The image of the Incarnation as motif for development practice in West Java, Indonesia
Beginning with the proposition that the incarnation is not simply theologically descriptive but also strategically prescriptive, this thesis proposes utilising this motif in order to analyse and critique participatory development practice as it is undertaken today, both by Christians as well as those who are not. After first illustrating the value of incarnational involvement by presenting the results of field research undertaken amongst a particular community of the Sundanese people residing in a specific hamlet in the city of Tasikmalaya, West Java, Indonesia, a template comprised of six distinguishing marks and three overarching characteristics is then developed in order to appraise the Incarnational motif in terms of its tangible applicability. Thereafter, four disciplines are examined and appraised in terms of their incarnational, participatory value-the discipline of development studies (focussing on the work of Robert Chambers), the discipline of anthropology (focussing on the work of Clifford Geertz), the logic of Critical Theory (focussing on the work of Jürgen Habermas) and the thought of a leading Indonesian Islamic theorist, Abdurrahman Wahid. Key, buttressing points in each of these are selected as sources of validation for the incarational motif. Furthermore, the image of participation found in each is critiqued by comparing them to the six distinguishing marks and the three overarching characteristics. Finally, a tangible example of incarnational participation previously undertaken in West Java, Indonesia by the author is offered as a picture of how the incarnational thesis might be utilised in social practice. Both the complexities encountered as well as promises experienced are highlighted so as to present a realistic and useful model.