Faculty of Theology awards honorary doctorate to Prof Jürgen Moltmann
The University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Theology awarded an honorary doctorate to Professor Jürgen Moltmann at a graduation ceremony on 6 April . Prof Moltmann was chosen for this prestigious honour based on the ground-breaking nature of his work and his influence on modern theology. The event formed part of the year-long celebration of the Faculty’s centenary. Additional special lectures, conferences and events will be held throughout to mark this momentous occasion.
Prof Moltmann is widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest living theologians. His seminal work, Theology of hope, based in large part on a spiritual awakening he experienced as a prisoner of war during World War II, is still a mainstay of modern Christian theology.
‘Prof Moltmann represents the type of mind we seek to encourage in the Faculty,’ said Prof Johan Buitendag, Dean of the Faculty of Theology. ‘He has not only shaped current theological discussion, but made theological studies more accessible to the masses.’
As part of Prof Moltmann’s visit to South Africa, he gave a public lecture titled ‘Future of Theology: Unfinished reformation, protestant problems and ecumenical answers’. He also gave a speech at the ceremony where he received his honorary doctorate.
Prof Moltmann echoed the tenets of his theological philosophy during his remarks at the graduation ceremony. ‘Hope is a great power to leave the old behind and to begin something new,’ he said. ‘In the end, there is beginning. Get out of apathy and lift your head and raise your voices. Break out of indifference and get involved.’
Prof Buitendag later said: ‘Prof Moltmann was a perfect recipient of an honorary doctorate in this year of our centenary. His optimistic, hopeful views on theology are in line with the philosophies we teach and research at the University of Pretoria.’
– Author Department of University Relations
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Professor Jürgen Moltmann