“Making history for the coming generation” – on the theological logic of Russel Botman’s commitment to transformation

Dirkie Smit


The late rector of Stellenbosch University, Russel Botman, was widely known for his commitment to transformation. In the first Memorial Lecture to commemorate his legacy, it is argued that he had already been committed to transformation from early on in his life as student, minister, church figure and theologian and that this commitment was based on what he described as his “theological logic.” This logic is then explained in terms of four key notions in his life and work, namely vocational spirituality, responsible discipleship, complex obedience, and hopeful agency. It is shown how he developed this logic already in his doctoral dissertation, in creative engagement with Dietrich Bonhoeffer. From this encounter grew his own conviction that transformation is making history for the coming generation.


Russel Botman; Dietrich Bonhoeffer; Discipleship; Ethics of Responsibility; Hope; Transformation

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17570/stj.2015.v1n2.a29


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