The principle of sphere-sovereignty in a time of globalisation
B. Goudzwaard (2011)
This article investigates the phenomenon of present-day (2011) globalisation from a Christian perspective to determine whether the principle of sphere-sovereignty can provide an antidote to globalisation’s harmful consequences. Firstly, it is explained how the principle of sphere-sovereignty is founded on the biblical message, and that it includes two interrelated dimensions, viz. that of life-orientation and of responsible differentiation. Secondly, the following four characteristics of contemporary globalisation are reviewed: it is (1) of a more or less autonomous nature, (2) a seemingly unavoidable project, (3) a process of a dynamic nature, and (4) a product of Western modernisation. In the third place the implications of the acceptance of the principle of sphere-sovereignty for globalisation are investigated. It seems that globalisation, in many areas of life, is detrimental to healthy forms of differentiation – the first dimension of sphere-sovereignty. From the perspective of orientation(the second dimension of sphere-sovereignty), it becomes evident that the present project of globalisation has in some respects already deteriorated into a kind of blinding, oppressive ideology. This type of globalisation “ad malam partem” is finally contrasted with a better road of globalisation “ad bonam partem”. This last type of globalisation – not driven by selfish greed, desire and power, but by love for our Lord Jesus Christ,and for one’s neighbours – may help to prevent the ominous crisis of our time.