The Contribution of Mary-Anne Elizabeth Plaatjies-Van Huffel to the Writing of Church Historiography in South Africa
Keywords:historiography, effective history, ecclesiastical space, historical research, church historians, Foucault, poststructuralist
Mary-Anne Elizabeth Plaatjies-Van Huffel introduced a fresh method of historical research that enables analysis from specific perspectives. She contended that church historians should pursue not only the meaning of authors’ observable written intentions, but rather, when reading texts, distinguish between what is written and what is not written. In this way, the reading of the text provides a coherent structure. Hence, church historians should think from the framework of the decentralisation of the subject and should consequently reject the idea of a self-governing subject. She refined some of Foucault’s ideas, applied them to our context and established a framework for historical research by church historians. When this is applied to church history, the emphasis should fall on power as knowledge, as it is traditionally transferred in writing.
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