The “subjectivation” of earth in the Christian and Tsonga religio-cultural traditions : a comparative analysis

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. H. Viviers; Prof. H. Brookes en_US
dc.contributor.author Tovela, Dinis Silvano
dc.date.accessioned 2012-07-31T10:19:43Z
dc.date.available 2012-07-31T10:19:43Z
dc.date.issued 2012-07-31
dc.date.submitted 2012
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/5360
dc.description M.A. en_US
dc.description.abstract This research expounds upon the themes of religio-cultural belief systems in relation to the Earth, belief systems which shape humankind’s attitude toward the Earth. That is, this research sets out to consider the flows and influences of religious belief systems on the relationship between humankind and their environment. The focus of this research is a comparison between the Christian and Tsonga worldviews of the ideological status of the Earth, and the implications of this for Mozambicans. The term “Subjectivation” is being used in this research with the understanding that it refers to the viewing of the Earth and all its components – biotic and abiotic – as endowed with life; that is, “Subjectivation” refers to the religious world-view of animating the Earth and all its components, thus viewing it as a “subject” in its own right. The aim of this research is to highlight the necessity for eco-justice living between humankind and the rest of the Earth’s community; for, it is proven that the lack of eco-just living due to the view held about the Earth (as a commodity), leading to humankind’s exploitation of the Earth, has resulted in negative environmental and climactic repercussions “…putting the future of the planet in jeopardy” (Habel 2000a: 49).The purpose of this study is to make humankind aware that it is critically important that they adopt an eco-just attitude toward the Earth, with the basis in the valuation of the dignity of Earth. At stake is the human self-hegemony that unjustifiably is perpetrated against the Earth. Humans, in most cultural interpretations have bestowed on themselves the authority of doing at one’s will, on the ostentation of the unfounded superiority in relation to the Earth. Habel’s (2000a: 42-53 six ecojustice principles, retrieved and developed from the Christian biblical perspective, were the framework used, with the intention of discovering their presence (or lack thereof) within the Tsonga belief system. A comparative analysis shows that there are structural similarities between the two religious traditions with regard to the Earth and ecology. In both traditions are ecological values within the belief systems, and if lived out, there would be no serious ecological crisis within its communities. However, there is a strong criticism for Westerners who imposed their culture and religious traditions on indigenous people in general and on Tsonga people in particular, thus radically changing their traditional living, which was eco-friendly all along. There is an old Portuguese proverb that says: “other peoples’ (in this case, beings’ on Earth) peace depends on ours and vice versa”. If such is the case, then we can logically pose the questions: How can humanity know peace on Earth, while the Earth itself and all its other components are not enjoying peace due to the very same humanity’s exploitation and pillaging of it? What belief systems and attitude should the Christian and the Tsonga hold towards the Earth, especially the Mozambican Earth? One encouraging sign of our developing ecological awareness is the “Green Revolution” which has also surfaced in Mozambique. From social to political, producer to consumer, calls are echoing for green living. More and more pro-Earth organisations are emerging. Today there is a vast gamut of them from all social spheres: secular non-governmental organisations (NGO’s), governments, political parties (in Mozambique there are three ecological parties—MINED 2006: 245), and religious. However, as Fernando Pessoa, (quoted by Chiambe 2010: 7) said, “Society is a system of malleable egoism, of intermittent concurrence”. This being so, treaties, laws, regulations, and policies on environment and development have the sound of two voices which overlap and end up remaining only on paper and are never implemented. It is especially by means of a comprehensive and focused educational endeavour that the people of Mozambique need to be sensitized about the sacredness of the Mozambican Earth and their responsibility towards it. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Tsonga (African people) - Religion en_US
dc.subject Earth - Religious aspects - Christianity en_US
dc.subject Environmental justice en_US
dc.subject Human ecology in the Bible en_US
dc.subject Subjectivation en_US
dc.title The “subjectivation” of earth in the Christian and Tsonga religio-cultural traditions : a comparative analysis en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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