Original Research

Teopoëtika (radikale Godstaal) en I.L. de Villiers se gedigte

Nico C. Smit, Johann-Albrecht Meylahn
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 41, No 1 | a2140 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v41i1.2140 | © 2020 Nico C. Smit, Johann-Albrecht Meylahn | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 August 2020 | Published: 21 December 2020

About the author(s)

Nico C. Smit, Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Johann-Albrecht Meylahn, Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

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Theopoetics (radical God-talk) and the poems of I.L. de Villiers. Is a postmodern God-talk possible and can poetry be used to execute the question? The article focuses on whether the term theopoetics can be applied to the works of De Villiers and whether they are only theopoetry. The building blocks (the terms from which theopoetics originates) of theopoetics are explained. This entails poetic analysis, metaphor and all the forms of metaphor, narrative theology, postmodern philosophy (and postmodernity), social construct and narrative, imagination, people’s search for aesthetics (also literary aesthetics), as well as mysticism. One of the main questions in this article points to the possibility that theopoetics (radical postmodern God-talk) can be a mode of speech after the death of God and whether it provides a way to talk about God when metaphysics cannot speak of God anymore. Poetry and theopoetics are compared and a way is shown of how poetry can assist to speak about God. Meylahn’s proposed method was chosen to execute the research. Two poems that are to be read theopoetically are also presented in this article.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The article explores the possibility of postmodern God-talk within Practical Theology. The traditional discourses and/or views of metaphysics are being challenged through exploring the possibility of theopoetics and its contribution to postmetaphysical God-talk as a third – or middle – way to speak of God.


postmodern God-talk; I.L. de Villiers; poetry; theopoetics; postmodernism; radical theology; liturgy


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