Browsing by Author "Momberg, Marthie"
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- ItemCosmological distortion and coherence in Tsotsi (2005) : a perspective on the role of Miriam(Stellenbosch University, Faculty of Theology, 2013-02) Momberg, MarthieIn interpreting a film, the viewer actively participates in the construction of information. But whose perspective counts when doing so? Most people have such deep-seated frameworks of the universe that they do not even realise that farreaching differences between interpreting totality do exist between people. As a result, they often project their own cosmological views onto the characters in a film. Without considering a relevant cosmological perspective in Tsotsi, an understanding of gender roles may be deprived of the necessary nuance and unjust conclusions could be reached. What should be noted here, is that concepts such as wisdom, the maintenance of harmonious social relationships and the measuring of the quality of experience through texture that are often linked to the female principle are also typical symbolic expressions of a coherent traditional African cosmology. This article explores the role of Miriam within such framework to conclude that her character overcomes gender stereotypes.
- ItemDifferent ways of belonging to totality : traditional African and Western-Christian cosmologies in three films : an exploratory literature study(Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2010-12) Momberg, Marthie; Louw, D. J. (Daniel Johannes), 1944-; University of Stellenbosch. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Practical Theology and Missiology.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study distinguishes between religion as a sense of belonging to the ultimately-real and specific religious traditions. Religion, as used here, concerns a cosmological understanding of the universe and with that which is experienced as meaningful and real on an existential level. Although differences between religious traditions are generaly known, most people‟s emotional conceptual frameworks of the universe are so deep seated that they do not even realise that far-reaching differences between people on this level too are possible. It often happens, for example, that concepts such as transcendence and redemption are incorrectly accepted as universal to all of humanity. Yet in fact, cosmological concepts (the nature and experience of the immediate world out there, the conceptual understanding of time, the role of chance versus determinism, the source of religious knowledge and so forth) can be experienced differently on a symbolic level. In the context of Religion and Media which is the field of study relevant here, as well as in a number of other contexts, it is problematic when scholars project their own views of reality and meaning experiences onto those of others – especially when they expressly articulate their intention as the opposite. John Cumpsty (1991) distinguished three ways in which a person can derive meaning from the cosmic totality and I shall discuss two of these with reference to the Western-Christian and the traditional African reality views. From this, it becomes clear that radical different patterns of cosmological understanding are possible, each with its own systemically related set of symbols. Along with Cumpsty‟s theory, I also use the theory of Castells (2005) on the construction of social identities, as well as the theory of Sen (2006) on the use of cognitive versus affective dimensions in identity formation, to indicate how cosmological symbols can be positioned differently. With these three theories in mind, I subsequently interpret the identities of the main characters in three films hermeneutically. I specifically selected this medium as a segment of life to be studied because of the increasing popularity of the medium in reflection, construction and projection of existential meaning. Another reason for my choice is the many examples where interpretors of film project their own cosmological understanding onto those of others whilst they actually intend to be pluralistic. The findings of this study surprised me. Firstly and as expected, it clarifies the nature of differences between the Western-Christian and the traditional African cosmologies, as well as how these are implemented in praxis and by symbolic interpretations. However, the integration of the three theories also afforded me the opportunity to develop a method for a religious-cosmological analyses of identities. According to this method, an interpretor of films can distinguish between his or her own paradigm and a possible other paradigm. It allows the analyst to acknowledge the own paradigm and simultaneously respect another paradigm – without projecting the own onto the other. Therefore this method diminishes the chances of using dubble-text interpretation which maintains or promotes the exclusion of others. With this method, as well as the findings of this study, one can go much wider than the field of Religion and Media, as it involves the understanding of identity and different ways of belonging to the cosmic totality.
- ItemHotel Rwanda : individual heroism or interconnectedness in the portrayal of Paul Rusesabagina?(Stellenbosch University, Faculty of Theology, 2016) Momberg, MarthieWhy does the protagonist in the film ‘Hotel Rwanda’ (2004) shelter almost 1300 refugees and in the process risk his own life? Most critics say it is because Paul Rusesabagina is a hero. Yet heroism as an individual act of courage may not be the only answer. I argue that an inclusive enactment of interconnected, communal belonging opens up the possibility to understand facets of Rusesabagina’s bravery as a spiritual choice. To fail to consider clues from the Rwandese society and its heritage may, even with the best of intentions to do the opposite, result in projections of the self that compound the tragedy of othering in the Rwandan genocide of 1994 when the world turned a blind eye to the massacre.
- ItemIn search of the grain : Israel, the Palestinians, South Africa and Germany(Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, 2019) Momberg, MarthieIn this article I investigate the scientific grounds for reflecting on Palestine-Israel in light of other struggles, particularly those against Nazism and South African apartheid. Keeping in mind the distinction between simplistic comparisons and the use of analogies when events are not exact replications of one another, I evaluate John de Gruchy’s intersectional approach to Israel and the Palestinians. Likewise, I reflect on the cross-contextual reasons for Jewish Israeli and South African activists’ impression of the Palestinian struggle being part of a broad moral struggle against othering that transcends the boundaries of the geo-political context. The article concludes that critical scientific discussions and responsible moral discernment on Israel’s relation with the Palestinians cannot ignore the meta-narratives of systemic injustices such as state-sanctioned violence, apartheid, colonialism or ethnic cleansing that gave rise to resistance movements and prophetic theology in the contexts of Nazism and South African apartheid.
- ItemIsraeliese en Suid-Afrikaanse burgers se redes vir toetrede tot die Palestynse stryd(LitNet, 2019) Momberg, MarthieWaarom sou iemand wat nie self Palestyns is nie, die Palestynse stryd aktief en in die openbaar ondersteun? Hierdie artikel bied ’n oorsig oor die redes waarom Joods-Israeliese en SuidAfrikaanse burgers aangesluit het by die Palestynse bevrydingstryd. Dus: Wat het die 21 deelnemers aan die navorsing laat beweeg van onbetrokkenheid na aktivisme? Ek beantwoord hierdie vrae aan die hand van navorsing vir my doktorale studie in empiriese etiek. Dié kwalitatiewe, induktiewe studie was ondersoekend en is daarom gerig deur ’n navorsingsvraag eerder as deur enige teorieë of hipoteses. My doel was om die respondente se werklike redes vanuit hulle eie gesigspunte te verstaan, en daarom is die navorsingsresultate in die vorm van begronde stellings. Ongeveer die helfte van die deelnemers het die stelselmatige, veelvlakkige en onwettige aard van Israel se magsmisbruik herken sonder dat hulle enige gevestigde Sionistiese persepsies of ander lojaliteite moes verskuif. Die ander helfte was egter onthuts, geskok en ontstel deur die magdom vals inligting wat hulle geglo het en dat hul lojaliteit teenoor Israel se beleid teenoor die Palestyne indruis teen hulle sienings van menswaardigheid. Hierdie groep het drastiese aanpassings gemaak. Nie een van die 21 deelnemers het dus hulle waardes verskuif toe hulle aktiviste geword het nie, maar almal het hul innerlike moraliteit met die werklikheid gekalibreer. Organiserende beginsels soos toeval, keuse, normaliteit, bestemming, intuïsie en die onverklaarbare speel ’n rol by almal se toetredes, en so ook ’n verskeidenheid kontekstuele faktore wat as katalisators of snellers gedien het. Almal is dit egter eens dat die Palestynse stryd ’n appèl plaas op hulle integriteit. Ten diepste het hulle behoefte om eerlik en konsekwent hul waardes ten opsigte van almal en in alle omstandighede uit te leef en om ander dieselfde te gun as vir hulself, hulle tot aksie laat oorgaan.
- ItemThe Palestinian struggle, South Africans and Jewish Israelis: Crosslines between solidarity, faith, spirituality and agnosticism(Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, 2020) Momberg, MarthieWhat role does religion play (or not play) in transnational activism in the context of prolonged violence? The narrow strip of land known as Palestine and Israel has special significance to three of the world's largest faith traditions - Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. The motivations of 21 South African and Jewish Israeli activists in support of the Palestinian struggle offer an inductive, contextual perspective on the interplay between differences in religiosity and shared aims and values in this context. These respondents to a case study in empirical ethics hold tensions of difference and yet navigate between religious and other existential orientations in their praxis of solidarity with the marginalised. The article discusses how and why the activists, despite their different convictions, share similar views of the positive and negative roles played by religion in the Palestinian struggle.
- ItemWhy activists? : a case-study into the self-perceived motivations of selected South Africans and Jewish Israelis in the Palestinian project(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2017-03) Momberg, Marthie; Hansen, L. D.; Smit, D. J.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Systematic Theology and Ecclesiology.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Why would one publicly support the Palestinian cause if one is not Palestinian oneself? By exploring answers to this question, this inductive, contextual case study in empirical ethics shares insights on creative, non-violent activism, and envisions another reality, at grassroots level, in respect of a struggle in a geographical site that has special significance to the world’s three largest monotheistic religions. It explains steadfast perseverance and hopeful action in an ever-tightening system where the oppressor is lauded and supported by global powers and people of faith. This study is exploratory, and therefore the research is informed by the research question, rather than by pre-existing or pre-determined theories or hypotheses. The research results are presented in the form of grounded statements. In their in-depth interviews, the 21 respondents all contextualised the Palestinian project (the Palestinians’ experience of pain and their struggle for freedom) in terms of Israel and key events of the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries. Along with this historico-political perspective, they suggested a geo-political perspective that is far wider than Historical Palestine. One of the main findings is the respondents’ impressions of intersectionality between the Palestinian project and other struggles for justice in the world, and that the Palestinian project brings these other issues into sharp focus too. The abuse of power, militarism, the fanning of fear, religious fundamentalism and manipulation, greed, racism, classism, sexism and neoliberalism are all seen as forming part of a polarising ethos used to justify oppression. Respondents argued that the points of tangency between the Palestinian struggle and other struggles heighten the global imperative to solve the Palestinian issue. It is this holistic perspective, rather than nationalism or a desire to privilege religion, that inspires the respondents. Their point of departure is not a national state, but the moral state between people from different orientations that should also be realised in equal, dignified political, legal, economic, religious, urban and other rights. The respondents are driven by their strong desire for consistent, inclusive moral integrity. This dimension is present throughout the four central themes in the data, and their sub-themes, substantiated by nuanced and sometimes diverse views. The analysis starts with an overview of the triggers, behavioural modes and insights in the initial phase of activism. Then it focuses on moral integrity, respondents’ holistic perspectives and their inclusive understanding of altruism, compassion, equality, honesty, truth and openness. It ends with remarks on the perceived urgency for public advocacy, preferred strategies, outcomes and experiences of worthwhileness. The case study utterly rejects the claim that the Palestinian project forms part of a religious clash. It highlights the detrimental roles of Zionism and Israel’s ethos of power abuse under the guise of “protection”. All respondents, whether religious or not, deem Zionism – in its secular form, in Judaism and Christianity – to be a gross manipulation of truth, one that vilifies Palestinians. However, inclusive interpretations of religious, spiritual and existential views can inspire activism. The respondents critiqued the constructs of individualism, dualism, mono-identities, absolutism and self-directed, destructive interconnectivity. Many have found new, profound meaning with people whose values and vision for human dignity they share. Through this, and through their mutuality with the Palestinians, they are already experiencing some aspects of the reality they aspire to.