From dis-enclosure to decolonisation : in dialogue with Nancy and Mbembe on self-determination and the other

Gerber, Schalk Hendrik (2018)

CITATION: Gerber, S. H. 2018. From dis-enclosure to decolonisation : in dialogue with Nancy and Mbembe on self-determination and the other. Religions, 9(4):128, doi:10.3390/rel9040128.

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Article

What might a sense of decolonisation (not)/be? Or, what comes after the logic of the coloniser? This question is at the centre of many debates in South Africa and extends to all countries worldwide who are faced with the challenge of self-determination by rethinking the world we live in after the domination of the world by the so-called “all enclosingWestern world-view” incarnated in various oppressive political, economic, social and intellectual practices. The challenge of rethinking the world following the demotion of the West from its centre, as will be argued, is not only for those who are particularly living in a previously colonised world, but also for those who were/ still are in the position of dominance, which is a universal task. It is at this point where the various philosophical traditions meet, more precisely that of continental philosophy of religion and African philosophy. Accordingly, this article seeks to explore the question in two parts by way of an inter-cultural approach. Part one retraces the critique of (a certain) Western metaphysics in terms of its onto-theological constitution. Subsequently, this onto-theological constitution is discussed in relation to the notions of identity and political to outline what a sense of decolonisation might not be, that is a re-enforcement of the logic of the coloniser, which denies the full existence of an-other. In part two, four suggestions are made on what a sense of decolonisation might be in dialogue with Jean-Luc Nancy and Achille Mbembe. The suggestions include a two-sided attitude of reticence/dissidence against falling back into the problematic logic. A move to consider decolonisation as the dis-enclosure of the world, which in turn, opens up a space for an alternative ontology that acknowledges our existence as always being-in-the-word with others. The fourth suggestion concerns the implications of this alternative ontology regarding a non-substantialist notion of identity as mêlée, which is the action of constant struggle within the re-opened space for what it means to live in the world. Finally, it is concluded that the alternative ontology of decolonisation as dis-enclosure implies a universal task of taking responsibility for the reparation of the dignity of the whole of humanity within our shared world.

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