Original Research

The zone of non-being: When belonging becomes more important than being

Amanda L. du Plessis
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 52, No 1 | a2364 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v52i1.2364 | © 2018 Amanda L. du Plessis | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 February 2018 | Published: 03 October 2018


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Abstract

Silent screams echo in South Africa, objecting to violence due to cultural and gender differences. Bitterness and anger increase as the cultures, knowledge systems and ways of being or ‘non-being’ are despised, demonised and declared substandard and irrational or even eliminated. Most of these individuals cannot afford to speak up, because belonging has become more important than being. It is inevitable that people would question their personhood and dignity when they find themselves in the space of intersection between culture, gender and violence. If the meaning of formosus is to bring out the beauty of each person, how is it that ‘non-being’ for some is better than being? In the fable of Hyginus, an alternative word for ‘being’ is ‘care’. Human beings’ existence is essentially dependent on care. The intersection between culture, gender and violence probes for the reformation of practical theological anthropology and, especially, a rethinking of the ministry of compassion. This article seeks to explore hermeneutics of renewal. The focus is on restoring and reforming the human being which can help non-beings to express their deepest quest for personhood and dignity. In this sense, dignity is defined as being one with all the multiplicities, systems and paradoxes of one’s own way of being, doing and knowing. The epistemology is from a pastoral care point of view.

Keywords

culture displacement; human dilemma

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