Original Research

Die Christelike lewensvisie van aartsbiskop Desmond M. Tutu: ’n Algemene oorsig

B.J. van der Walt
Koers - Bulletin for Christian Scholarship/Bulletin vir Christelike Wetenskap | Vol 68, No 1 | a327 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koers.v68i1.327 | © 2003 B.J. van der Walt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 August 2003 | Published: 01 August 2003

About the author(s)

B.J. van der Walt, Skool vir Sosiale en Owerheidstudies (Filosofie), Potchefstroomse Universiteit vir CHO, South Africa

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The Christian worldview of Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu: A general review

In the light of the sad fact that Archbishop Tutu’s writings are often neither known nor read by the Afrikaans-speaking community, this tribute intends to be a brief, academic but accessible introduction to his thought – especially in the light of the fact that the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education recently honoured him with an honorary doctorate for his significant contribution to Christian thought and life in South Africa and the rest of the world.

The focus of the article is not on Tutu as a person or his theology (which has been characterised in different ways), but provides an overview of his Christian worldview. Firstly, the different sources of his worldview are investigated. Secondly, an exposition is given of its six basic components: (1) Tutu’s idea of God; (2) of God’s laws for creation; (3) of time and history and (4) of our natural environment. The second article will deal separately with the two remaining components, viz (5) Tutu’s view of being human and (6) of society, because they should be regarded as his most important contribution in shaping a genuine Christian worldview.

The preliminary conclusion is that, because Tutu listened carefully and obediently to God’s threefold revelation, he succeeded in proclaiming both an integral and a relevant Christian worldview. This worldview is not dualistic in nature, dividing life in secular and sacred domains; it emphasises God’s sovereignty over everything and religion as an all-encompassing service to God and our neighbour. The relevance of Tutu’s worldview can not be confined to the apartheid era – it offers valuable perspectives and directions for Christian life in our increasingly secularised contemporary world.


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