Original Research

Spirituality for democracy: Spiritual resources for democratic participation in the 21st century

Roderick R. Hewitt
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 35, No 3 | a1345 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v35i3.1345 | © 2014 Roderick R. Hewitt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 March 2014 | Published: 28 November 2014

About the author(s)

Roderick R. Hewitt, School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa


The topic invites us to explore spirituality for democracy and to identify and critique the spiritual resources that are needed for democratic participation in the 21st century. The statement specifically focused on for and not of democracy. Modern expressions of democracy are in crisis. Every context is teething with challenges and conflicts between government sand their citizens concerning how much influence through participation should be allowed in the decision-making process of governance. This topic is of extreme importance for academic discourse because the malaise that has crept into contemporary forms of democratic governance calls for urgent attention. Democratic forms of governance are not set in stone. Rather, they are formed as a result of human deliberation and praxis and cultural developments and must therefore remain open for further reformation. It is this intrinsic capacity for renewal that opens democracy to converse with spirituality. This article begins with identifying the key terms that constitute the academic building blocks of this study. The inherent contradictions in the use of these terms are noted in order to arrive at a theoretical construct to converse with the key concepts of spirituality, democracy, spiritual resources and democratic participation.Through the use of the post colonial lenses of Rastafari hermeneutics, a theoretical framework will be employed to map a life-giving path for contemporary expressions of spirituality for democracy and to identify the resources needed for democratic participation.


Spirituality, Democracy, Spiritual Resources, Democratic participation


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