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

Aesthetics, mysticism and the art of living

Pieter G.R. de Villiers
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 72, No 4 | a3465 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i4.3465 | © 2016 Pieter G.R. de Villiers | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 May 2016 | Published: 31 August 2016

About the author(s)

Pieter G.R. de Villiers, Department of New Testament, University of the Free State, South Africa


This article analyses aesthetics and mysticism in the writings of Albert Geyser, the prominent South African theologian who is mostly known for his brave, uncompromising struggle against the apartheid system. In the first part of the article, brief introductory comments are made about Geyser’s theological and political role in South Africa in the light of his Protestan tcontext and his opposition to apartheid. It is then investigated how his reputation as a Biblical scholar and his protracted, much publicised stance against apartheid obfuscate his remarkable interest in aesthetics and mysticism and explains why his other theological interests and especially his interest in mysticism have not yet been researched. In the second part of the paper Geyser’s mystical interests are investigated by analysing his comments on church architecture, worship, music, liturgy and his pioneering translation of Thomas á Kempis’ Imitatio Christi.


Aesthetics; Mysticism; Albert Geyser; Apartheid; Protestant Imitatio Chrisi


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