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In die Skriflig

On-line version ISSN 2305-0853
Print version ISSN 1018-6441

In Skriflig (Online) vol.43 n.2 Cape Town Jan. 2009

 

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

Reason's dead end in David Faure: Why the Cape's earliest liberal minister embraced spiritualism

 

Die doodloopstraat van die rede by David Faure: Waarom die eerste liberale predikant wat aan die Kaap gebore is sy toevlug tot spiritisme geneem het

 

 

B.A. Zuiddam

School for Biblical Studies & Ancient Languages, Potchefstroom Campus. North-West University. Potchefstroom. E-mail: Benno.Zuiddam@nwu.ac.za

 

 


ABSTRACT

This article deals with nineteenth-century liberal thought in the Cape Colony. It argues that both orthodox rationalism and liberal reason failed to provide the liberal minister the Rev. D. Faure with a satisfactory source and standard for theological thinking. As a basis for this conclusion serves the correspondence between Faure, the first liberal minister who was born in the Cape, and the Rev. Peter Huet. The latter initially was an evangelical preacher and poet. Towards the end of their respective ministries, however, both Faure and Huet evidence high hopes regarding communications with the spirits of deceased. This article concludes that although Faure tried his best to base his theological thinking on human reason only, he arrived at a dead end and revelation was desperately needed. His theological framework collapsing, Faure looked to spiritualism for answers. The collapse of his theological thinking reflects unpromisingly on the present New Reformation (Nuwe Hervorming) movement in South Africa.


OPSOMMING

Hierdie artikel het die negentiende-eeuse liberale denke aan die Kaap as onderwerp. Dit toon aan dat ortodokse rasionalisme en liberale denke nie daarin kon slaag om die liberale predikant, David Faure, te voorsien van 'n bevredigende basis en standaard vir teologiese denke nie. Die briefwisseling tussen Faure, die eerste liberale predikant, gebore in die Kaap, en die gewese evangeliese prediker en digter, ds. Peter Huet, dien as basis vir hierdie gevolgtrekking. Albei predikante het teen die einde van hulle bediening hoë verwagtings van kommunikasie met die geeste van afgestorwenes gekoester. Hierdie artikel toon aan dat alhoewel Faure sy bes probeer het om sy teologiese denke op die menslike rede alleen te baseer, hy in 'n doodloopstraat beland en desperaat op soek was na 'n openbaring. Toe sy teologiese raamwerk gedreig het om ineen te stort, het hy sy hoop op spiritisme gevestig vir antwoorde. Die ineenstorting van sy teologiese denke reflekteer ongunstig op die toekoms van die huidige Nuwe Hervorming-beweging in Suid-Afrika.


 

 

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