Faculty of Theology honours Old Testament scholar with honorary doctorate

Posted on October 10, 2016


The Department of Old Testament Studies in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria conferred an honorary doctoral degree on Prof Willem AM Beuken, Emeritus Professor at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, in September 2016.

Prof Beuken is a renowned Old Testament scholar and is recognised internationally for introducing a new approach to the study of the book of Isaiah. No other present-day Old Testament scholar has published as much on this book.

Prof Beuken has had strong relationships with UP's Department of Old Testament Studies since he visited the Faculty for the first time in 1991. Over the years, he gave a series of lectures to students and colleagues and served as a member of the Visitation Committee that evaluated the Department in 2003. He acted as host for a number of postgraduate students who visited Leuven for research, and as an external examiner for numerous PhD theses written in the Department.

Prof Beuken served on the editorial boards of very important international journals and theological series, including the journal Skrif en Kerk, later renamed Verbum et Ecclesia, which is one of the Faculty's journals.

His most important contribution was helping to change the Isaiah paradigm, which has existed since 1892. He was one of the first to change the paradigm and to emphasise the unity of the book, which had an enormous impact on younger scholars and their understanding of the Old Testament.

The Department of Old Testament Studies is delighted to confer this honorary doctorate on Prof Beuken as part of the Faculty of Theology's centenary celebrations.



- Author Petronel Fourie

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