Noetics and the notion of "ubuntu"-thinking within an intercultural hermeneutics and philosophical approach to theory formation in practical theology
The basic assumption of the article is that "ideas", embedded in cultural contexts, shape and determine human actions. Noetics contains and represents the spiritual realm of ideas as portrayed by meaning (logos). Noetics represents the intentional dimension of life as connected to philosophical frameworks and determined by significant "ideas". It structures fundamentally the qualitative dimension and rational conceptualization of praxis. In order to attain "praxis change" or to "heal life", inappropriate categories, constructs, paradigms should be transformed. In this regard a practical theological hermeneutics should probe into the philosophical realm of paradigms, i. e. rational patterns of thinking and ideographic conceptualization. It is hypothesized that noetics as hermeneutical praxis reflection functions within the dynamics of cross-or interculturality. With reference to the "rationality" implied within the intentionality of praxis-thinking, the notion of ubuntu-thinking as represented in African noetics, will be analyzed in order to indicate how an intercultural debate can enrich the philosophical scope of practical theological paradigms in theory formation. In the light of this discussion a systemic and relational understanding of praxis will be proposed. © 2011 Walter de Gruyter.