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“Not According to Human Criteria”: Bernard Lategan’s Reading of Galatians in a Crumbling Apartheid State

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the influence continuous reading of Paul's letter to the Galatians had on Bernard C. Lategan. During the eighties, his reception of the letter freed him, an Afrikaans speaking academic, to move beyond the racist and nationalistic constraints of his personal environment in the apartheid state, to further the course of an inclusive South African democracy. The chapter traces the role the letter to the Galatians played in his engagement to a change towards a democratic South Africa during the 1980s. Lategan's redefinition of the relationship between Christianity and nationalism was influenced decisively by his interpretation of Paul's letter to the Galatians. According to Lategan, Paul demonstrates in the letter to the Galatians how ethical decisions are to be prepared. Paul presents an ethical minimum to stimulate a creative and responsible application of basic theological principles in new situations.

Keywords: Apartheid; Bernard C. Lategan; Christianity; Galatians; nationalism; Paul's letter

10.1163/9789047410591_004
/content/books/b9789047410591s004
dcterms_subject,pub_keyword
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