South African theologian to be celebrated in Sweden

The life and legacy of South African theolgian Beyers Naudé will be celebrated in Sweden when the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) hosts a public seminar in his memory on February 4 in Uppsala from 15-17 hours.

Beyers Naudé (1915-2004) was an advocate of humanity and civil rights for all.

On his hundredth birthday, a seminar in Uppsala was held in May 2015 with many of his friends and experts on his legacy. The reflections are presented in a just published compilation of texts in memory of ‘Oom Bey’, as he was fondly and with respect called. 

This event launches the publication in the presence and with the participation of some of the contributors. The event recalls the tradition of anti-Apartheid activism by those South Africans, whose loyalty to wider humanity has been greater than their narrow group identity. 

Editor: Henning Melber notes that ” Beyers Naudé was in his later life one of the leading Afrikaner anti-apartheid activists. Convinced by the strength of his faith he took a courageous political stand in a time in South African history when it was much needed. Faith As Politics is an anthology with contributions from researchers, diplomats, activists and clergies who all have one thing in common – they were all engaged in the struggle against apartheid at the same time as Naudé. And almost all of them worked with him in one way or another. This is a unique depiction of a man whose faith, struggle and courage deserve to be recognized.”


Barney Pityana, former Director of the World Council of Churches’ Programme to Combat Racism, Inaugural Chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission and former Vice-chancellor of the University of South Africa (UNISA) will remember Beyers Naudé and archbishop Denis Hurley as ‘Ecumenical Witnesses for Social Justice’. 

Henning Melber, Director emeritus of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and Senior Advisor at NAI, will comment on ‘Politics as Faith’ with reference to Beyers Naudé and Dag Hammar-skjöld.

Iina Soiri, Director of NAI, will be the moderator. 


Source: Nordic Africa Institute