Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Chaos and Order manifests itself in postmodernism

Written by: on February 26, 2020

…. sorry for the late posting!!

Peterson brings out an argument that is challenging from all levels of life. It is challenging from both intellectual and non-intellectual perspectives. Peterson offers a critical guide to the riches of archaic and modern thoughts, that is constructing meaning in a way that is compliant with the modern science of human anatomy functionalities. Africa is, by nature, designed based on its cultural alienation, and each culture has its moral development that guides the community’s way of life. Although Peterson says, one cannot understand how chaos gave rise to culture. The fear has been that if the structures of culture are destroyed as modernity is trying to, then the chaos will return.

Peterson tries to reflect his writing by referring to history. The known, our current story, protects us from the unknown, from chaos – which is to say, provides our experience with determinate and predictable structure. Chaos has natured all of its own.[1] The colonial inversion of the continent destroyed the African cultural structures by introducing the guns and landmines against each other. The divide and rule game made everything worse, and hence chaos took control of the continent since. Civil strife has dominated the continent as a result of fallen cultural structures brought about by colonial invasion. Peterson framed this when he said, too much modification brings chaos, and too little modification brings stagnation. This is seriously what is experienced in our backyard of Africa. Sudan, Morocco, DRC, Central Africa, Uganda, and many other countries have fallen part of this trap. It is hard to differentiate between what we call normal life and not normal. Our lives have been degraded so much that one has no idea what will come up tomorrow. We have been disoriented so much that when postmodernity is sweeping the world, Africa seems to be left behind and confused due to its total mental disorientation.

Peterson reminds me of many dysfunctional cultures that have led to the development of terrorist groups from the fallen structures of culture and chaos dominated the norms. We are challenged by what social structures have failed to deliver to humanity. Al-Qaida, Al-Shabaab, ISIS, Boko Haram, Taliban, and many other terrorist groups have been victims of these fallen cultural structures. Their vision of the future with their lifestyles is vanished, replaced by the apprehension of unemployment, social disgrace, and failure. They find it difficult to breathe. This leads to terrorist groups that see life from a different perspective. Therefore, Peterson reaffirms that nothing is what seemed; everything is unexpected and new again. Your encounter with the terrible unknown has shaken the foundations of your world view. Chaos has eaten our souls.[2] The Chinese are coming back on the continent of Africa with a big bang cheating the inhabitants of infrastructural developments not done by the westerners and, at the same time, exploiting the continent of its natural resources. The architect of our belief is wholly lost. This book has seriously challenged me.



[1] (Peterson 1999, page 18)

[2] (Peterson 1999, page 30)

About the Author

John Muhanji

I am the Director Africa Ministries Office of Friends United Meeting. I coordinate all Quaker activities and programs in the Quaker churches and school mostly in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The focus of my work is more on leadership development and church planting in the region especially in Tanzania.. Am married with three children all grown up now. I love playing golf as my exercise hobby. I also love reading.

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