Politico-philosophical perspectives on reconciliation
Keywords:Politico-philosophical perspectives, restoration of basic values, reconciliation, aftermath of apartheid, Truth and Reconciliation Commission
AbstractThe article is an analysis of the philosophical meaning and political prospects of the idea of reconciliation between all South Africans. The author is sceptical about this prospect. While he regards reconciliation as an admirable theological doctrine, he doubts whether it is easily translatable into socio-political practice in South Africa. The settlement reached in the aftermath of apartheid is not primarily to be explicated in terms of a model of reconciliation where people forgive and learn to like one another, but rather in terms of the Hobbesian model of a “war of all against all”, redeemed by the restoration of basic values. The author analyses a variety of conceptions of reconciliation that were developed in the aftermath of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission process. In South Africa, the emphasis should be on the “concilium” aspect of reconciliation, i.e. the (re-) constitution of an assembly for social, political and economic deliberation. A general commitment of all South Africans to the values embedded in the South African constitution holds far more promise for a peaceful future than and narrow emphasis on the idea of reconciliation.
Copyright of all NGTT material belongs to the Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust (PDWN Trust). The PDWN Trust is a trust fund established in 1932 with the aim of promoting quality theological research and publications.
The PDWN Trust pledges to maintain a legitimate scholarly record of the author’s work and to defend the author’s article against plagiarism and copyright infringement.
The PDWN Trust is committed to full Open Source publishing. This means that all articles published in NGTT will gradually be made freely available online. Authors maintain the right to:
- Share and self-archive their work.
- Make printed copies of their article for educational use.
- Present their article at a meeting or conference and distribute printed copies of the article
- Adapt and expand their published journal article to make it suitable for their thesis or dissertation.
- Republish the article (ensuring that the original article is cited as published in NGTT).
For any questions or queries in this regard, please contact the Editor.