1887

n Koers : Bulletin for Christian Scholarship = Koers : Bulletin vir Christelike Wetenskap - How to compare cultures? The case of historical thinking : research article

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Abstract


Vergelykende studies in historiografie is skaars. In die meeste gevalle gebruik outeurs 'n voorafgegewe idee van wat beskou word as die essensie van historiese denke en historiografie. Daardeur word dan gepoog om Westerse en nie-Westerse verskynsels te vergelyk. Dit is veral die geval op die terrein van historiese representasie in die algemeen en historiografiese denke in die besonder. Hierdie benaderingswyse is problematies. Die vooropgestelde historiografiese paradigma is gewoonlik 'n abstraksie van die Westerse tradisie. Omdat die vooropgestelde paradigma gevolglik 'n abstrahering van die Westerse tradisie verteenwoordig, dra dit by tot kennis van nie-Westerse historiese denke en historiografie in soverre dit van die Westerse tradisie verskil. Verskil impliseer gewoonlik 'n afwyking of 'n gebrek aan historisiteit. Die verskil tussen Westerse en Chinese historiografie blyk gering te wees wanneer dit teen die agtergrond van byvoorbeeld die Indiese geskiedenis beskou word. Tog bestaan daar 'n kulturele voorkeur in vergelykende werk. Die resultate van vergelykende werk het gevolglik 'n problematiese aard.
In die artikel word 'n teoretiese strategie aan die hand gedoen om interkulturele vergelyking wat gebaseer is op 'n algemene teorie van historiese denke te bewerkstellig. Hierdie strategie word uiteengesit in die vorm van 'n matriks wat verduidelik en bespreek word. Voorstelle word ook gemaak aangaande 'n gedifferensieerde stel kriteria wat vir vergelykingsdoeleindes gebruik kan word.

Comparative studies in historiography are rare. In most cases authors use a pre-given idea of the essentials of historical thinking and historiography to compare Western with non-Western phenomena in the field of historical representation in general, and historiography in particular. This approach to comparison is very problematic since the presupposed paradigm of historiography is an abstraction in the Western tradition. As a consequence this comparison brings about knowledge on non-Western historical thinking and historio-graphy in so far as it is similar to or different from the Western one. Difference normally imply deviation or a lack of historicity. However, comparing Western historiography with Chinese historiography, does not bring about such a big difference as we witness in the case of for example India. Nevertheless, a cultural bias in the comparative work exists that makes the results of comparative work problematic.


The article proposes a theoretical means of intercultural comparison that is grounded in a general theory of historical thinking, presented in the form of its matrix. This matrix is explicated, discussed and differentiated into a set of items which can be used as criteria of comparison.

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/content/koers/70/2/EJC59190
2005-01-01
2016-12-08
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