Faculty of Theology hosts the Third Annual Russel Botman Memorial Lecture
On Wednesday 18 October the Faculty of Theology hosted the Third Annual Russel Botman Memorial Lecture, honouring the former Rector and Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University. The memorial lecture was presented by Justice Zak Yacoob, titled “Religious Philosophy, Practice and the Constitution”. Prof Sandy Liebenberg (of SERAJ) responded to the lecture.
Justice Yacoob placed emphasis on Prof Russel Botman’s “sustained commitment to humanity”. Prof Russel Botman’s religious practice was seen as a way to participate in the community. Justice Yacoob challenged us to remember Prof Russel Botman by committing ourselves to the achievement of substantive equality. He echoed the words of Prof Russel Botman:
“What use would all our knowledge be if it did not make a different to people’s suffering?”
The memorial lecture inspired the use of law as “an instrument of hope and the achievement of the constitutional vision”.
Prof Sandy Liebenberg responded to Justice Yacoob and spoke of Prof Russel Botman’s commitment to transformation at Stellebosch University. Prof Liebenberg comments on Prof Russel Botman’s academic scholarship and the emphasis he placed on human dignity, and how this fittingly resonates with the words used by Justice Yacoob in the Constitutional Court Judgement of Government of South Africa v Grootboom, that “the Constitution requires everyone to be treated with care and concern.” Prof Liebenberg challenged the audience to carry Prof Russel Botman’s legacy of hope forward. To read Prof Liebenberg’s response click here.
SERAJ thanks the Faculty of Theology, together with the curatoria of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa and the Dutch Reformed Church, and the Beyers Naude Centre for Public Theology for hosting this event. To watch the event click here.