Postmodern relativism and the challenge to overcome the “value-vacuum”
Keywords:Postmodernism, Postmodern relativism, Post-foundationalism, Post-post-foundationalism, Grand narratives, Value-gap, Value-vacuum
AbstractMaking use of hermeneutic phenomenology and constructive interpretivism as methodological apparatus, this article challenges the premise that postmodern relativism supposedly created a “value-vacuum”. We conclude that while postmodernism seems to have deprived the grand narratives of the past of their power to prescribe to people (their adherents) what they should be ascribing or attaching value to, it caused the resultant value-gap to be filled in by the values that individuals obtained by “shopping around” in the current value supermarket, and also by resorting to a post-post-foundationalist orientation in terms of which their value-systems play an inconspicuous role in the background of their thinking. We also illuminate what we consider to be important implications (of this shift from the application of grand narrative value systems to the post-post-foundationalist application of the rather more individualistic value systems of modern-day people) for religious institutions, particularly for the church as a societal institution, and for education as an interpersonal relationship.
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