Original Research

Secularisation from kenosis

D.T. Williams
Koers - Bulletin for Christian Scholarship/Bulletin vir Christelike Wetenskap | Vol 72, No 1 | a194 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koers.v72i1.194 | © 2007 D.T. Williams | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 July 2007 | Published: 27 July 2007

About the author(s)

D.T. Williams, Department of Historical & Contextual Theology, University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa

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Recent decades have witnessed the acceleration of the process of secularisation, along with related effects in society such as a decline in morals. Christians must wonder why God allows this to happen. The suggestion is that this is a result of God’s selflimitation, kenosis, allowing a process of which He does not approve for the sake of human free will. Kenosis follows as a possible result of a distinction between the divine and the created world, which permits secularisation. This is generally seen as a result of the Renaissance, Reformation and Enlightenment, with effects in industrialisation and urbanisation; all of these can be linked with God’s kenosis. However, secularisation must not be seen as inevitable, but as having been exacerbated by the state of the church. If the result is a refining of the church, it could eventually lead to a resacralising of society.


Enlightenment; Kenosis; Self-Limiting; Secularisation; Urbanisation


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