Church-State and the Ethical imagination by Zechariah Manyok



South Sudanese have good laws on papers, but their implementations differ with what the law stipulates. One of these good laws is the separation of religion and state. In Church, State and the Ethical Imaginations, Zechariah Manyok Biar explores what lies behind discrepancies between written laws and their implementations in South Sudan. He comes up with a new concept of central value systems to see if it can explain factors that contribute to inconsistencies in implementations of legal provisions such as separation of religion and state. Central value system is a conservation value composed of conformity, security and tradition.

The author shows that this book is important in the sense that it introduces a concept that explains why South Sudanese have good written laws but rarely implement them as stipulated. The book will also help non-South Sudanese readers understand discrepancies in implementations of legal provisions in their respective contexts. It is likely that both conservatives and liberals employ conservation values of conformity, security and tradition to protect whatever values they cherish. For example, liberals may require conformity from their members to secure or protect the main values in their liberal tradition. Similarly, conservatives would employ central value systems to shield cherished conservative values. It is probable that the conservation value constitutes a central value system for any person or group of any persuasion or school of thought. It resists penetration from new values trying to change cherished values. In South Sudan, central value systems protect the values of power and harmony. Theology in the context of South Sudan would thus be a theology of harmony. Its base is the Trinitarian God, eschatological in orientation and secular in responsibility. The originality of this study is in demonstrating that conservation values form central values that direct how people react to values that they are uncomfortable with, regardless of whether they are conservatives or liberals.


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