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Black Consciousness as an Expression of Radical Responsibility: Biko an African Bonhoeffer

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The article reflects on the ongoing relevance of Biko's thought 30 years after his death. It is not so much a comparison between Biko and Bonhoeffer's thinking as it is a focus on one aspect of Bonhoeffer's thinking, namely the insistence on independence and self-responsibility in your own situation, which is a premise of Biko's thinking. As the father of Black Consciousness in South Africa, Biko laid the foundation for black self-understanding and self-responsibility. The value of his thinking lies in a hermeneutics of consciousness, which he established and which is a presupposition of his ideals of self-responsibility and self-emancipation. Biko's hermeneutics of the self is considered with reference to the forces that kept black people captive. Although Black Consciousness is seen as a historically contingent phenomenon, the challenge of black liberation remains. Biko's legacy is vital for the establishment of a hermeneutics of poverty and freedom, which is presented as a condition for African liberation in the 21st century.


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Affiliations: 1: Research Institute for Theology and Religion, University of South Africa, P.O. Box 392, UNISA 0003, Republic of South Africa


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