Original Research - Special Collection: Eben Scheffler Festschrift

Friendship in a time of protest? Friedrich Schleiermacher and Russel Botman on the fabric of (civic) friendship

Nadia Marais
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 3 | a5592 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i3.5592 | © 2019 Nadia Marais | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 May 2019 | Published: 19 November 2019

About the author(s)

Nadia Marais, Department of Systematic Theology and Ecclesiology, Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa


Friendship is not often associated with citizenship, politics or civil society – and yet this contribution proposes that civic friendship(s) may be worth consideration as an expression of peacemaking and peacebuilding: the dynamic interplay between our ‘social’ and ‘individual’ selves working towards peace and countering violence. This theological consideration of friendship deals with the interaction between individuality and sociability in the work and thought of a theologian who was deeply interested in such interplay and which may therefore be helpful in theological reflection on friendship. This contribution draws on two theologians who were involved in higher education themselves – the German theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher, who served as rector of the Humboldt University of Berlin (1815–1816), and the South African theologian Russel Botman, who served as rector of Stellenbosch University (2007–2014) – from whom we may learn about (civic) friendship.


friendship; peacemaking; Russel Botman; Friedrich Schleiermacher; higher education


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