Discussing publicness on the public square?03 Apr 2018
In the wide-ranging and multifaceted discourses of public theologies within very different and pluralistic contexts, the strongest contemporary emphasis falls on their integrity and relevance in relating to their respective contexts and socio-political movements within those much globalised contexts. This emphasis is questioned, arguing that a more fundamental and critical question is at stake. Against the background of a short overview of different stories (self-understandings) of public theology, the critical question is put forward, namely whether the emphasis should fall on the public square after all, but much rather on the ‘publicness’ of rationality that precedes the different contexts (squares!). The focus is therefore on the publicness of rationality in pursuit of the old well-known but ever challenging question, namely ‘will the real public theology please stand up’. It is argued that the integrity and relevance that ‘public theologies’ strive for, are to be firstly sought and found in their models of rationality – as the ‘stuff’ of embodiment as sites of struggle and survival that they are woven from – and secondly contextually articulated and explicated in engagement and conversation with the very pluralism they hope to address in a constructive-realistic manner.