Remembering the Heidelberg Catechism in South Africa today? Some remarks on the commemoration of a 16th century reformed confession
With the 450th anniversary of the Heidelberg Catechism of 2013 in mind, this article offers some remarks on the question what it means to remember and commemorate this 16th century Reformed confession in South Africa today. The first part of the article argues that commemorations invite us to be conscious of the close link between memory and identity, as well as to the fact that our memories of the past are often highly contested memories. The second part of the paper comments on the status of the Heidelberg Catechism as a historical document, while the third part of the paper extends the discussion with a focus on the reception of the Heidelberg Catechism in South Africa. By highlighting a few episodes from its reception history, the article affirms the view of the Heidelberg Catechism as an important identity marker amidst contestation.