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UFS forms a strategic partnership with Yale University
2010-03-16

 
At the official inauguration of the Jonathan Edwards Center Africa was, from the left, front: Prof. Harry Stout, Chair of the Department of American Religious History at Yale University; Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS; back: Prof. Dolf Britz, Director of the Jonathan Edwards Center Africa at the UFS; Prof. Kenneth Minkema, Executive Director of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University; Prof. Adriaan Neele of Yale University, now also Professor Extraordinary in the Faculty of Theology at the UFS; and Prof. Francois Tolmie, Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the UFS.
Photo: Stephen Collett


The University of the Free State (UFS) officially inaugurated the Jonathan Edwards Centre Africa in its Faculty of Theology last week. This centre, affiliated with the Jonathan Edwards Centre Yale University in New Haven in the United States of America, was established at the UFS last year.

The strategic partnership between the UFS and Yale University exemplifies the vision of the Faculty of Theology to be an internationally renowned theological and training faculty.

Leading scholars from Yale University, Prof. Harry Stout, Chair of the Department of American Religious History, and Prof. Kenneth Minkema, Executive Director of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale participated in the inauguration of the Jonathan Edwards Center Africa.

The Dean of the Faculty of Theology, Prof. Francois Tolmie said, “This visit underscores the strategic relationship between Yale University and the Faculty of Theology and will assist in us continuing to foster high aspiring scholarship, student and faculty support.”

This is an exciting development between universities renowned for excellence in learning, and innovation in scholarship. Prof. Minkema added, “The establishment of this renowned center for research, education and publication, at the UFS is a significant expansion of Edwards scholarship and will serve widely both academia and the church,” Said Prof. Stout.

The Faculty of Theology also announced the appointment of Prof. Adriaan Neele of Yale University as Professor Extraordinary. The appointment follows the vast growth of the Jonathan Edwards Centre Africa. “I welcome this appointment with much anticipation as the strategic relationship between Yale University and the Faculty of Theology develops in unprecedented ways, attracting doctoral students from Southern Africa, South Korea and America,” said Prof. Tolmie.

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), pastor, revivalist, Christian philosopher, missionary, and president of Princeton University, is widely regarded as North America’s greatest theologian. He is the subject of intense scholarly interest throughout the world, because of his significance as a historical figure and the profound legacy he left on America’s religious, political and intellectual landscapes.

“The centre and appointment of Prof. Neele will provide sustainable scholarship of primary sources in new and promising ways, said Prof. Dolf Britz, Director of the Jonathan Edwards Africa at the UFS.

“My appointment at this prestige university of Southern Africa is both an honour and humbling. I look forward to a beneficial and academic engagement with students, as well as to serve the academy and the church,” said Prof. Neele.

Prof. Neele’s inaugural address entitled A Transitional Moment in Theology argued for the classicality and catholicity of Edwards’ theology.

The interest in Edwards globally has in part been fuelled by the work of the Jonathan Edwards Centre at Yale University, whose sole mission is to support inquiry into the life, writings, and legacy of Jonathan Edwards by providing resources that encourage critical appraisal of the historical importance and contemporary relevance of America’s premier theologian.

The primary means to achieve this are with the Works of Jonathan Edwards Online, a digital learning environment for research, education and publication that presents all of Edwards’s writings, along with helpful editorial materials that allow the reader to examine Edwards's thought in incredibly powerful, useful ways.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication (actg)
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl@ufs.ac.za  
15 March 2010
 

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