n Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies - Responding to the decolonial turn : epistemic vulnerability

Volume 43, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-9507



The question this essay asks is how does one respond in a credible way (from a position of whiteness) to the decolonial turn when that turn radically interrogates (to the point of shaming) one's being by questioning the morality of the cultural and social structures of whiteness and the zone of being in which one finds oneself. The essay proposes a hermeneutic of vulnerability as a response which is based on a mindfulness for the vulnerability of those who still bear the brunt of the aftermath of apartheid and a mindfulness for the vulnerability of the self as perpetrating agent. The essay proceeds as follows: (a) an introduction to the notion of the decolonial turn; (b) a decolonial critique of racialised discourse in a decolonial reality; and (c) a discussion of a hermeneutics of vulnerability with which exploitation of the other creates a vulnerability in the perpetrating self in order to discontinue the effects of coloniality.

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