Original Research

Towards a non-colonial [divine] service

Johann-Albrecht Meylahn
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 42, No 1 | a2349 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v42i1.2349 | © 2021 Johann-Albrecht Meylahn | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 August 2021 | Published: 10 December 2021

About the author(s)

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


In this article, Schleiermacher’s idea of a divine service as mitteilende Darstellung (communicative presentation) will be brought into conversation with Gräb’s homiletics as religious speech and then, adding to the conversation, Latour’s tormented religious speech. Latour’s religious speech will, in turn, be brought into conversation with Rancière’s idea of politics in contrast to police, thereby proposing a non-colonial [divine] service, which might have certain similarities with Badiou’s interpretation of theatre. However, being vigilant of the constant threat of again becoming colonial. This temptation or danger could be prevented by a communicative presentation (theatrical performance or enactment) of the Christ Event through a Christ-poiēsis that does not colonise time or space but brings into close proximity (communicative presentation) space and time as the fulfilment of time.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The article, ‘Towards a non-colonial [divine] service’ is written from the South African context, but its relevance is global as it proposes a non-colonial perspective on homiletics and liturgy. It brings together various disciplines (philosophy, political science and economics) into critical constructive conversation with Practical Theology, specifically homiletics and liturgy.


liturgy; homiletics; de-colonial; public theology; divine


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