The Life and Work of Mary-Anne Plaatjies-Van Huffel in Church and Society with specific Reference to the Confession of Belhar




Prof Mary-Anne Plaatjies-van Huffel, Confession of Belhar, Unity, Social justice, Reconciliation


The untimely death of Prof. Mary-Anne Plaatjies-Van Huffel challenges everybody who knew her to reflect on her life and work. One of the outstanding attributes of Plaatjies-Van Huffel was the way in which she “lived” the Confession of Belhar. To her it was much more than a theological document. It guided her life, was the lens through which she looked at church and society and, in the process, became personified in her life and work. This is the focus of the article. It starts off with a short overview of the life of Plaatjies-Van Huffel before it gives a short description of the importance of the Confession of Belhar. How the life of Plaatjies-Van Huffel and the Belhar Confession became inseparable is then described through the three critical areas which are addressed by the Confession, namely unity, social justice and reconciliation. Examples of her leadership in the reunification process between the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) and the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA), and press statements on social justice and reconciliation are then used to illustrate how the Confession was embodied by Mary-Anne Plaatjies-Van Huffel.


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Author Biography

Johan Van der Merwe, University of Pretoria

Department of Systematic and Historical Theology

Faculty of Theology and Religion

University of Pretoria, South Africa




How to Cite

Van der Merwe, Johan. 2021. “The Life and Work of Mary-Anne Plaatjies-Van Huffel in Church and Society With Specific Reference to the Confession of Belhar”. Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae 47 (2):18 pages.
Received 2020-07-31
Accepted 2020-09-18
Published 2021-07-08