Marta Tentella's trip to Stellenbosch (South Africa), 20th February-06th March 2018

 Marta Tentella, a member of the JCRS, visited Stellenbosch (South Africa) from 20th February to 6th March 2018.

She was invited by Prof. Dr. Christo Thesnaar and encouraged by Prof. Dr. Martin Leiner to take part in a workshop at the University of Stellenbosch, with a grant received by the Pro-chance Foundation.

Here, Ms. Tentella had the opportunity to introduce her topic, the concept of Reconciliation by G.W.F. Hegel, whose philosophy is not so well known in South Africa as in Europe.

In her work, Ms. Tentella deals with the trilateral relation among Reconciliation, Recognition and Forgiveness in Hegel's Philosophy: these issues play a central role in Hegelian Thought, and Ms. Tentella aims to show in what their relation consists (in particular, with reference to Phenomenology of Spirit). In the last part of her work, she will present some concrete examples of the relation between Reconciliation and Forgiveness, such as the South African Reconciliation Process, in which Forgiveness played a crucial role.

At the University of Stellenbosch, she had the possibility to be introduced to important scholars (such as Dr. Dion Forster, Prof. Dr. Robert Vosloo and Prof. Dr. Daniel Louw), who gave her important information about the controversial issue of Reconciliation after the Apartheid in South Africa.

Particularly important was the meeting with Dr. Dion Forster, who suggested Ms. Tentella might like to consult his book "The (im)possibility of Forgiveness": Here, Dr. Forster deals with the complex and controversial issue of Forgiveness in South Africa, raising the question whether Forgiveness is (im)possible.

Furthermore, she was kindly invited by Walter Philander to visit the village of Piketberg (where she spent time with Walter and his family), in order to get a better understanding of the rural areas' life: here, she could personally see how the problems of racism and discrimination still exist.


On 1th March 2018, Ms. Tentella met Mrs. Glenda Wildschut, a former member of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: As a result of this meeting, Ms. Tentella had the possibility of learning more about the work and
of the TRC, which was established in South Africa after the abolition of Apartheid (1994).

This experience was fundamentally important for Ms. Tentella's research for at least two reasons: on the one hand, she could gain a better understanding of the past and present of South Africa, in particular about the controversial topic of Reconciliation. Through the interaction with exponents of different groups, she could see how many different opinions exist about this topic: Is it possible to speak of Reconciliation in South Africa? Or ought one speak of a Reconciliation that hasn't been achieved yet?

On the other hand, she found in the South African Experience an important concrete example for her work. In the Hegelian understanding, Reconciliation is a goal and a process at the same time: it means that it is something dynamic, in fieri, never really fully achieved.

During her staying in South Africa, Ms. Tentella could gain an appreciation of the dynamic nature of the Reconciliation Process. Certainly, the country made much progress (economical, political and social) after the end of Apartheid; nevertheless, most of people prefer to regard Reconciliation as a process, since many things still need to be done.

Ms. Tentella would like to record her warm appreciation to Prof. Dr. Martin Leiner and Prof. Dr. Christo Thesnaar, who offered her this precious opportunity.

Furthermore, she is thankful to all people she met there, such as Dr. Dion Forster, Prof. Dr. Robert Vosloo, Walter Philander and his family, Jandre Viljoen and his family, who warmly welcomed and taught her about the history of South Africa and its Reconciliation Process


Marta_Hegel_SA           Marta_SA

Workshop given on21.02.2018                                    From left ro right: Prof. Dr. Christo Thesnaar, Marta Tentella, Patrick Mbulelo  Gcaza and Jonhyuk Chang