Thursday, July 16, 2009

re-imaging ourselves in New Zealand, and South Africa today

I listened yesterday to David Tutti, a New Zealander, a Kiwi, a Pakeha ( he would call himself!) on re-imaging God. Tutti, a social justice trainer, argues that people will only change when their image of God change. Of course, I wondered, whether God still matters, in a secularised context like New Zealand/Aotearoa.

For Tutti, we need a pedagogy for the priviledged, where, in terms of his context, Pakeha, are accepted and respected, i.e. provided a safe space to experiment with their own re-imaging, the re-imaging of their identity. In this process, immersion and exposure to the other, to different lifeworlds are critical, as well as emotional support for dealing with the discomfort, unease and trauma of letting go of old, obsolete gods and worldviews.

Of course, in many ways, New Zealand and South Africa share the same deep-settlement history and the quest for new self-images is unleashed upon us all, in the context of new colonialisms. How does one provide space for those who do honestly search for some life-affirming image that can only be imagined, in the midst of a re-entrenchment of older images, which manifest itself on so many new sophisticated ways. The article of Xolela Mangcy, in today's Business Day illustrates the ways in which we are vulnerable to keep the old gods alive, or even the ways we are pushed to maintain their old order. Indeed, new, creative, but also bold images are needed, maybe a conversion for a new time
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