Discussions with members of the Dutch Reformed Church and the Uniting Reformed
Church in Southern Africa in Ohrigstad, illustrate the possibilities of ubuntu language
in dealing with misunderstanding and distrust.
This research utilises a narrative approach, based on a postmodern epistemology
and pastoral practical theology that explores ubuntu language as a helpful discourse.
It engages the context of these two churches in Ohrigstad and investigates
experiences and challenges within the local community. The local experiences are
described against the broader history of the Dutch Reformed Church and the Uniting
Reformed Church in Southern Africa, which the Ohrigstad churches are imbedded in.
Individual narrative research conversations with church members in Ohrigstad
display a longstanding relationship with stories of trust and distrust. This culminates
into a group discussion that explores the role of ubuntu language - and at times the
lack thereof - in the concrete relationship between these two faith communities as an
expression of recent South African history. The conversations offer local knowledge
which displays both unique outcomes by strengthening identity, unleashing potential,
celebrating diversity, awakening solidarity, revealing humanity, bolstering
responsibility and enhancing Christianity, and it also deconstructs oppressive
discourses including race and otherness, rich and poor, and language.
The research offers an approach to deal with distrust and misunderstanding on grass
roots level, using insights gained from ubuntu language.