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					Rachel Sophia (Sorita) Baard: Ubuntu, Not Blame: Augustine's Surprising Contribution to a Moral Conversation on HIV/AIDS Rough Draft: Not for Publication. Do not use without written permission of author.

At the 2006 annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Botswana theologian Musa Dube asked this poignant question: what does it mean to do scholarship in an HIV-positive world? Indeed, what does it mean to be church in such a world? I believe that the crisis of 40 million people living with HIV and 8 000 people dying of AIDS every day constitutes a new kairos moment for the church, in other words, a moment of crisis in which the church is called to re-examine its theology and spirituality.1 One of the theological themes that needs re-examining in light of this kairos is our moral language, in other words, the doctrine of sin. Christian moral language on AIDS has often taken the form of moralizing about promiscuity and muttering about punishment of sinners. In reaction, those of us who are less inclined to embrace such a moralistic perspective have found it difficult to formulate a moral language about HIV/AIDS at all. It is imperative that we counter moralistic, judgmental attitudes to AIDS and instead develop a moral language that goes beyond moralism. In what follows, I want to argue that we might find some resources for a moral language for AIDS in a surprising source: the 4th to 5th century church father, St. Augustine of Hippo. I will argue that he offers us an ubuntu vision rather than a language of blame. I do not pretend to formulate a religious solution of develop particular steps that can be taken to combat AIDS, but rather to respond theologically to this kairos. I want to first lift out some salient points regarding the kairos of AIDS, in particular poverty, prejudice, gender discrimination, and stigmatization.

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While HIV/AIDS is a worldwide phenomenon that impacts people from all countries, cultures, and socio-economic classes, it has reached truly epidemic proportions in poorer communities and countries. Not only does poverty bar people from access to effective medical treatment, but it is also an underlying cause of people’s susceptibility to contract HIV in the first place. 2 While the disease is obviously caused by the human immunodeficiency virus, and while sexual behaviour obviously makes a difference, statistics indicate that the presence of HIV/AIDS is correlated more with inadequate nutrition and the presence of parasitic diseases that damage the immune system than with levels of sexual promiscuity, which are in fact more or less the same in African societies as in Western societies.3 Secondly, racism often plays a role in even official responses to AIDS and in particular the African epidemic. For example, economist Eileen Stillwagon notes some racist ideas about African promiscuity brought into the official literature by early 20th century anthropologists who had been influenced by so-called racial science.4 Indeed, as world-famous AIDS activist Paul Farmer also notes, racist undertones were present in Western perspectives on AIDS since the onset of the epidemic, as is strikingly illustrated by some early news broadcasts in the US that pictured nearly naked black figures dancing frenetically around fires when purported links between HIV/AIDS and Haiti were discussed.5 Alongside the stereotyping of gays as sexually irresponsible, the stereotyping of peoples of colour as somehow more “carnal” and primitive, creates a distancing from the problem of HIV/AIDS. A further key element of the kairos of AIDS is the issue of gender roles. It is not by chance that the majority of HIV-positive individuals in sub-Saharan Africa, home to 63%

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of the world’s HIV-positive people, are women. The fact is that, globally, gender role expectations render women poorer than men, as well as sexually and physically vulnerable. In Third World contexts, where poverty is rampant, this vulnerability translates into greater rates of HIV contraction. A fourth key element of the kairos of AIDS is the stigmatization of AIDS and of those living with HIV. Stigmatization is not only destructive of community life, but also contributes to the silence on, and hence the spread of, the disease. One can distinguish between instrumental and symbolic reasons for AIDS-related stigmatization.6 Instrumental reasons refer to issues related to the illness itself, such as its severity, how contagious it is, its prognosis, and the availability of treatment. These instrumental reasons alone would already make AIDS a highly stigmatized disease, especially where treatment is unavailable and prognoses poor. The stigma of AIDS is further exacerbated by symbolic reasons, in other words, the meanings attached to this disease. This is where the destructiveness of moralism can be seen most clearly. Jaco Dreyer notes, Symbolic reasons for HIV/AIDS related stigmatization seem to be particularly important owing to the association of this disease with sexual behaviour, the disease’s association with homosexuality and drug use, the fact that people living with HIV/AIDS are seen to be responsible for contracting the disease, and moral and religious beliefs that imply that having HIV/AIDS is the result of moral failure and therefore, the HIV/AIDS sufferer deserves his or her punishment.7 Early on in the epidemic, church responses tended to strike a moralistic tone.8 Although today judgmental accounts of HIV/AIDS have to a large extent been replaced by calls for compassion, even these compassionate responses often seem to operate with an easy delineation between guilty and innocent. For example, a document of the July 2005 workshop of the Reformed Ecumenical Council on HIV/AIDS states that “many of

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those who are today HIV-positive got the virus innocently” or that “a person’s HIV status, whether it is positive or negative, gives no indication of that person’s moral choices”.9 While seemingly compassionate, this document in actual fact speaks an impoverished moral language, because it seems to presuppose that some individuals contract the virus “guiltily” in a way that exonerates the HIV-negative population from a truly compassionate response rooted in human solidarity. I do not believe that a moral language that focuses on who is blameworthy and who is not, can ground a very deepseated compassion. In short, we need a less individualistic moral language. We find such a moral language in Africa’s most famous theologian, Augustine. Of course, the Roman North Africa of Augustine’s birth does not resemble any Africa we know today, and indeed, Augustine’s great sphere of influence has been in the Western world. However, I would like to bring him home to Africa again, so to speak, by linking his thought to the concept of ubuntu, not by arguing that he was in any way influenced by the ubuntu concept, but by pointing to similar emphases in Augustine. Let me first review the relevant aspects of the ubuntu concept before I go to an analysis of Augustine’s thought. Etymologically, the word ubuntu in the Nguni languages qualifies the word Umuntu (Zulu) or Umntu (isiXhosa), which means human person. Ubu refers to the abstract, whereas –ntu is a reference to the ancestor who spawned human society and gave human beings their way of life.10 We find similar concepts in other sub-Saharan cultures, but people like Archbishop Desmond Tutu made the South African version world famous. He describes it as “the essence of being human. It speaks to the fact that

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my humanity is caught up and is inextricably bound up in yours. I am human because I belong”.11 While ubuntu is primarily an ethical perspective that emphasizes human dignity and living with respect and care towards others, its role in shaping identity should not be underestimated, and it thus serves as a handy guide to African perspectives on individual identity. By emphasizing the wholeness of all being, ubuntu shapes the individual to understand him- or herself as part of a much wider community of living beings.12 This is more than just a vague recognition of the importance of community: it is, rather, an understanding of individual identity as shaped by interaction with the community. In other words, the “person is identified by his or her interrelationships and not primarily by individualistic properties. The community identifies the person and not the person the community”.13 The self is thus understood in terms of participation. Participation, from birth, through life, and beyond life, is key to the identity of the human person.14 Whereas the Western self-understanding can perhaps be summarized by René Descartes’ famous phrase, I think therefore I am, the African self is expressed somewhat like this: I am because others are, and because others are I am.15 Or, similarly: I participate, therefore I am.16 Now, what does this have to do with Augustine? Augustine is often understood in terms of Western individualism – some philosophers even see him as the forerunner of philosophers like Descartes and their focus on the inner life of the individual. However, I want to suggest that the moral individualism of later Western thought is antithetical to Augustine’s own thought and that he actually shares an emphasis that reminds one of the ubuntu perspective.

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First, it needs mentioning that Augustine’s spirituality was clearly focused on communal life. While he himself did not write the Rule of St. Augustine, his writings and example gave rise to it. His episcopal house in Hippo was for himself and some of his clergy a kind of monastery, and in a famous letter to the nuns at Hippo he stressed the importance of living in mutual charity and peace. Augustine’s overall theological vision is also a communal one, as can perhaps best be seen in his emphasis on the sacraments as the effective means by which individuals are sealed into the life of God. In this way he insists that it is within the church that the means of salvation are to be found – that the relationship with the divine is therefore not simply an individualistic one, but rather a communal experience. And although he doubted that we could find lasting happiness in a world marred by temporality, he repeatedly said that such happiness as is possible, can only be found in friendship.17 Indeed, for Augustine, to be human is to be together with others.18 But the clearest and most important indication of a communal vision in Augustine is to be found in the non-individualistic view of humanity that is so clearly at work in his doctrine of original sin. It might seem strange to turn to Augustine in trying to find a moral language for AIDS. In the minds of many he is the theologian of sexual shame and body-negating dualism, and indeed, to the extent that Augustine’s moral language participates in body negating thinking which can contribute to moralistic perspectives on sexuality, its harmful effects on the church’s reaction to AIDS should be recognized. It is true that he often made use of sexual examples in his discussion of concupiscence, which is the sin of desiring worldly things above what is truly good, or that he would occasionally make

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remarks about sexual shame, or speak of the way in which sexual desire disturbs the tranquillity of life.19 He was a man of his time. However, we should beware of operating with clichés about Augustine’s moral language. The fact is that he actually had a far more holistic view of the self than could be found in the predominant philosophies of his day, particularly the Platonic and Manichean worldviews that, to varying extent, operated with a dualism of body and soul and a generally negative view of the body. Augustine reversed the Platonic notion that the body corrupts the soul, arguing instead that the root of corruption lies in the will.20 Moreover, when he says that one should reject the works of the flesh, he takes pain to emphasize that he is referring to a certain mindset and not the things of the physical body per se.21 He even goes so far as to say that “anyone who exalts the soul as the Supreme Good, and censures the nature of flesh as something evil, is in fact carnal alike in his cult of the soul and in his revulsion from the flesh, since this attitude is prompted by human folly, not by divine truth.”22 He also rejected the Manichean notion that created matter is evil, insisting instead on the goodness of the material world as creation of God. While one can therefore speak of an existential type of dualism in Augustine’s thought, in which the body, corrupted by the wrong turn of the will, becomes a source of struggle and pain, this is never a metaphysical dualism in which body and soul are seen to represent two opposing forces – as in Manichaeism – or in which the body is seen as the source of the soul’s troubles – as in Platonism.23 Although he did not go as far in his affirmation of bodily existence as we might like, his comparative holism challenges a complete escape into the realms of the mind and leaves room for a spirituality that is focused on concrete human life, including the life of the body.

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More importantly, it is helpful to keep in mind that when it comes to thinking about sin, the classical alternative to Augustine was the stringent moralism of the British monk, Pelagius. Pelagius believed that we have an entirely free and undetermined will, so that sin does not consist of wrong affections or desires, as Augustine believed, but only of separate acts of the will. To the modern ear Pelagius’ view might sound perfectly rational and fair: unlike Augustine’s, his moral language does not place guilt upon anyone based on some fall from grace by mythical ancestors. More importantly, in the Pelagian model, and its reincarnation in modernity’s perspective on individual moral selfsufficiency, one is held to account only for one’s individual free acts. However, Pelagius’ moral language is philosophically suspect because it is premised upon a view of the self as an isolated individual who has a free will in the sense of being able to choose between the moral and the immoral, as if from a menu. Various critics, from Freud to postmodern and feminist thinkers, have indicated that such a view of the self is a highly problematic notion. They argue that we are not as autonomous as we would like to think, because our moral language, our actions, our very sense of self, are shaped by our surroundings, not to mention by deep desires of the heart that we barely grasp.24 They are not saying that we don’t have some measure of moral choice, but they argue that our moral agency – in other words, our ability to live a moral language - is not just a matter of individual willing, but something that takes place within a broader reality. Apart from being philosophically suspect, the Pelagian model is also ethically problematic because its individual moralism, which leaves the individual “isolated with total and undivided responsibility for what one has done”, lends itself all too easily to a

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blaming metaphor.25 As noted in connection with the stigmatization of AIDS, such moralism and the resultant blame game is very problematic. It is not that Augustine did not also recognize individual responsibility for sin: like other Christian theologians before him, Augustine responded to the manifold fatalistic philosophies of his time with an emphasis on human responsibility for sin. However, in response to Pelagius, and drawing from his own life experiences, Augustine developed his doctrine of original sin, which is a more nuanced moral language that sketches the individual’s responsibility against the larger canvas of corporate human responsibility. Augustine argues that human moral pathologies have deep roots that reach back to Adam, who Augustine believed had contained all of humanity in him.26 He writes in his famous tome, The City of God: God chose to make a single individual the starting-point of all mankind, and…his purpose in this was that the human race should not merely be united in a society by natural likeness, but should be bound together by a kind of tie of kinship to form a harmonious unity, linked together by the ‘bond of peace.’27

Although Augustine might have been more inclined to see Adam as an actual historical individual than many of us might today, he was never just that for Augustine. Adam as symbolical figure stands in for our common human plight: by saying that all of humanity sins in Adam, we are saying that all of humanity is turned away from God in unison. The sin of the individual can thus only be rightly understood by also keeping in mind that it is an expression of a moral blindness shared by all of humanity. As such, Augustine saw individual sinful agency as always rooted in a broader problem. He understood that, ultimately, the locus of sin is not the act itself - the act is,

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rather, an expression of how this particular individual participates in humanity’s corporate disunity with the divine.28 To be sure, modern science and critical readings of the Bible make some of Augustine’s premises obsolete. Nevertheless, they cannot erase the existential truths contained in his perspective - the truth that we are fundamentally opaque to ourselves, that our decisions are shaped by our participation in the corporate reality of humanity, but that we nevertheless have a measure of free will and are not merely victims of fate.29 It is also true that Augustine’s moral language does not include an overt focus on concrete structural, in other words, political, cultural, and economic, realities that harm people. Liberation theologies, which often demand that theology pay attention to such concrete issues, provide a potentially enriching challenge to Augustine’s world-negating tendencies. On the other hand, Augustine’s moral language reminds us that harmful political, cultural, and economic structures are rooted in a fundamental disorientation away from the divine (idolatry) and towards a hungry grabbing of the goods of the world (concupiscence). Augustine’s moral language allows for a perspective on sinful structures in terms of flawed humans who themselves are part of a greater web, yet who participate in that web in ways that are harmful to themselves or others - and as such enact evil, sometimes out of an explicit will to harm, sometimes due to the sheer complexity of life that makes us blind to the sufferings of others. In other words, Augustine urges us not to seek moral responsibility only within the confines of the overtly evil will of particular individuals. Indeed, as Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel often reminds us, indifference is often more complicit in structures of sin than an overtly evil will. We

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need to take seriously the greater human web in which we live if we are to think constructively about individual responsibility, about the role, big or small, each of us plays in shaping the structures within which we and others live and which shape all our moral choices in turn. This moral language is not about shifting blame, but it calls us to responsibility for others from the perspective of a fundamental human solidarity in sin before God. Pointing fingers, the Pelagian mode of sin-talk, is thus exposed as moral laziness that only pretends to focus on human responsibility for sin - what it is in fact is the negation of responsibility, our own responsibility to be for the other. Just as one cannot understand the Augustinian view on actual individual deeds without reference to the broader reality of a universal human predicament and guilt, so one can in turn not understand original sin without reference to the higher reality of God’s grace. This higher reality is simultaneously a deeper reality, as the transcendent God in God’s immanence (the “high” God through his nearness) embraces us in and through grace. Sin is per definition a God-centred notion: it goes beyond mere taboo; it is a way of speaking of whatever ails humanity with reference to God. Augustine’s insistence on the primacy of God’s grace firmly embeds all moral language in the experience of a God who is for us. This means that the doctrine of sin is not a negative take on human nature, but rather a notion that can only be understood in light of the story of divine love for the fundamentally good creature, even when that creature is filled with imperfection, with passions that lead to loss, with all kinds of pathologies. Sin is classically defined as the missing of the mark: it is the missing of the mark of the pure Good of God’s nature; it is anguishing misdirection. Sin’s word of judgment is not a

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moralistic judgment, of individual blaming, but a moral utterance on the loss of corporate human wholeness, made in conjunction with the divine word of grace. A few preliminary conclusions… I believe that the inability of so much of especially the modern Western church to either understand or accept the doctrine of original sin, has a lot to do with an underlying individualistic philosophy of being, which is alien to the relational view of the self operative in Augustine’s thought. As Marjorie Suchocki remarks, the individualization of sin is the trivialization of sin.30 When Augustine speaks of how God created humanity from one single individual in order to bind us together by a tie of kinship to form a harmonious unity, he sounds strikingly African. It is clear that ubuntu’s prioritizing of the community over the individual operates with a very similar logic as is found in Augustine’s doctrine of original sin. The human community in Augustine, like the community envisioned by ubuntu, has both a horizontal and a vertical dimension: horizontally there is the suggestion of human solidarity; and vertically speaking the human community goes all the way back to a common human ancestor –evocative of the ntu in the ubuntu worldview. Both of these are in contrast to Western individualism’s mode of seeing the social in terms of a group of individuals, with the individual as the primary referent. While there are important differences between the moral language of Augustine and ubuntu, and while neither perspective is perfect, they nevertheless share a view of moral agency that takes seriously our imbeddedness in the human community, living and dead. Augustine’s doctrine of original sin, though often misunderstood and maligned, is a moral language that offers us a unified vision, in place of a fragmented one, of our

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moral standing before God. Sin is not about others doing whatever we deem wrong – sin is about our broken human community, and whatever concrete pathologies we see in this world are manifestations of that brokenness. To turn away from the concrete brokenness of others in moral individualism, is yet another manifestation of the very brokenness itself! Moral individualism so easily leads us into the trap of not being responsible for the other – after all, so goes the logic of moral individualism, “it is his fault if he gets AIDS, it is their fault if they are poor – none of my business, not my problem …” In contrast, a self-understanding that is premised upon relationality calls us to greater moral responsibility. Augustine thus challenges us with an “ubuntu-like” view of humanity that emphasizes our unity as the human race, as symbolized in the figure of Adam. The 19th century theologian, Friedrich Schleiermacher, who revised the doctrine of original sin for an age that no longer believes in the historicity of Adam, saw the existential and philosophical insight of Augustine as very important, writing that, “[w]hether, in fact, we regard it as guilt and deed or rather as a spirit and a state, it is in either case common to all; not something that pertains severally to each individual and exists in relation to him by himself, but in each the work of all and in all the work of each; and only in this corporate character, indeed, can it be properly and fully understood”. Apart from his emphasis on sin as a corporate human reality symbolized by Adam, Augustine also reminds us that our pathologies must be understood in light of the New Adam, Christ, who is the human face of divine grace, and who enables us to face our pathologies. Sin is only truly understood from the vantage point of the human experience of grace, and only effectively resisted with the aid of divine grace. Moreover, the person

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who looks at sin from the perspective of grace can look at the sins of others with grace, because grace teaches us humility with regard to our own sins. This humility calls us to move beyond any sort of top-down approach to the social ills (or bodily illnesses) of others. Paul Farmer notes that there are three typical responses to the diseases of the poor. The first is charity, which ignores structural violence and sees victims as intrinsically inferior. The second is development, which does focus on structural issues, but tends to regard progress as an almost natural process, thus often operating with the assumptions that victims suffer because they are too ignorant to make use of “the technological fruits of modernity”. These two approaches view “the other” from above instead of from the perspective of human solidarity. The third approach mentioned by Farmer, the social justice approach, exhibits something of Augustine’s far more nuanced moral vision, especially if the latter is, as I have argued above, understood in conjunction with liberation theology’s structural focus. People who work for social justice, he says, tend to see the world as deeply flawed. They “understand that they have been implicated, whether directly or indirectly, in the creation or maintenance of this structural violence. They then feel indignation, but also humility and penitence”.31 Being “prophet-scholars of life in an age of massive death” requires a re-probing and rethinking of those aspects of our traditions that give us life, as well as a rejection of those aspects of our traditions that are death-dealing.32 Theology in and for the kairos of AIDS needs to go beyond both an blaming moral language and a compassion that dare not speak of sin, neither of which enables us to speak of this concrete pathology in relation to God. While Augustine’s moral language was marred by his own narrow

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conceptions of sexuality and his lack of concrete focus, the church recognized something important in his insistence that the individual’s moral choices are never to be understood in isolation, that a simplistic blame game serves no purpose, and that sin needs to always be understood in light of grace. As Alistair McFadyen expresses it, a “language of blame fixes people in relation to a broken past but authentic sin-talk draws past damage into the liberating future”.33

As South African theologian Tiniyiko Maluleke says, this is a new kairos moment, and“[f]ailure to probe the theological significance of this moment will be not only a missed opportunity but also irresponsible.” See Tinyiko Maluleke, “Towards and HIV/AIDS-Sensitive Curriculum,” in HIV/AIDS and the Curriculum: Methods of Integrating HIV/AIDS in Theological Programmes, ed. Musa W. Dube (WCC Publications, Geneva, 2003), 64.
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Paul Farmer, Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the War on the Poor (Berkeley, University of California Press, 2005), 149. In coming to this conclusion, Farmer is not disrespectful of local cultural beliefs. His experience with Haitians indicates a complex and fluid way of thinking about disease, in which traditional and Western medical views are not necessarily mutually exclusive (150-51). Eileen Stillwagon, AIDS and the Ecology of Poverty (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), esp. 1014, 170-97.

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Stillwagon point to a metaphor evocative of 19th-century racial science found in the influential work of cultural anthropologists, John and Pat Caldwell: the idea of Africans as Homo Ancestralis, humans focused on lineage rather than spousal bonds and thus presumably prone to a higher rate of sexual partner change. Although this racist metaphor is not repeated in all the works that cite the Caldwells, their conclusions are frequently (and uncritically) cited in other scholarly works that are used to support official responses to HIV/AIDS. See Stillwagon, 154-55.

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Paul Farmer, “Haiti and the Geography of Blame”, in Culture and AIDS, ed. Douglas A. Feldman (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1990), 69.

J.S. Dreyer, “Justice for the oppressed: The HIV/AIDS challenge”, in Divine Justice – Human Justice (Pretoria, South Africa: Research Institute for Theology and Religion, UNISA, 2002), 97.
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Dreyer, 98. Italics mine.

See Catholic Bishops of Africa and Madagascar Speak Out on HIV & AIDS, ed. Michael Czerny, S.J. (Nairobi, Kenya: Pauline Publications Africa, 2004), 14. Reformed Ecumenical Council, Towards a Theology of Hope in a Time of HIV/AIDS (Workshops of the Reformed Ecumenical Council, Utrecht, Netherlands, 12-25 July 2005), 2. Available at http://rec.gospelcom.net.
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Buntu Mfenyana, ‘Ubuntu, abantu abelungu”, in The Black Sash Magazine 29:1 (1986): 2

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Desmond Tutu, God has a Dream. New York: Doubleday, 2004, 26.

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Dion Forster, Identity in relationship: The ethics of ubuntu as an answer to the impasse of individual consciousness, 13-14. Available at http://www.spirituality.org.za/files/ubuntu%20and%20identity%20D%20Forster%202006.doc. Also published in The impact of knowledge systems on human development in Africa, ed. C.W. du Toit (Pretoria, South Africa: Research institute for Religion and Theology, University of South Africa, 2007):245-289. C.W. du Toit, “Technoscience and the integrity of personhood in Africa and the West: Facing our technoscientific environment” in The integrity of the human person in an African context: Perspectives from science and religion, ed. C.W. du Toit (Pretoria: South Africa: Research institute for Theology and Religion, University of South Africa) 2004:33. Italics mine. This does not mean the negation of individual identity – in other words, oppressive communalism is not the intended outcome of the ubuntu ethic – it simply says that my personal identity comes to the fore in my interaction with, and place in, my community. Forster, 16.

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A.O. Balcomb, “Human Identity and an African Word-View: Some Interactions with Science and Philosophy,” in The integrity of the Human Person in an African Context: Perspectives from Science and Religion, ed. C.W. du Toit (Pretoria, South Africa: Research Institute for Religion and Theology, University of South Africa, 2004): 71.
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Augustine Shutte, Philosophy for Africa (Rondebosch, South Africa: UCT Press, 1993): 46-51. Augustine, Confessions (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998) 4.6.11

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As Stephen Duffy notes, for Augustine, “[h]uman sociality gravitates toward love, without which the world would be a desert” (Augustine through the Ages 28; ep. Jo. 7.1). Augustine, The City of God (New York: Penguin, 2003), 577 (XIV.16), and 579 (XIV.18).

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He writes that “the corruption of the body, which weighs down the soul, is not the cause of the first sin, but its punishment. And it is not the corruptible flesh that made the soul sinful - it was the sinful soul that made the flesh corruptible” (City of God, 14.3).

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“For among the ‘works of the flesh’ which he [Paul] said were obvious, and which he listed and condemned, we find not only those concerned with sensual pleasure, like fornication, impurity, lust, drunkenness and drunken orgies, but also those which show faults of the mind, which have nothing to do with sensual indulgence…devotion to idols, sorcery, enmity, quarrelsomeness, jealousy, animosity, party intrigue, envy – all these are faults of the mind, not of the body” (City of God, 14.2). City of God, 14.5

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This distinction between existential and metaphysical dualism, which helped to clarify this aspect of Augustine’s thought for me, comes from Stephen J. Duffy’s essay on Augustine’s anthropology in Augustine Through the Ages, 24-31.

Catriona Mackenzie and Natalie Stoljar, “Introduction: Autonomy Refigured,” in Relational Autonomy: Feminist Perspectives on Autonomy, Agency, and the Social Self, ed. Catriona MacKenzie and Natalie Stoljar (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 10-11. On a Freudian reading of original sin, see Stephen J. Duffy, “Our Hearts of Darkness: Original Sin Revisited,” Theological Studies 49 (1988): 597-622. Alistair McFadyen, Bound to Sin: Abuse, Holocaust, and the Christian Doctrine of Sin (New York: Cambridge University press, 2000), 33.
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City of God, 14.13. City of God, 14.1 McFadyen Bound to Sin, 17.

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Paul Rigby argues persuasively that the doctrine of original sin was to a large extent derived from Augustine’s personal experience of sin and salvation and was thus a matter of existential, not merely dogmatic or exegetical, insight (Paul Rigby, Original Sin in Augustine’s Confessions [Ottawa, Canada: University of Ottawa Press, 1987], 7). Marjorie Suchocki, ‘Original Sin Revisited,” Process Studies, 20: 4 (1991), 233. Farmer, Pathologies of Power, 157.

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Musa W. Dube, “Towards Gender-Sensitive Multi-sectoral HIV/AIDS Readings,” in Grant Me Justice! (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2004), 20.

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Alistair McFadyen, “Sin,” in The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 666.

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