Original Research - Special Collection: Urban Public Theology in South Africa

Structural transformation and democratic public spaces: Reflections on Habermas and the 2014 Tshwane State of the Capital City Address

Wessel Bentley
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 70, No 3 | a2755 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i3.2755 | © 2014 Wessel Bentley | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 June 2014 | Published: 20 November 2014

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Wessel Bentley, Research Institute for Theology and Religion, University of South Africa, South Africa


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Abstract

Judging by the immense global academic interaction with his work, Jürgen Habermas’s social theory, with particular reference to structural transformation of the public sphere and democracy, is one of the most constructive models for understanding the role and function of citizens in forming healthy societies. This article investigates the recent 2014 Tshwane State of the City Address in light of Habermas’s theory. Is Habermas’s theory relevant to the South African urban context? Do African cities like Tshwane subscribe to the Habermasean social formula or does it understand the public sphere in ways that require an amended interpretation of what Habermas conveys? This article provides a theological-ethical perspective on this Habermasean investigation of the 2014 Tshwane ‘State of the Capital City Address’.

Keywords

Habermas; City of Tshwane; Structural Transformation

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