Anti-apartheid activist Boesak to speak at IU Bloomington

During the long, hard struggle against apartheid in South Africa, the name Allan Boesak often appeared right after those of Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Now the cleric and long-time social justice activist lives and works in Indianapolis and directs the Desmond Tutu Center established this fall by Butler University and Christian Theological Seminary.

On Monday, he will be at IU Bloomington to speak on “Reconciliation as Radical Risk Taking: Lessons and Challenges from South Africa.” The talk, from 4-6 p.m. in the Bridgwaters Lounge of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, is sponsored by the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies.

boesakBoesak was the first African elected presented of the World Alliance of Reformed and played a key role in rallying international religious opposition to apartheid, the mandated racial separation that prevailed in South Africa from 1948 to 1990. The Indianapolis Star referred to him, in a recent profile, as “the man some think of as South Africa’s equivalent to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.”

Boesak spent the 2012-13 academic year at Butler and Christian Theological Seminary, speaking to classes on peace, international studies, political science and religion. In June, Butler and CTS appointed him to a four-year position as Desmond Tutu Chair for Peace, Global Justice and Reconciliation Studies.

Butler and Christian Theological Seminar announced in September that they were establishing the Desmond Tutu Center. The center honors the “legacy of justice and reconciliation” of Tutu, the retired Anglican archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, through research, scholarly exchanges and engagement with religious communities, college students and youth.

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