Living Theology (e-Book)


Dirkie Smit’s impressive theological oeuvre defies simple characterisation. This publication will reveal a testimony to the life and work of Dirkie Smit. The contributions come from 45 respected theologians from several continents.

FORMAT: Electronic book in PDF format.


SUBTITLE: Essays presented to Dirk J Smit on his sixtieth birthday

FORMAT: e-Book

PAGES: 613

SUMMARY: Dirkie Smit’s impressive theological oeuvre defies simple characterisation. This publication will reveal a testimony to the life and work of Dirkie Smit. The contributions come from 45 respected theologians from several continents.


PART I – On being a theologian and theological themes
On being a theologian “for others” 3
Denise M. Ackermann
DJS as “populist” theologian – On Dirkie Smit’s newspaper column 16
Gerrit Brand
An experiential approach to time and the Trinity 32
Klaus Nürnberger
On Jesus Christ as the Mediator of creation 45
Ernst M. Conradie
Systematic reflections upon the Christ images in some modern Western films 61
Martien E. Brinkman
“Where the Spirit of God is, there is freedom!” 73
Michael Welker
Theology for the twenty-first century – Going beyond Barth? 91
Christo Lombard
Knowledge at the service of wisdom 107
Fanie Herholdt

PART II – On Scripture and hermeneutics
Taken and read – On Dirkie Smit as hermeneutical theologian 117
Daniël P. Veldsman
Orientation and ambiguity – On a decisive hermeneutical dimension
in Dirkie Smit’s theological thinking 134
Leon Fouché
Does the Holy Spirit really help us understand the Bible? 147
Jan Woest
Dialogue and an advocate of dialogue – Dirkie Smit on dialogue 159
Godwin Akper
Rhetorical appeal and the uncertainty of hope 170
Douglas Lawrie
“What is a woman that You are mindful of her?” Aspects of irony
and honour in Luke 7:36-50 181
Elna Mouton
Did Luther get it altogether wrong? Luther’s interpretation of the function of the Mosaic Law in Galatians 194
G. François Wessels

PART III – On Reformed theology and confessions
Reformed theology and politics 211
Bram van de Beek
Can we still be Reformed? A tentative consideration of the Reformed
tradition and South Africa’s modernity 227
Willem Fourie
Feminist theology and Reformed spirituality 239
Rachel Baard
Dirk Smit – An apologist for confessions 251
Mary-Anne Plaatjies Van Huffel
The Belhar Confession – 29 years on 264
Nico Horn
Galatians 2:15-21 and the Belhar Confession (1986) in dialogue 277
Daan Cloete
Confessional theology as belligerently public theology – How confessional theology relates to the notions of Africanness and Reformedness 292
Rothney S. Tshaka
Diversity in unity – Voices from the past, the focus of Belhar, 
and the ongoing quest for unity 305
Johan Botha

PART IV – On church, sacraments and ecumenism
Worship, doctrine and life (together) – The exemplary theology of Dirkie Smit 321
Geoffrey Wainwright
A homiletic credo – A firm belief in the preaching event 337
Bethel Müller
“Hallowed be Thy Name” – Perspectives on the holiness of God and of the church according to the Reformed tradition 349
Michael Weinrich
The church we could be – What churches can learn from Calvin’s
congregational ecclesiology 361
Coenie Burger
“Real presence” and sacramental praxis – Reformed reflections on the Eucharist 375
John de Gruchy
Church and war in the theology of Karl Barth 386
Arne Rasmusson
Public statements by Protestant churches on issues of peace and conflict – A German case study 399
Bernd Oberdorfer
Too little too late … On the reaction of WARC to the resurgence of violent identity politics in the 1990s 409
Eddy Van der Borght

PART V – On Christian ethics 425
The dignity of the different – Towards a Christian ethics for
pluralistic societies 427
Wolfgang Huber
Developing common values in situations of plurality and social transformation 441
Bernard Lategan
Should theology take evolutionary ethics seriously? A conversation
with Hannah Arendt and Maxine Sheets-Johnstone 454
J. Wentzel van Huyssteen
An ethics of responsibility reading of Eduard Tödt’s theory on the formation of moral judgements 468
Etienne de Villiers
“Honour thy father and thy mother” – What do grown children owe their aged parents? 481
Frits de Lange
“Am I my brother’s keeper?” An African reflection on humanisation 496
Piet J. Naudé

PART VI – On public theology
Salvation history, the public square and an early confrontation with Karl Rahner 515
Jaap Durand
Talking hope – Dirkie Smit and public theology 525
Christina Landman
Public theologies – A systematic typology with reference to their functions, forms and perspectives 536
Günter Thomas
Theology and international justice – The image of God and a comprehensive understanding of human rights 554
Michael Haspel
“…The doing of the little righteousness” – The ongoing search for justice after the TRC 569
Allan A. Boesak
Poverty, wealth, and ecology – A theological perspective 585
Heinrich Bedford-Strohm
Revolution, education and religion 601
H. Russel Botman
On a culture of life in the dangers of this time 607
Jürgen Moltmann

AUTHOR: Dirkie Smit teaches systematic theology at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Before that, he taught at the University of the Western Cape for almost twenty years. He is active in the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa and in the ecumenical church. More than twenty of his former postgraduate students have taught or still teach different theological disciplines at universities and colleges in many other countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Namibia and the United States of America. Professor Smit is a highly sought-after speaker and has received many theological awards. He is also the recipient of an honorary doctorate from the Umeå University in Sweden, a Humbolt scholar and a Fellow of the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, NJ, of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Institute for Advanced Study), Germany and of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study.