When bodies speak differently : putting Judith Butler in conversation with Mahatma Gandhi on nonviolent resistance
CITATION: Du Toit, L. & Vosloo, J. 2021. When bodies speak differently : putting Judith Butler in conversation with Mahatma Gandhi on nonviolent resistance. Religions, 12(8):627, doi:10.3390/rel12080627.
The original publication is available at https://www.mdpi.com
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This article puts political philosopher Judith Butler in conversation with Gandhi, on the topic of nonviolent resistance. More particularly, we compare them on a systematic philosophical level. Although we focus on Gandhi’s more activist side, by delving into the ontological presuppositions that Butler and Gandhi share, we can do some justice to how his activism is firmly rooted in a faith-based understanding of the world. We discuss four themes in each of which they complement each other: namely, the ontological roots of the nonviolent imperative; their rejection of an instrumental view of violence; nonviolent resistance seen as communicative action; and nonviolence viewed as a way of life. This discussion shows that while they have very different starting points and vocabularies, and while some tensions remain, there is much scope for cooperation, solidarity and alliance between religious and nonreligious practitioners of nonviolent resistance.