Prof Piet Meiring receives Chancellor's Medal in Theology
11 September 2017
Prof Piet Meiring has been awarded the Chancellor's Medal in acknowledgement of his contribution to South Africa and for espousing the values of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies such as integrity, ethical leadership, peace and tolerance.
Prof Meiring has been a highly respected theologian within the Dutch Reformed Church since 1968 when he was appointed as a minister. In his capacity as an academic, he was the Director of the Centre for Public Theology at the University of Pretoria, and has supervised 25 doctoral students. He retired in 2010, but is still active in numerous research projects. He has authored 26 books and edited/co-authored 31. He has 53 academic articles published and 44 chapters in peer-reviewed books.
Prof Meiring's contribution to South Africa has transcended the role of theologian or academic. In 1996, Prof Meiring was appointed by President Nelson Mandela to serve with Archbishop Desmond Tutu on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Subsequent to that, Prof Meiring has been invited to serve on reconciliation structures in other countries like Rwanda, Indonesia, Fiji, and Canada. His expertise on reconciliation has seen him give advice to Sri Lanka, Palestine, Israel, Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, the USA, Australia and New Zealand.
Due to Prof Meiring's involvement in the ecumenical movement to promote unity amongst different churches, he played a role in having the DRC readmitted to the World Council of Churches after the DRC was suspended in 1982.
In testimony to Prof Meiring's character, Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said, 'He had a gentle demeanour with a soft smile always playing round the corners of his mouth. Somehow he managed to combine a biblical concern for righteousness and compassion for the casualties of injustice and oppression with an ability to fraternise with those who did support apartheid. It was an unusual talent. He had credibility for both these antithetical groups.'
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