Prof dr J Wentzel van Huyssteen

Prof dr J Wentzel van Huyssteen
Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, United States

Prof dr Wenzel van Huyssteen
J. Wentzel van Huyssteen, originally from South Africa, moved to the United States of America on January 1, 1992 to become Princeton Theological Seminary's first James I. McCord Professor of Theology and Science. He has research degrees in Philosophy (MA: University of Stellenbosch, South Africa) and Philosophical Theology (D.Th.: Free University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and his area of special interest is interdisciplinary theology, including religious and scientific epistemology. Van Huyssteen is married to Hester van Huyssteen and they have four children.

Dr. van Huyssteen received his baccalaureate degree (cum laude) from the University of Stellenbosch, where he also took a B.A. Honours (Philosophy, cum laude), a bachelor of theology degree, and an M.A. in philosophy (cum laude). He earned a Doctorate in Theology from the Free University of Amsterdam in 1970 and was ordained a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church the next year. After further study at the Ludwig-Maximillian-Universitšt in Munich, Germany, he lectured on philosophy and theology at the Huguenot College in Wellington, South Africa, and served for two years as the minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in Noorder-Paarl, South Africa. He was named Professor and Chair of Religious Studies at South Africa's University of Port Elizabeth in 1972, a post he held until coming to Princeton Theology Seminary as the first occupant of the McCord chair in 1992.

During his time at the University of Port Elizabeth he published numerous articles and several books. One of these, Theology and the Justification of Faith: Constructing Theories in Systematic Theology (Eerdmans, 1989), was awarded the Andrew Murray Prize and the Venter Prize for Academic Excellence. J. Wentzel van Huyssteen has read numerous papers and lectured widely, not only in the United States of America, Canada and South Africa, but also in France, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands, England, Scotland, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan, Hong Kong, and Korea. He is a member of several national and international academic societies, and has been a member of the Steering Committee of the Theology and Science Section of the American Academy of Religion since 1992.

J. Wentzel van Huyssteen is a recipient of an American Academy of Religion Senior Research Award, and a Citizen of the Year Award from the Port Elizabeth City Council. Since moving to Princeton in 1992, J. Wentzel van Huyssteen has won three Templeton Awards: for his Inaugural Address Theology and Science: The Quest for a New Apologetics, and for two new courses he initiated at Princeton Theological Seminary , Theology and the New Physics and Theology and the Challenge of Darwinism. At Princeton Theological Seminary, Professor van Huyssteen lectures in interdisciplinary and philosophical theology, with a special focus on the dialogue between theology and the sciences. Wm. Eerdmans Publishing Co. has published his latest books, Essays in Postfoundationalist Theology (July 1997) , Rethinking Theology and Science: Six Models for the Current Discussion (edited with Niels H. Gregersen, July 1998), and The Shaping of Rationality: Towards Interdisciplinarity in Theology and Science (1999).

In January 1998, J. Wentzel van Huyssteen delivered the John Albert Hall Lectures at the University of Victoria (British Columbia). This lecture series, with the title Duet of Duel? Theology and Science in a Postmodern World, was published in September 1998 by Trinity International Press in the USA and SCM Press in London, and in 2002 was published in an Indonesian translation (BPK Publishers, Jakarta). Three of van Huyssteen's most recent books, Essays in Postfoundationalist Theology (1997), Rethinking Theology and Science (1998, with Niels H. Gregersen), and Duet or Duel? Theology and Science in a Postmodern World (1998), were all nominated for the Templeton Awards for Outstanding Books in Theology and the Natural Sciences. In January 2004 The Shaping of Rationality: Towards Interdisciplinarity in Theology and Science (1999) was chosen for the John Templeton Foundation's new Books of Distinction Program.

In January 1999, the Dutch Royal Academy for Arts and Sciences invited Wentzel van Huyssteen to become the Chair of the International Committee for the Assessment of Theological Research in the Netherlands. In September 2000, Professor van Huyssteen was appointed to the International Board of Advisors of the John Templeton Foundation. In November 2000, Dr. van Huyssteen accepted an invitation by Macmillan Publishers, New York, to become Editor-in-Chief in the new Encyclopedia for Science and Religion, which was published in New York in March 2003.

Professor van Huyssteen is a member of the Board of Directors of the Metanexus Institute of Science and Religion. He is an Advisor for The Centre of Christian Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is a member of the American Theological Society. He is also a Life Member of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, England; a Life Member of the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, and a founding member of the International Society of Science and Religion. In addition to serving on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Theology and Philosophy, the Nederduitse Gereformeerde Teologiese Tydskrif, and the Journal of Theology and Science, Dr. van Huyssteen is a member of the editorial board of the Templeton Foundation Press, and co-editor (with Roger Trigg) of Ashgate Press' Science and Religion Series. Professor van Huyssteen is also co-editor, with Moroccan astrophysicist Kahlil Cham-Cham, of the new Templeton Science and Religion Series.

During October/November 2002, Wentzel van Huyssteen was the Alexander Robertson Lecturer at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Professor van Huyssteen also became the first South African, as well as the first professor from Princeton Theological Seminary, to be invited to deliver the Gifford Lectures in Scotland. This lecture series was delivered at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, in April/May 2004, on the topic Alone in the World? Human Uniqueness in Science and Theology ( He explored the interdisciplinary dialogue between theology and paleoanthropology, and questions of human uniqueness, by focusing on the meaning of prehistoric European cave paintings as some of the oldest surviving expressions of human symbolic activity. The Gifford Lectures were published in the United States of America by Wm. Eerdmans Publishing Company, and in Europe by Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Germany, with the title Alone in the World? Human Uniqueness in Science and Theology. The Gifford Lectures, The University of Edinburgh 2004. Most recently, in January 2008, Alone in the World? was published in a Swedish translation, Ensamma I varlden? Manniskans sarstallning inom naturvetenskap och teologi, by Nya Doxa Publishing House, Sweden (

In December of 2004 Professor van Huyssteen delivered the Olaus Petri Lectures at the University of Uppsala, Sweden, on the topic Human Origins and Religious Awareness. On January 23, 2006 professor van Huyssteen read a paper at the Royal Society in Edinburgh, Scotland, on the topic Our Place in the Universe. In October 2006, J. Wentzel van Huyssteen delivered the Belote Lectures at the Hong Kong Baptist Seminary in Hong Kong, China.

In November 2006, Dr. van Huyssteen was presented with a Festschrift at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion: The Evolution of Rationality: Interdisciplinary Essays in Honor of J. Wentzel van Huyssteen (ed. F. LeRon Shults). For his recent book Alone in the World? Human Uniqueness in Science and Theology, J. Wentzel van Huyssteen has been named as the first recipient of the Andrew Murray/Desmond Tutu Prize for Theology (April 2007).