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Solarus
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Mon Apr-07-03 03:31 PM

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"Ubuntu: An African Assessment of the Religious Other"


  

          

I found this to be a very interesting and insightful article. I decided to post the article in parts along with a small glossary at the end as this article tends to NOT be on the layside and is more written for scholars in the field than anyone else. I do want to point out is the author's use of "African" in this paper. He uses it as a representative term for a myriad of Afrikan groups. However, it is obvious that the these groups are all apart of the greater Bantu linguistic family who populate Southern, Central,and parts of Easten and Western Afrika. I can only recall him referring to the Zulus specifically and South Afrikans broadly.

*****
Introduction: A decolonized assessment

The decolonization of Africa, of which the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa is a recent example, led to a greater recognition of the wide variety of religions practising on its soil. When confronted with this plurality, and the corresponding plurality of claims to truth or credibility, believers usually resort to either absolutism or relativism. The absolutist evaluates the religious other in view of criteria which violate the self-understanding of the latter. The religious other is thus being colonized by a hegemony (i.e. an enforced homogeneity) of norms and values. In an attempt to transcend this hegemonic colonization, the relativist, on the other hand, simply surrenders the evaluation of beliefs and practices to subjective arbitrariness.

This paper deals with an assessment of the faith of others which transcends absolutism without resorting to relativism. More specifically, it aims to show that an African philosophy and way of life called "Ubuntu" (humanness) significantly overlaps with such a "decolonized" assessment of the religious other, and that this assessment can therefore also be explained, motivated or underscored with reference to the concept of Ubuntu. Much can and has already been said about the presuppositions and requirements of such an assessment. However, for the purposes of this paper I would like to concentrate on only three of these, viz.: (1) a respect for the other as a religious other; (2) an agreement on criteria, i.e. a common scale in view of which the adherents of different religious traditions may jointly judge these traditions; and (3) an interreligious dialogue or "mutual exposure" (cf. Taylor, 1985:125) of beliefs, which as such respects the particularity, individuality and historicality of these beliefs, and from which this common scale will emerge (if at all). I shall now briefly turn to each of these requirements and the way in which they are met by Ubuntu.

____________________________
"the real pyramids were built with such precision that you can't slide a piece of paper between two 4,000 lb stones, and have shafts perfectly aligned so that you can see a tiny aperture through dozens of these mammoth blocks

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
Ubuntu and religion
Apr 07th 2003
1
He's out from the void
Apr 08th 2003
13
Ubuntu and consensus
Apr 07th 2003
2
This is VERY potent
Apr 08th 2003
14
Ubuntu and dialogue: particularity
Apr 07th 2003
3
Ubuntu and dialogue: individuality
Apr 07th 2003
4
some thoughts... i don't understand 'cartesian' in
Apr 08th 2003
9
the elements and connections model can be seen
Apr 08th 2003
10
Solarur :individuality
Apr 09th 2003
17
      The Difference
Apr 10th 2003
18
           RE: The Difference
Apr 10th 2003
19
Ubuntu and dialogue: historicality
Apr 09th 2003
15
Glossary of Terms
Apr 07th 2003
5
Beautiful Post
Apr 08th 2003
6
I'll reply shortly
Apr 08th 2003
7
I think we should
May 01st 2003
30
excellent point (re: "who your people")
Apr 08th 2003
8
been thinking about the concepts...
Apr 08th 2003
11
been thinking about the concepts too...
Apr 11th 2003
21
RE: been thinking about the concepts...
Apr 11th 2003
22
it's been so long since u posted
Apr 08th 2003
12
had to print it out
Apr 14th 2003
24
      still haven't read, so ^
Apr 24th 2003
26
           ^
Apr 30th 2003
29
Conclusion: The uniqueness of Ubuntu
Apr 09th 2003
16
i really
Apr 11th 2003
20
^
Apr 14th 2003
23
Um, unless I missed it...
Apr 24th 2003
27
archive
Apr 23rd 2003
25
up again
Apr 25th 2003
28
up...please archive. n/m
May 05th 2003
31

Solarus
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Mon Apr-07-03 03:32 PM

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1. "Ubuntu and religion"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Ubuntu (a Zulu word) serves as the spiritual foundation of African societies. It is a unifying vision or world view enshrined in the Zulu maxim umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu, i.e. "a person is a person through other persons" (Shutte, 1993:46). At bottom, this traditional African aphorism articulates a basic respect and compassion for others. It can be interpreted as both a factual description and a rule of conduct or social ethic. It both describes human being as "being-with-others" and prescribes what "being-with-others" should be all about. As such, Ubuntu adds a distinctly African flavour and momentum to a decolonized assessment of the religious other. In fact, the various overlaps between such an assessment and the African way of life as described/prescribed by Ubuntu, make this assessment nothing but an enactment of the African Ubuntu.

The first important overlap between Ubuntu and a decolonized assessment of the religious other, has to do with a fundamental presupposition of this assessment, viz. a respect for the other as a religious other. While Western Humanism tends to underestimate or even deny the importance of religious beliefs, Ubuntu or African Humanism is resiliently religious (Prinsloo, 1995:4). For the Westerner, the maxim "A person is a person through other persons" has no obvious religious connotations. He/she will probably interpret it as nothing but a general appeal to treat others with respect and decency. However, in African tradition this maxim has a deeply religious meaning. The person one is to become "through other persons" is, ultimately, an ancestor. And, by the same token, these "other persons" include ancestors. Ancestors are extended family. Dying is an ultimate homecoming. Not only the living must therefore share with and care for each other, but the living and the dead depend on each other (Van Niekerk, 1994:2; Ndaba, 1994:13-14).

This accords with the daily experience of many Africans. For example, at a calabash, which is an African ritual which involves the drinking of beer (cf. Broodryk, 1997a:16), a little bit of beer is often poured on the ground for consumption by ancestors. And, as is probably well known, many Africans also belief in God through the mediation of ancestors (Broodryk, 1997a:15). In African society there is an inextricable bond between man, ancestors and whatever is regarded as the Supreme Being. Ubuntu thus inevitably implies a deep respect and regard for religious beliefs and practices (Teffo, 1994a:9).


____________________________
"the real pyramids were built with such precision that you can't slide a piece of paper between two 4,000 lb stones, and have shafts perfectly aligned so that you can see a tiny aperture through dozens of these mammoth blocks

  

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Mau777
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Tue Apr-08-03 04:15 PM

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13. "He's out from the void"
In response to Reply # 1


          

However, in African tradition this
>maxim has a deeply religious meaning. The person one is to
>become "through other persons" is, ultimately, an ancestor.
>And, by the same token, these "other persons" include
>ancestors.

A former teacher of mine would say, "we should strive to become an 'enlightened ancestor'. If we consistently strive toward that, then 'enlightened ancestors' will assist us". I agree and I disagree. We will all become ancestors at some point, so might as well become "enlightened". As we strive towards that, we do receive assistance, but where that assistance is coming from is where I disagree..........on a side note, what awareness must one have to be considered "enlightened"?.....you don't have to answer, just a thought relative to what my former teacher said.

Ancestors are extended family. Dying is an
>ultimate homecoming. Not only the living must therefore
>share with and care for each other, but the living and the
>dead depend on each other (Van Niekerk, 1994:2; Ndaba,
>1994:13-14).

I would ask, what do the living and dead depend on each other for?

Peace and Truth 2 U Solarus

---
If you release what is within u, what u release will save you. If you do not release what is within u, what u do not release will destroy u.

www.pitchblackgold.bandcamp.com

  

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Solarus
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Mon Apr-07-03 03:33 PM

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2. "Ubuntu and consensus"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

A second important overlap between Ubuntu and a decolonized assessment of the religious other, pertains to the extremely important role which agreement or consensus plays within this assessment. Without a common scale, i.e. without an interreligious agreement or consensus on criteria, the beliefs and practices of the religious other simply cannot be judged without violating them. Ubuntu underscores the importance of agreement or consensus. African traditional culture, it seems, has an almost infinite capacity for the pursuit of consensus and reconciliation (Teffo, 1994a:4). Democracy the African way does not simply boil down to majority rule. Traditional African democracy operates in the form of (sometimes extremely lengthy) discussions (cf. Busia, 1967:28). Although there may be a hierarchy of importance among the speakers, every person gets an equal chance to speak up until some kind of an agreement, consensus or group cohesion is reached. This important aim is expressed by words like simunye ("we are one", i.e. "unity is strength") and slogans like "an injury to one is an injury to all" (Broodryk, 1997a:5, 7, 9).

However, the desire to agree, which—within the context of Ubuntu—is supposed to safeguard the rights and opinions of individuals and minorities, is often exploited to enforce group solidarity. Because of its extreme emphasis on community, Ubuntu democracy might be abused to legitimize what Sono calls the "constrictive nature" or "tyrannical custom" of a derailed African culture, especially its "totalitarian communalism" which "...frowns upon elevating one beyond the community" (1994:xiii, xv). The role of the group in African consciousness, says Sono, could be

...overwhelming, totalistic, even totalitarian. Group psychology, though parochially and narrowly based..., nonetheless pretends universality. This mentality, this psychology is stronger on belief than on reason; on sameness than on difference. Discursive rationality is overwhelmed by emotional identity, by the obsession to identify with and by the longing to conform to. To agree is more important than to disagree; conformity is cherished more than innovation. Tradition is venerated, continuity revered, change feared and difference shunned. Heresies are not tolerated in such communities (199 ; cf. also Louw, 1995).

In short, although it articulates such important values as respect, human dignity and compassion, the Ubuntu desire for consensus also has a potential dark side in terms of which it demands an oppressive conformity and loyalty to the group. Failure to conform will be met by harsh punitive measures (cf. Mbigi & Maree, 1995:58; Sono, 1994:11, 17; Van Niekerk, 1994:4). Such a derailment of Ubuntu is, of course, quite unnecessary. The process of nation-building in post-apartheid South Africa does not, for example, require universal sameness or oppressive communalism. What it does require, is true Ubuntu. It requires an authentic respect for human/individual rights and related values, and an honest appreciation of differences (Sindane, 199 ; Degenaar, 1996:23).

____________________________
"the real pyramids were built with such precision that you can't slide a piece of paper between two 4,000 lb stones, and have shafts perfectly aligned so that you can see a tiny aperture through dozens of these mammoth blocks

  

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Mau777
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Tue Apr-08-03 04:35 PM

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14. "This is VERY potent"
In response to Reply # 2


          

>
>However, the desire to agree, which—within the context of
>Ubuntu—is supposed to safeguard the rights and opinions of
>individuals and minorities, is often exploited to enforce
>group solidarity. Because of its extreme emphasis on
>community, Ubuntu democracy might be abused to legitimize
>what Sono calls the "constrictive nature" or "tyrannical
>custom" of a derailed African culture, especially its
>"totalitarian communalism" which "...frowns upon elevating
>one beyond the community" (1994:xiii, xv). The role of the
>group in African consciousness, says Sono, could be
>
>...overwhelming, totalistic, even totalitarian. Group
>psychology, though parochially and narrowly based...,
>nonetheless pretends universality. This mentality, this
>psychology is stronger on belief than on reason; on sameness
>than on difference. Discursive rationality is overwhelmed by
>emotional identity, by the obsession to identify with and by
>the longing to conform to. To agree is more important than
>to disagree; conformity is cherished more than innovation.
>Tradition is venerated, continuity revered, change feared
>and difference shunned. Heresies >creations of intellectual African individuals, or refusal to
>participate in communalism] are not tolerated in such
>communities (199 ; cf. also Louw, 1995).
>
>In short, although it articulates such important values as
>respect, human dignity and compassion, the Ubuntu desire for
>consensus also has a potential dark side in terms of which
>it demands an oppressive conformity and loyalty to the
>group. Failure to conform will be met by harsh punitive
>measures (cf. Mbigi & Maree, 1995:58; Sono, 1994:11, 17; Van
>Niekerk, 1994:4). Such a derailment of Ubuntu is, of course,
>quite unnecessary. The process of nation-building in
>post-apartheid South Africa does not, for example, require
>universal sameness or oppressive communalism. What it does
>require, is true Ubuntu. It requires an authentic respect
>for human/individual rights and related values, and an
>honest appreciation of differences (Sindane, 199 ;
>Degenaar, 1996:23).

I can definitely see all of this. It definitely has it's manifestations amongst the african cultural community here in the states as well.

Truth 2 U



---
If you release what is within u, what u release will save you. If you do not release what is within u, what u do not release will destroy u.

www.pitchblackgold.bandcamp.com

  

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Solarus
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Mon Apr-07-03 03:35 PM

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3. "Ubuntu and dialogue: particularity"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

This brings me to a third overlap between the Ubuntu way of life and a decolonized assessment of the religious other. As said, the common scale which will allow a decolonized evaluation of the religious other, will only emerge through interreligious dialogue or "mutual exposure". Such exposure epitomizes the conduct prescribed by Ubuntu. Ubuntu inspires us to expose ourselves to others, to encounter the difference of their humanness so as to inform and enrich our own (cf. Sidane, 1994:8-9). Thus understood, umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu translates as: "To be human is to affirm one's humanity by recognising the humanity of others in its infinite variety of content and form" (Van der Merwe, 1996:1). This translation of Ubuntu attests to a respect for particularity, individuality and historicality, without which decolonization cannot be.

The Ubuntu respect for the particularities of the beliefs and practices of others (cf. also Wiredu, 1995), is especially emphasised by a striking, yet (to my mind) lesser-known translation of umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu, viz.: "A human being is a human being through (the otherness of) other human beings" (Van der Merwe, 1996:1— italics mine). For post-apartheid South Africans of all colours, creeds and cultures, Ubuntu dictates that, if we were to be human, we need to recognise the genuine otherness of our fellow citizens. That is, we need to acknowledge the diversity of languages, histories, values and customs, all of which constitute South African society. For example: white South Africans tend to call all traditional African healing practices "witchcraft", and to label all such practitioners as "witchdoctors". However, close attention to the particularities of these practices would have revealed that there are at least five types of doctors in traditional African societies. And of these five, witchdoctors are being singled out as bad by Africans themselves, since they use parts of human bodies for medicine. By contrast, the co-operation of the other traditional healers is vital in primary health care initiatives, such as Aids education, family planning and immunisation programmes (Broodryk, 1997a:15; 1997b:63f). In this sense, but also in a more political sense, the Ubuntu emphasis on respect for particularity is vital for the survival of post-apartheid South Africa. In spite of our newly found democracy, civil or ethnic conflict cannot be ruled out. In fact, our multi-cultural democracy intensifies the various ethnic and socio-cultural differences. While democracy allows for legitimate claims to the institutionalisation of these differences, these claims are easily exploited for selfish political gain (Van der Merwe, 1996:1).


____________________________
"the real pyramids were built with such precision that you can't slide a piece of paper between two 4,000 lb stones, and have shafts perfectly aligned so that you can see a tiny aperture through dozens of these mammoth blocks

  

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Solarus
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Mon Apr-07-03 03:36 PM

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4. "Ubuntu and dialogue: individuality"
In response to Reply # 3


  

          

Ubuntu's respect for the particularity of the other, links up closely to its respect for individuality. But, be it noted, the individuality which Ubuntu respects, is not of Cartesian making. On the contrary, Ubuntu directly contradicts the Cartesian conception of individuality in terms of which the individual or self can be conceived without thereby necessarily conceiving the other. The Cartesian individual exists prior to, or separately and independently from the rest of the community or society. The rest of society is nothing but an added extra to a pre-existent and self-sufficient being. This "modernistic" and "atomistic" conception of individuality lies at the bottom of both individualism and collectivism (cf. Macquarrie, 1972:104). Individualism exaggerates seemingly solitary aspects of human existence to the detriment of communal aspects. Collectivism makes the same mistake, only on a larger scale. For the collectivist, society is nothing but a bunch or collection of separately existing, solitary (i.e. detached) individuals.

By contrast, Ubuntu defines the individual in terms of his/her relationship with others (Shutte, 1993:46ff). According to this definition, individuals only exist in their relationships with others, and as these relationships change, so do the characters of the individuals. Thus understood, the word "individual" signifies a plurality of personalities corresponding to the multiplicity of relationships in which the individual in question stands. Being an individual by definition means "being-with-others". "With-others", as Macquarrie rightly observes, "...is not added on to a pre-existent and self-sufficient being; rather, both this being (the self) and the others find themselves in a whole wherein they are already related" (1972:104). This is all somewhat boggling for the Cartesian mind, whose conception of individuality now has to move from solitary to solidarity, from independence to interdependence, from individuality vis-à-vis community to individuality à la community.

In the West, individualism often translates into an impetuous competitiveness. Individual interest rules supreme and society or others are regarded as nothing but a means to individual ends (cf. Khoza, 1994:4, 5, 7; Prinsloo, 1997:2). This is in stark contrast to the African preference for co-operation, group work or shosholoza ("work as one", i.e. team work). There are approximately 800 000 so-called "stokvels" in South Africa. Stokvels are joint undertakings or collective enterprises, such as savings clubs, burial societies and other (often formally registered) cooperatives. The stokvel economy might be described as capitalism with siza (humanness), or, if you like, a socialist form of capitalism. Making a profit is important, but never if it involves the exploitation of others. Profits are shared on an equal basis. As such, stokvels are based on the Ubuntu "extended family system", i.e. all involved should be considered as brothers and sisters, members of the same family (Broodryk, 1997a:4, 11, 13-14; 1997b:38f, 70f; Lukhele, 1990).


____________________________
"the real pyramids were built with such precision that you can't slide a piece of paper between two 4,000 lb stones, and have shafts perfectly aligned so that you can see a tiny aperture through dozens of these mammoth blocks

  

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poetx
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Tue Apr-08-03 05:49 AM

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9. "some thoughts... i don't understand 'cartesian' in"
In response to Reply # 4


  

          

the sociological/philosophical sense (from context, i gather that he had a theory of individualism that is contrary to Ubuntu thought). Still, i couldn't help but be struck by another connotation of Cartesian, that of coordinates, map making. much of the strife on the continent (and in the world in general) currently playing out is 'cartesian' in nature, in which a former colonial power deliberately drew boundaries across ancestral lands of peoples of different cultures to sow discord and discontent for generations to come. the exacerbation of 'tribal' or ethnic differences in order to aid subjugation of various peoples is still paying off horrific dividends, long after the supposed dismantling of the colonial system. (for another take on that, look at the convenient partition of iraq into kurdish, sunni and shi'a populations, or, beyond that, the way that its borders with turkey and kuwait were created).


peace & blessings,

x.

"I'm on the Zoloft to keep from killing y'all." - Iron Mike

peace & blessings,

x.

www.twitter.com/poetx

=========================================
I'm an advocate for working smarter, not harder. If you just
focus on working hard you end up making someone else rich and
not having much to show for it. (c) mad

  

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poetx
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Tue Apr-08-03 05:57 AM

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10. "the elements and connections model can be seen"
In response to Reply # 4


  

          

in both the natural world and the technological world. within the human brain, its the formation of multiple and varied connections between neurons in the brain that correlate with learning and intelligence -- its not the neurons themselves. similarly, in the computer world, we have relational databases, etc., in which its not so much the data, but maintaining and manipulating the various relationships between the data elements that define the usefulness of the application. even beyond that, the whole connected world is rapidly approaching a 'peer-to-peer' model, in which incredibly complex problems can be solved by connections between millions of interconnected pc's (or the problem of copping that latest song that isn't available at your local record sto').

its off topic, but it's interesting to see a human concept that echoes a natural concept while serving as a blueprint for a technical concept.

peace & blessings,

x.

"I'm on the Zoloft to keep from killing y'all." - Iron Mike

peace & blessings,

x.

www.twitter.com/poetx

=========================================
I'm an advocate for working smarter, not harder. If you just
focus on working hard you end up making someone else rich and
not having much to show for it. (c) mad

  

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Brooklynbeef
Member since May 30th 2002
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Wed Apr-09-03 08:48 AM

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17. "Solarur :individuality"
In response to Reply # 4


  

          

Even in western society there is a recognition that the collective is needed for ex government, companies -- like the tired cliche of the word "team player" Do you think the definition of individualism needs to be expanded?

"Forget Black History Month, how about live an African History Life"-Ansley Burrows

  

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Solarus
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18. "The Difference"
In response to Reply # 17


  

          

for any large project that will impact more than one person, a "collective effort" will be involved. Thus that example does not describe the practice of individualism as a philosophy or way of life. The use of (competitive) individualism as a way of life would manifest itself in the design of a company or government, the importance of individual rights over the collective, and WHY one would be goaded into be a "team player" in the first place. Stressing the need to be a "team player" would most likely already be evident and natural to an adult within a collectivist, whereas to an adult in a society that stresses individualism,the need to be a "team player" is probably not evident and definitely not natural.

____________________________
"the real pyramids were built with such precision that you can't slide a piece of paper between two 4,000 lb stones, and have shafts perfectly aligned so that you can see a tiny aperture through dozens of these mammoth blocks

  

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Brooklynbeef
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Thu Apr-10-03 01:21 PM

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19. "RE: The Difference"
In response to Reply # 18


  

          

Good point. Western history is filled with oppression such as the oppression by the feudal lords and then monarchs. the Separation of church and state was a defense against the domination of the church in all areas of life the same thing can be said of the emphasis on individual right. Fear and mistrust seems to motivate social issues in the west.

"Forget Black History Month, how about live an African History Life"-Ansley Burrows

  

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Solarus
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Wed Apr-09-03 03:41 AM

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15. "Ubuntu and dialogue: historicality"
In response to Reply # 3
Wed Apr-09-03 03:42 AM

  

          

can be possessed of the freedom and responsibility that is usually reckoned the most valuable mark of personhood (1993:56).

Furthermore, like the Ubuntu desire for consensus, this inclusivist, collectivist or communalist conception of individuality can easily derail into an oppressive collectivism or communalism. This fact has evoked various responses from African authors. For example: while he lauds the "distinctive African" inclination towards collectivism and a collective sense of responsibility, Teffo (1994a:7, 12) is quick to add that the African conception of man does not negate individuality. It merely discourages the view that the individual should take precedence over the community. In the same vein, Khoza (199 ; cf. also Prinsloo, 1995:4) challenges Ubuntu to create a balance between complete individual autonomy and homonymy, i.e. to broaden respect for the individual and purge collectivism of its negative elements.

And Ndaba points out that the collective consciousness evident in the African culture does not mean that the African subject wallows in a formless, shapeless or rudimentary collectivity... simply means that the African subjectivity develops and thrives in a relational setting provided by ongoing contact and interaction with others(1994:14)

I concur. An oppressive communalism constitutes a derailment, an abuse of Ubuntu. By contrast, true Ubuntu incorporates dialogue, i.e. it incorporates both relation and distance. It preserves the other in his otherness, in his uniqueness, without letting him slip into the distance (cf. Macquarrie,1972:110; Shutte, 1993:49, 51).

Ndaba's emphasis on the "ongoing-ness" of the contact and interaction with others on which the African subjectivity feeds, points to a final important ingredient of the "mutual exposure" prescribed by Ubuntu, viz. respecting the historicality of the other. Respecting the historicality of the other means respecting his/her dynamic nature or process nature. The flexibility of the other is well noted by Ubuntu. Or, as is sometimes claimed: "For the humanist, life is without absolutes" (Teffo, 1994a:11). An Ubuntu perception of the other is never fixed or rigidly closed,but adjustable or open-ended. It allows the other to be, to become. It acknowledges the irreducibility of the other, i.e. it never reduces the other to any specific characteristic, conduct or function. This accords with the grammar of the concept "Ubuntu" which denotes both a state of being and one of becoming. As a process of self-realization through others, it enhances the self-realization of others (cf. also Broodryk,1997a:5-7).

____________________________
"the real pyramids were built with such precision that you can't slide a piece of paper between two 4,000 lb stones, and have shafts perfectly aligned so that you can see a tiny aperture through dozens of these mammoth blocks

  

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Solarus
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Mon Apr-07-03 04:00 PM

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5. "Glossary of Terms"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

absolutism-The view that certain kinds of actions are always wrong or are always obligatory, whatever the consequences.

Cartesian mind- refers to the view that: (1) the mental and the material comprise two different classes of substance and; (2) each can have causal effects on the other.

humanism (Western)-a doctrine, attitude, or way of life centered on human interests or values; especially : a philosophy that usually rejects supernaturalism and stresses an individual's dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason

individualism-a doctrine that the interests of the individual are or ought to be ethically paramount; also : conduct guided by such a doctrine (2) : the conception that all values, rights, and duties originate in individuals

relativism-a theory that knowledge is relative to the limited nature of the mind and the conditions of knowing b : a view that ethical truths depend on the individuals and groups holding them

Please post other words or inquire about them so we can discuss if need.

PEace

____________________________
"the real pyramids were built with such precision that you can't slide a piece of paper between two 4,000 lb stones, and have shafts perfectly aligned so that you can see a tiny aperture through dozens of these mammoth blocks

  

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cued
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1748 posts
Tue Apr-08-03 01:12 AM

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6. "Beautiful Post"
In response to Reply # 0


          

It has been a long while since I have read about anything like this. Where is this essay?

I am in love with "a person is a person through other persons." As most times when I read something like this, I see a direct connection between that sentiment and how it was growing up in rural South Carolina. I think the phrase, "Who your people?" communicates the modern existance of that to a "T."

To be honest, just thinking about it has solved something I have been trying to birth for many years... how to tell a story through the community. Ok, that doesn't really get it... but maybe in the subsequent discussions, I will be able to bring it into words. As it is, I am being asked to trust, but trust for me ain't easy so this character keeps writing itself and its story every now and again, but I don't understand so I can't aid/guide. ...but really... that's just some wacko jacko lib. art ish...

What are you thoughts on the essay?

____________


"When the revolution comes, "faggots" won't be so funny." - The Last Poets

** Most people mis-read this line. I don't think he is being homophobic. I think he's making sure you folks know, within our communities, those of you who laugh at

  

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Solarus
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3604 posts
Tue Apr-08-03 05:00 AM

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7. "I'll reply shortly"
In response to Reply # 6


  

          

there is more to this essay but I didn't want to overwhelm the post too quickly.

____________________________
"the real pyramids were built with such precision that you can't slide a piece of paper between two 4,000 lb stones, and have shafts perfectly aligned so that you can see a tiny aperture through dozens of these mammoth blocks

  

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ya Setshego
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Thu May-01-03 07:58 AM

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30. "I think we should"
In response to Reply # 7


  

          

do an Afrikan Proverbs post again. I'll start it.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Oooo baby I like it raw. Oooo baby I like it RAAAW!(c)ODB- Shimmy Shimmy Ya

  

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poetx
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58773 posts
Tue Apr-08-03 05:42 AM

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8. "excellent point (re: "who your people")"
In response to Reply # 6


  

          

>I am in love with "a person is a person through other
>persons." As most times when I read something like this, I
>see a direct connection between that sentiment and how it
>was growing up in rural South Carolina. I think the phrase,
>"Who your people?" communicates the modern existance of that
>to a "T."

i've seen that behavior in all classes of black folks -- upon meeting someone there's that groping for 'connection', signified by 'who your people?', or 'where you from?', 'your last name is suchanshuch? you any kin to soandso?'.

smiling when i read that.



peace & blessings,

x.

"I'm on the Zoloft to keep from killing y'all." - Iron Mike

peace & blessings,

x.

www.twitter.com/poetx

=========================================
I'm an advocate for working smarter, not harder. If you just
focus on working hard you end up making someone else rich and
not having much to show for it. (c) mad

  

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Utamaroho
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17658 posts
Tue Apr-08-03 06:38 AM

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11. "been thinking about the concepts..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

for the past few weeks and trying to find them in "this" community and evaluating it. my biggest question has been how do we REintegrate it into the current communities we live in?

i don't wanna say too much on it now. i've been marinating over this for a minute everyday and new ideas are STILL popping up.

Red, Black, Green

  

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Castro
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50267 posts
Fri Apr-11-03 02:18 AM

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21. "been thinking about the concepts too..."
In response to Reply # 11


  

          

I'm still reading through this stuff and trying to compare to community at large...the efforts at consensus building that I have experienced in the real world have been interesting lately. I have seen where it has worked well ina rriving at decisions (a group deciding to set up a meeting, etc), but I have seen it where it has had mixed results when it came to arriving at "judgements" (resolving a disagreement).

------------------
One Hundred.

  

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QueenCHill
Member since Aug 27th 2002
288 posts
Fri Apr-11-03 04:28 AM

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22. "RE: been thinking about the concepts..."
In response to Reply # 11


  

          

I totally feel where you're coming from with trying to make those connections with where you/the community is and responds to it because I'm in the process of doing the same thing, Utamaroho.

In relation to the essay Soloarus has mentioned I am revisiting the words Jonh Henrik Clarke has said on the role of the Afrikan community and reaching an understanding as it relates to peoples in the Americas.

Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. ~James A. Baldwin

  

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LexM
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28342 posts
Tue Apr-08-03 07:04 AM

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12. "it's been so long since u posted"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

i'm gonna have to read this on general principle


lol


_____________________________

"This is , the Americans have no right to do this," declared veiled Egyptian businesswoman Rawya Shaker. "This is colonialism, this is an aggression against innocent people. This is something even an infidel wouldn't do."

"The best way to 'our boys' is to create enough dissent that will pressure the leadership of this country to end this illegal and immoral war." ~okp HoChiGrimm

www.poetsagainstthewar.org





~~~~
http://omidele.blogspot.com/
http://rahareiki.tumblr.com/
http://seatofbliss.blogspot.com/

  

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LexM
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28342 posts
Mon Apr-14-03 11:34 AM

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24. "had to print it out"
In response to Reply # 12


  

          

i'll read later. hopefully it'll still be up when i come back to comment.



_____________________________
Wolf is power. Wolf is honor. Wolf is integrity.

"This is , the Americans have no right to do this," declared veiled Egyptian businesswoman Rawya Shaker. "This is colonialism, this is an aggression against innocent people. This is something even an infidel wouldn't do."

"The best way to 'our boys' is to create enough dissent that will pressure the leadership of this country to end this illegal and immoral war." ~okp HoChiGrimm

www.poetsagainstthewar.org





~~~~
http://omidele.blogspot.com/
http://rahareiki.tumblr.com/
http://seatofbliss.blogspot.com/

  

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LexM
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28342 posts
Thu Apr-24-03 11:15 AM

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26. "still haven't read, so ^"
In response to Reply # 24


  

          

.

~~~~
http://omidele.blogspot.com/
http://rahareiki.tumblr.com/
http://seatofbliss.blogspot.com/

  

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LexM
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28342 posts
Wed Apr-30-03 11:29 AM

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29. "^"
In response to Reply # 26


  

          

.

~~~~
http://omidele.blogspot.com/
http://rahareiki.tumblr.com/
http://seatofbliss.blogspot.com/

  

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Solarus
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3604 posts
Wed Apr-09-03 03:56 AM

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16. "Conclusion: The uniqueness of Ubuntu"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

By highlighting the overlap between Ubuntu and a decolonized assessment of the religious other, I meant to show exactly why Ubuntu might be used to explain, motivate or underscore this decolonization, or why Ubuntu could add a distinctly African flavour and momentum to it. However, my argument will only hold water if what has been described here as a distinctly African philosophy and way of life, does in fact exist as such. Do Africans in fact adhere to Ubuntu or, at least, aspire to do so? And if so, is Ubuntu uniquely or exclusively African?

These are controversial issues. For example: in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, where Ubuntu is claimed to be part of every day life, violent ethnic and political clashes still occurs frequently-and this is surely not the only example of such clashes on the continent of Africa! How can this be reconciled with Ubuntu?

The apparent anomaly posed by the occurrence of such violent conflicts, significantly fades once one concentrates on the many counter examples. African examples of caring and sharing, and of forgiving and reconciliation abound. Ask any South African. The relatively non-violent transition of the South African society from a totalitarian state to a multi-party democracy, is not merely the result of the compromising negotiations of politicians. It is also-perhaps primarily-the result of the emergence of an ethos of solidarity, a commitment to peaceful co-existence amongst ordinary South Africans in spite of their differences (cf. Van der Merwe, 1996:1). Ubuntu, argues Teffo (1994a) rightly, pervasively serves as a cohesive moral value in the face of adversity. Although the policy of apartheid greatly damaged the overwhelming majority of black South Africans, ...there is no lust for vengeance, no apocalyptic retribution...A yearning for justice, yes, and for release from poverty and oppression, but no dream of themselves becoming the persecutors, of turning the tables of apartheid on white South Africans...The ethos of ubuntu...is one single gift that African philosophy can bequeath on other philosophies of the world...(Teffo, 1994a:5).

Maphisa agrees:

South Africans are slowly re-discovering their common humanity. Gone are the days when people were stripped of their dignity (ubuntu) through harsh laws. Gone are the days when people had to use ubulwane to uphold or reinforce those laws. I suggest that the transformation of an apartheid South Africa into a democracy is a re-discovery of ubuntu (1994:8).

Ubuntu is thus both a given and a task or desideratum in African societies. It is undoubtedly part and parcel of Africa's cultural heritage. However, it clearly needs to be revitalised in the hearts and minds of some Africans (cf. Teffo, 1995:2; Koka, 1997:15).

In what sense, if any, is Ubuntu then uniquely African? Is Ubuntu only part of the African cultural heritage? Just how distinctly African is the flavour and momentum that Ubuntu could add to the decolonization of the religious other? Is the ethos of Ubuntu in fact the "one single gift that African philosophy can bequeath on other philosophies of the world" (Teffo)?

It would be ethnocentric and, indeed, silly to suggest that the Ubuntu ethic of caring and sharing is uniquely African. After all, the values which Ubuntu seeks to promote, can also be traced in various Eurasian philosophies. This is not to deny the intensity with which these values are given expression by Africans. But, the mere fact that they are intensely expressed by Africans, do not in itself make these values exclusively African.

However, although compassion, warmth, understanding, caring, sharing, humanness et cetera are underscored by all the major world views, ideologies and religions of the world, I would nevertheless like to suggest that Ubuntu serves as a distinctly African rationale for these ways of relating to others. The concept of Ubuntu gives a distinctly African meaning to, and a reason or motivation for, a decolonizing attitude towards the other, including and especially the religious other. As such, it adds a crucial African appeal to the call for the decolonization of the religious other-an appeal without which this call might well go unheeded by many Africans (cf. also Mphahlele, 1974:36; Ndaba, 1994:18-19). In this, and only in this peculiar sense, Ubuntu is of Africans, by Africans and for Africans.

Amid calls for an African Renaissance (cf. Teffo, 1997:19-21), Ubuntu calls on Africans to be true to themselves. It calls for a liberation of Africans-not so much from the colonizing gaze of others, but from colonization per se, i.e. from the practice of colonization, whether of Africans or by Africans. May we heed its call.

____________________________
"the real pyramids were built with such precision that you can't slide a piece of paper between two 4,000 lb stones, and have shafts perfectly aligned so that you can see a tiny aperture through dozens of these mammoth blocks

  

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akon
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26987 posts
Fri Apr-11-03 01:37 AM

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20. "i really"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

appreciate this post.
thanks...

.
http://perspectivesudans.blogspot.com/
i myself would never want to be god,or even like god.Because god got all these human beings on this planet and i most certainly would not want to be responsible for them, or even have the disgrace that i made them.

  

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Solarus
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3604 posts
Mon Apr-14-03 06:30 AM

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23. "^"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          


____________________________
"the real pyramids were built with such precision that you can't slide a piece of paper between two 4,000 lb stones, and have shafts perfectly aligned so that you can see a tiny aperture through dozens of these mammoth blocks

  

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Chike
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32916 posts
Thu Apr-24-03 06:41 PM

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27. "Um, unless I missed it..."
In response to Reply # 23


  

          

You haven't told us who wrote this... ?

  

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malang
Member since Oct 18th 2002
7081 posts
Wed Apr-23-03 11:57 AM

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25. "archive"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

intersting stuff

  

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Castro
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50267 posts
Fri Apr-25-03 05:09 AM

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28. "up again"
In response to Reply # 25


  

          

^

------------------
One Hundred.

  

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FireBrand
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145739 posts
Mon May-05-03 05:09 AM

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31. "up...please archive. n/m"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

----------------------
Avatar? Nea onnim sua a, ohu; nea odwen se onim dodo no, se ogyae sua a, ketewa no koraa a onim no firi ne nsa.
_______________________


Give back to our land of bread/wood, water, and sunshine:
www.jampact.org.


"Slaves got options...cowards aint got shit." --PS
"Once upon a time, little need existed for making the distinction between a nigga and a black—at least not in this country, the place where niggas were invented" -- Donnell A

  

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