Original Research

Intersecting culture, values and transformation in shaping an integrated ethnic identity within a diastratically variated society: Employing South Africa as a case study

Jennifer Slater
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 37, No 1 | a1598 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v37i1.1598 | © 2016 Jennifer Slater | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 February 2016 | Published: 02 December 2016

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Jennifer Slater, Department of Philosophy, Practical and Systematic Theology, University of South Africa, South Africa

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This article intersects various human diversities through the lens of Christian beliefs and practices as presented in Galatians 3:28. It sets out to identify some of the diastratic diverse factors that influence and shape the distinct socio-economic and cultural environments of the South African arrangement. The amalgam of Christian beliefs, together with cross-cultural practices and philosophical configurations, constitutes a wide range of worldviews that counter the formation of national unity and identity. By examining issues such as diversity and specifically diastratic diversity, as well as inclusiveness as the elixir to bring about national unity, it offers ways of embracing egalitarian ethics to bring about an integrated national identity. This article focuses attention on how value-transformation can be instrumental in the formation of national identity. As the demographics in South Africa are still dualistically designed, boundaries such as male and female, black or white, rich and poor, local or foreign, indigenous and alien, the study takes cognisance of these differences so as to bring all people into the equation of being human by accommodating multiple shades of skin colours, gender, social, cultural and ethnic variations into a diastratic unity. The article draws on how the composition of the Jesus Movement and early Christians, when St Paul, specifically in Galatians 3:28 dealt with diastratic diversity while establishing a Christian identity in antiquity.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The approach to the article is multidisciplinary in the sense that it puts the contextual socio-economic and cultural South African problem of diastratic diversity under the searchlight of biblical, theological, ethical, sociological and constitutional specialities. It scrutinises the contemporary societal disorder of antagonism in the light of the early Christian values of inclusiveness and respect for human dignity so as to develop a sense of national cohesiveness that transcends differences and division. It proposes the cultivation of an inclusive diversity consciousness as a pastoral realisation that diversity is positive and necessary for healthy national building.


diastratic; diversity; inclusiveness; universalism; culture of inclusion; diversity consciousness; diversity skills; equalitarianism


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Crossref Citations

1. The Christian ethic of inclusive leadership within diastratic diversity: employing liminality as an analytical tool
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Koers - Bulletin for Christian Scholarship  vol: 83  issue: 1  year: 2018  
doi: 10.19108/KOERS.83.1.2320