Original Research - Special Collection: Christina Landman Festschrift

Gerald John Pillay’s prophetic role in the South African and New Zealand contexts

Johannes W. Hofmeyr
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 1 | a5395 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i1.5395 | © 2019 Johannes Wynand Hofmeyr | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 January 2019 | Published: 25 July 2019

About the author(s)

Johannes W. Hofmeyr, Department of Historical Theology, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


In this article, the question in focus is the church and Christianity’s prophetic responsibility towards society, and how in the specific case of the South African-born theologian Gerald John Pillay, his prophetic voice should be characterised. The question is addressed as to whether he was an activist at the barricades or a soft-spoken intellectual in his views on society. After a brief discussion on his bio, the focus is on the phenomenon of being a prophet towards society. Then, the focus, largely based on a literature study, moves to Pillay’s perspectives on the South African and New Zealand contexts, and then a discussion of some of Pillay’s writings on being a prophetic voice follows. Finally, in the conclusion, his specific style and model of being a prophetic voice are analysed.


Gerald Pillay; Role of a prophet; South Africa; New Zealand; Michel Welker; Albert Luthuli; Social justice


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