not put in in these terms it involved state indoctrination.

The editors have done well to sift through the mountain of writings and speeches Kuyper produced on education to produce such an excellent overview of Kuyper's approach to education and the school issue.

 

3. BOOKS ON KUYPER

3.1 Engaging the World with Abraham Kuyper (Lived Theology)

This superb book by Mike Wagenman is a mix of biography and exposition of Kuyper's life and work. Wagenman, whose PhD is soon to be published by Wipf and Stock, examines six areas of Kuyper's teaching: identity, public discourse, education, the church, society, and politics. As well as looking at these areas, he identifies how they can apply to society today. This is perhaps the best introduction to Kuyper available - the one weakness is that it fails to do justice to Kuyper's view of common grace.

3.2 Article 36 of the Belgic Confession Vindicated against Dr Abraham Kuyper

This book, recently translated by Ruben Alvarado, a contemporary of Kuyper's, takes Kuyper to task over his disagreement with Article 36 of the Belgic Confession. Article 36 has been controversial for several reasons. It looks at the role of the magistrates and the church. The most controversial section reads:

And the government's task is not limited to caring for and watching over the public domain but extends also to upholding the sacred ministry, with a view to removing and destroying all idolatry and false worship of the Antichrist; to promoting the kingdom of Jesus Christ; and to furthering the preaching of the gospel everywhere; to the end that God may be honoured and served by everyone, as he requires in his Word.

Kuyper's objections were several-fold:

It was taken over by the Reformed fathers from Romanish practices

It uses Constantinian language

The sword should not be used to kill heretics

It presupposes that the magistrate can judge the difference between truth and heresy.

Kuyper, however, recognised that in arguing against it he conflicted with the Reformers including Calvin.

A change was necessary, argued Kuyper, because of the development of pluralism in society. There were now many churches with different confessions - how could democratic governments decide which was the true church? Would different successive governments change their mind over which one was the true church? This was a different age to that when Guido de Bres (1522 - 1567) instigated the Belgic Confession. At issue, for Kuyper, was the relationship between church and state, and church and civil government.

P.J. Hoedemaker (1839-1910), who had been a colleague of Kuyper's at the Free University in Amsterdam, resigned his position when Kuyper led the Doleantie succession from the State church. Hoedemaker remained a member of the NHK, the State church.

He was in agreement with Kuyper on many issues but was in conflict with him on the question of church and state. For Hoedemaker, Kuyper's approach was an advocacy of the neutrality of the state and the split between church and state. He took issue with Kuyper over a number of points. He maintained that Kuyper was promoting the neutrality of the state.

In this book, we are only hearing one side of the debate. Kuyper responded to Hoedemaker but as yet that is untranslated; it appeared in a review in De Heraut (no. 1219, May 12th, 1901).

Kuyper's main arguments against Article 36 and his development of ideas in the relationship of church and state were published in Common Grace Volume 3. They were first written for De Heraut from October 1899 until November 1900. Alvarado has a useful appendix with the De Heraut issue numbers and the corresponding Common Grace chapters. Hoedemaker's book originally appeared in 1901 as a response to Kuyper's writings.

Hoedemaker took issue with Kuyper use of pragmatic reasons over and above scriptural reasons. He also disagreed with Kuyper's view of the church. Kuyper maintained that the invisible church existed from creation, but the church as institution began at Pentecost. This was a problem for Hoedemaker.

Kuyper did not hold to a single state church institution. Hoedemaker did. For Kuyper the church was pluriform, there were different expressions of it. Kuyper rejected a one state one church position.

For Kuyper, the church arose from particular grace, the common grace. This meant for Kuyper the state could not judge between heresy and truth. It went beyond the calling and vocation of government. This was not a dualism between public and private, however. The state had no right to lord it over the church.

3.3 Christian Faith, Philosophy and International Relations

Although not dealing directly with Kuyper this volume has several authors writing from a Kuyperian perspective (these include Jim Skillen, Jonathan Chaplin and Lucas Friere). The book addresses the question: How can international issues be understood and addressed from a Christian faith perspective?

Three of the chapters discuss Kuyper directly, two of which have been previously published: van Overshot (2015) and Joustra (2018). The latter was discussed in Bishop (2019c). Also in this volume is a paper by Dennis P. Petri and Frans Veerman (2019) they propose a broad use of Kuyper's sphere sovereignty to use it as a measure for religious freedom (Petri & Veerman, 2019: 241). They examine restrictions of sphere sovereignty in several countries including Libya, Egypt and Nigeria (where they examine to what extent Islamic extremism restricts sphere sovereignty), and Canada and Columbia (where they examine secular intolerance).

They conclude that:

We found the concept of sphere sovereignty to be a valuable analytical category to assess religious freedom in its full breadth and multidimensionality in a comparative perspective (Petri & Veeman, 209: 260).

This volume serves to illustrate the contemporary relevance of Kuyper.

 

4. JOURNAL ARTICLES

Two articles by Bishop (2019a, 2019b) have dealt with two facets of Kuyper's thought: his approach to ethics and to art. The former appeared in this journal and uses the case study on vaccinations to examine how Kuyper treated an ethical issue. In the article on art (Bishop 2019a) Kuyper's views of art are examined. The paper suggests that:

[Kuyer's] contribution was timely and apposite, however, it was not always original as he developed ideas in Calvin, particularly in his Lectures. At times his view reveals hints of a residual dualism and neo-Platonism. These non-biblical notions are implicit in his view of beauty. Fortunately, other kuyperian scholars have identified some of these weaknesses and have been able to build on the strengths of Kuyper's position (Bishop, 2019b).

The views of Abraham Kuyper and Adolf Stöcker (1835-1909) towards Christian socialism and the Jewish question are compared in Kater (2019). Kater concludes:

Ultimately, both Christian-Social leaders perceived Jews from a theological perspective as 'enemies of Christ' and from a socio-political perspective as 'enemies of the "kleine luyden"'. It is only in the application of these ideas that the ways of Kuyper and Stöcker finally parted; whereas the latter opted for organized political antisemitism in order to maintain a Christian order in the German State, the former refrained from doing so, ultimately adhering to a pluralistic model of organizing society. While Stöcker saw Jews only as a threat, Kuyper was willing to accept their emancipation and objected to withdrawing once given rights

 

5. REVIEWS

Falconer (2019) provides a detailed (16 pages) summary overview of Bartholomew's Contours of a Kuyperian Tradition (2017). His final evaluation of the book is worth quoting:

Bartholomew's book, Contours of the Kuyperian Tradition: A Systematic Theology, offers his readers a challenging, yet rich overview of a vast amount of theological output from Abraham Kuyper and Neo-Calvinism. Twelve well-chosen themes from the Kuyperian tradition were highlighted as chapters. As helpful as this is, though, one ought to keep in mind that the tradition consists of much more than these themes, and no doubt some readers would be surprised or even disappointed that other themes and issues of concern were not included in the book. Be that as it may, the book was well ordered and skilfully written. Bartholomew's evaluations at the end of most chapters were very applicable for our own time and context, especially those instances when he related the tradition to South African history and the current situation of the beloved country. For those wanting a big picture, a bird's-eye view by way of a working summary of Abraham Kuyper's thought, and the contributions from other Kuyperians, this is an invaluable resource (Falconer, 2019:211).

Mark Durie (2019) has an appreciative review of Kuyper's On Islam in Themelios, noting:

Kuyper's presentation of Islam is mainly sympathetic, although it is a "warts-and-all" approach. He even hopes that Islam, which he in many respects admires, will unite with Christianity to defeat paganism (Durie, 2019:420).

 

6. CONCLUSION

The three volumes of the Kuyper Translation Project have marked another great year for Kuyper studies. The introduction by Wagenman has provided a great entry point for those interested in but daunted by the larger works. The essays on Kuyperian approaches to international relations, vaccinations, and art reveal how fecund Kuyper's work continues to be. As Kuyper has it:

In God's creation nothing is secondary, nothing is superfluous, nothing can be dispensed with (2019a:123).

 

7. BIBLIOGRAPHY

7.1 Works reviewed

Bishop, S. 2019a. Kuyper and vaccinations a case study in Kuyper's approach to an ethical issue. Koers - Bulletin for Christian Scholarship, 84(1). https://doi.org/10.19108/KOERS.84.L2462.

Bishop, S. 2019b. Kuyper's nascent views on art. Journal for Christian Scholarship, 55 (3&4). 107-129.

Durie, M. 2019. Review of On Islam. Themelios, 44(2):419-420.

Falconer, R. 2019. Review of Bartholomew Contours of the Kuyperian Tradition. Conspectus-The Journal of the South African Theological Seminary, 28 (September): 197-212.

Hoedemaker, P. 2019. Article 36 of the Belgic Confession Vindicated against Dr Abraham Kuyper. Ruben Alvarado (Translator). Pantocrator Press.

Joustra, R. 2017. Abraham Kuyper among the nations. Politics and Religion, 1-23. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1755048317000554. In Polinder, S. & Buijs, G.J. (ed.) 2019. Christian Faith, Philosophy and International Relations: The Lamb and the Wolf. Leiden: Brill, 151-172.

Kater, L. 2019. Either Mammon or the Messiah? The Christian-Social tradition in the Netherlands and Germany on the Jewish Question, 1875-1914. Trajecta, Religion, Culture and Society in the Low Countries, 28 (1): 23-44. https://doi.org/10.5117/TRA2019.L002.KATE.

Kuyper, A. 2019a. Common Grace. God's Gift for a Fallen World. The Doctrinal Section. Volume 2. Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology. Translated by Nelson D. Kloosterman and Ed M. van der Maas; edited by Jordan J. Ballor and J. Daryl Charles. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Kuyper, A. 2019b. Pro Rege: The Kingship of Christ in its Operation. Volume 3. Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology. Translated by Albert J. Gootjes; edited by John Kok and Nelson D. Kloosterman. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Kuyper, A. 2019c. On Education. Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology. Translated by Harry Van Dyke; edited by Wendy Naylor and Harry Van Dyke. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Petri, D.P. & Veerman, F. 2019. Revisiting Sphere Sovereignty to Interpret Restrictions on Religious Freedom. In Christian Faith, Philosophy and International Relations. In Polinder, S, and Buijs, G.J. (ed.) 2019. Christian Faith, Philosophy and International Relations: The Lamb and the Wolf. Leiden: Brill. 240-262. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004409897015.

Polinder, S. & Buijs, G.J. (ed.) 2019. Christian Faith, Philosophy & International Relations: The Lamb and the Wolf. Leiden: Brill. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004409897.

Van Oorschot, F. 2015. Common Grace as a Hermeneutical Approach to Globalization? Kuyper's Teaching of Common Grace in Current Public Theological Reflection on Globalization. Philosophia Reformata, 7898. In 93-113. Also in Polinder, S. & Buijs, G.J. (ed.) 2019. Christian Faith, Philosophy and International Relations: The Lamb and the Wolf. Leiden: Brill. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004409897007.

Wagenman, M. 2019. Engaging the World with Abraham Kuyper. Bellingham, MA: Lexham Press.

7.2 Other works mentioned

Bartholomew, C.G. 2017. Contours of the Kuyperian Tradition: A Systematic Introduction. Downers' Grove: IVP Academic.

Bishop, S. 2019c. Kuyperania 2018. Koers - Bulletin for Christian Scholarship, 84(1). Available at: https://doi.org/10.19108/KOERS.84.1.2450.

Brummel, N.C. 2018. Dutch Reformed Theologians: Explorations in Prominent Theologians and their Central ideas. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (ISBN 978-1982037925).

Kuipers, T. 2011. Abraham Kuyper: An Annotated Bibliography 1857-2010. Leiden: Brill.

Min, J.K. 2009. Sin and Politics: Issues in Reformed Theology. New York: Peter Lang.

 

 

Correspondence:
stevebishop.uk@gmail.com

DATES: Published: 7 December 2020

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OTHER CONTRIBUTIONS

 

Vonnegut, Darwin, and the Tragical Satirical Arc of Human History in the Novel Galapagos

 

 

David E. Robinson

Education and Curriculum Studies University of Johannesburg https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0178-32

Correspondence

 

 


ABSTRACT

In 1985 Kurt Vonnegut produced a satirical novel entitled Galapagos, In which the author explored a possible earth set one million years in the future. Human beings "have quietly evolved into sleek, furry creatures with flippers, and small brains."'1
Vonnegut posits a world in which human logic, derived from the functioning of three-kilogramme brains, has resulted in the downfall of the species, prior to the evolution of the seal-like creatures. This article explores the novel from an ecocritical perspective, including references to the work of Greg Garrar d, Rachel Carson and Arne Naess. Charles Darwin's work is also considered, because the novel's title and setting allude to his work on evolution.
This article will argue that Vonnegut believes human beings should change their thought and behaviour patterns if we are to have an optimistic future.


 

 

In 1985 Kurt Vonnegut wrote a book entitled Galapagos (Vonnegut, 1994), in which he posited a world one million years forward in time, in which human beings had evolved into seal-like animals who lived on a small island named Santa Rosalia. These beings lived on a diet of fish and tried to avoid being eaten by sharks and killer whales. They did not possess the big brains of their predecessors. This paper will explore the narrative presented by Vonnegut, and the novel will be considered through an ecocritical lens, making reference to the work of Greg Garrard, Lawrence Buell, Arne Naess and Gaia Vince.

There are two repeated motifs in Vonnegut's novel; one, the big brains that humans possessed in the twentieth century, suggesting the ability to think at a higher level than ordinary animals and, two, economic collapse, as a result of the greed that was evident in human attitudes and behaviour. In the novel this economic collapse was the cause of widespread social disruption and the end of the human species as it existed towards the end of the 20th Century. The critic Gaia Vince makes the point that big brains have provided human beings with agency, which has resulted in them dominating the planet. (Vince, 2014:2) On the matter of brain size, Leonard Mlodinow makes the comment: "Brain sizes vary considerably among the individuals of a species, but within a species brain size is not directly related to intelligence." (Mlodinow, 2016:15) Mlodinow addresses the development of human beings (Homo Sapiens) out of a line of other hominids. He makes the point that the brain of the human ancestor Lucy (Australopithecus Afarensis) was a little larger than that of a chimpanzee, but this set the hominid evolution along the path to Homo Habilis ('handy' man, a tool maker), and then on to modern humans. He adds: "Today we call our subspecies Homo Sapiens, or 'Wise, Wise, Man.' Your own species ends up with a name like that when you get to choose it yourself" (Mlodinow, 2016:20). This comment is worthy of Vonnegut himself. However, the big brains do not ensure that humans act in the interests of all living beings on the planet; instead, a sense of self-interest is found in many human decisions.

The main feature of the plot in Galapagos that draws all the characters together is the intended voyage named The Nature Cruise of the Century. Ostensibly a voyage to the Galapagos Islands in a sort of homage to Charles Darwin and his discoveries, the voyage is in fact a cynical money-making scheme (Vonnegut, 1994:106). The organisers of the cruise have no inherent interest in the study of nature or its phenomena. Rather, they use nature as a resource to attempt to generate income. Bobby King, who organises the cruise, is only interested in the marketing possibilities in order to make money. In his discussion with Mary Hepburn, one of the passengers, it is apparent that he explores her personal history not because she has value in herself, but because there is the opportunity to use her biography as leverage to generate public interest in the cruise (Vonnegut, 1994:78-81). However, once it is believed that Jackie Onassis will be joining the cruise, King is no longer interested in Mary Hepburn, because the former president's wife is a celebrity whereas Mary is a mere school teacher. Despite the claims about Mrs Onassis intending to join the cruise, this does not in fact happen (Vonnegut, 1994:100).

The ship in the novel, Bahia de Darwin, is an allusion to Darwin's travels in the Beagle, published in the book The Voyage of the Beagle (Darwin, 1987:25-27). Vonnegut specifically refers to Darwin's travels several times and makes reference to the work of the naturalist directly in the name of the twentieth century ship. The ship in Galapagos travels haphazardly (Vonnegut, 1994:198) under the command of a captain who does not have any seamanship, and ends up on the most northern of the Galapagos Islands purely by chance (Vonnegut, 1994:208).

By contrast The Beagle travels to various places, including the Galapagos Islands, with a sense of purpose. The voyage lasts for five years (Darwin, 1987:vii) and the ship travels around the world, starting in Britain, crossing the Atlantic, stopping at various places in South America, and after crossing the Pacific, in Australia, and thereafter in Mauritius, before returning to Britain. The people on the ship, including Darwin, are engaged in scientific enquiry, which includes observation, comparison and contrast, and categorization.

Vonnegut's novel presents us with a possible human future that is unexpected - who among us would expect that the human species would evolve into seal-like beings with smaller brains than we currently have? In the early 21st Century humans value big brains, because these provide us with the ability to make decisions. Decision-making is part of our much-valued agency. It is through agency that we are empowered to affect our own purposes and destinies. Vonnegut, however, locates human tragedy in the realm of human cognition. Our thoughts, and the choices and actions arising from them, have consequences with regard to our pursuit of wealth and our moral codes.

On the page preceding Part One of the novel, Vonnegut poses this statement:

In spite of everything I still believe people are good at heart (Anne Frank 1929-1945) (Vonnegut, 1994: no page number).

This is a moving statement, knowing, as the reader does, that Anne Frank was the victim of discrimination and finally died because of being categorised as the Other. However, Vonnegut could be using this as a satirical comment; are people really good at heart? The novel he presents to us provides a few characters who act out of good will, but most are either self-centred or ignorant, and unable to make just moral choices. It is also notable that big brains do not necessarily imply an ability to make better moral choices.

Importantly, in the novel there are episodes which fall outside of what we might regard as reasonable expectations. This type of event has an effect on our ability to make choices. An example of this is when Andrew MacIntosh and Zenji Hiroguchi are killed by Geraldo Delgado, who is a paranoid schizophrenic in the military. He has live ammunition and kills them because he is hallucinating (Vonnegut, 1994:122-125). This type of deadly episode is beyond expectation, because big brains tend to accept that other big-brained individuals share a common understanding of reality. Hallucination and its consequences - in this case, death through being shot - are not expected. This is a comment on human fallibility; despite our big brains we do not have an omniscient understanding of our world and our roles in it.

The novel is presented in two parts, and the narrator is an omniscient voice, but initially very little information is provided about the narrator - the reader does not know who the narrator is in terms of the development of the plot. It is in the second part that some of the mystery about the narrator is explained. The narrator is Leon Trout, and he died in a shipyard accident in Malmo, Sweden, where the ship Bahia de Darwin was built (Vonnegut, 1994:177). Leon Trout remains with the ship as a ghost and narrates the story. Significantly, his father, the novelist Kilgore Trout, a character who appears in several of Vonnegut's novels (Klinkowitz, 2011:125, Marshall, 2017:138) has died prior to Leon's death. Intermittently Kilgore speaks to Leon, suggesting that he should move on, into the afterlife, but Leon chooses not to do this. It is during one of these exchanges that Kilgore speaks to Leon about humans:

Need I tell you that this once beautiful and nourishing planet when viewed from the air now resembles the diseased organs of poor Roy Hepburn [Mary Hepburn's deceased husband] when exposed at his autopsy, and that the apparent cancers, growing for the sake of growth alone, and consuming all, are the cities of your beloved human beings (Vonnegut, 1994:204).

This association of human civilization with disease, and the destruction of the planet, is expanded in further statements by Kilgore. It is notable that the negative effects of human actions are seen to corrupt the planet itself - the vast environment spinning in space is presented as diseased and compared to the failed organs of a cadaver. The implication is that, through human action, the planet has been compromised as a place to inhabit. The same human ability to create Mandarax, an advanced piece of technology (Vonnegut, 1994:55) that can translate a thousand languages, has brought catastrophe upon humanity and the planet.

Kilgore also makes the following comment:

Need I tell you that these animals have made such a botch of things that they can no longer imagine decent lives for their own grandchildren, ever, and will consider it a miracle if there is anything left to eat or enjoy by the year two thousand, now only fourteen years away (Vonnegut, 1994:204).

Although readers in the 21st Century might feel comforted that the idea of total disaster by the year 2000 has been shown to be not true, there is the likelihood that this date is not to be taken as fixed, much as Orwell's 1984 does not refer to a specific date. Instead, the warning applies to some point in the future.

The reference to the future of peoples' grandchildren is a telling one; grandchildren are often regarded as special by the older generation, and they are particularly valued. They carry the genes and the family names forward into the future. However, this group that is so valued is placed in an uncertain future in the novel because of human actions. An additional point is the brevity of time that Kilgore points to - the number of years of good living will not be guaranteed for the next two generations. The urgency is emphasised through the reference to close and vulnerable family members - grandchildren.

Kilgore makes one further observation about humans that has significance:

Like the people on this accursed ship, my boy, they are led by captains who have no charts or compasses, and who deal from minute to minute with no problem more substantial than how to protect their self-esteem (Vonnegut, 1994:204).

This final comment is a metaphor for human existence; the ship that wanders without purpose, guided by incompetence, is a lesson to all those who trust their leaders. The significance of this issue is very marked, in that because people trusted their leaders, they were led, in a blundering manner, along a tragic arc of history; human beings evolved into another species partly because they followed poor leaders. The self-centredness of the leaders is a significant problem; these people do not lead for others, as a form of service -they lead for themselves.

There is a comment on human actions that are self-centred in Darwin's account of the treatment of the Aboriginal people of Tasmania, previously called Van Diemen's Land. The Aboriginal people were removed from Tasmania and put on an island, so that they could not trouble the colonisers living in Hobart (Darwin, 1987:430). The indigenous people were regarded as thieves and troublemakers. Darwin notes that the gradual decline in numbers of the Aboriginal people, towards extinction, is "partly owing to the introduction of spirits, to European diseases... and to the gradual extinction of the wild animals" (Darwin, 1987:217). Once they were removed to the island, the population numbers of the Aboriginal people fell over a period of time. The existence of the Aboriginal people was compromised to the point of extinction by the actions of big-brained people.

Furthermore, in his travels across the planet Darwin notes many things regarding evolution and the consequences of failing to adapt. In Brazil Darwin describes finding bones which turn out to be fossilised tooth fragments from a mastodon, an extinct species (Darwin, 1987:120). In addition, Darwin comments on the extinction of large numbers of species in North and South America (Darwin, 1987:165). Darwin says that we can speculate, but are unlikely to know the precise cause of extinction (Darwin, 1987:166). In a sense Kilgore Trout is echoing the thinking of Darwin; animal species that fail to adapt will die. As a consequence of following incompetent leaders, the human species is under threat and needs to adapt. With extinction as a possibility, the evolution of humanity into seal-like beings is something which cannot be seen as entirely negative; a more dire alternative is to disappear entirely.

One idea with which Darwin is strongly associated is that of evolution. The novel holds within it overt statements of evolution, in that human beings become something else through adaptation over time, but there are additional elements in the novel that allude to this process of change. For example, the technology of Mandarax, which can translate a thousand languages, is an evolution of the technology of Gokubi, which could only translate ten languages. However, Mandarax is not a practical tool; when asked questions Mandarax tends to respond in quotations from poetry. These quotations are generally of little practical use. The narrator states:

The uselessness of all its knowledge would so anger the Captain that he threatened to throw it into the ocean (Vonnegut, 1994:56).

The Captain eventually does this, on the last day of his life, at the age of eighty-six (Vonnegut, 1994:56).

Examples of the uselessness of Mandarax's commentary is found in the quote below, which is a response to an observation about the ages of the shipwreck survivors, one of whom has a beard. Notably Mandarax focuses on the beard, which is not the main point, and the response, below, is of no practical use:

There was on Old Man with a beard,

Who said: "It is just as I feared!

Two owls and a hen

Four larks and a wren

Have all built their nests in my beard" (Vonnegut, 1994:215).

This type of commentary is simply a borrowing from Edward Lear and is of no value in providing advice or information about survival on the island. Another example occurs earlier, in which the use of the word Mayday! signalling the need for help, elicits a response about the month of May - a poem written by A. E. Houseman (Vonnegut, 1994:200). Despite the seeming irrelevance of the Edward Lear limerick about birds, there is a tenuous connection to Darwin. In The Voyage of the Beagle there is a chapter on birds. Apart from the famous statements about finches, there are also references to other birds, including two owls and a wren (Darwin, 1987:363). Whilst these birds are mentioned by Darwin and by Lear, they are not connected in any other way. Lear used them for rhyming purposes and Darwin was collecting and categorising information for scientific research. The mention of the birds in both texts (and in Vonnegut's novel) is unlikely to be deliberate or indicative of shared purpose.

Another example of evolution is that of the cruise ship, which is originally named the Bahia de Darwin. It changes from being a luxury liner to being a ship of refugees, and it changes from this to a wreck. When it is stuck on the reef near the island the survivors re-name the ship The Walloping Window Blind, which is from a song Mandarax quotes to Mary Hepburn (Vonnegut, 1994:211). The Kanka-bono girls like the name because of its sound; they do not understand English. The meaning of the name for these girls is not linked to the denotation or connotation of the words - it is linked to the phonological elements. The ship's original name alludes to the theory of evolution and the Galapagos Islands, and the concept is then played out in the changing status of the ship. The word Bahia, from the original name, means "bay", and it makes reference to chapters in Darwin's The Voyage of the Beagle, in which an area named Bahia Blanca, in Brazil, is described in detail (Darwin, 1987:11).

In his commentary on Vonnegut's novel the critic Ian Marshall makes the point that Vonnegut acknowledges a debt to Darwin, but also acknowledges Stephen Jay Gould. According to Marshall, the idea of evolution itself has evolved. Whilst Darwin thought of evolution as a slow and gradual process, Gould suggests that at times there might be bigger changes -termed "punctuated equilibrium" - and Akiko is an example of this (Marshall, 2017:138). She changes to a human-like being covered in fur (a change that takes one generation to accomplish) as a consequence of her mother being exposed to the effects of the radiation after the bombing of Hiroshima. This type of mutation is not gradual, suggesting a modification to Darwin's conception of evolution.

The voyage of the Bahia de Darwin is an allusion to the voyage of the Beagle, but there is another ship alluded to in the novel. Noah's Ark is referred to when it is clear that the Captain is not navigating with any precision. When asked to name any island that is nearby, the incompetent and confused captain says: "Mount Ararat" (Vonnegut, 1994:201). A little later the spirit of Kilgore Trout, in discussion with his son, refers to the people on the ship as animals (Vonnegut, 1994:206). The two references make a link between the ship in Vonnegut's novel and Noah's Ark. However, while the Ark is associated with the purpose(s) of a deity, the ship in Vonnegut's novel is a vessel moving haphazardly - there is no evidence of a higher purpose.

Another connection between Vonnegut's novel and Darwin's work is the number of references to the fauna of the Galapagos Islands. Included in the list are the giant land tortoises (Darwin describes their size, their speed of movement, and the young tortoises falling "prey in great numbers to the carrion-feeding buzzard") (Darwin, 1987:367-369.).

In addition, there are birds, including the blue-footed boobies, who engage in a courtship dance that intrigues some human observers (Vonnegut, 1994:87-89).

The finches, famously recorded by Darwin as having beaks of varying sizes, evolved for different purposes, and are also referenced as being part of Mary Hepburn's classes at school (Vonnegut, 1994:108-110). In her commentary on Darwin's The Origin of Species, Janet Browne states that the finches Darwin encountered had "beaks differently adapted to eat insects, cactus, or seeds" (Browne, 2006:41). Darwin became aware that the birds had adapted to specific environments, having "diversified from a common ancestor" (Browne, 2006:41). Earlier in her book Browne comments on the voyage of The Beagle, pointing out that in 1835 the ship stopped at the Galapagos islands. "Ironically, Darwin did not notice the diversification of species on the Galapagos islands during the Beagle's five-week visit, even though the English official on Charles Island (Isla Santa Maria) informed him that the giant tortoises were island-specific" (Browne, 2006:26). The tortoises, the birds, and the iguanas (to be addressed below) are all categorised within a scientific system that is dependent on big brains for its value.

The iguanas are mentioned in the novel on several occasions. Bobby King, the organiser of the cruise, has a stuffed iguana on his desk. This specific animal might be seen to have no greater purpose than to be an exotic ornament, but it also has a purpose in the novel of being part of King's branding:

He had made that reptile the totemic animal for the cruise - had caused its image to be painted on either side of the Bahia de Darwin's bow, and to appear as a logo in every ad and at the top of every publicity release (Vonnegut, 1994:78).

The use of the iguana image in marketing reflects how natural resources are used for human purposes; in this case the purpose is to make money. Bobby King has no scientific interest in the iguanas, and this differentiates him from Darwin and Darwin's purposes.

Although the iguanas are part of Bobby King's marketing, a different usage for the iguanas is presented when the ship runs aground. The survivors of the wreck beat many of the iguanas to death because they are a source of food (Vonnegut, 1994:209). In this case, when survival is paramount, scientific enquiry is of no consequence; nobody suggests observing the iguanas for purposes of gaining knowledge. In addition, the issue of marketing no longer has any significance. The blue-footed boobies, who were previously of interest because of their courtship dance, also become a source of food after the shipwreck (Vonnegut, 1994:87).

The issue of life, death, and dying is mentioned several times in the novel. In the Swedish shipyard there are accidents in which people die. At the funerals, it is common to say: "Oh, well - he wasn't going to write Beethoven's Ninth Symphony anyway" (Vonnegut, 1994:196).

In other words, the dead person's contribution to humanity was not significant; nothing differentiated the dead person from the great human mass. However, it must be noted that while many humans cannot create great works of art, somebody wrote Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The evolved creatures of the book, with their small brains and flippers cannot compose music or create any form of art. The loss of the big brains has left humans with greater simplicity, but also with a more constrained existence. There is an ironic sense of lost opportunity; despite the big brains, and the implied knowledge and critical ability these hold, human beings have made poor decisions about their own and the planet's future.

I move now to the ecocritical theory of Greg Garrard, whose work is significant in terms of foregrounding the discipline. Garrard presents the reader with several categories of theoretical positioning, and one such position is labelled cornucopia; in essence, the horn of plenty. Garrard points out that this position is one that is anti-environmentalist, in that it celebrates human ingenuity and the use of resources to improve human standards of living (Garrard, 2012:19). When confronted with arguments regarding the wasteful use of resources, or pollution, the advocates of this position respond that the use of the resources might lead to challenges, but the big brains available for problem solving will be able to provide a solution. Garrard states that they argue: More people on the planet means more resourceful brains, more productive hands, more consumption and therefore more economic growth (Garrard, 2012:19). The logic of the cornucopians is flawed, in that having more brains addressing a problem will not be of value if they are all thinking in the same way.

Garrard's most damning statement regarding cornucopia is probably: Nature is only valued in terms of its usefulness to us (Garrard, 2012:23).

This claim locates the cornucopian group in a situation that addresses the planet simply as a set of resources for human use, or human benefit. In Vonnegut's novel there are several characters who are committed to pursuing the maximising of personal wealth even as the economies of many countries are failing, and society is about to descend into a state of disorder and chaos. For these characters the pursuit of individual or personal benefits is more important than any other aspect of society. They have narrow, limited, interests and act only for themselves.

Garrard acknowledges that, decades prior to his own writing, Rachel Carson addressed the issue of pollution in her text Silent Spring, published in 1961. Her concern was about the effects of poison such as DDT on the water supply. She states:

The most alarming of all man's assaults upon the environment is the contamination of air, earth, rivers, and sea with dangerous and even lethal materials. This pollution is for the most part irrecoverable; the chain of evil it initiates not only in the world that must support life but in living tissues is for the most part irreversible (Carson, 1961:6).

Carson is suggesting that the actions of human beings are leading to damage to the environment which cannot be corrected. This echoes the sentiments of Kilgore Trout, who claims that human beings have destroyed the planet much like a disease. This despite the big brains of the human population.

At a later point in her book Carson makes the following comment, suggesting that humans see nature only as a resource for human purposes:

The "control of nature" is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature exists for the convenience of man (Carson, 1961:297).

This concern is similar to that of critics of the cornucopian conviction who argue that the environment in which we live should not be treated simply as a resource for business. The consequences of the failure to address environmental damage outlined by Carson are echoed in Vonnegut's novel.

An ecocritical position that is very different from that of cornucopia is the position entitled Deep Ecology. Arne Naess, regarded as the father of the movement, made several observations. His first statement on the basics of the Deep Ecology movement is: "The flourishing of human and nonhuman life on earth has inherent value. The value of nonhuman life-forms is independent of the usefulness of the nonhuman world for human purposes" (Naess, 2008:111). This position contrasts significantly with that of those who support the cornucopian position; for Deep Ecologists the value of the environment is not dependent on its usefulness in terms of human purposes.

Naess also commented on the idea of sustainable development:

The formidable capacity of our brains makes it easy for us to "see ourselves in others", not only in other human beings but in every living being... Compassion, aided by the brain, encompasses everything capable of pain... Our contemplation of the development of life on earth through countless millions of years, the development of the richness and diversity of life-forms, almost inevitably makes mature, informed human beings adopt a wider perspective (Naess, 2008:296).

For Naess, then, the human brain with its remarkable capacity for thought, is an essential element of the process of problem-solving. This differs from Vonnegut, who sees the big brains as a problem, because they are located in humans who are too self-centred, and too committed to making a profit.

Naess also expressed several ideas about the future. His position, like that of Anne Frank, is optimistic, and he argues that our environment will recover, over a period of many years, like a patient recovering from a disease (Naess, 2008:309). However, this will only be possible if humans change their behaviour. There is no evidence of this happening, or, if it is happening, such a movement is still dwarfed by industry and business.

Lawrence Buell addresses the concept of ecocriticism and points out that it, too, has evolved. Initially a discipline located primarily in the field of writing, it has grown to be an interdisciplinary field, including elements of literature, art, architecture and cinema. Buell comments thus:

Projects will need to become much more than an Americanist, much more than an Anglophone affair... The planetary scope of the multiple environmental "crises" facing earth and earthlings in the twenty-first century requires a capacity to communicate on a planetary scale, in simultaneous recognition of shared concerns and cultural particularities, for which we are only now starting to generate the requisite vocabularies (Buell, 2011:107).

The concern for planetary action mirrors (unintentionally) the observation of Kilgore Trout about the planet as a diseased place. Although there is a suggestion of a possible happy outcome, Kilgore Trout's words suggest that human beings lack leadership and the ability to make decisions that will lead to a positive ending.

In the late 1980s Vonnegut was asked by the advertising agency of the Volkswagen company to compose a letter to earthlings in 2088AD - one hundred years into the future. He describes this future audience in the following way: "Everybody will sit around all day punching the keys of the computer terminals connected to everybody there is" (Vonnegut, 1992:110-112). This was a remarkably prescient view of the world in 2020. Notably the people are all connected to each other but are frequently not connected to matters beyond themselves. Vonnegut makes an additional point that there are too many people on the planet (Vonnegut, 1992:111).

In addressing the future audience Vonnegut has the following suggestions:

1. Reduce and stabilise your population.

2. Stop poisoning the air, the water, and the topsoil.

3. Teach your kids, and yourselves, too, while you're at it, how to inhabit a small planet without helping to kill it.

4. Stop thinking science can fix anything if you give it a trillion dollars (Vonnegut, 1992:112).

These statements are similar to the claims made by Naess and Carson. The final point is an important one, because it is a refutation of the cornucopian position, which is that answers to environmental challenges can be developed through investment.

Vonnegut makes a final comment about humans in terms of their attitudes to the environment in which they live:

Aliens in 100 years might find a message from humanity carved on the Grand Canyon wall:

"We probably could have saved ourselves,

But were too damned lazy to try very hard" (Vonnegut, 1992:116).

From the above it is clear that Vonnegut, in typical satirical fashion, presents an image of humanity that lacks fundamental abilities and skills, or has fatal flaws (in this case laziness). It is noteworthy that humanity gains this insight in time to carve the message, but after the opportunity to save themselves. In a sense, then, humanity perishes knowing that it has failed, making its own tragedy evident to the population.

The issue of big brains and human knowledge is addressed by Gaia Vince, who was mentioned some pages earlier. She states:

Anatomically modern human beings didn't arrive until nearly 200 000 years ago and it was touch and go whether we would survive. But something pulled us through, the something that differentiated us from the other species in this shared biosphere and make us so successful that we now rule over the world: the human brain (Vince, 2014:2).

Vince also points out that human development that is termed "the Great Acceleration" has resulted in this species developing technology that has culminated in planet-changing activities in the shape of deforestation and huge amounts of waste, which have had negative consequences for the planet. At the same time, the nearest relative to humans, the chimpanzees, live much as chimps lived 50 000 years ago (Vince, 2014:3). However, in contrast with this depiction of chimpanzees being possibly benign and involved in their world in a manner that has no negative consequences for the planet, Leonard Mlodinow makes the point that chimpanzees and bonobos have significant muscle strength and sharp teeth which resulted in these species having "savaged their way into their ecological niche" (Mlodinow, 2016:20). This terminology suggests that the close relatives of humans have imposed their presence on an environment, which is a somewhat different view from that of Vince, whose comments about the unchanged manner of life of chimpanzees suggest a situation of balance and stasis.

Vince, writing in the twenty-first century, expresses several opinions about the environment, and she comments about her own visit to the Galapagos Islands. There is significant evidence of invasive species and, although there is an attempt to use science to manage the environment, and reduce invasive species, some people think that this effort will be unsuccessful (Vince, 2014:285-286). The changes have been wrought by human intervention, and they date back decades. Vince points out that Darwin had a five-week stopover in 1835, while travelling on The Beagle, "and noticed seventeen introduced species just three years after humans started permanently living on the islands" (Vince, 2014:267). Vince seems to be suggesting that human brains (big though they are) seem unable to address the challenges caused by the consequences of human decisions and actions.

Another commentator on the effects of human interaction on the Galapagos Islands is Martha Honey, who addresses the topic of ecotourism on the islands. The irony of ecotourism is that it is driven by a recognition of the negative effects of human activity on the environment, but in itself ecotourism is also an economic activity. There are echoes of The Nature Cruise of the Century in ecotourism, in that it is an economic activity, but the intention of this process is not a cynical money-making scheme. Honey states:

Since the 1960s, scientific research, sound park management, well-trained naturalist guides, and a fairly well-regulated and responsible nature tourism industry have helped ensure that the wildlife of the Galapagos has been little disturbed by the steep rise in visitors. But since the late 1980s, the Galapagos Islands have had to cope with a variety of complex problems - new immigrants, introduced species, industrial fishing, unemployment, and conflicts between development interests and park management - that have come in the wake of the ecotourism boom (Honey, 2008:121-122).

In addition, Honey makes the point that the Galapagos authorities are managing the numbers of tourists and tourist operators, in an attempt to support the fragile ecosystem. She provides the following information:

By the late 1990s and into the New millennium, the islands had eighty to ninety registered yachts, motor cruisers, cruise ships, and day boats. Between 1981 and 2006, the number of tourism boats increased from 40 to 80, and their capacity grew from 597 to 1805 passengers. In 2007, eighty-four tourism boats were registered...: seventy-nine live-aboard boats ("floating hotels") and five day-tour vessels; about 40 percent are locally owned (Honey, 2008:128).

This commentary is interesting from the point of view of categorising and comparison (the number of boats at any time, and the nature of the boats) - it is typical of the manner in which science approaches information, and is a reflection of the reliance on big brains. However, Vonnegut's position is one in which the functioning of human big brains cannot prevent the tragic outcome. Counting boats and tourists, and registering boats, will not stop the environmental catastrophe.

Whilst Garrard and other theorists debate the relative merits of ecocritical theories, Vonnegut has written the future of the human species, in which we are no more than seals. Our big brains have led to this future, in which we have no glory.

However, we must acknowledge that Vonnegut wrote the novel, using his big brain to draw attention to our imitations and the possible dire future. Vonnegut's big brain knew that the readers of Galapagos would be people with their own big brains, and possibly they would think and react before it is too late.

 

References

Browne, J., 2006. Darwin's Origin of Species: A Biography. Vancouver: Douglas & Mclntyre.

Buell, L. 2011. Ecocriticism: Some Emerging Trends. Critical Humanities and the Social Sciences, 19 (2) (Spring/Summer 2011), pp. 87-115.

Carson, R. 1961. Silent Spring. New York: Mariner Books.

Darwin, C. 1987. The Voyage of the Beagle. London: Marshall Cavendish. (Originally published 1845).

Garrard, G. 2012. Ecocriticism. Second Edition. London: Routledge.

Honey, M. 2008 Ecotourism and Sustainable Development, Second Edition: Who Owns Paradise? Washington, DC: lsland Press.

Klinkowitz, J. 2011. The Vonnegut Effect. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press.

Marshall, I. 2017. Kurt Vonnegut's "Homage to Santa Rosalia": The "Patroness of Evolutionary Studies" and Galapagos. Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture, 1(1).

Mlodinow, L. 2016. The Upright Thinkers. London: Penguin.

Naess, A. 2008. Ecology of Wisdom. London: Penguin.

Vince, G. 2014. Adventures in the Anthropocene. London: Vintage.

Vonnegut, K.1992. Fates Worse than Death. London: Vintage.

Vonnegut, K. 1994. Galapagos. London: Flamingo. (Originally published 1985.)

 

 

Correspondence:
davidr@uj.ac.za

DATES: Published: 17 December 2020

 

 

1 This quote is from the blurb on the back cover of the Flamingo edition, 1994.

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ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

Learner pregnancy in secondary schools in South Africa: Have attitudes and perceptions of teachers changed?

 

 

Letlhoyo Segalo

Department of Educational and Professional Studies Faculty of Humanities Central University of Technology. https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8625-6450

Correspondence

 

 


ABSTRACT

Many secondary schools in South Africa have elaborate school policies on learner pregnancy Many of these policies state that in the event of a female learner falling pregnant, the said learner will be suspended from the school. The application of these policies has been challenged in the courts of law either by the parents of the learners or the Department of Basic Education in South Africa. The study used a qualitative research approach to explore the perceptions of Life Orientation teachers with regards to learner pregnancy policies and their efficiency. A purposive sample of nine Life Orientation teachers was chosen, and a focus group was used to collect data from the respondents. There were five female and four male teachers in total who participated in the study. Their age ranged from 27 to 52 years with an average teaching experience of 15.3 years. The study showed that despite the legislation stating that schools should be supportive of the needs of the pregnant learners at the school, teachers interviewed demonstrated their unwillingness to adhere to the law. As a result, pregnant learners are advised or coerced to stay at home for the remainder of their pregnancy as the school environment is not tolerant towards them.

Keywords: coerce; learner pregnancy; Life Orientation; policy; school; suspension


 

 

1. INTRODUCTION

It is a taboo in many communities for a school going child to fall pregnant while still being a learner. It is further insisted that learners falling pregnant are not participating in protective sex. Sithole, Manwa and Manwa (2013:68) refer to traditional leaders (church leaders) as being the conservative groups in society that abhor teenage pregnancy, especially among school going girls. Early teenage pregnancy results from unprotected sex which also exposes affected learners to a number of dangerous infections such as the Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (Prinsloo & Moletsane, 2013:11; Selesho & Modise, 2012:185; van Rooyen & van der Berg, 2009:93; Vivancos, Abubakar, Phillips-Howard & Hunter, 2013:55). South Africa, being one of the African countries experiencing high levels of HIV/AIDS infections, is subject to high costs of medical care and other government interventions. The future of the learners who fall pregnant might remain bleak as some might drop out of the education system as they might not receive support from their parents and the community in which they live (Nash, 1990:149; Pitso & Kheswa, 2014:539; Willan, 2013:145). Based on Willan's (2013) assertions, there could be a lot of pressure put on learners who fall pregnant to terminate the pregnancy by way of abortion as is allowed in terms of The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act, 92 of 1996. The termination of pregnancy by teenagers might further put learners at risk due to unscrupulous street doctors who claim to perform legal abortions (Constant, Grossman, Lince & Harries, 2014:303). The sex pedagogy in public schools continues and is focused on aspects such as life skills and sex education (National Education Policy Act, 27 of 1996).

Matlala, Nolte and Temane (2014b:85) point out that despite a consistency of the sex pedagogy in schools, the number of learners who fall pregnant continues to rise. Cohorts of factors have been singled out as the source of learner pregnancy. Chinyoka and Naidu (2013:203), Kheswa and Pitso (2014:564), Molosiwa and Moswela (2012:268), and Mphale (2014:186) maintain that poverty, single-headed homes and substance abuse are the main reasons why female learners are likely to fall pregnant. Furthermore, Naong (2011:906) claims that the child support grant in South Africa has deliberately encouraged young girls to fall pregnant in order to receive a monthly stipend or grant from the government. The view of Naong (2011:906) is that the government social grant provided for defeats the means to teach teenagers to abstain from sexual intercourse at an early age. As a deterrent, the South African Schools Act (SASA), 84 of 1996, gives the school governing bodies (SGBs) the authority to adopt a learner code of conduct to regulate the behaviour of learners legally.

 

2. LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Learner school pregnancy policy

Learner school pregnancy policy in this study is contextualised within the legal framework. In terms of section 8 (1) of SASA, a governing body of a public school must adopt a code of conduct for the learners after consultation with the learners, parents and educators of the school. Furthermore, section 8 (2) specifies that a code of conduct must be aimed at establishing a disciplined and purposeful school environment dedicated to the improvement and maintenance of the quality education. It is the view of this study that SGBs who suspend learners who fall pregnant are creating a negative environment that does not enhance a purposive learning and disciplined environment. Against the rationale provided for suspending pregnant learners, it must also be taken into consideration that section 3 of SASA stipulates that learners in South Africa are compelled to attend school, and it is an offence for anyone who prevents such a learner from attending school without a just cause. Any person found guilty of such an offence could be imprisoned for a period not exceeding six months or be fined by a court of law. Similarly, SASA permits pregnant learners to stay in school throughout their pregnancy and to return to school after childbirth. In addition, the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, 4 of 2000 stipulates that school learners who become pregnant should not be unfairly discriminated against.

Phaswana-Mafuya, Tabane and Davids (2016:423) and Moyagabo and Chireshe, 2013:145) are of the view that learner pregnancy policies could be regarded as discriminatory as they are silent about teenage fathers. As such, many learner pregnancies could be a reflection of the societally engendered prejudices and the girl who becomes pregnant is responsible for the pregnancy, hence the punishment. It is the view of this study that learner pregnancy policies are punitive measures to curb the spread of female learner pregnancies and could be seen as a response to the corrective measure on sex pedagogy in public schools. This assertion is based on the notion that learners who fall pregnant are likely to leave the school on their own account, their parents' decision, or are coerced to leave because the schooling environment might be unbearable for that particular learner (Malahlela & Chireshe, 2013:145; Matlala, Nolte & Temane, 2014a:5; Mazibuko & Nkune, 2014:383).

Moreover, the schools force the learners to leave the school by applying their code of conduct which might articulate that no learner should fall pregnant while being a learner. Mashishi and Makoelle (2014:377) view this form of suspension of pregnant learners from the school as a form of deliberate exclusion. This view is supported by the Welkom High School and Harmony High School learner pregnancy policies which were challenged by the Free State Department of Education in the Free State High Court. According to the leaner code of conduct, the policy stated that learners who fall pregnant while being learners at the school should be suspended. The two schools suspended two learners who fell pregnant while being learners at their schools as per their learner code of conduct. The Department of Education argued that the school policies violate section 29 of the Constitution (RSA), the right to education, and section 3 of the South African Schools Act, 84 of 1996, which refers to compulsory attendance at school. Subsequently, the Head of Department (HOD) for the Free State Department of Education ordered the two school principals to allow the two suspended learners to return to the schools. The defence of the Harmony and Welkom schools' governing bodies was that they were within their legal authority as per section 8 of SASA, which compels the SGBs to adopt a learner code of conduct. The Free State High Court ruled in favour of the two schools stating that the Free State Department of Education's HOD acted ultra vires in that the department did not have the authority to overrule the decisions of the two school governing bodies.

Faced with possible expectations from other schools, the Free State Department of Education took the matter to the Constitutional Court to challenge the decision of the Supreme Court. Early in March 2013, the Constitutional Court overturned the Supreme Court's decision and ruled that the SGBs' code of conduct for learners impaired the right of pregnant female learners to education as stipulated in section 29 of the Constitution (RSA). The Constitutional Court for the case 'The Head of Department: Department of Education Free State v Welkom High School and Harmony High School' stated that the pregnancy policies and the decisions based on them were indeed unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid. Furthermore, the judge contended that the SGBs' policies which resulted in pregnant female learners being suspended from school defeated the provisions of section 9 of the South African Schools Act, 84, 1996 and section 29 of the Constitution. The decision of the Constitutional Court in the aforementioned case has set the precedence that should be followed and implemented by public schools in South Africa until such time that another court of the same status decides otherwise. Consequently, South African public schools are faced with the challenge of aligning their school policies on learner pregnancy to conform to SASA and the Constitution (RSA).

 

3. METHODOLOGY

3.1Research questions

The study sought to address the following research questions:

What is the nature of the perceptions of Life Orientation teachers towards learner pregnancy policies in public schools?

What are the perceptions of teachers towards learner pregnancy in schools?

How effective are the learner pregnancy policies in secondary schools in the Lejweleputswa district of the Free State Province?

3.2Research design

The study used a qualitative research approach to determine and analyse the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of Life Orientation teachers with regards to learner pregnancies in their schools. This view is consistent with Babbie (2011:323), Hennink, Hutter and Bailey (2011:19), and Silverman (2011:59), stating that qualitative research endeavours to portray a socially constructed nature of reality and seeks to answer questions that stress how social experiences are socially constructed and given meaning.

3.3Sample

Nine Life Orientation HODs were sampled using a purposeful sampling technique (Flick, 2018:19). There were five female and four male Life Orientation HODs (N=9). Data was recorded through a voice recorder and was later transcribed. A sample of nine learner school policies were also used to triangulate the responses of the Life Orientation HODs.

3.4Data collection

A focus group interview was conducted with nine Life Orientation HODs. Various researchers (Gill, Steward, Treasure & Chadwick, 2008:292; King & Horrocks, 2010:213; LeBlanc, 2010:1622, Madriz, 2003:378) posit that focus group interviews allow the researcher to gain insight into the opinions, views, attitudes and experiences of the interviewees. The responses of the Life Orientation HODs were followed by document analysis of the relevant learner pregnancy policies.

3.5Ethical considerations

Flick (2014:48) infers that conducting research with human beings should be a moral inquiry. King and Horrocks (2010:107) refer to utilitarian epistemology as a case of benevolence, where the researcher's responsibility is to secure the well-being of the participants by avoiding harm. Permission to conduct the research was sought from the Free State Provincial Department of Education and from the school principals. The research participants completed an informed consent form and the purpose of the study was explained to them. Hammersley and Traianou (2012:76) agree that research participants should not be forced to participate in the research study or participate under false pretence.

3.6Data analysis

Data were thematically analysed by employing open coding procedures (Flick, 2018:154). The thematic data analysis organises, categorises and summarises data in meaningful themes in order to gain the understanding of the Life Orientation teachers interviewed. The themes were assigned codes and data was categorised.

 

4. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The findings of the study were divided into two sections, namely the document analysis of the nine school policies reviewed and the categories of themes that emerged from the focus group interviews.

4.1Learner pregnancy policy

Under this theme, the sub-themes that were interrogated included the availability of the policy, learners being aware of the policy, and parents and teachers being aware of the policy. Seven out of the nine learner pregnancy policies at the nine schools sampled did not have specific learner pregnancy policies. The five that had learner pregnancy policies would not elaborate on how the policies are implemented and how the rights of learners to education are safe-guarded. More so, the Life Orientation teachers seemed not to know whether learners were aware of the policies affecting them or not.

4.2Learners' pregnancy policy and discrimination

Life Orientation teachers were asked whether the learners' pregnancy policy included male learners or targets only female learners. Studies conducted show that in most cases, female learners are discriminated against and male learners who impregnate female learners are exonerated from taking the responsibility. As such, there is an extensive pressure placed on the shoulders of female learners to take the blame and responsibility for the pregnancy. In some cases, as indicated in the research, unsupported, pregnant female learners are forced to secretly perform illegal and unsafe abortions.

4.3Effectiveness of the policy

This theme concentrated on the efficiency of the school policy to discourage early learner pregnancy at the school. As previously indicated, interviewed Life Orientation teachers claimed that their schools had learner pregnancy policies, however, the review of their policies showed that their policies were not specific and convincing on how they wish to address this behavioural problem at the school. Consequently, their school policies could not be viewed as being effective. This view is supported by a 44-year old male teacher with 16 years of teaching experience by observing the effectiveness of the learner pregnancy policy by stating:

The pregnancy policy is not that effective, because it does not have control over the learners as to what they want to do with their bodies. It is difficult, because learners will engage in sexual activities anyway outside the school premises; this is not the problem of the school alone, it is the societal problem.

The view expressed by the male teacher is consistent with researchers who have observed that there are a number of contributing factors that lead to learner pregnancy, such as a lack of discipline at home, pressure from the media, as well as availability and exposure to explicit sex material and pornography which can be easily accessed through various avenues. However, van Rooyen and van den Berg (2009:91) are of the view that teachers are not sufficiently trained to implement learner pregnancy policies in their schools. This view is supported by Phasa and Megogo (2012:325) who state that some teachers are unwilling to teach learners about sex, HIV/AIDS and teenage pregnancy because of their own conservative values.

4.4Effectiveness of the life skills programme at the school

In order to curb the increase in learner pregnancy in schools, the Department of Basic Education in South Africa introduced a life skills programme through the Life Orientation curriculum to teaching learners about their bodies. Amongst other contents covered in the Life Orientation curriculum, sex pedagogy and life skills are taught to learners and the aim of this approach is to encourage all subject teachers to teach it across the curriculum. However, research shows that not all teachers are capable of covering these subject matters in their classes. Other teachers do not have enough experience as to how sex education should be taught to learners. This is the view of a 56-year old male veteran teacher with 32 years of teaching experience:

Talking about sex to the teenage learners is a waste of time, these kids they already know what you are talking about and in some instances, they seem to know more than you do. So for them, it see who knows more than whom. It is really difficult, at times they will just giggle because you are talking about something that excites them and they do not feel ashamed about it.

This view is supported by another 34-year old male teacher with nine years' teaching experience when he said:

From my experience, it is important that I don't waste time by talking about sex issues in the class. It might be viewed as if you are encouraging learners to be more aware or be involved in sexual activities. So, it is important that I concentrate on the subject that I am teaching.

4.5Teachers' efficacy to deal with pregnancy cases

It is the general assumption that teachers should act in loco parentis towards their learners, that is to care for their well-being and instil discipline in them. However, it emerged that not all the teachers are capable of this. In general, teachers are trained and taught to teach didactic subjects that they specialise in. Though it is expected that they should assist and counsel learners who fall pregnant at the school, not all of them are capable or willing to do this. The interviewed teachers showed concern as they are under pressure to perform well in the subjects that they teach and not to look after the pregnant learners at the school. It was stressed that they could only comfort and show support for them. A relatively young female teacher (28 years) with five years' teaching experience says:

I think it is the responsibility of the pregnant female learner which must take care of her, and not that of teachers, we do our part as teachers and the school, finally the family of the learner must take responsibility of their kid. I feel teachers are sometimes blamed or expected to take responsibility for things that are outside their scope of their work.

Furthermore, a 44-year old female teacher with 14 years' teaching experience echoed:

I think the classroom should not be turned into a maternity ward where teachers are expected to be nurses. Teachers should not be pressured to play the role of nurses. When a female learner falls pregnant, it is not a mistake, there are clinics all over and birth control measures are easily available for them to use should they decide to be adults. If a learner falls pregnant being a learner at the school, such a learner should be encouraged to take maternity leave from the school and stay at home with her parents to look after.

This statement was supported by a 52-year old female teacher with 28 years of teaching experience and is also the Head of the Department for Life Orientation at the school:

You see, not all the schools are having enough resources to look after pregnant female learners, there are no sick rest rooms at the school where I teach. My experience tells me that pregnancy is a complicated process and sometimes there are complications and the school is unable to respond immediately to the emergency. This might be blamed on the school and not the learner who is pregnant.

4.6Learner pregnancy as a barrier to learning

During the focus group interview, teachers showed a concern that learner pregnancy at the school was a serious barrier to effective learning for the particular learner concerned. Most of the prenatal period is monitored by health workers at the local clinics. This results in female learners being absent from school for several days and they fall behind in their lessons as teachers are not readily willing to offer extra classes.

A 42-year old female teacher with 16 years of teaching experience reflected:

Though one will want to assist female pregnant learners with extra classes for the lessons they missed, it is not always possible. In my experience, very few learners make it at the end of the year, many come back the following year to repeat the grade they failed. In some instances, others do change schools because of the stigma that is associated with early motherhood.

This statement shows that many public schools in South Africa are not conducive and enabling environments for learning to take place. According to Temane and Osher (2014:3), when learners feel emotionally unsafe they are likely to avoid school or opt to drop out of school. This view is embraced by van Vollenhoven and Els (2010:109) who state that HIV/AIDS infected learners as well as pregnant learners are likely to face violation of their rights to dignity and being treated equally by teachers and learners alike. Matlala, Nolte and Temane (2014a/b:87) elaborate that pregnant learners are pressured to quit schooling as a result of the shame they suffer.

4.7Learner pregnancy as a violation of the rights of other learners

Although the basic education policy on prevention of learner pregnancy at schools and the ruling of the Constitutional Court in the case of the Harmony and Welkom Schools are highlighting that pregnant learner' rights to education should not be infringed or violated, it is yet to be argued how pregnant learners violate the rights of other learners (van Vollenhoven & Els, 2010:110). When questioned about the extent to which they believe other learners' rights to education are violated by the presence of pregnant learners at the schools, the interviewed teachers showed a sense of uneasiness and discomfort. A 27-year old male teacher with four years' teaching experience responded by stating the following:

I don't think a pregnant learner violates the rights of other learners at the school, particularly in the classroom, though I feel more attention and focus is based on the pregnant learner. However, I do feel that it is the learner who is pregnant in the class whose rights are more violated as she is mostly teased, looked at differently by teachers and learners and gossiped at behind her back. I pity those learners who fall pregnant because they go through a lot. It is only a few with tough skins who are able to survive the period of pregnancy while being at the school, and academically they perform badly.

Matlala, Nolte and Temane (2014a/b:88) and Willan (2013:53) allude that teachers are encouraged to advise parents to withdraw their pregnant children from school, especially when they suspect that the health of such learners is at risk.

4.8 Parental support and aid

It is the responsibility of each parent to make sure that his/her child does not fall pregnant while being a learner at school. This responsibility is shared with the teachers at the school through various life skills programmes and instilling discipline amongst the learners. In a study conducted by Selesho, Twala and Modise (2012:128), it was found that teachers identified parental support and role as a barrier in the fight against teenage pregnancy in most of the public schools. As such, it is expected that parents should visit the school to report the pregnancy of his or her child to teachers and the school (Haglund, 2006:373). However, the school policy on learner pregnancy reviewed did not elaborate on the role that the parents should play in the event that their child falls pregnant. Moreover, the interviewed teachers emphasised that it is primarily the responsibility of parents to make the necessary arrangements for their child with the school in the event of pregnancy.

A 43-year old female teacher with 15 years of experience responded:

The school should know upfront what the parent is going to do with his or her child and what kind of support are going to be given to the learner. It should be left to the school alone as if the school has all the answers that parents do not have.

This view is supported by Matlala, Nolte and Temane (2014a/b:88) as well as Lutya (2012:89) who state that parental communication is important for the purpose of interacting, supervising, guiding and teaching their teenagers about issues that affect their lives from an early age. The view of Lutya (2012:89) suggests that parents should take full responsibility for their children and not leave the problem up to the school.

 

5. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

The findings of this study suggest that learner's pregnancy policies in secondary schools are perceived with mixed feelings by the teachers. Despite efforts by the Department of Basic Education in South Africa, it seems that the perceptions and attitudes of teachers have not changed towards pregnant learners in public schools. Furthermore, the study reveals that teachers perceive learner pregnancy negatively and believe they do not possess the skills to effectively deal with the problem. This is of great concern since the rights of pregnant learners to continue with their education seem to be violated by teachers who disregard the law as well as the school policies. In addition, it appears that schools continue to be unconducive places for learning for pregnant learners as they continue to be faced with discrimination, labelling, and feelings of embarrassment. Respondents in this study further affirm that parents should take full responsibility for the upbringing of their children should a child fall pregnant while being a learner at school.

 

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Matlala, S., Nolte, A.G.W. & Temane, M.A. 2014a. The need for a model to facilitate health for pregnant learners attending secondary schools in South Africa. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(25):83-91. https://doi.org/10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n25p83.         [ Links ]

Matlala, S., Nolte, A.G.W. & Temane, M.A. 2014b. Secondary school teachers' experiences of teaching pregnant learners in Limpopo Province, South Africa. South African Journal of Education, 34(4): 1-11. https://doi.org/10.15700/201412052112.         [ Links ]

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Molosiwa, S. & Moswela, B. 2012. Girl-pupil dropout in secondary schools in Botswana: Influencing factors prevalence and consequences. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(7):265-271.         [ Links ]

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Correspondence:
lsegalo@cut.ac.za

DATES: Published: 10 December 2020

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ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

...Glaubensgerechtigkeit"1 Calvins Begründung der Reformation2

 

"... Justification by faith" Calvin's grounds for the Reformation

 

 

Victor Ε. d'AssonvilleI, II

IUniversity of the Free State (UFS), Faculty of Theology and Religion Department of Historical and Constructive Theology. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6070-4603
IIRTS Heidelberg

Correspondence

 

 


OPSOMMING

Op die jong ouderdom van 30 skryf Calvyn in 1539 n brief aan Kardinaal Jacopo Sadoletus, beroemde geleerde en verteenwoordiger van die Roomse Kerk. Hierdie brief van Calvyn wat hy op die dringende smeekversoek van die stadsraad van Geneve geskryf het, het hom baie roem laat inoes. Calvyn weerlê met hierdie skrywe Sadoletus se aanklagte teen die Reformasie en tree daarmee in die bresse vir die stad wat hom die jaar vantevore verban het. Daarby begrond hy die kern van die Reformasie en die noodsaak daarvoor. Sedertdien staan hierdie brief nie slegs bekend as een van die mees befaamde apologetiese geskrifte van die Reformasie nie maar is dit selfs beskryf as die mees kragtige en teologies suksesvolle verdediging daarvan in die sestiende eeu. In hierdie artikel word Calvyn se verklaring van die kern van die Reformasie bespreek teen die agtergrond van sy verhouding met Martin Luther en beide van hulle se respek vir mekaar. Volgens Calvyn is die hart van die Reformasie die regverdigmaking deur genade alleen. Dit gaan ten volle oor geloof in Christus alleen. Vir sy verklaring van die regverdigmaking deur genaue en geloof calleen beroep Calvyn hom konsekwent op die Skrif as Woord van God. In hierdie Christologiese benadering - waarvoor Luther volgens n getuie waardering uitgespreek het - staan Calvyn en Luther dig bymekaar

Kernbegrippe: Luther, Calvyn, Sadoletus, regverdigmaking /regverdiging, Reformasie, genade alleen, geloofalleen


ABSTRACT

In 1539, at the young age of 30, Calvin wrote a letter to Cardinal Jacopo Sadoleto, an eminent scholar and proponent of the Roman Church, in answer to the latters letter earlier that year to Geneva. This answer of Calvin, as requested urgently by the City of Geneva, is very well-known for the way how Calvin refuted Sadoleto's arguments against the Reformation and thus took up the cudgels for the very city that banned him only a year before. This Calvin did by justifying the quintessence of and necessity for the Reformation. Since then, this text has not only been known as one of the most famous defences of the principles of the Reformation of the sixteenth century but even has been described as probably the most powerful and systematic successful apologetic Reformation writing of that age as such. In this article, Calvin's analysis of the core of the Reformation is discussed against the background of his relation to Martin Luther and their appreciation for each other. According to Calvin the "heart" of the Reformation was justification by grace alone. Ultimately it is only a matter of faith in Christ alone. For his explanation of justification by grace and faith alone, Calvin refers consistently to Scripture as the Word of God. In this Christological approach - for which Luther according to a witness expressed his appreciation - Calvin and Luther are very close to each other indeed

Key concepts:Luther, Calvin, Sadoleto, justification, Reformation, grace alone, faith alone


 

 

Dieses Dogma, die Rechtfertigung aus Glauben, ist das Herzstück der Religion".3 (Calvin, im Brief an Kardinal Sadolet, 1539, CStA 1.2,374,20ff.)

 

1. Der französische Luther 4

Jean Calvin, le Luther frangais" (Calvin, der französische Luther") - so lautet ein Artikelhinweis auf der Titelseite des französischen Sprachmagazins écoute" zum Calvinjahr, 2009 (Anon., 2009). Aber stimmt das? Es ist eine Kuriosität und gerade im deutschsprachigen Raum wahrscheinlich nur wenigen bekannt, dass Calvin als junger, unbekannter Mann mal als Lutherien", also als Lutheraner, bezeichnet wurde.

Dass dies gerade im deutschsprachigen Raum ungewöhnlich erscheint, liegt nicht zuletzt unter anderem an Stefan Zweigs berüchtigter Verleumdung Calvins in seinem Buch Castellio gegen Calvin oder ein Gewissen gegen die Gewalt aus dem Jahre 1936 (Zweig, 1985), in dem er mit einer phantasievollen aber leider nicht der Wahrheit entsprechenden Schilderung die Rolle Calvins in Genf ganz irreführend und negativ wiedergab. Mit seiner Darstellung von Vorgängen im 16. Jahrhundert verfälschte Zweig sie und instrumentalisierte die von ihm absichtlich anders dargestellte Geschichte in Genf, um Hitler und den Nationalsozialismus anzugreifen, ohne sich um die historischen Fakten der Genfer Geschichte zu scheren. Dieses Thema wird an anderen Stellen gründlich behandelt (vgl. Selderhuis, 2008b:3; sowie Freudenberg 2008:490-498). Freudenberg schreibt hierzu: Die Wirkung von Zweigs Zerrbild Calvins reicht bis in die Gegenwart, fand gelegentlich Eingang in Schulbücher und beeinflusste bisweilen das Calvinbild populärer Nachschlagewerke". (2008:496.)

Aber zurück zu Calvin selbst. Die Tatsache, dass der junge Calvin in Frankreich nicht nur als Lutherien" bezeichnet wurde - was damals als Schimpfwort galt -, sondern dass er gerade als ein solcher Lutheraner" sogar nur knapp seiner Verhaftung und möglicherweise dem Tod entkam, als er Ende 1533 übereilt aus seiner französischen Heimat fliehen musste, spricht für sich.

So wie Luther die Bezeichnung Lutheraner" abgelehnt hätte, hat Calvin seinerseits die Bezeichnung Calvinist" abgelehnt. Denn für beide Reformatoren ging es nicht um irgendeine neue Lehre", die sie vertraten, sondern um den gleichen Glauben der Alten Kirche, ja des Neuen Testaments, der Heiligen Schrift selbst. Als der 26jährige Calvin nicht zuletzt im Jahre 1536 auf der Frankfurter Buchmesse wegen des Erfolgs seiner Institutio als Apologet der Reformation schlagartig bekannt wurde, trat er dementsprechend nicht für irgendeine Splittergruppe der heranwachsenden reformatorischen Bewegung ein, auch nicht für einen alternativen Zweig einer französischen oder gar regional begrenzten Reformbewegung in Kirche und Staat - im Gegenteil, Calvin trat ein für das reformatorische Anliegen an sich, für die Reformation schlechthin. Ohne Wenn und Aber setzte er sich für die führenden Reformatoren ein, von denen der 26 Jahre ältere Luther, damals doppelt so alt wie sein französischer Nachfolger, selbstverständlich der bei weitem bekannteste und berühmteste war.

Nicht mit Wittenberg oder mit Zürich legte sich der französische Exilant an, als er 1535 die Erstausgabe seiner Institutio in Basel verfasste, sondern mit Rom. Gegenüber Roms Behauptung, dass die reformatorische Lehre neu sei, betonte Calvin gleichsam stellvertretend für die gesamte Reformation, einschließlich Wittenberg, das Gegenteil. Dem französischen König Franz I. schreibt er in seinem Widmungsbrief, der der Institutio vorangestellt ist, die reformatorische doctrina - d.h. das reformatorische Bekenntnis, der reformatorische Glaube - sei nur denjenigen neu, denen auch Christus und sein Evangelium neu seien (vgl. d'Assonville, 2001:77). Wer wisse, dass die Predigt des Paulus (OS III,15,13-15)5 durchaus alt sei, der werde bei den Evangelischen nichts Neues entdecken ... (OS III,15,9-13). Laut Calvin würden die römischen Gegner Gott aufs schwerste beleidigen, dessen Wort es nicht verdiene, der Neuheit beschuldigt zu werden, wenn sie die reformatorische doctrina neu nennen würden.

Am 14. Oktober 1539 ließ Luther dann über den Straßburger Reformator Martin Bucer (1491-1551), mit dem Calvin zu dieser Zeit zusammenarbeitete, Calvin grüßen. Er habe gerade mit Genugtuung die zweite Ausgabe der Institutio Calvins, die gerade noch im Jahre 1539 von Calvin überarbeitet worden war, und dessen Brief an Sadolet gelesen. Sechs Jahre später sollte Crodelius Calvin an diese Wertschätzung Luthers erinnern (CO 12,40).6Auch schätzte Luther Calvins Schrift an Kaiser Karl V. vom Jahre 1543 (CO 6,435-534)7 sehr und urteilte freundlich über die lateinische Übersetzung von Calvins kleinem Traktat zum Abendmahl" (Selderhuis, 2008c:59).8

Dass die Kirchengeschichte manchmal spannender als ein Krimi sein kann, zeigt uns allerdings ein - auch für Calvin - unerwartetes Vorgehen. Der einzige uns bekannte Brief, den Calvin an den Wittenberger Professor schrieb, wurde nämlich nie zugestellt. Den genauen Grund kann man nach so vielen Jahrhunderten natürlich nicht mehr ganz vollziehen, aber anscheinend wagte es Melanchthon, dem als gemeinsamem Freund der beiden der Brief anvertraut wurde, nicht, Luther den Brief zu übergeben. Aus diesem Brief Calvins - der erhalten ist - an den großen deutschen Reformator an dessen Lebensabend gerichtet - geht Calvins großer Respekt vor Luther hervor. Calvin nennt Luther den bedeutendstenHirten und Lehrer der christlichen Kirche, seinen hochgeschätzten Vater (CO 12,7).9 Auch nach Luthers Tod im Jahre 1546 sollte das günstige Urteil Calvins über Luthers historische Bedeutung nicht ab-, sondern eher noch zunehmen. Dies nimmt nicht weg, dass es natürlich auch Unterschiede zwischen beiden gab, sowohl persönlicher als auch theologischer Art. Dabei ist zu bemerken, dass die Person Calvins unter seinen kirchlichen Erben, den Reformierten, einen bescheidenen Platz hat; er stellt kein vergleichbares ,Heiligenbild' dar, wie Luther innerhalb der lutherischen Theologie. Andererseits wurde Calvins Theologie für die reformierte Tradition normativer als Luthers Lehre für die lutherische Tradition." (Selderhuis, 2008b:5.)

Vor dem oben genannten Hintergrund erschien vor 38 Jahren, im Jahre 1982, in den Niederlanden ein Band mit Blick auf 1983. Das Jahr 1983, genau fünfhundert Jahre nach der Geburt Martin Luthers, stand weltweit im Zeichen der Reformation und besonders Luthers. In diesem Band zum Lutherjahr lesen wir, dass es ... für den reformierten Protestantismus alle Gründe gibt, zu gedenken, was Luther bedeutete, zuerst für die Kirche und die Christenheit, aber auch für unsere Kultur und Gesellschaft" (Graafland et al., 1982:5). Dies ist bemerkenswert, denn einem Reformationsforscher fällt eines auf: In Deutschland wird häufig den Eindruck vermittelt, dass die Gegensätze - manchmal auch Scheingegensätze -zwischen Luther und Calvin bzw. zwischen Nachfolgern Luthers und Nachfolgern Calvins auf Kosten ihrer Gemeinsamkeiten hervorgehoben oder sogar überbetont werden. Im Ausland treten aber gerade jene Gegensätze zurück und oft werden eher Gemeinsamkeiten zwischen den beiden wichtigen Reformatoren unterstrichen. Die Rede ist eher von komplementären oder sich ergänzenden Rollen als von Polen, die einander gegenüberstehen. Darüber hinaus bemerkte der bekannte Calvinforscher Willem van't Spijker, der übrigens auch eine vielbeachtete Lutherbiographie geschrieben hat (Van't Spijker, 1983) und vor allem zuerst als Bucerforscher bekannt geworden ist, zum Verhältnis zwischen Luther und Calvin: "More than once in the past this theme has intrigued investigators and quite often Calvin has been regarded as a faithful pupil of Luther" (Van't Spijker, 1986:83).

Aber seien wir mal, etwa fünfhundert Jahre nach dem berühmten Thesenanschlag, ehrlich. Wie gerne hätten wir uns nicht eine Begegnung zwischen Luther und Calvin gewünscht? War der eine doch maßgeblich für die Entwicklung der deutschen Sprache, vor allem der Schriftsprache, verantwortlich, der andere für das Französische, das bis dahin noch nie auf einem solchen wissenschaftlichen Niveau benutzt worden war. Ihre unterschiedlichen Rollen in der Durchsetzung, Festigung und Verbreitung der Reformation stehen außer Zweifel. Aber außer einem oder mehreren Treffen würden viele sich natürlich einen ausführlichen Briefwechsel zwischen den beiden wünschen, gerade zu bestimmten Themen und Fragen, mit denen heute gerungen wird. Wie sehr manche sich danach sehnen, zeigt eine deutschsprachige Neuerscheinung eines Buches mit erfundenen Briefen zwischen dem Wittenberger und dem Genfer Theologen (Rödding, 2009).

Bei einem Vergleich der Ansätze und des Hauptanliegens der beiden Theologen stellt sich heraus, dass unterschiedliche Akzente nicht selten eher auf andersartigen Hintergründen - Luther im Osten, Calvin im Westen usw. (vgl. Weber, 1962:258)10 - und damit zusammenhängenden, unterschiedlichen Fragestellungen beruhen als auf nicht miteinander zu vereinbarenden Auffassungen in den Hauptpunkten des reformatorischen Ansatzes. Man kann aufgrund einer Analyse der Geschichte zu dem Schluss kommen, dass vielmehr manche Schüler bzw. Nachfolger beider Reformatoren sich theologisch auseinandergelebt haben, als dass die theologischen Unterschiede zwischen beiden von gegensätzlicher, unüberbrückbarer Natur gewesen wären.

Es verwundert nicht, dass besonders zum Reformationsjubiläum im Laufe der letzten Jahre und Jahrzehnte viele zusätzliche Studien zu diesem Thema erschienen sind. Exemplarisch ist auf der einen Seite eine Sammlung von Artikeln von Heiko A. Oberman (Oberman, 2003). Auf der anderen Seite steht Thomas Kaufmann (2008:149-150), der zwar weniger tief auf Calvin eingeht, aber dafür umso mehr besonders die (ältere) deutsche Sekundärliteratur beachtet (vgl. dazu auch Balke, 1982; Van't Spijker, 1983 sowie Kaufmann, 2016).11 Wilhelm Neusers umfassende Monografie zum jungen Calvin stellt im letzten Jahrzehnt eine wichtige Etappe zum Thema Luther und Calvin, gerade in Calvins Frühzeit dar (Neuser, 2009:86ff). Günter Frank wiederum behandelt einen Aspekt, bei dem er nicht nur Luther und Calvin vergleicht, sondern auch Melanchthon heranzieht (Frank, 2012). Auch Christian Lehmann behandelt das Verhältnis der beiden Reformatoren im Blick auf das Lutherjahr 2017. Er geht auf wichtige theologische Themen ein und stellt Berührungspunkte und Gemeinsamkeiten bzw. Unterschiede dar, allerdings beschränkt, was den Umfang angeht, was nachvollziehbar ist, da es sich bei seinem Beitrag um einen Vortrag handelt (Lehmann, 2016). Was aktuelle Veröffentlichungen angeht, ist die Studie von Christian Link vom Jahre 2016, Calvin. Reformator Westeuropas, die in der Reihe Studienhefte zur Reformationsgeschichte und zu Martin Luther" beim Luther-Verlag erschienen ist, am ausführlichsten (Link, 2016). Auf eine ausgewogene Art behandelt Link Calvin historisch und theologisch, wobei dem Verhältnis zu Luther, historisch wie theologisch, nicht zuletzt wegen des Anliegens der Reihe, besondere Aufmerksamkeit zukommt (Beese et al. 2016:9).

Obgleich die oben angeführte Einleitung relativ umfangreich ist, ist das Ziel dieses Beitrages ein anderes. Der Fokus ist nicht, ähnliche oder die erwähnten Studien zu wiederholen bzw. alte Fragestellungen hinsichtlich theologischer bzw. historischer Vergleiche zwischen Luther und Calvin neu zu bearbeiten, sondern lediglich, einen zentralen Aspekt des gemeinsamen reformatorischen Ansatzes zu beleuchten, nämlich die Rechtfertigungslehre, und zwar wie Calvin sie in seinem berühmten Schreiben an Kardinal Sadolet erläutert und begründet.

 

2. Die Verteidigung der Reformation

Im Jahre 1924 erschien in München ein kleines, unscheinbares Büchlein. Vielleicht wurde es in den turbulenten 20er Jahren in Deutschland nicht sonderlich zur Kenntnis genommen; trotzdem war es durchaus bedeutender, als man vermuten könnte. Denn zusammen mit drei anderen berühmten Schriften der Reformationszeit12 enthielt diese unscheinbare Publikation (Simon, Hg., 1924) auch die deutsche Übersetzung einer apologetischen (Verteidigungs-)Schrift, die im 16. Jahrhundert große Wellen geschlagen hatte. Es handelt sich um Calvins Antwort an den römisch-katholischen Kardinal Sadolet aus dem Jahre 1539.

Bekanntlich vollendete Calvin in Straßburg, gerade einmal 30jährig, am 1. September 1539 diese berühmte Antwort, in der er freilich Genf, aber vor allem die Integrität der gesamten Reformation verteidigte - eine Apologie der Reformation, die ohne Vergleich in der an großen Texten nicht gerade armen theologischen Literatur der Zeit" steht, ... ein rhetorisches Meisterwerk" (Link in CStA 1.2,337). Calvin trat für den gesamten reformatorischen Ansatz ein. Daher der überaus treffende Titel der späteren deutschen Übersetzung dieser Schrift aus dem Jahre 1954: Mußte Reformation sein?" (Vgl. Gloede, 2009.)

Ein Glaubensflüchtling wurde also zum Anwalt der gesamten Reformation. Ein französischer Vertriebener verteidigte das Anliegen Luthers, der aus Wittenberg hervorgegangenen ebenso wie der oberdeutschen einschließlich der schweizerischen Reformation, ja das Anliegen der Reformation schlechthin. Dieser Verteidigungsschrift der Reformation aus der Feder Calvins kommt eine Schlüsselstelle in der Reformationsgeschichte" zu (Gloede, 2009:3). Sogar in der römisch-katholischen Geschichtsschreibung wird sie als eine der glänzendsten Streitschriften" Calvins eingeschätzt, die je aus seiner Feder geflossen" seien (Kampfschulte, 1869:354). Diese Schrift war es, welche auch Luthers Herz für den welschen Rivalen erwärmte." Damals konnte Melanchthon nach Straßburg melden, dass Calvin" gerade in Wittenberg hoch in Gnaden stehe" (Kampfschulte, 1869:355). Kampschulte urteilt: ... hatte Sadolet die dogmatischen Differenzen kaum oberflächlich berührt, so stellt Calvin diese in den Vordergrund und entwickelt in der Verteidigung des neuen Glaubenssystems eine Kraft der Rede, eine Gewandtheit der Beweisführung und eine Fülle der Gedanken, welche die rhetorischen, sentimentalen, oft auch inhaltsarmen Phrasen des Gegners um so mehr in ihrer Schwäche zeigen." (Kampfschulte, 1869:355.)

Aber wie kam es dazu, dass Calvin sich zu dieser Schrift genötigt sah? Im Verlauf der Kirchengeschichte sind kirchenpolitische und persönliche Ambitionen immer wieder im theologischen Mäntelchen dahergekommen. So auch 1539, als der Kurienkardinal und Bischof von Carpentras, Sadolet, beauftragt wurde, einen Brief an den Rat und die Bürger der Stadt Genf zu schreiben. Man wollte von Seiten Roms unbedingt verlorenes Terrain zurückgewinnen (Link in CStA 1.2,338). Die alte Religion" sollte in Genf wieder etabliert werden (Link in CStA 1.2,338). Schon 1518 war dieser Kardinal Jacopo Sadoleto (1477-1547) als wichtigster Korrespondenzpartner der päpstlichen Diplomaten in Deutschland" am Prozess gegen Luther beteiligt gewesen (Link in CStA 1.2,339). Im Rahmen verschiedener Maßnahmen zur Eindämmung der Reformation (Opitz, 2009:69) stellte sein Brief, der infolge einer von Papst Paul III. einberufenen bischöflichen Konferenz in Lyon geschrieben wurde, ein wichtiges Glied in der Kette jener Maßnahmen dar.

Am 26. März 1539 war es soweit (CO 21,245). Sadolets Schreiben - ein Meisterstück geschickter Diplomatie" (Gaberel in Link, CStA 1.2,339) - wurde dem Rat der Stadt Genf überreicht. Aber der Genfer Rat wusste nichts damit anzufangen. Die Verlegenheit war groß, die Stadt völlig überfordert. Nicht nur war der Brief in elegantem Rhetorikerlatein" (Opitz, 2009:69) verfasst - was bestimmte Ansprüche an die Fähigkeiten des Rates darstellte, während bekanntlich der beste Latinist Genfs und einer der besten seiner Zeit, Calvin, im Jahr zuvor der Stadt verwiesen worden war - sondern auch der Inhalt war dermaßen eloquent versöhnlich-werbend" (Opitz, 2009:69) und theologisch gewandt, dass es niemand auf Anhieb wagte, darauf einzugehen. Das Dilemma für die erst seit 1536 offiziell reformatorische Stadt war offensichtlich. Ein Keil sollte zwischen die unterschiedlichen Unterstützer der Reformation eingetrieben werden. Teile und herrsche" lautete die Devise Roms. Da Sadolets Schreiben ebenso eindringlich wie verständlich formuliert war, dürften viele diesem Lockruf damals wie heute zunächst willig Gehör geschenkt haben." (Gloede, 2009:4.)

Sehr geschickt verstand es Sadolet, bei dem Rat und den Bürgern Genfs die Reformation in Frage zu stellen. Sein Ziel war klar: Genf sollte wieder in den Schoß Roms zurückkehren. Dazu lud sein Schreiben ein. Ausgerechnet das Herzstück der Religion" (CStA 1.2,374,25; OS I,469), das reformatorische sola fide, d.h. die Rechtfertigung durch den Glauben allein, wurde von Sadolet verzerrt präsentiert. Den reformatorischen Ansatz griff er frontal an, indem er die Schriftlehre und ihren Bibelbezug umdeutete. Nach Sadolet reiche Glaube allein nicht (OS I,446,12-18). Ja, die Lehre von der Rechtfertigung ,allein aus Glauben' sei nicht nur geeignet, alle Sittlichkeit zu untergraben und, wie die Erfahrung zeigt, Aufruhr zu stiften, sie sei sogar bewußt zu diesem Zwecke konzipiert worden." (Vgl. Link in CStA 1.2,341 und besonders OS I,452,11ff.)

Schließlich griff die Stadt Bern ein. Bern hatte durchaus Interesse - theologisch wie auch politisch - an einer gründlichen Widerlegung Sadolets. Immerhin war Bern nicht nur eine der ersten eidgenössischen Städte, die die Reformation durchgeführt hatten, sondern auch eine Art Schutzmacht Genfs. Und obwohl die Stadt nicht unbedingt für ihre Liebe gegenüber Calvin bekannt war, entschied man, aus begründetem Zweifel an der Fähigkeit der Genfer Pastoren" (vgl. Link in CStA 1.2,341),13 Calvin zu überreden, den Brief Sadolets zu beantworten. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt hielt sich der aus Genf vertriebene Calvin in Straßburg auf.

Im August 1539 erhielt Calvin die Bitte Berns. Zuerst zögernd, entschied sich Calvin letztendlich, trotz persönlicher Gefühle der Anfrage nachzukommen. Auch von Freunden wurde er dazu gedrängt (vgl. d'Assonville sr., 1988). Innerhalb von nur sechs Tagen verfasste er seine fundierte, aber auch knappe und differenziert-artikulierte Antwort (Responsio"), für die er außergewöhnliche Anerkennung und Achtung erlangen sollte.

Calvins Antwort an Sadolet ist ein Musterbeispiel dafür, wie völlig gesamtprotestantisch Calvin zeitlebens gedacht und gehandelt hat" (Gloede, 2009:4).14 Mehrere theologisch wichtige und für die Kirche höchst bedeutsame Themen werden in dem Brief angesprochen. Obwohl sich Calvin in seiner Erwiderung auf nahezu alle Einwände und Unterstellungen Sadolets" einlässt (Link in CStA 1.2,342), spitzt er das Ganze auf einen einzigen Punkt zu. In den Worten Gloedes: Mußte Reformation sein?" (2009:4) Oder, wie Link den springenden Punkt charakterisiert: Warum brauchen wir eine Erneuerung der Kirche?" (Link in CStA 1.2,342.) Mit Berufung auf die Apostelbriefe sowie die Propheten gilt für Calvin, dass sie, die Apostel und die Propheten, dem Wort immer den ersten Platz" einräumten (CStA 1.2,366,12f; OS I,465).15

 

3. Wort und Geist: Grundlage für die Reformation

Gerade da, wo vom Wort Gottes die Rede ist, legt Calvin bezüglich der Irrlehre seinen Finger direkt in die Wunde. Wie ein erfahrener Facharzt liefert er in seiner Antwort an Sadolet eine sorgfältige Diagnose, mit der er den Irrtum präzise identifiziert. Für die folgenden Jahrhunderte und über die theologische Problematik des Reformationszeitalters hinaus sollte diese Diagnose gleichsam als Maßstab für alles theologische Denken, für die Theologie an sich, Geltung haben. Zuerst beruft er sich auf einen wichtigen Kirchenvater der Alten Kirche, um klarzustellen, wie der Heilige Geist sich an sein Wort, die Schrift, gebunden hat: Recht hat ... Chrysostomos mit seiner Mahnung, all die abzuweisen, die uns unter dem Vorwand des Geistes von der einfachen Verkündigung des Evangeliums abbringen wollen. Denn der Geist ist uns nicht zur Offenbarung neuer Unterweisung (doctrina) verheißen, sondern um die Wahrheit des Evangeliums den Herzen der Menschen einzuprägen" (CStA 1.2,366,16-20; OS I,465).16

Daraufhin fährt Calvin fort, indem er sich auf die aktuelle Situation seiner Zeit, besonders auf die Gegner der Reformation und ihren gemeinsamen falschen Ansatz bezieht: Wie notw endig diese Mahnung gewesen ist, erfahren wir in der gegenwärtigen Lage. Von zwei Parteien werden wir bekämpft, die, so sieht es aus, voneinander so verschieden sind, wie nur möglich. Denn was hat die des Papstes - äußerlich gesehen - mit der der Wiedertäufer gemeinsam? Und doch ... führen beide die gleiche Hauptwaffe, mit der sie uns mürbe machen. Indem sie nämlich bis zum Überdruß den Geist im Munde führen, haben sie kein anderes Ziel, als Gottes Wort zu unterdrücken und zu Grabe zu tragen und stattdessen für ihre eigenen Lügengebilde Platz zu schaffen. Und Ihr, Sadolet, müßt nun gleich beim ersten Ansturm das Schandmal büßen, das Ihr dem Heiligen Geist durch die Trennung vom Wort eingebrannt habt ..." (CStA 1.2,366,20-29; OS I,465.)17

Es handelt sich also um den Vorrang des Wortes in seinem Verhältnis zum Heiligen Geist. Allerdings ist dieser Ansatz der Reformation, der heute als das sola Scriptura bekannt ist, nicht bloß eine Frage der Autorität des Wortes Gottes, sondern betrifft auch die Pneumatologie im tiefsten Sinne. Ein Sich-Berufen auf den Heiligen Geist ohne die Schrift sei ein Abweichen vom Evangelium. Laut Calvin begehen beide Gegner der Reformation, Rom und die Wiedertäufer, den gleichen Fehler: Sie trennen das Wort vom Heiligen Geist. Nach Ansicht Roms habe die Kirche, also Rom, zu entscheiden, was der Geist wolle oder nicht, statt alles am Wort zu messen. Die Wiedertäufer wiederum meinten, im Menschen, also subjektiv, zu fühlen, zu hören, zu wissen, was der Geist wolle, statt alles am Wort selbst zu prüfen. In beiden Fällen werde das Wort nicht nur vernachlässigt oder abgewertet, sondern unterdrückt und zu Grabe getragen.

Die Auseinandersetzung zwischen Sadolet, dem formidablen Diplomaten Roms, und Calvin, dem noch jungen Flüchtlingspfarrer, hatte nicht nur lokalpolitische Bedeutung. Calvins Plädoyer für die Integrität und die Notwendigkeit der gesamten Reformation hatte ungeahnte Wirkung, nicht nur im protestantischen Bereich, sondern über die Grenzen der Reformation hinaus. Seine Responsio sollte für die Kirchengeschichte der folgenden Jahrhunderte prägend sein. Bis heute gilt sie zu Recht als eine der brillantesten Verteidigungsschriften der Reformation überhaupt." (Strohm, 2009:57.)

Mit diesem Schreiben bekannte sich Calvin zum Anliegen der Reformation im Ganzen, um der Heiligen Schrift als Wort Gottes den absoluten Vorrang zuzuerkennen. Es geht um das reformatorische Prinzip. Das heißt, wenn es um die Frage der Wahrheit bzw. des Wahrheitsanspruches geht, spricht Christus immer das letzte Wort. Das Wort Christi, die Heilige Schrift, ist die oberste Autorität - dazu bekannten sich die Reformatoren in ihrem Werk, in ihrer Verkündigung, in ihrer Theologie und in ihren reformatorischen Bekenntnissen.

 

4. Sola fide" - Die Rechtfertigungslehre

Im Gegensatz zur anspruchsvollen Theologie der Reformation sei die römische Theologie, sprich die Theologie Sadolets und seiner Kollegen, eine allzu gemütliche Theologie", wie Calvin in seinem Brief an den Kardinal sagt. Der Grund dafür sei, dass fast alle Vertreter Roms niemals durch die Schule ernsthafter Gewissenskämpfe gegangen sind" (CStA 1.2,399,21-23; OS I,478).18

Auf diesem Hintergrund präsentiert Calvin in jenem Schreiben die Drei- bzw. Vierteilung der wahren Kirche: Drei Stücke sind es, die die Unversehrtheit der Kirche ausmachen und worauf sie sich vornehmlich stützt: Bekenntnis (doctrina), Kirchenordnung (disciplina) und Sakramente. An vierter Stelle kommen noch die äußeren Formen hinzu, die das Volk zu gottesdienstlichen Handlungen anleiten." (CStA 1.2,370,10-12; OS I,467.)19 Im Rahmen dieser Unterscheidung erläutert Calvin dann zuerst die doctrina (das Bekenntnis - CStA 1.2,372,10ff; OS I,467ff), bevor er zu den Sakramenten" (CStA 1.2,382,23ff; OS I,472ff)20 und zur Ordnung" übergeht (CStA 1.2,390,22ff; OS I,474ff).

Beim ersten Stück (doctrina) werden von Calvin wiederum drei zentrale reformatorische Dogmen hinsichtlich ihrer jeweiligen Unterschiede zur Lehre Roms dargestellt: (1) Rechtfertigung aus Glauben" (CStA 1.2,374,18-378,20; OS I,469-470), (2) Glauben und Werke" (CStA 1.2,378,21-380,17; OS I,470f.)21 und (3) Erwählung aus Gnade" (CStA 1.2,380,18-382,21; OS I,471f.).

Obwohl seine Wahl, als erstes die Rechtfertigungslehre zu behandeln, von Calvin selbst an Sadolets Schreiben verknüpft wird (CStA 1.2,374,20f.; OS I,469),22 hat diese Reihenfolge auch programmatische Bedeutung. Er unterstreicht nämlich dadurch, dass er in seiner systematischen Behandlung der doctrina dem Lehrstück Rechtfertigungslehre" in seiner Antwort an Sadolet Vorrang beimisst. Er hält die Rechtfertigung an sich für wichtig, denn ... darüber führen wir ja auch den ersten und härtesten Streit mit Euch." (CStA 1.2,374,21f.; OS I,469.)23

Bekanntlich war das sola fide"24 die prägnante Antwort der Reformation auf eine zentrale Frage des 16. Jahrhunderts, die Frage nach der Rechtfertigung. In dieser Hinsicht waren sich Luther und Calvin einig. Die Rechtfertigungslehre war für Calvins Theologie nicht weniger entscheidend als für Martin Luthers" (Pitkin, 2009:284-295,290). Schließlich prägte sie nicht nur die Darstellung der anderen theologischen Themen in der Institutio, sondern auch seine exegetischen und apologetischen Werke, zum Beispiel seinen Kommentar zum Römerbrief (1540) und seine Antwort an Sadolet (1539).

In seinem Brief an Genf schrieb Sadolet zur Rechtfertigungslehre: Wir erlangen dies Gut unserer ... Seligkeit allein durch den Glauben an Gott und Jesus Christus. Wenn ich sage ,allein durch Glaube', dann verstehe ich es nicht so wie diese Erfinder von Neuerungen es tun, dass dabei die Liebe und alle übrigen Christenpflichten ausgeschlossen wären ..." (CO 5,374; OS I,446.)25

Als Antwort darauf reagiert Calvin dann unmissverständlich und ganz klar: Die Rechtfertigungslehre ist die summa der Religion." (CStA 1.2,374,25; OS I,469.)26 Ähnlich wie bei Luther geht es für Calvin dementsprechend um den Glauben allein als entscheidende Hauptsache der Religion".

Zum Beginn seiner Erläuterung und Begründung der reformatorischen Rechtfertigungslehre erwähnt Calvin den Katechismus,27 ... den ich selbst für die Genfer zusammengestellt habe, während ich noch bei ihnen als Pastor tätig war." (CStA 1.2,376,3f.; OS I,469.) Drei Worte würden ... genügen", sagt Calvin, um Euch, besiegt, verstummen zu lassen. Gleichwohl will ich Euch hier in Kürze darlegen", wie wir über die Rechtfertigungslehre reden (CStA 1.2,376,5f.; OS I,469). 28

In seiner Darstellung der reformatorischen Rechtfertigungslehre unterscheidet Calvin zwischen zwei Hauptpunkten: (1) Die Selbsterkenntnis des Menschen (CStA 1.2,376,7ff.; OS I,469) und (2) die Barmherzigkeit Gottes (CStA 1.2,376,13ff.; OS I,469). Der Mensch solle mit seiner Selbsterkenntnis den Anfang machen, führt Calvin aus, und das nicht leichtfertig oder oberflächlich, vielmehr soll er sich mit seinem Gewissen vor Gottes Richterstuhl stellen." (CStA 1.2,376,7f.; OS I,469.)29 Und wenn er dann vom Zustand seiner Ungerechtigkeit sattsam überführt ist, soll er zugleich auch die Strenge des Urteilspruchs bedenken, der über alle Sünder ergeht. So wirft er sich, durch sein Elend aus seiner Fassung gebracht und zu Boden geschlagen, vor Gott und demütigt sich: Er läßt alles Selbstvertrauen fahren und seufzt, als wäre er dem äußersten Verderben preisgegeben." (CStA 1.2, 376,8-12; OS I,469.)30 Daraufhin erwähnt er die Barmherzigkeit Gottes als einzigen Ankergrund seines Heils. Diese Barmherzigkeit wird uns in Christus dargeboten". In ihm sei alles erfüllt, was zu unserem Heil gehört". (CStA 1.2, 376,12-15; OS I,469.)31

Calvins Beschreibung der Rechtfertigung, in der das sola fide in seiner Verbindung mit dem sola gratia dargestellt wird, ist in seiner Klarheit, Einfachheit und Dichte besonders deutlich und kann in seiner Verständlichkeit kaum überboten werden: Weil also alle Sterblichen vor Gott als Sünder verloren sind, nennen wir Christus unsere einzige Gerechtigkeit: Er hat mit seinem Gehorsam unsere Übertretungen getilgt, mit seinem Opfer Gottes Zorn besänftigt, mit seinem Blut unsere Flecken abgewaschen, durch sein Kreuz unseren Fluch aufgehoben, mit seinem Tod für uns alles beglichen. Auf diese Weise also, lehren wir, wird in Christus der Mensch mit Gott, dem Vater versöhnt: nicht durch irgendein Verdienst, nicht durch die Würdigkeit seiner Werke, sondern allein durch unverdiente Gnade.32 Weil wir aber im Glauben Christus umfassen und gleichsam in Gemeinschaft mit ihm eintreten, nennen wir diesen Glauben33 nach der Weise der Schrift Glaubensgerechtigkeit (fidei iustitiam)."34(CStA 1.2, 376,15-23; OS 1,469.)

Hinsichtlich Sadolets Vorwurf, dass die Reformatoren für die Werke keinen Raum lassen würden, betont Calvin nochmal: Wenn es um die Rechtfertigung des Menschen geht, bestreiten wir ihnen auch nur ein Haar breit Geltung." (CStA 1.2, 376,25-378,1; OS I,469.)35Dass die Schrift überall unüberhörbar davon redet, dass alle verloren seien, wird immer wieder von Calvin hervorgehoben (CStA 1.2,378,1f.; OS I,469).36 Keine Hoffnung bleibt uns übrig als allein Gottes Güte, die uns die Sünde vergibt und Gerechtigkeit zuspricht: so lehrt uns dieselbe Schrift." (CStA 1.2,378,2-4; OS I,469f.)37 In dieser Besprechung der reformatorischen Rechtfertigungslehre wendet Calvin an, was er früher zum Verhältnis zwischen dem Heiligen Geist und dem Wort Gottes ausgesprochen hat (CStA 1.2,366,1629; OS I,465).38 Die Autorität, mit der er Sadolet jedes Mal widerlegt, ist die Heilige Schrift. Seine ganze Darbietung der reformatorischen Rechtfertigungslehre wird mit der Schrift begründet. Die Gerechtigkeit bezieht es nämlich nicht auf die eigene Gerechtigkeit des Menschen, sondern auf Gottes Güte, die den Sünder gegen sein Verdienst annimmt und ihm Gerechtigkeit verschafft, und zwar dadurch, dass sie ihm seine Ungerechtigkeit nicht anrechnet. Darin, sage ich, besteht unsere Gerechtigkeit, wie sie Paulus beschreibt, dass Gott uns mit sich selbst in Christus versöhnt hat." (CStA 1.2,378,9-12; OS I,470.)39

Die Frage, wie wir dieser Gerechtigkeit teilhaftig werden, wird daraufhin von Calvin angesprochen: Dass wir durch den Glauben dieses Gutes teilhaftig werden, zeigt [Paulus] schließlich, indem er feststellt, dass der Dienst dieser Versöhnung im Evangelium beschlossen liegt." (CStA 1.2,378,13-15; OS I,470.) Letztendlich handelt es sich um die Verknüpfung Verheißung und Glaube: Paulus verbindet den Begriff Glaube, sooft er ihm das Vermögen unserer Rechtfertigung zuschreibt, alsbald mit der unverdienten Verheißung göttlicher Zuwendung, hält ihn aber von jeder Beziehung auf die Werke fern." (CStA 1.2,378,16-20; OS I,470.) Seine Erläuterung sowie Begründung der evangelischen Rechtfertigungslehre bringt Calvin schließlich zu dem Schluss, indem er sich auf Paulus, Röm 11,6,40 bezieht: ... si fide, ergo non operibus. Rursum si operibus: ergo non fide." (CStA 1.2,378,19-20; OS I,470.)41

Wie das sola fide in seiner Verknüpfung mit dem sola gratia dann genau mit der Frage der guten Werke zusammenhängt, behandelt Calvin im nächsten Abschnitt noch eindringender. Er verbietet sich den Vorwurf Sadolets, dass man unter dem Vorwand Christi Gnade gute Werke ..." verwerfen würde (CStA 1.2,378,21f.; OS I,470).42 Dafür beruft Calvin sich - mit Hinweis auf Sadolets Vorwurf (OS 1,446) - direkt auf Titus 2,1114, besonders auf Vers 14:43 Wenn man also genau verstehen will, wie unzertrennlich Glaube und Werke zusammengehören, muß man auf Christus sehen, der uns, wie der Apostel lehrt,44 zur Gerechtigkeit und Heiligung gegeben ist" (CStA 1.2,380,2-4; OS I,470).45Calvins christologischer Ansatz sticht sehr eindeutig in seiner Schlussfolgerung hervor. Wo immer sich also diese Glaubensgerechtigkeit findet, die wir als ein Geschenk der Gnade verkündigen, dort ist auch Christus. Wo aber Christus ist, da ist der Geist der Heiligung, der die Herzen zu neuem Leben umschafft." (CStA 1.2,380,4-7; OS I,470.)46

Noch einmal geht Calvin auf Sadolets Argumente und dessen angeführte Schriftstellen gegen die reformatorische Rechtfertigungslehre ein, besonders auf die Behauptung, die evangelische Lehre lasse fleischlichen Begierden die Zügel schießen" (CStA 1.2,380,14-15; OS I,471)47 und kommt, nach deren Widerlegung und bevor er zum Thema Erwählung aus Gnade hinübergeht, zu dem Schluss: