SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.33 issue2For and about Etienne de Villiers as ethicist of responsibilityVirtue and responsibility: Economic-ethical perspectives in the work of Etienne de Villiers author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google


Verbum et Ecclesia

On-line version ISSN 2074-7705
Print version ISSN 1609-9982

Verbum Eccles. (Online) vol.33 n.2 Pretoria  2012 



Etienne de Villiers as etikus van verantwoordelikheid


Etienne de Villiers as ethicist of responsibility



Dirkie Smit

Department of Systematic Theology, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa





The paper considered six ways to describe Etienne de Villiers as ethicist of responsibility. They broadly corresponded with chronological phases in his academic career. The first was the way in which he initially took responsibility to teach theological ethics in a methodologically reflective way. The second was the way in which he increasingly found answers to these methodological concerns in responsibility ethics as an approach. The third was the way in which he spent much time analysing the work of responsibility ethicists. This critical engagement led to a fourth phase, still ongoing, developing his own approach. Against this background, the paper argued that he had always been an ethicist of responsibility in the fifth sense that he addressed urgent moral challenges. Developing this, a final section claims that he was an ethicist of responsibility according to Weber's description of science as vocation. The paper was read as key note presentation at the University of Pretoria on 09 November 2011, when D.E. (Etienne) de Villiers was honoured on the occasion of his retirement. On the specific request of the organisers, the speech was held in Afrikaans and the original oral form was retained here, including the personal rethorical style of the introduction and conclusion.



“Full text available only in PDF format”




Niebuhr, H.R., 1963, The Responsible Self, Harper & Row, New York.         [ Links ]

Oberman, H., 1974, Contra vanam curiositatem, Theologischer Verlag, Zürich.         [ Links ]

Weber, M., 1917, Wissenschaft als Beruf, Duncker & Humblot, München.         [ Links ]

Weber, M., 1919, Politik als Beruf, Duncker & Humblot, München.         [ Links ]



Dirkie Smit
Private Bag X17
Matieland 7602
South Africa

Received: 23 Apr. 2012
Accepted: 18 July 2012
Published: 06 Dec. 2012

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License