Towards a Future with Greater Freedoms for All

Historical Theological Engagement with Mary-Anne Plaatjies-Van Huffel’s Contribution to Religion and Law




Freedom of religion, religion and law, Ecumenism, M-A Plaatjies-Van Huffel, Church history, Pluralism


This article engages the work of one of South Africa’s foremost scholars in religion and law—the late Prof. Mary-Anne Plaatjies-Van Huffel. Towards the end of her life, Plaatjies-Van Huffel published a number of important articles on themes related to religion and law. In this article we shall trace the biographical and academic antecedents to these later works. The article shows how her dedication to justice, peace and integrity (to borrow a phrase from the World Council of Churches) developed through particular methodological and theological commitments. The article concludes by offering some tentative insights into where her work may have gone, had she lived to follow the same trajectory of a post-structuralist historiographic engagement with power to deconstruct gender abuse, safeguard minority rights, and cultivate inter-religious cooperation.


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Author Biography

Dion Angus Forster, Stellenbosch University

Head of Department, Systematic Theology and Ecclesiology
Director, Beyers Naudé Centre for Public Theology
Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University




How to Cite

Forster, Dion Angus. 2021. “Towards a Future With Greater Freedoms for All: Historical Theological Engagement With Mary-Anne Plaatjies-Van Huffel’s Contribution to Religion and Law”. Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae 47 (2):19 pages.
Received 2020-07-31
Accepted 2020-08-24
Published 2021-07-08