Focus: The application of core concepts of Reformed Theology on moral renewal in the process of nation building and the development of the society

Subprogramme leader: Prof Riaan Rheeder



To participate constructively during the process of nation building and the development of the society, in the continued discourse of:

  • Ethics of human rights
  • Bio-ethics and human rights

Here, particular attention is paid to the Universal Declaration of Bioethics and Human Rights (UDBH) which was accepted in 2005 by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation). South Africa also signed the declaration. The declaration will be studied and assessed from a Reformed perspective. The sub-program is aimed at the moral development of society and therefore is ethics teaching very important. Mathooko and Kipkemboi (2014: 259-260), two UDBH researchers from Africa, is convinced that bioethics education in Africa is needed: "The relevance of Bioethics education in Africa is not in doubt ... Despite the policymaking by UNESCO to promote Bioethics education in Africa, it is still infancy, and its development is bedeviled with numerous challenges ... "(Mathooko, J. & Kipkemboi, J. 2014. African Perspectives. (in Ten Have, HAMJ & Curtain B., eds., Handbook of Global Bioethics. Dordrecht: Springer Science + Business Media. p. 253-268).

  • Eco-ethics
  • Old Testament-ethics
  • Theological antropology

Civil Society and the moral renewal of the South African society - A comparison between South Africa and Germany in times of transition

International networks:




    Migration within counties and across country borders is taking place at an unprecedented scale. The growing number of refugees and people displaced by war and environmental disasters is a cause of serious global concern. The dynamics regarding identity formation has led to turbulent political, social and public contestation as can be seen in the rise of right-wing politics in Germany, Trumpism in the United States, and the decolonization narrative in South Africa.

    This project will provide the fields of public theology and Christian social ethics with an opportunity to bring together emerging insights on the complex nexus of problems related to population migrations. A plethora of public theological issues arise as a result of global mass movements, such as the widespread concern on the social impact of the annihilation of family structures as a result of migrant labour, influx controls and forced removals due to war or poverty, the phenomena underlying the fragmentation of family networks, and the formation of positive social identities. In what way can public theology influence public discourse and encourage a universal respect for human dignity, equality and freedom?

  2. Religion and Civil Society.  A comparison between South-Africa and Germany.  In samewerking met prof Michael Welker van die Universiteit van Heidelberg;
  3. The Encyclopaedia of Global Bioethics.  Hierdie projek, tesame met die wêreldgemeenskap bied aan die ontwikkeling van die eerste omvattende en sistematiese ensiklopedie van alle relevante vraagstukk en onderwerpe in kontemporêre globale bio-etiek.