Participants

The James I. McCord Professor of Theology and Science Emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS), J. Wentzel van Huyssteen is an honorary professor at the University of Stellenbosch. The persistent theme of his work for more than forty-five years has been an exploration of the multi-faceted relationship between religious faith and scientific culture. Focusing on religious and scientific epistemology, his interdisciplinary method of doing theology has been an effort to respond to the challenges and opportunities posed by science and the philosophy of science. His more recent attention to palaeoanthropology and the particular matter of how Darwinian evolution might inform theological anthropology on the question of what it means to be human was reflected in his 2004 Gifford Lectures delivered at the University of Edinburgh. In them he explored questions of human uniqueness by focusing on the meaning of cave paintings as the oldest surviving expressions of human symbolic activity. A South African by birth, Dr. van Huyssteen received his baccalaureate degree cum laude from Stellenbosch, where he also took a B.A. honors degree with distinction, a bachelor of theology degree, and an M.A. in philosophy. He earned a doctorate in theology from the Free University of Amsterdam in 1970 and was ordained a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church the next year. After further study at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, he lectured on philosophy and theology at the Huguenot College in Wellington, South Africa, and served for a year as the minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in Noorder-Paarl in the Western Cape. He was named professor and chair of religious studies at South Africa’s University of Port Elizabeth in 1972, a post he held until coming to PTS in 1992 as the first occupant of the McCord chair. Dr. van Huyssteen retired in 2014. The recipient of an American Academy of Religion Senior Research Award and a Citizen of the Year Award from Port Elizabeth City Council, he also has won several awards from the John Templeton Foundation. In addition to the Giffords, he has delivered numerous invited lectures, including the John Albert Hall Lectures at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, the Albert Robinson Lecture at the University of Glasgow, the Olaus Petri Lectures at the University of Uppsala, the Belote Lectures at the Hong Kong Baptist Seminary, the John Cardinal Cody Lecture at Loyola University in Chicago, and the Henderson Lectures at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Dr. van Huyssteen served as the editor-in-chief of the Macmillan Encyclopedia for Science and Religion (2003) and as co-editor (with Roger Trigg) of the Ashgate Science and Religion series. The author of some eighty papers published in academic journals and volumes of collected works, he is the editor of (with Niels Henrik Gregersen) Rethinking Theology and Science (1998), (with Erik P. Wiebe) In Search of Self: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Personhood (2011), and (with Khalil Chamcham) The Templeton Science and Religion Reader (2012). He is also the author of nine other books, including: Theology and the Justification of Faith: Constructing Theories in Systematic Theology (1989), which won the Andrew Murray Prize for Theological Literature and the Venter Prize for Academic Excellence; Essays in Postfoundational Theology (1997); The Shaping of Rationality: Towards Interdisciplinarity in Theology and Science (1999); and, most recently, a volume based on his Gifford Lecturers, Alone in the World? Human Uniqueness in Science and Theology, which was published by Wm. B. Eerdmans in 2006 and awarded the Andrew Murray-Desmond Tutu Prize. The same year Eerdmans published The Evolution of Rationality: Interdisciplinary Essays in honor of J. Wentzel van Huyssteen edited F. LeRon Shultz.