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Prof Emmanuel Lartey honoured
30 April 2018

Prof Emmanuel Lartey, the leading African scholar in the field of practical theology, has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Pretoria.

On 19 April 2018, Prof Lartey presented a public lecture entitled: "Caring for persons, relationships, and communities in 21st Century Africa", as well as a postgraduate workshop entitled: “Pastoral ministry in the face of corruption and abuse of power", in the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Pretoria.


Currently the L. Bevel Jones III Professor of Pastoral Theology, Care, and Counselling at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, USA, Professor Lartey has also held positions in Practical Theology at Trinity Theological Seminary and at the Department for the Study of Religions, University of Ghana as well as at the University of Birmingham. At Birmingham University, he was the Director of the Centre for Pastoral Studies and Practical Theology. He studied at the University of Ghana and Trinity Theological Seminary in Legon, Accra. He obtained an MA degree from the University of Birmingham and received an award for the best MA dissertation. He obtained a PhD degree from the same institution in 1984 with a thesis in the discipline of Pastoral Care and Counselling.

Prof Lartey served on the councils of several international academic societies, such as the prestigious International Academy of Practical Theology. He also served as the President of the International Council on Pastoral Care and Counselling between 1999 and 2004. He has presented invited lectures around the globe, including in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica and Cayman Islands, Japan, South Africa, South Korea, Switserland, Tanzania, the Netherlands and the USA.

He received the Lilly Theological Research Grant for writing Postcolonizing God. An African Practical Theology and has written numerous accredited articles and books in the field of Practical Theology.  His books on intercultural pastoral care, such as In Living Colour: An intercultural approach to pastoral care and counselling as well as Pastoral Theology in an Intercultural World have been published in several editions and are prescribed texts at many Faculties of Theology around the globe.

Prof Lartey is undoubtedly the leading African scholar in the field of Practical Theology. In his academic work Lartey takes the local context seriously while participating in a global conversation. He is an international specialist in Pastoral Care, Counselling, and Theology in different cultural contexts and is involved in on-going research regarding the theological implications and practical effects of pastoral care in a diversity of cultures and has received international recognition for his work. Professor Lartey’s contribution as revealed through his publications makes the following apparent: Firstly, he takes the continent of Africa seriously and as a practical theologian embraces the fact that in Africa religion is generally not so much about beliefs, dogmas and creeds as it is about the performance of faith practices.  In his publications on pastoral care and counselling, he developed an inter-cultural and cross-cultural approach. This approach challenged dominant Western constructs with regard to pastoral care and offered a new approach that takes cultural differences seriously.

Prof Lartey’s work has enabled scholars to look beyond the horizons of their own contextual practices and understandings, both in Africa and the rest of world.  Hence, it was a great privilege for the Faculty of Theology and Religion to bestow upon him an honourary doctorate during the April 2018 graduation event at the University of Pretoria.

- Author Cas Wepener and Dana Mahan
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Last edited by Judith FourieEdit
Prof Cas Wepener and Prof Emmanuel Lartey