An alternative moral ontology in a pluralistic, post-apartheid society

AL Compaan


This article is a reading of the work of the well-known Reformed theologian, Dirkie Smit, to help Reformed churches in South Africa to reorientate them in a new, complex and pluralistic social environment. After considering the conceptualisation of pluralism in recent academic and theological debates, I examine Smit’s reading of the impact of pluralism on Reformed churches in South Africa after apartheid and why these churches, in his opinion, no longer play a meaningful role in the present reconstruction of South African society. In the latter part of the article Smit’s understanding of the liturgy as an “alternative moral ontology,” creating alternative moral communities and identities, will be used to illuminate the future public role of churches in our complex, pluralistic society.


DJ Smit; Global capitalism and media; Globale kapitalisme en media; Identiteit en liturgie; Identity and liturgy; pluralism; pluralisme

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ISSN 2226-2385 (online); ISSN 0028-2006 (print)

© 2014 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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