Allan Boesak presented our Monday evening keynote at the 2016 National Gathering. You can find a PDF transcript of his keynote here in addition to the recording.
Allan Aubrey Boesak was born in Kakamas, Northern Cape, South Africa in 1946, studied at the University of the Western Cape and received his PhD in Theology from the Protestant Theological University in Kampen, the Netherlands in 1976. 1976 also marks the Soweto Uprisings and Allan Boesak’s entry into public life in South Africa. Dr Boesak served the church and the ecumenical movement in various senior capacities since 1978, including as President of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, the first person from the global South and youngest ever to be elected into that position. Under his leadership this world body adopted the “apartheid is a heresy” declaration and suspended the two Dutch Reformed Churches from membership for their theological and moral support for and justification of the apartheid system. In 1983 Allan Boesak called for the formation of the United Democratic Front, which became the largest organised, non-racial, nonviolent anti-apartheid movement in the history of the country. Allan Boesak became its most visible leader and spokesperson until its closure by the ANC in 1991. Dr. Boesak is a preacher and teacher, and remains deeply and passionately involved in global struggles for human rights, social, economic and ecological justice, gender and sexual justice across the world. His most recent publication, Kairos, Crisis, and Global Apartheid, the Challenge for Prophetic Resistance, was published by Palgrave McMillan, 2015. Dr. Boesak is the first holder of the Desmond Tutu Chair for Peace, Global Justice and Reconciliation Studies, and founding director of the Desmond Tutu Centre for Reconciliation and Global Justice at Christian Theological Seminary and Butler University in Indianapolis.