World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

You are here: Home / Press centre / News / Jürgen Moltmann receives honorary doctorate from Pretoria University

Jürgen Moltmann receives honorary doctorate from Pretoria University

Jürgen Moltmann receives honorary doctorate from Pretoria University

Prof. Dr Jürgen Moltmann at the Ecumenical Center, on January 2016. ©Marianne Ejdersten/WCC

06 April 2017

World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit joined others in congratulating Prof. Jürgen Moltmann for receiving an honorary doctorate of divinity degree on 5 April from the Theological Faculty of Pretoria University, South Africa.

The ceremony concluded an international conference entitled "Gateway to the Future from a Deconstructed Past,” one of the several academic and ecumenical events organized this year to mark the centenary celebration of the Faculty of Theology, Pretoria University.

Throughout this year, the celebration will bring together churches, individuals and academic institutions from across the globe. Moltmann is a major figure in modern theology who has received global recognition.

“A centenary is indeed a great occasion for celebration, remembrance, and evaluation of the past but also for planning and envisaging the future,” wrote Tveit in a statement. “Part of celebrating, but also of planning and envisaging, is recognizing and honouring persons who have made a substantial contribution and a real difference in terms of theological reflection, in reshaping the role of theology for today`s world and for the future.”

As a soldier then a prisoner of war during World War II, Moltmann formulated insights of a theology of hope, and has been deeply engaged in the ecumenical quest.

The impact of his theology crosses confessional and international borders, reflected Tveit. “As WCC general secretary, I personally value Professor Moltmann`s ecumenical theology and vision,” he stated.

Moltmann visited the Ecumenical Centre in January 2016 and launched his book, published by WCC Publications, entitled “The Living God and the Fulness of Life.” The book is a study of how theology can bring the living God we all believe in to the world today, so that human beings and the entire creation can experience the fullness of life that God promised to us all.

Tveit reflected that if early Christianity was able to transform the ancient world, then today`s Christianity contains the same potential for transformation of the contemporary world.

This series of events will also include the hosting of the WCC Faith and Order Commission meeting from 15-22 June.

WCC was represented at this conference by Fr Dr Daniel Buda who presented a paper entitled "From Cottesloe to Trondheim. The Journey of the Dutch Reformed Church Tradition back in the ecumenical family of WCC.” Buda also read the message of the general secretary.

Read the full letter of the WCC general secretary

WCC Commission on Faith and Order