Original Research

A Paradigm shift in pre-theoretical deliberations on crime within spiritual existentialism

J. R. Roelofse
Theologia Viatorum | Vol 41, No 1 | a19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/tv.v41i1.19 | © 2019 J. R. Roelofse | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 May 2019 | Published: 30 June 2017

About the author(s)

J. R. Roelofse, University of Limpopo, South Africa

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Explanations on the origins of life, spiritual possession and death after life cannot be explained from a naturalistic, positivistic methodological view point simply because scientists have not ventured deep enough to develop measuring instruments for these phenomena. This inadequacy in positivism has led to the exclusion of theoretical explanations of crime and desistance as a result of spirituality. The anomaly can be discharged, had it not been that a bias has developed against spiritual phenomena which is substantiated in this article. In a liberal world, emphasising freedom of conscience and speech, this is a contradiction worthy of enquiry. Our existential world has for ages been affected by behaviour, claimed to be influenced by the supernatural. The question is whether criminologists can ignore phenomena such as spiritual possession claimed by especially Africans, aboriginal peoples and some religions? Many perpetrators, by their own testimonies, as indicated in the article, have been motivated by spiritual phenomena in the perpetration of crime. It is necessary to indicate that the article does not favour a purely spiritual (or religious) approach to crime but calls for an epistemological assumption within Criminology that encourages philosophical debates and theory development, giving consideration to spirituality. This article argues for a pre-theoretical debate in criminological philosophy1 and to develop our research into a phenomenological capacity to deal with metaphysical issues.


Philosophy; metaphysics; phenomenology; spiritual possession; occult; Satanism; crime


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