The optics of homiletics : preaching as reframing of perspective
Inaugural lecture delivered on 21 February 2012.
Johan Cilliers was born in Luanshya, Zambia (1954); matriculated in De Aar (1972), and received his theological training at the Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University, as well as the Karl Rupprecht University in Heidelberg, Germany. He has obtained the following degrees: DTh Theology, Stellenbosch University (SU) 1982; Licentiate in Theology, SU 1979 (cum laude); MTh Theology, SU 1979 (cum laude); BTh Theology, SU 1978 (cum laude), and BA Philosophy and Greek, SU 1975 (cum laude). After having served as minister in two Dutch Reformed congregations (in Durban and Stellenbosch), he was appointed as senior lecturer at the Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University, and is currently professor of Homiletics and Liturgy at this institution. He is head of the Department of Practical Theology and Missiology at the Faculty; president of the Society for Practical Theology in South Africa, as well as vice-president of the Societas Homiletica (the international society for Homiletics). He has delivered guest lectures at the University of Umea, Sweden, as well as the Humboldt University, Germany, and has written nine academic books, inter alia on preaching, liturgy and aesthetics. He has co-authored two books with international scholars, respectively on the foolishness of preaching (with American author Charles Campbell) and worshipping in the so-called ‘Network Society’ (with Dutch author Marcel Barnard). He has published more than 60 academic articles in accredited journals, and authored 23 popular religious books, for which he has received numerous awards from the Christian Booksellers Association of Southern Africa (CBSA). He has received the Rector’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (2003), the Best Lecturer Award from the Golden Key International Society and SU’s Academic Affairs Council (2008), as well as the Rector’s Award for Excellence in Research (2010). As researcher, he holds a National Research Foundation (NRF) rating and has received grants from the Harry Oppenheimer Memorial Trust as well as the SU Research Committee. He is fond of languages (speaks German and studies French among others) and enjoys dabbling in art.1 He is married to Elna, and is the (very proud) father of twins, Jacques and Karen.