Original Research - Special Collection: A.S. Geyser Commemoration Lecture

The forgotten struggle of Albert Geyser against racism and apartheid

Andries G. van Aarde, Pieter G.R. de Villiers, Johan Buitendag
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 70, No 1 | a2820 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2820 | © 2014 Andries G. van Aarde, Pieter G.R. de Villiers, Johan Buitendag | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 September 2014 | Published: 20 November 2014

About the author(s)

Andries G. van Aarde, Department of New Testament Studies, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Pieter G.R. de Villiers, Department of New Testament, Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, South Africa
Johan Buitendag, Dean, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa


Albertus (Albert) Stephanus Geyser (10 Feb. 1918 – 13 June 1985) was a South African cleric, scholar and anti-apartheid theologian. On 17 February 2014 his alma mater, the Faculty of Theology of the University of Pretoria, presented the first commemoration lecture in tribute to the legacy of A.S. Geyser. This article portrays the décor of this commemoration. The article addresses the need to recall his contributions by discussing his prestigious career as a young academic, his transformation into an opponent of apartheid, the opposition against and persecution of him and his protest against apartheid. It discusses Geyser’s conviction that apartheid could not be justified on the basis of the Bible and theological grounds. His activism is rooted in his biblical thought. The article reflects on Geyser’s view that the church could be a powerful presence in the state and world while not compromising its message and preaching of the gospel of peace and love.


A.S. Geyser; apartheid; Christian Institute; ecumenical movement in South Africa; Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa; University of Pretoria


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