Posts Tagged ‘humanisme’

Florerende Gemeentes

Written by Jannie Swart on . Posted in Tussenin

Hierdie hedendaagse verstaan van florering as satisfaksie het heeltemal ‘n ander fokus in vergelyking met twee ander verstaansparadigmas van florering in die geskiedenis van die Westerse tradisie.  Die een tradisie, met Augustinus as invloedryke figuur, sien “human beings flourish and are truly happy when they center their lives on God, the source of everything that is true, good, and beautiful.”  In sy Cities of God het Augustinus dit gedefinieer as “completely harmonious fellowship in the enjoyment of God, and each other in God.”  Die ander tradisie, wat veral sedert die 18de eeu prominensie begin kry het, word deur Volf ‘n antroposentriese skuif genoem.  Dit is die tradisie van ‘n nuwe humanisme wat die gebod om God lief te he vervang met ‘n morele verpligting om die naaste lief te he.  Volf haal Charles Taylor aan om dit te beskryf:  “This new humanism was different ‘from most ancient ethics of human nature,’ writes Charles Taylor in A Secular Age, in that its notion of human flourishing ‘makes no reference to something higher which humans should reverence or love or acknowledge.'”

Die verskil tussen hierdie twee tradisies en die hedendaagse tendens om florering as satisfaksie te beskou word dan deur Volf soos volg opgesom:  “Having lost earlier the reference to “something higher which humans should reverence or love,” it now lost reference to universal solidarity, as well. What remained was concern for the self and the desire for the experience of satisfaction. It is not, of course, that individuals today simply seek pleasure on their own, isolated from society. Others are very much involved. But they matter only to the degree that they serve an individual’s experience of satisfaction. That applies to God as well as to human beings. Desire—the outer shell of love—has remained, but love itself, by being directed exclusively to the self, is lost.”  Uiteindelik kom dit neer op ‘n geskiedenis van wat Volf noem ‘n “diminution of the object of love: from the vast expanse of the infinite God it first tapered to the boundaries of the universal human community, and then radically contracted to the narrowness of a single self—one’s own self.”  Saam hiermee kom natuurlik die redusering van hoop tot blote selfbelang.  Die gevaar is dan dat ook God ingepas moet word by ‘n skema van hoop wat selfbelang gedrewe is.

Volf keer later in sy praatjie terug na vier oortuigings van Augustinus om hierdie gereduseerde verstaan van hoop te rehabiliteer, en om die fokus terug te plaas op God:  “First, he (Augustinus) believed that God is not an impersonal Reason dispersed throughout the world, but a ‘person’ who loves and can be loved in return. Second, to be human is to love; we can chose what to love but not whether to love. Third, we live well when we love both God and neighbor, aligning ourselves with the God who loves. Fourth, we will flourish and be truly happy when we discover joy in loving the infinite God and our neighbors in God.”  Volf meen die grootste uitdaging vir gemeentes is om werklike te glo “that the presence and activity of the God of love, who can make us love our neighbors as ourselves, is our hope and the hope of the world—that that God is the secret of our flourishing as persons, cultures, and interdependent inhabitants of a single globe.”

Dalk kan ons almal weer ‘n slag krities kyk na die veronderstellings van florering onderliggend aan ons wense en gebede vir onsself en ons gemeentes in 2010.  Mag 2010 ‘n jaar wees van gestuurde gemeentes en hoopvolle christene wat floreer in hul deelname aan waarmee God besig is in hul buurte, gemeenskappe, en die wereld!