The meaningful act of remembrance

creating space for memories evoked by the voices of decolonisation


  • Ferdi Petrus Kruger North West University: Potchefstroom Campus




In our post-colonial society, the time has come for a meaningful hermeneutical re-evaluation of everyday life experiences. This paper investigates the relationship between painful memories and the meaningful act of remembrance as a tool to guide people down the right path. The post-1994 South African context serves as an excellent backdrop as it does not allow for an over-simplification of the problematic praxis. The research problem is as follows: Could the act of remembrance possibly enable people to engage with painful memories while addressing the topic of decolonization? The research followed Dingemans’s visualization of a research project. The approach starts by considering the present situation, which is subject to analysis to reveal the reality of what is going on. This is followed by theological reflection to ask how the gospel should be heard in these circumstances to elucidate the path of Christian obedience. The reflection culminates in goals and the identification of resources. This in turn leads to action, which becomes the basis for further reflection, and so the hermeneutical cycle continues. This investigation was done from a practical-theological vantage point with due consideration of a number of important principles gleaned from recent research on this topic. The paper closes with liturgical perspectives on how remembrance could enable people to edit their memories. Remembrance can enable people to listen so that they learn that interrupting silences and creating opportunities of storey-telling could cultivate moments of remembrance. Such moments bring profound hope.