The formation of postcolonial theory
Lazare S Rukundwa & Andries G van Aarde1
Research Associate: Department of New Testament Studies University of Pretoria
The purpose of this article is to outline certain options and struggles, which gave rise to postcolonial theory. The author deals with various experiences of anti-slavery and anti-colonial movements in Western and tricontinental countries, comprising the development of postcolonial theory. It is argued that postcolonial theory provides a means of defiance by which any exploitative and discriminative practices, regardless of time and space, can be challenged. The article consists of a section in which terminology is clarified, secondly a discussion of the elements that functioned as justification of the formation of postcolonial theory, namely a humanitarian, economic, political, and religious justification. The role of feminism and anti-colonialism is discussed in the third instance, followed by a reflection on the concept “hybrid identities”.
INTRODUCTION AND DEFINITION OF TERMS
For the past two decades, both the term and the field of postcolonialism have been subjected to thorough and extensive criticism from the perspectives of literary, political and religious studies. Theorists take different views about this field of study. From an optimistic point of view, postcolonial theory is a means of defiance by which any exploitative and discriminative practices, regardless of time and space, can be challenged. By contrast, the pessimistic view regards postcolonial theory as ambiguous, ironic and superstitious. These views create an interest which has to be dealt with before researchers can apply the theory in their fields. In this article, particularly some of the notorious
Dr Lazare S Rukundwa is the Executive Secretary of Eben-Ezer Ministry International in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The article is the first of two focusing on the relevance of postcolonial theory to...