It has always been said that South Africa is a very religious country. But the moment that one begins to analyse what is meant by `Christian' in the statement that most people in South Africa are adherents of Christianity, it becomes clear that the religious scene is more varied and dynamic than is statistically displayed. The profile of Christianity in South Africa normally omits those contours drawn by the thousands of African Instituted Churches, to which most Christians in this country belong. What is needed is a more accurate profile of the South African religious reality and to ask in what way the transition to a post-apartheid society will influence the religious scene. How will a new and religious neutral government influence religions? What influence will the new constitution -- one of the most liberal in the world -- have on values and morals? And to what extent will the end of white religious and political authority, so seldom questioned in the past, influence the followers of these religions?
In a post-apartheid, democratic and pluralistic South Africa, where contradictory forces and a plurality of truths seem to coexist, where the lifestyles of its inhabitants can be typified as simultaneously pre-modern, modern and postmodern, one may expect fascinating social and religious phenomena to emerge. There is, for example, the very strong possibility of a resurgence of the influence of African primal religions both in the African Instituted Churches (AICs) and the black mainline churches. There is the question as to what direction the traditional white churches are going to take. To what extent will they allow their truths and customs to be Africanised, and to what extent will they try to survive in a ghetto-like subculture? Will the projected process of secularisation, which has been warned against so often in the past, escalate or will a new context of religious interaction be developed in a situation where religions are now on an equal level? How will African custom, which makes no distinction between holy and secular, influence our society? What will the effects be of the weakening influence of institutional religion on the lifestyles of people?
FIN DE SIÉCLE
Living at the end of the twentieth century allows one a panoramic view of a cultural and historical landscape imbued with the contours of dreams and constructions, ideologies and philosophies that could not keep the torrents of change and disillusionment at bay. The crown prince of modernism has abdicated in favour of a self-critical neo-modern and postmodern multiplicity of rulers.
As we approach the end of the twentieth century we find religions and eschatologies flourishing again. A new interest in the power of primal religions, the recognition of the importance of cultural roots, and the acceptance of modes of interpretation and explanation foreign to modernism seem to set the scene for a new century. The metaphysical and even religious overtones of the new cosmology and quantum mechanics seem to tolerate the paradoxical, the subjective, and the incommensurable. This differs from the strict empirical approach typical of the natural sciences and should favour the approaches of the human sciences with their subjective and existential elements. Rationalism and realism must be broadened out to include the influential factors of importance in hermeneutical processes -- factors which cannot always be quantified or fitted into existing models.
On the religious front it must be accepted that religious and cultural pluralism is a given. This implies acceptance of the fact that the different world religions are here to stay and that they play an irreplaceable role in their communities. The projections of Christian missionaries about the evangelisation of the world before the turn of the century have not been realised, and should not be realised in the light of the role indigenous religions play and because of the importance of cultural unity. Religious freedom implies a free-market environment where religions and theologies, the spiritual and rational, the transcendental and traditional, all interact in a vibrant way. These all contribute to determining our post-secular world.
Formal institutions are appended or replaced by community initiatives, and official doctrinal legacies by a new appreciation of stories. What counts are all incentives contributing to man's search for meaning. All life-engendering metaphors are welcomed and assimilated in the process of religious signification. This state of affairs may be called the post-secular.
FROM SECULARISM TO POST-SECULARISATION
A long-standing consensus on classical versions of secularisation theory has broken down in recent decades. The `extinction of religion argument' contends that unbelief has taken the place of faith, reason the place of the Bible, politics the place of religion and the Church, earth the place of heaven, work the place of prayer, material distress the place of hell, and man the place of Christianity. This has not been realised, according to Küng (1994:14), as today it is obvious that neither the `abolition of religion' by atheistic humanism (Feuerbach) nor the `extinction' of religion by atheistic socialism (Freud) has proved to be a true prognosis. On the contrary, faith (!) in the goodness of human nature (Feuerbach) has proved an understandable projection, faith in the future socialist society (Marx) a consolation governed by particular interests, and faith in rational science a dangerous illusion. Though we must take the problems of both theoretical and practical nihilism seriously, Nietzsche's prognosis of the death of God has proved false. KÏng then refers to the Soviet Union and China as examples of the return of religion in the new era after modernity.
Religion's stubborn refusal to disappear has prompted a major re-evaluation of inherited models of secularisation. The `facts' are not greatly disputed: new religious movements arise; older movements like Pentecostalism and Mormonism are expanding; religious fundamentalism thrives throughout the world and so on (see Chaves 1994:749).
The secularisation thesis and why it has not been realised
The theological concept of secularisation is captured in the words of Bonhoeffer (1953:360): And we cannot be honest unless we recognize that we have to live in the world etsi Deus non daretur (as if God is not a given). This is just what we do recognize -- before God! God himself compels us to recognize it. So our coming of age leads us to a true recognition of our situation before God. God would have us know that we must live as men who manage our lives without him. The God who is with us is the God who has forsaken us (Mark 15:34). The God who lets us live in the world without the working hypothesis of God is the God before whom we stand continually. Before God and with God we live without God. God lets himself be pushed out of the world on the cross ... This will probably be the starting point for our `secular interpretation'.
Secularisation concerns the diminution of the social significance of religion (see Wiersenga 1992:74--107).The term `secularisation' has become a metaphor for many meanings, which are determined by the standpoint of whoever uses them. It designates a complex state of affairs. According to Berger (1969:107), secularisation means the process by which sectors of society and culture are removed from the domination of religious institutions and symbols.
Wiersenga (1992:75--76) stresses the reaction of religion against metaphysics and mentions that secularisation can only accept a theology that is realistic and practical, and which can be portrayed and experienced.
Wilson (1982:149--150) sees secularisation as that process by which the actions and consciousness of religious institutions lose their social significance. This does not mean that individuals have relinquished their interest in religion, but simply that religion ceases to be significant in the social system.
Crippen (1988:319) sums up the secularisation thesis as follows:
- the transfer of real property and its influence from ecclesiastical to civil authorities
- the transfer of socialising influence (community governance, schools, taxation) from ecclesiastical to civil authority
- the decline in popular commitment (economic and moral) to agencies which specialise in supernatural concerns
- the `decay of religious institutions'
- the shift from the `religious' to `technical' criteria as motives for behaviour
- a shift in consciousness away from a generally religious framework towards an `empirical, rational, and instrumental orientation'
- the separation of emotion and judgement from perception analysis.
The term `secularisation' has its roots in the Christian distinction between the spiritual and the secular.If the process of secularisation were to be completed, it is said, the spiritual sphere would disappear and everything would become secular. Secularism is traditionally viewed as the absence of the experience of the supernatural or transcendent in people's lives. In the process of secularisation people have reacted against what is termed the oppressive domination by the church via the supernatural, the separation between God and the world had to be set aside, and humankind became the reference point for reality (Kasper 1990:85).
On the religious front it was theologians like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Friedrich Gogarten, Paul van Buren, Harvey Cox, Thomas Altizer, John Hick, Jürgen Moltmann and several liberation theologians who set the pace in verbalising and interacting with the idea of secularism (see Heron 1980:152--168).
The influence of modernism and pluralism
Modernism has been named as an important factor contributing to secularism. Modernism is unthinkable apart from Christianity, which was a prerequisite for modernisation (Beckford 1992:13). Modernism therefore could not exclude religion. Indeed, religion was the creative energy that had to fill the void between reality and Utopia that was left by modernism. Modernity can be seen to be constitutive of religion, ambivalent towards religion or exclusive of religion (see Beckford 1993:10--12).
There is a sense in which modernism favourably embraces religion. Talcott Parsons (discussed in Beckford 1993:12ff) argues that the process of modernisation involved the extension of Christian values to more and more spheres of life, the differentiation of religious organisations from the rest of society, and the evolutionary upgrading of ethical conduct. The more religious institutions were differentiated from politics, education, law and medicine, for example, the more likely it was that religious values would become refined, rationalised and diffused through society. According to this view civil religion was believed to fulfil the function of sanctifying a society's highest ideals and preventing governments from claiming divine sanction for their actions. The prospects for modernity in non-Christian countries were correspondingly poor (Beckford 1993:13).
This positive evaluation of modernism becomes more ambivalent in Berger's thinking where religion becomes a victim of modernity and a potential source of resistance. Technological rationality is particularly threatening because it leads to fragmentation of social and moral life.
A third option is to see religion and modernity in juxtaposition where the religious community and secular society are two separate entities. The large-scale societal system does not rely, or seeks not to rely, on a moral order but on the technical order (Beckford 1992:14).
More than anything else science and technology were seen as the culprits that caused secularisation, or in Berger's (1992:26) terms, this metaphysical road accident. If science stands for the comprehension of the world and the autonomy of man, the assumption in this context is that religion is based on man's helplessness in an incomprehensible world. It cannot be denied that science fosters a mindset impatient of mystery, which asks for rational explanation in place of supernatural causalities. This is why Max Weber used the phrase `disenchantment of the world' instead of `secularisation' (Berger 1992:28--9). It is impossible, however, for the average Western-minded Christian to ignore the findings of science and revert to an unscientific, a-scientific or post-scientific position. This may explain the popularity of new cosmology and quantum mechanics because they allow for the influence of what cannot be scientifically explained.
Berger (1992:13) speaks of truths that he thinks we may have lost in the process of modernisation. He writes:
Our ancestors didn't know about particle physics, but they spoke with angels. Let it be stipulated that through the knowledge of particle physics we have gained a new measure of truth. But could it be that we have lost truth when our conversation with angels came to a stop? Can we be sure that the truths of modern physics necessarily imply the untruth of angels? I'm strongly inclined to believe the opposite.
Pluralism has played an important role in secularism. Pluralism is the co-existence of different groups in one society, with a measure of civic peace. Religious pluralism is one of several varieties of this phenomenon. Co-existence has been realised in the past, not so much by lofty ideals of tolerance as by the erection of barriers to social relations. The adage that good fences make good neighbours is valid in this regard (Berger 1992:37--38). With urbanisation, the influence of the mass media and the interaction of world-views, people experience the workings of pluralism. Berger (1992:39, 41) speaks of a process of cognitive contamination, in which the thought obtrudes that one's traditional ways of looking at the world may not be the only plausible ones -- and that other people may have a point or two. A process of cognitive bargaining may ensue with cognitive surrender and cognitive retrenchment as two sub-varieties.
The `limits-to-growth' awareness of the seventies, the new scientific philosophy with undertones of relativism and methodological anarchism, and the postmodern have ushered in the post-secular period (Van Peursen 1989:38). It is characterised by an interweaving of the natural and the supernatural, with a realisation that meaning does not lie only in the natural. In a post-secular context the discussion concerns the relative and the universal, emphasis is placed on the informal community where intercultural contact takes place, and a fixed identity is replaced by a dynamic and open identity (see Van Peursen 1989:39).
The persistence of religion
Secular culture itself produces a deep need for meaning in life and therefore also for religion. The anxiety that the progress of secularisation will turn religion into a peripheral phenomenon which increasingly fades away can now be said to be unfounded and obsolete (Pannenberg 1988:43). Greeley's (1972:241) contention is that in the human condition there is a built-in strain towards developing an ultimate meaning system and making it sacred. There is no reason to think that agnosticism, atheism, scepticism, and irreverence are any more common today than they were in other societies, and equally no reason to think that faith, devotion, religious commitment and sanctity were any more common in the past than they are today. The state of affairs thus seems to reflect the average human condition.
Greeley (1995:79) cautiously suggests that as an alternative to the model of `faith/secularisation' or `Christianisation/de-Christianisation', one might propose a model in which most humans will always be somewhat religious (and somewhat superstitious) as long as, conscious of their own mortality, they need meaning in their lives and reassurance for their anxieties. Some will be very religious, some will have little interest in religion, and most will be somewhere between except at times of crisis in their lives.
The process of secularisation thus did not lead to the end of religiousness.  The disappearance of religion is an illusion (Ter Borg 1994:15; Beckford 1993:7).Religiousness is an anthropological given. Religiousness as a routine, tradition-determined system is certainly on the decline (Ter Borg 1994:20ff; Beckford 1993:15ff). Religion will survive, although the church and its forms of expression will look different in the future -- just as love survives, even if the structure of the traditional marriage has changed. The church does not have a monopoly on religiousness.  The systems of meaning that religions offer are becoming more variable.
The persistence of religion: post-secularism, religion and the church
Many ministers have depended heavily on the ghost of secularism to add thrust to their sermons. Now they have to find alibis for a not-so-secular society and a not-so-saintly Church. In many respects the world has even become a witness to the Church. It is secular people who speak of spirituality, 
secular writers who call people to righteousness, freedom fighters who practise ethics and natural scientists who put ecology, the future of the world and the quest for God on the agenda.
The question is whether the Church is the only body that can meaningfully fulfil man's needs for belonging, security, and meaning in life. Ministers can take it for granted that religion is implicitly present in people's lives. How should this become explicit and what should the churches do to be accepted as the best space where religious needs can be fulfilled? Pannenberg (1988:44--45) rejected the option of an authoritarian approach or assimilation into the secular understanding of reality. For Pannenberg, examples of excessive assimilation of theology into the secularism of modern culture are the formula of the `death of God', the theology of demythologisation, feminism and liberation theology (Pannenberg 1988:477--56). These theologies however, may be seen as contextual theologies, expressing the feeling and needs of their time, and Pannenberg displays exactly the authoritarian attitude he denounced when he rejected these theologies. A fine balance should be maintained between tradition and the need for theologies that express the convictions and requirements of a specific time.
Religion is more than simply a phase in the evolutionary development of man. The world is as furiously religious as ever. There is the tenacious hold of traditional religion on vast numbers of people in almost all non-Western regions, in eastern and south-eastern Asia, across the Muslim world, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America (Berger 1992:32). One can point in particular to the influence of evangelical Protestantism in Latin-America, the resurgence of primal religions in Africa and the strong position of Islam to indicate just how religion permeates our world. Modernisation and secularisation seem to have had little or no impact on these religions.
Even in the West, which has been most affected by secular influences, religion is all but a historical artefact. Greeley (1995:91) has shown from 1991 statistics on the West that Ireland, Poland and the United States are the most religious countries, while East Germany, Slovenia and the Netherlands are the least religious. Britain, New Zealand and West Germany are less devout but hardly unreligious. There is, however, no persuasive evidence of a long-term religious decline  except in the Netherlands, the former socialist countries and East Germany. Pure secularists, those who believe neither in God nor in the animistic powers, are few and far between -- except in East Germany, where a fifth of the population believe in nothing at all. The proportions are eight per cent in Britain, six per cent in Slovenia, five per cent in West Germany, and one per cent in Ireland. Religion in its many subtle and diffuse manifestations continues to persist, even among those who do not believe in God, or at least in a `personal God'. Thus, 14 per cent of the atheists in Britain believe in miracles, eight per cent pray every week, 27 per cent believe in faith healers, 35 per cent in fortune-tellers, 17 per cent in good-luck charms, and 23 per cent in astrology. This underscores the fact that religion is very important in a post-secular age. Institutional control as opposed to a people's religion There is a strong feeling that religion should be community-based and not institutionally mediated. Arnold Gehlen (discussed by Berger in Berger & Kellner 1974: 85ff) has already indicated that the holding power of institutions over the individual is weakening on a global scale (he called this process de-institutionalism). The institutional fabric, whose basic function has always been to provide meaning and stability for the individual, has become incohesive, fragmented and thus progressively deprived of plausibility.  Inevitably the individual is thrown back upon himself, on his own subjectivity, to find the meaning he or she requires to exist.
The power behind religion does not reside exclusively in religious institutions (see Bonhoeffer 1953:299). It also resides in the people in whom the seed of religion (semen religionis) is to be found. Religious institutions usually insist that the power of religion resides in the God of religion -- in which case they claim the authority to think, speak and act on behalf of this God. They are the caretakers of tradition and watchdogs over the purity of doctrine, but often lose the people in the process. People find it hard to rely on themselves and look to the community for support. This widespread need has influenced community life, which was previously characterised by privacy and individualism.
Greeley (1995:153) has shown that the `mechanical' society has been replaced by the `organic' society, `Gesellschaft' by `Gemeinshaft', and `association' by `community' (see Wilson 1982:153ff).Harvey Cox (1984:240) sees a people's religion as a resource for a postmodern theology because it is not elite or clerical or the religion of cultivated intellectuals. People's religion has a history of resisting and subverting the reign of modernity. Cox (1984:241) regards modern theology as a repudiation of folk piety and popular religion. The task of modern theology has been to purify religious belief and practice of the dross that seemed to make it an anachronism and an anomaly in the modern world. People's religion is a key to a postmodern theology.
Cox refers to liberation and feminist theologies as examples of a people's theology. The deep rift that separates the world of academic theology from the world of people's religion does not pertain to liberation theology. What makes these theologies more open to people's religion is that they grow out of the experience of basic Christian communities (Cox 1984:242).
Post-secularism and theology
The theory of secularism has been adhered to by many theologians who, according to Berger (1992:26), have started with the unexamined assumption that modern man is unavoidably and irresistibly a secular character. This point of view put those theologians in an unenviable position, such as that of someone proclaiming the joys of sex in a community of the impotent, or of praising music among the deaf.
Many theologians find themselves in the awkward position today of being more secular than the world that they predicted was irrevocably on the road to secularism, since they were more vulnerable to factors like rationalism, relativism, and the stripping of the transcendental of its distinctiveness. To simply retreat to religiousness and regain one's innocence, however, is not easily done.
Post-secularism is forcing theology to express religious experiences over the whole spectrum of human life, and it contributes towards the imparting of a common understanding that is essential to survival (Ter Borg 1994:17). This is theologising `from below'. It balances the influences that world-view and attitude to life exercise on religious experience, since they are mutually determinative.
Post-secularism and postmodernism
Postmodernism is a vague term, serving different functions. Beckford (1992:19) singles out the following points commonly associated with postmodernism:
- A refusal to regard positivistic, rationalistic, instrumental criteria as the sole or exclusive standard of worthwhile knowledge;
- A willingness to combine symbols from disparate codes or frameworks of meaning, even at the cost of disjunctions and eclecticism;
- A celebration of spontaneity, fragmentation, superficiality, irony and playfulness;
- A willingness to abandon the search for overarching or triumphalist myths, narratives or frameworks of knowledge.
Postmodern man is the post-secular man who has come to terms with his religiously plural, ever-shifting and open world.It is man trying to come to terms with the absence of God, history, and self as fixed centres. Secularism hailed modern, autonomous, and rational man. Postmodernism restricted this optimism. Postmodern man must come to terms with the limits of reason, the perspectivistic nature of thought, the context-boundedness of truth, the relativistic nature of language, the cultural boundedness of norms and values and so on. This prompted a new openness to difference -- differences of meaning, truth, culture, man and God. This receptability stimulated a new appreciation of religion and the transcendental.
Regaining one's religiousness seems to be impossible without recognising the continuous battle between a childlike faith and reason that has come of age, between accepting God `out there' as a construction of the human mind and the will not to be without this construction. It is the knowledge that while the prophet (Isaiah 44:14--17) accuses the pagan of carving his idols from the cedar, the prophet himself is making his god out of words. Both are constructs.  We make our meaning just as we make our god. God becomes a symbolic focus of selfhood `useful' to a religious person. Theology is participation in the construction of Babel. Babel is the religious symbol or source of power that man prefers to carve out for himself. It results in the loss of criteria to interpret meaning other than within a sub-culture (Thiselton 1995:84). Babel is the metaphor for the nature of language. Language may be compared with pieces and moves in chess (Saussure & Wittgenstein), but the world of language is simultaneously `a bottomless chessboard`; its play has no meaning beyond itself and it rests on nothing (Thiselton 1995:85).
Religious thought, according to Cupitt (quoted and discussed in Thiselton 1995:106ff), has got to be not only secularised but temporalised, made mobile. We urgently need a true religion for the fleeting moment and the stripping away of meaning. The holy and the secular Contemporary religious experience has shown how inadequate and misleading the strict separation of the sacred and the secular is. It is characteristic of this age that people encounter the sacred as the deepest dimension of significant secular experiences, namely the pivotal points of their history, personal and social. There is religious meaning in man's vocation to become fully human (Baum 1973:19).
The holy and the secular in apartheid South Africa
South Africa under apartheid experienced a close link between the religious and the secular. South Africa, until the end of the apartheid government, had a Christian state. The preamble of the former constitution was explicit in its acknowledgment of the rule of the Christian God. In practice, this boiled down to a system which come pretty close to a theocracy. 
This is positively expounded in a theology of the kingdom of God. It is well known that Reformed theologians gave theological backing to the ideology of apartheid. It was strongly believed that it was within the pre-ordained will of God that the white man, with the only true religion and civilisation, had to colonise southern Africa 300 years ago to evangelise its people.
The Dutch Reformed Church, which had a leading role to play in government politics, was influenced by Abraham Kuyper's ideas. This accounted for the church's stance of not interfering with government, in which professional Christian politicians had to work out their own policies.  The church simply had to fulfil its prophetic task towards government (see `Publieke geregtigheid' 1990:64ff).
The term `Christian national' was used to indicate that values incorporated in, for instance, the education system adhered to basic Christian and national principles. The 'national' in Christian national referred to the general validity of the system -- although it concerned only whites since blacks enjoyed no suffrage. The `Christian' in Christian National referred essentially to Protestant Christianity with the emphasis on the Reformed tradition.
One can expect that in a future South Africa with its neutral state there will be ample examples of religious influences on the secular/neutral sphere. Black nationalism, the experience of a pluralistic identity, the urge towards nation-building, the consciousness of Africanism, the relative absence of a sacred-mundane distinction, all add up to a very specific religious consciousness. Crippen (1988:325--326) has indicated that the nation-state represents the most dominant, extensive and inclusive boundary of moral identity in modern societies. The rise of modern nation-states and international economic order over the course of the past few centuries has been associated with the development of emerging civil religions of national identity and human dignity supported by a pantheon of Enlightenment ideals, including democracy, equality, justice, liberty and progress. The suggestion that `old gods are growing old' may be amended with the correlative assertion that modern sacred symbols ('new gods') increasingly command the national allegiance of citizens in the modern world. Although traditional religions may be on the wane, religious consciousness remains powerful and manifests itself in new beliefs and rituals corresponding to modern organisational forms of dominance and exchange.
Implications of a neutral/secular state for South Africa
Many South Africans fear the operation of a future neutral or secular state. It is feared that religious education in schools may be affected by such a neutral state. Churches may be expected to pay taxes and their freedom and rights may be curtailed. The growth of other religions is also feared.
South Africa will be governed according to a constitution in which human rights -- and these include religious rights -- are spelled out. Within these parameters religious groups and churches may move freely without any special privileges.
There are several factors that favour the option of a neutral or secular state in South Africa  One of the most important of these is pluralism. We have a pluralistic situation in which not only different religions but also different cultural groups must be accommodated, and this seems to favour a neutral state. The absence of a sacred-mundane dualism in African primal religions The sacred-mundane distinction is foreign to African Traditional Religion, from which we have much to learn One of the most fascinating aspects of African thought is the concept of seriti which can be rendered by the words power, energy, or force The origin of all force, like the origin of the universe, is God. This force binds the universe and all humans together in an intimate ontological relationship. The force of everything, especially living things, is continuously being strengthened or weakened. Human beings continuously influence each other, direct or indirectly, by way of sub-human forces through the ancestors. The dead play a very important part in the whole universe of forces, and continue to interact causally with the living. This makes it impossible to divide life into autonomous sectors (Shutte 1993:52--54).
African spirituality can come to the full only when one is linked in the causal chain that binds man, community, ancestors, nature, world and God together in one holistic force-field.
Africans do not know the strict division that Westerners make between the sacred and the secular. Life is much more one, more integrated. For primal man reality is a network of interrelated spiritual forces. These forces do not restrict themselves to some terrain in life. The role of the forefathers is experienced in everyday life. Social, psychological, religious, political and cultural aspects are all interwoven with the religious and the secular. In the traditional African context nothing is mundane.
As opposed to this, Westerners experience their lives as neatly divided into compartments. The transcendent is scarcely discernible in the hustle and bustle of every day. Westerners operate mostly with an immanent and closed, scientific world-view, in which cause and effect determine everything.The spiritual is shifted to the well-organised and rational worship session once a week -- if at all.There has been growing recognition, however, that the secular is not entirely irreligious and the mundane not always easy to explain in rational terms -- a fact which the primal African accepts as natural.
RELIGION AND THE TRC
The holistic view of life, in which all experiences are interlinked, comes to the fore in the demands of black people to have the TRC deal with the atrocities of the past. With astonishing ease, the secular sphere of jurisprudence is utilised for activities that can be seen as strictly religious. White people find it difficult to harmonise theological motives of confession and forgiveness with adjudication. Consequently, in white circles the debate has remained politically coloured as predominantly political arguments were heard, while arguments concerning religious and humane motives seemed to them unconvincing. Mainline churches participate little, if at all, in motivating the theological and pastoral importance of the commission.
This may be attributed to the separation of the religious from the secular. Under apartheid there was a struggle to be fought against what were then seen as the powers of Communism and the Antichrist. Those responsible had to deal with these forces as circumstances demanded. Those holding the power were committed to God in prayer. This may explain the initial lack of feelings of guilt, shame and sorrow, and an unwillingness to repent. As the stories unfold before the TRC another reality emerges -- one of abuse of power, and torture, human degradation, and victimisation.
In contrast with this, most Africans welcome the TRC. Africans must bring these stories into the open to be psychologically and spiritually healed. Because harmony and integrity are so important in the African worldview, reconciliation is highly valued.Where there is disagreement, or community strife, when the ancestors have been offended, or the individual has been bewitched, African life is disrupted and the individual may become physically ill. The process of reconciliation is the only one back to harmony and unity.
The African way of integrating life is through stories. The importance of these stories has been indicated by Greeley (1995:41--52) who sees religious story-telling among communities as being on the increase. The story-telling community develops its own methods of determining which versions of a story are acceptable and which are not. These stories are prisms through which life can be viewed, and templates that guide and shape one's responses to the problems and tragedies of life -- as well as its hopes and joys. In the story-telling community one learns to correlate one's personal experiences (and stories about them) with the overarching experiences and stories that constitute the religious heritage of which the community is custodian. Parents and spouses are the primary religious socialisers and the initiators and bearers of stories. In the African context, where the influence of the extended family is dominant, the whole community fulfils this task.
Religious stories tend to shape more proximate stories of the meaning of events of daily life. Religious stories, particularly as they are expressed in images of God, will reflect political, social, and familial stories. Religious stories in turn are shaped by the most intimate experiences of life. Stories of God, according to Greeley (1995:264--265) predict stories of human life.
The TRC is a good example of a post-secular strategy, perfectly in line with the African mind, where religious and secular matters are merged. The stances of the ANC government against the death penalty and for abortion are also examples where the African value-system, integrating the holy and secular, comes to the fore. In the past a Western-oriented ethical system was simply enforced on the whole African society without taking the cultural context into account. The ANC's views on the death penalty seem to place a high value on human life, while their pro-abortion stance seems to negate it. Concerning the death penalty, one can refer to the Kenyan proverb which states that one should not feed the hyenas twice. It refers to the custom of giving a person who has been murdered to the hyenas to eat. When the culprit is caught, he or she is not killed because that would mean feeding the hyenas twice, and this should not be done. Another kind of punishment is then inflicted. In the case of abortion, whites do not argue from a background where children and women are raped almost daily. African ideas on this matter are practical and pro-life, favouring the circumstances of the living.
It is hoped that the TRC will help the process of integrating the secular and the holy, and so give a concrete face to the cheap moral statements from clerical side. It proves that no single group has a monopoly on morality and value systems as those concern all people and all sectors of life.
ASPECTS OF RELIGIOUS INTERACTION IN A FUTURE SOUTH AFRICA
The following factors, proposals and points of interest may be important in religious development in a post-secular South Africa:
- One can expect that African primal religions will play a stronger role in religious development in Africa. African concepts like ubuntu, and siriti, the African holistic approach to life, the absence of a distinction between the holy and the secular and the importance of community life may also have a determinative influence on Western-oriented religious thinking.
- The new constitution, with its emphasis on religious freedom, should promote the acceptance of a plurality of religions by all in a post-secular society. The continued fundamentalism and intolerance of people in most religions, however, are very concrete facts.
- The promotion of religious transparency and the empowerment of people and religions deserve urgent attention. The much-neglected religious groups of the AICs in particular should be encouraged to articulate their views.
- The promotion of church unity should be encouraged, especially between racially divided groups like the Dutch Reformed family, which is in the process of unification. If these processes succeed, they could have a fascinating influence on future religious development.
- A theology for the open market is essential
- It would make all religions aware of, and critically predisposed towards, all forms of the exercise of power within their own tradition, and also within other religious traditions and in society.
- A theology that is socially concerned must be practised. Paul Tillich said that no statement was theological which does not contain, directly or indirectly, saving truth. And `saving truth' means that truth which is done; saving truth is in he who does the truth (Tillich 1948:117; see also 114ff).
- The logic of domination, operative in our society, must be replaced by a logic of freedom, acceptance and equality (Watson 1994:180--181).
- The mutual participation of churches in the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has the potential to create better understanding between former racially separated religious groups as it emphasises the same sentiments and emotions on all sides.
Bonhoeffer (1953:346) has the following to say about man's autonomy: `I therefore want to start from the premise that God shouldn't be smuggled into some last secret place, but that we should frankly recognize that the world, and people, have come of age, that we shouldn't run man down in his worldliness, but comfort him with God at his strongest point ...'
 `Darum hat die Säkularisierung nicht zum Absterben der Religion geführt, sondern zur Entfremdung zwischen die profan gewordene Lebenswelt und einer durch die Religion repräsentierten ``Sonntagswelt''' (Kasper 1990:86).
 `De nieuwe godsdienstigheid is immers al goeddeels buiten de geïnstitusionaliseerde godsdiensten en kerken getreden of ten minste in een tegenbeweging tot de officiële lijn: een onconventionele, onorthodoxe godsdienstigheid, die helaas door de grote kerkgenootschappen nauwelijks word opgepakt' (Küng 1990:81).
 There is, according to Beckford (1992:18) far more overlap than difference between `religion' and `spirituality' in so far as they both denote ways of thinking, feeling and acting which are oriented towards the highest sources of meaning and value. It spirituality lacks the sense of communal obligation and collective ritual attaching to public religion, it is only appropriate that it should expand at a time when personal choice seems to be the criterion of well-being is so many areas of life.
 Hammond and Shibley (1993:37ff) have done a survey with as sample 645 people reared as Roman Catholics of whom 407 have remained Catholic, and 143 dropped out, of whome 95 returned after a period of two years. The people who dropped out may have done so for secular reasons but those who returned did not do so because of a reversal of these secular reasons. This supports Wilson's assumption that new religious organisation may emerge, but they will not have the economic, political, legal and cultural `significance' that their predecessor organisations may have had. Secularisation is thus a one-way process and religious activities which recur do so in a different manner in a new context. Wilson (1982:155) indicated that whereas religion once entered into the very texture of community life, in modern society it operates only in interstitial places in the system.
 This is not to say that the church as an institution will disappear. Berger (1992:170) reminded us that the religious experience would remain a highly fugitive phenomenon if it were not preserved in an institution; only institutionalisation of religion allows its transmission from one generation to another. Nothing human survives except in an institutional form. Institutions `unburden' us from having to reinvent the social order and indeed the world itself every time we interact with human beings. These ideas do not revoke legitimate grievances against the over-regimentation of life by institutions and the fact that Western religious institutions normally `domesticate' and `routinise' religious experience(see Berger 1992:173ff).
 This example by Anthony Freeman (see his work God in us. A case for Christian humanism, London: SCM, 1993) is discussed by Thiselton (1995:82--83). Freeman, having discarded Isaiah's God as a mere human projection, finds no criterion to distinguish between the `projections' of Canaanite polytheism, covenantal biblical relationality, post-Kantian modernity and post-Nietzschean post-modernity.
 The state was not a theocracy in the narrow sense of an ecclesiocracy, in which the church governs the state, as was the case in Calvin's Geneva. The state would not allow unacceptable interference from the church. The Reformed churches accepted the specific responsibility of government, although as Christians they had to govern according to the principles of God's word. The Dutch Reformed church had a special commission to liaise with the government. Whenever the church differed in principle from the government, it did not publicly confront or criticise it, but negotiated through its commission. Most members of the ruling Nationalist Party were members of the Reformed Church and the Dutch Reformed Church was often referred to as the Nationalist Party at prayer.
 This well-established view of `leaving it to the Christian expert' is modernistic, deceptive, and open to criticism. One cannot help but get the impression that the church, as an institution, is willing to venture only statements which can be defended as the absolute truth, the will of God according to the final word of God. Within an interdisciplinary context (and characteristic of a democratic spirit) is the acknowledgment that all people have a responsibility to participate in issues of national concern. In the name of the `expert' many are deceived or at least prevented from making their input. It was exactly the attitude of `leaving it to the Christian experts' that beguiled people into believing that the apartheid system was the best for our circumstances. It is also difficult to distinguish the borderlines between the ethical guidance of the church and political responsibility. If the church is watchdog to the state, it is politically involved.
 There are several arguments against a Christian state. A Christian state can hardly be tolerant of any position outside Christianity.It can hardly accommodate pluralism, and will find it difficult to tolerate those who differ from it. A Christian state becomes an easy prey to fundamentalism and an exclusive ethics, which benefit only certain views within a broad Christian tradition. States are today, in essence secular, even when in their constitution or in their traditions they retain historical allusion to their purportedly religious origins (Wilson 1982:54).
- Baum, G 1973.
- The survival of the sacred. In Greeley, G & Baum, G (eds), The persistence of religion, 11--22. New York: Herder & Herder.
- Beckford, J A 1992.
- Religion, modernity and post-modernity. In Wilson, B (ed) Religion: contemporary issues, 11--23. London: Bellew.
- Beckford, J A 1993.
- Secularization and its discontents. Scriptura, S12:1--18. (Special issue)
- Berger, P L 1969.
- The sacred canopy. Elements of a sociological theory of religion. New York: Anchor.
- Berger, P L 1992.
- A far glory. The quest for faith in an age of credulity. New York: Free Press.
- Berger, P L, Berger, B & Kellner, H 1974.
- The homeless mind. Modernization and consciousness. New York: Penguin.
- Bonhoeffer, D 1953.
- Letters and papers from prison. London: SCM.
- Chaves, M 1994.
- Secularization as declining religious authority. Social Forces 72(3):749--774.
- Cox, H 1984.
- Religion in the secular city. Toward a postmodern theology. New York: Simon & Shuster.
- Crippen, T 1988.
- Old and new gods in the modern world: toward a theory of religious transformation. Social forces 67(2):316--336.
- Greeley, A M 1972.
- Unsecular man. The persistence of religion. New York: Delta.
- Greeley, A M 1995.
- Religion as poetry. New Brunswick: Transaction.
- Hammond, P E & Shibley, M A 1993.
- When the sacred returns: an empirical test. In Barker, E, Beckford, J A & Dobbelaere, K (eds), Secularization, rationalism and sectarianism, 37--46. Oxford: Clarendon.
- Heron, A 1980.
- A century of Protestant theology. Cambridge: Lutterworth.
- Kasper, W 1990.
- Natur, Gnade, Kultur: Zur Bedeutung der modernen Säkularisierung. Theologische Quartalschrift, 81--97.
- Küng, H 1990.
- Godsdienst op een keerpunt. Kampen: Kok.
- Küng, H 1994.
- Christianity. The religious situation of our time. London: SCM.
- MacIntyre, A 1988.
- Whose justice? Which rationality? Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.
- Pannenberg, W 1988.
- Christianity in a secularized world. London: SCM.
- Publieke geregtigheid 1990.
- Rapport van het wetenschaplijk instituut voor het CDA. Den Haag: Bohn Safleu van Loghum.
- Shutte, A 1993.
- Philosophy for Africa. Cape Town: UCT Press.
- Ter Borg, M B 1994.
- Secularisatie als gezichtsbedrog. Nederlands Theologisch Tijdschrift 48(1), 12--21.
- Thiselton, A C 1995.
- Interpreting God and the postmodern self. On meaning, manipulation and promise. Edinburgh: T & T Clark.
- Tillich, P 1948.
- The shaking of the foundations. New York: Charles Scribners.
- Van Peursen, C A 1989.
- Towards a post-secular era. Ecumenical Review 41:36--40.
- Watson, J R 1994.
- Between Auschwitz and tradition. Postmodern reflections on the task of thinking. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
Prof C W du Toit
- Wiersenga, H 1991.
- Geloven bij dachlicht. Verlies en toekomst van een traditie.Baarn: Ten Have.
- Wilson, B 1982.
- Religion in sociological perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Research Institute for Theology and Religion
University of South Africa
PO Box 392
Republic of South Africa