Original Research - Special Collection: Eben Scheffler Festschrift

Some reflections on the genealogy of the ‘Pretoria model’: Towards a definition of theological education at a public university

Johan Buitendag
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 3 | a5487 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i3.5487 | © 2019 Johan Buitendag | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 April 2019 | Published: 10 June 2019

About the author(s)

Johan Buitendag, Department of Historical and Systematic Theology, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


In this article, the author engages with the question ‘what is so theological about theological education’, which he calls the genealogy of theology. This matter is approached from a very specific vantage point as the author was the former Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Pretoria (South Africa) and has been engaged in this research project over the last 5 years as the Faculty was under severe review as to its composition and ultimately its very future. This article endeavours to bring to the surface the underlying theology of the author and the paradigm he is operating from. It concludes with a definition of theology as he sees it, but with the explicit qualification of it being situated at a research-intensive university competing for a notable position on the ranking indexes of world universities. A new niche is thus opening up for theology (vis-à-vis a seminary or even a Christian university), namely, a ‘scholarly endeavour of believers in the public sphere in order to inquire into a multi-dimensional reality in a manner that matters’.


Definition of theology; Theological education; Meta-reality; Epistemology; Pluralism; Eccentrism; Truth; Ecodomy; Justice


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Crossref Citations

1. Ecodomy as education in tertiary institutions. Teaching theology and religion in a globalised world: African perspectives
Johan Buitendag, Corneliu C. Simuț
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies  vol: 76  issue: 1  year: 2020  
doi: 10.4102/hts.v76i1.5956