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Thinking about Complexity

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Transdisciplinarity and Research on Religion and Health in Africa

image of Religion and Theology

Reflecting on research on “religion” and “health” in Africa, one quickly confronts the challenge of what we might call “the complex real”. Adequately to understand and act upon the complex real requires multiple disciplines and interlocking theoretical constructs that transcend any particular discipline. Here the issue of transdisciplinarity arises and, with it, the relationship between knowledge and ethics. Does this have relevance for African Studies, where the intellectual task of asking “what do we know” is hard to separate from the practical one of asking “what should we do”? Here we pursue that question using Max-Neef’s seminal understanding of transdisciplinarity.

Affiliations: 1: Religious Studies, University of Cape Town Cape Town, Republic of South Africa


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