Liminality and ontological materiality : an investigation of a dualistic christian grand narrative, governing human relationship with the natural world

Heyns, Tertius (2017-03)

Thesis MA(VA)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis is an investigation of the historical influence of Christianity on the grand narratives governing the human relationship with the natural world. It examines the role that certain central Christian metaphors have played in the moral conditioning of humans and especially the way in which particular Biblical texts have been constructed as a fantasy of mastering and escaping the natural world. The result is a problematic dualistic narrative that posits nature primarily as a flawed, temporary home from which escape is necessary, in direct contrast to an eternal spiritual afterlife which offers perfection and salvation. Humankind’s utimate dependence on the natural is denied, resulting in further alienation from nature. Reductive and violent Biblical binary oppositions, become a trigger for my visual art and intuitive prosesses, through which I visually express a personal concern, engaging and challenging these largely uncontested monolythic narratives. I employ the postmodern concept of ontological materiality to emphasize and confront a deep rooted epistemological discrimination against the natural world. In my art installations, I use the idea of liminality, where the viewer is confronted with coplex emotional experiences, which hopefully serve to evoke perceptual change. My thesis is not an iconoclastic attack on Christianity, but a neccecary investigation of its enduring influence on contemporary, secular grand narratives, like science, capitalism and politics. It is a humble attempt to contribute towards a new narrative and to provoke alternative views regarding the natural world.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Raadpleeg teks vir opsomming

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/101246
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