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In die Skriflig

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

In Skriflig (Online) vol.46 n.1 Cape Town Aug. 2012

 

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

An introduction to the theological politico-ethical thinking of Koos Vorster

 

'n Inleiding tot die teologiese, politieke en etiese denke van Koos Vorster

 

 

Jan H. van Wyk; Nico Vorster

School for Ecclesiastical. Sciences, North-West, University, South Africa

Correspondence

 

 


ABSTRACT

Koos Vorster had a productive career as theologian and published on a wide variety of subjects. However, he will especially be remembered for his contribution to political and social ethics. This article discussed his theological politico-ethical thinking. Firstly, this article examined his epistemology, with special reference to his revelational-historical approach, his hermeneutics, preference of deontological ethics and his renouncement of ethical absolutism, which characterises fundamentalist approaches to ethics. Secondly, it examined his views on Apartheid and the 'struggle' in the 1970s and 1980s. Vorster renounced Apartheid and pleaded for non-violent change brought about by an evangelical change of hearts and attitude that had to be accompanied with real efforts to address poverty and unjust structures. Finally, the article discussed his views on human dignity, human rights and relations between the state and religion, as well as his views on society and economics.


OPSOMMING

Koos Vorster het 'n besonderse produktiewe en vrugbare akademiese loopbaan gehad en oor 'n verskeidenheid van onderwerpe gepubliseer. Hy sal egter veral onthou word vir sy bydrae tot politieke en sosiale etiek. Hierdie artikel ondersoek die teologies-polities etiese denke van Koos Vorster. Die eerste deel bespreek sy epistemologiese uitgangspunte, waaronder sy omvattende openbarings-historiese benadering, sy hermeneutiek, voorliefde vir 'n deontologiese etiek, en sy afwysing van etiese absolutisme soos veral vergestalt in fundamentalistiese benaderings tot die etiek. Die tweede deel bespreek sy houding teenoor Apartheid en die 'struggle' in die 1970s en 1980s. Vorster het die vergrype van Apartheid geïdentifiseer en aangespreek, maar terselfdertyd geweldadige verset verwerp, en 'n evangeliese verandering van gesindhede bepleit wat gepaard gaan met die opheffing van onderdrukte gemeenskappe en ontbinding van onregverdige strukture. Die laaste deel van die artikel bespreek Vorster se sienings oor menswaardigheid, menseregte, die verhouding tussen kerk en godsdiens, asook sy siening oor die samelewing en die ekonomie.


 

 

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References

Alberts, L. & Chikane, F. (eds.), 1991, The road to Rustenburg: The church looking forward to a new South Africa, Struik, Cape Town.         [ Links ]

Union of South Africa, 1950a, Population Registration Act (Act No. 30 of 1950), Government Printers, Pretoria.         [ Links ]

Union of South Africa, 1950b, Group Areas Act (Act No. 41 of 1950), Government Printers, Pretoria.         [ Links ]

Vorster, J.M., 1977, 'Kerk en die kleurvraagstuk vandag', DPhil thesis, Department of Philosophy, Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education, Vorster, J.M., 1981a, Die kruis of die vuis? Kerk en rewolusie in Suid-Afrika, Van Wyk, Pretoria.         [ Links ]

Vorster, J.M., 1981b, Het die kerk nog betekenis?, NG Kerkboekhandel, Pretoria.         [ Links ]

Vorster, J.M., 1984, 'Die neo-Marxistiese politieke teologie in Suid-Afrika, 'n Gereformeerd-apologetiese studie', ThD thesis, Department of Theology, Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education.         [ Links ]

Vorster, J.M., 1985a, 'Kerk en politiek' in J.H. van Wyk & J.M. Vorster (eds.), Altyd reformeer, Gesprekke oor politiek en godsdiens, pp. 100-119, Boekhandel De Jong, Braamfontein.         [ Links ]

Vorster, J.M., 1985b, 'Die Christen in gesprek met die toekoms van Suid-Afrika', in J.H. van Wyk & J.M. Vorster (eds.), Altyd reformeer, Gesprekke oor politiek en godsdiens, pp. 180-183, Boekhandel De Jong, Braamfontein.         [ Links ]

Vorster, J.M., 1990, 'Ons gemeenskaplike roeping as kerke in Suid-Afrika vandag, in H. Du Toit & P. Kruger (eds.), Geroep tot eenheid, pp. 74-83, NG Kerkboekhandel, Halfway House.         [ Links ]

Vorster, J.M., 1991, 'Understanding the South African reality', in L. Alberts & F. Chikane (eds.), The road to Rustenburg: The church looking forward to a new South Africa, pp. 62-72, Struik, Cape Town.         [ Links ]

Vorster, J.M., 1996, Is die kerk funksioneel? Gedagtes oor gereformeerde kerkvernuwing in 'n postmoderne konteks, Potchefstroom Theological Publications, Potchefstroom.         [ Links ]

Vorster, J.M., 2004, Ethical perspectives on human rights, Potchefstroom Theological Publications, Potchefstroom.         [ Links ]

Vorster, J.M., 2007, Christian attitude in the South African liberal democracy, Potchefstroom Theological Publications, Potchefstroom.         [ Links ]

Vorster, J.M., 2008, The challenge of contemporary religious fundamentalism, University of South Africa, Pretoria.         [ Links ]

Vorster, J.M., 2010, 'Current options for the constitutional implementation of religious freedom', in A. Van De Beek, E.A.J.G. Van der Borght & B.P. Vermeulen (eds.), Freedom of religion, pp. 155-181, Brill, Leiden. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/ej.9789004158078.i-269.66        [ Links ]

 

 

Correspondence:
Nico Vorster
Faculty of Theology, PO Box
20004, Noordbrug 2522
South Africa
Email: nico.vorster@nwu.ac.za

Received: 23 Mar. 2011
Accepted: 14 June 2011
Published: 22 Oct. 2012

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