Original Research - Special Collection: Practical Theology

Renewal according to the mind of Christ as trigger for prophetic action in dealing with human waste

Friedrich W. de Wet
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 70, No 2 | a2630 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i2.2630 | © 2014 Friedrich W. de Wet | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 February 2014 | Published: 03 September 2014

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Friedrich W. de Wet, Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa

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One of the distinct effects of how we as humans deal with our waste seems to manifest in the growing chasm between those ‘privileged’ by the dominant, waste-generating system and those marginalised by the same system. Those privileged by the system are isolated in a safe world where waste is seemingly managed in an effective way: being sanitised, black-bagged and removed from sight as soon as it is produced. In contrast, those marginalised by the system have to deal with the very real and lasting relationship between waste, disease and death – not only with reference to their own waste but by also having to deal with the excessive waste of others dumped in their immediate environment. The purpose of this contribution is to reflect theologically on the possible role that Pauline perspectives on renewal according to the mind of Christ can play in the tension field created by how humanity deals with its waste: What prophetic action can possibly be triggered when those privileged by the system as well as those marginalised by it can be brought to a point where they look at each other through the eyes of Christ and with his mind-set informing their perspective? This problem-field is investigated from a practical-theological vantage point by (1) describing and interpreting the contrast between how privileged and marginalised seem to deal with human waste and its effects (especially as it manifests in the South African society), (2) reflecting on the normative value that an investigation of the Pauline concept mind of Christ can have for a humane way of dealing with our waste and (3) visualising a prophetic praxis in which the privileged and marginalised can, through the mind-set of Christ, be empowered to enact a kind of communal life in which we are not estranged from our humanity in the process of dealing with our waste.


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