The University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Theology awarded an honorary doctorate to Professor Jürgen Moltmann on April 6 2017. Prof Moltmann was chosen for this prestigious honour based on the ground-breaking nature of his work and his influence on modern theology, according to a press release by the University of Pretoria. This award also served to commemorate the Centenary Celebration for the Faculty of Theology.
Prof Moltmann, who is Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at the University of Tübingen in Germany, is largely regarded as one of the world’s greatest living theologians. His foremost work, Theology of Hope, based in large part upon a spiritual awakening he experienced as a prisoner of war during World War II, still serves as a backbone for modern Christian theology.
“Prof Moltmann represents the type of mind we seek to encourage in the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Theology,” said Prof Johan Buitendag, Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria. “Prof Moltmann has not only shaped current theological discussion, but made theological studies more accessible for the masses.”
As part of Prof Moltmann’s visit to South Africa he also gave a public lecture titled Future of Theology: Unfinished Reformation, Protestant Problems and Ecumenical Answers and 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 Moltmann was a perfect recipient of an honorary doctorate in this year of our centenary,” continued Prof Buitendag. “His optimistic, hopeful views on theology are in line with the philosophies we teach and research at the University of Pretoria.”