prof. dr. W.L. van der Merwe

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+31 20 59 86617
faculteit religie en theologie ( beliefs & practices )
Chair: Philosophy of Religion, apologetics and encyclopaedia of theology




Philosophy of Religion, Contemporary Continental Philosophy, History of Philosophy

Recente publicaties

  • 2013      Multiculturalism(s)? A critical appraisal towards an aporetic multiculturalism.Reframing ‘multiculturalisms’ for the 21st Century (ed. Ebanda de B’beri, B. & Mansouri, F), University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 2012 (forthcoming).
  • 2012a       The Vicissitudes of Transcendence in Looking Beyond? Shifting Notions of Transcendence
    in Philosophy, Theology, Politics and Art
     (ed. Van der Merwe, W.L & Stoker, W), Currents of Encounter, Rodopi, Amsterdam / New York: pp. 507-510.
  • 2012b       Gianni Vattimo: Transcendence and (Postmetaphysical) Utopia , co-authored with SWP Engelbrecht, in Looking Beyond? Shifting Notions of Transcendence in Philosophy, Theology, Politics and Art (ed. Van der Merwe, W.L & Stoker, W),
     Currents of Encounter, Rodopi, Amsterdam / New York: pp. 223-239.
  • 2012c      Conclusion: tracing transcendence in Culture and Transcendence, (ed. Van der Merwe, W.L. & Stoker, W), Studies in Philosophical Theology, Peeters, Leuven: pp. 221-233.
  • 2010      African Philosophy, Contextuality, Multiculturalism in Crossroad discourses between Christianity and Culture, (ed. Gort, J.D., Jansen, H.& Stoker, W.) Rodopi: Amsterdam / New York, 2010: 301-318.
  • Tussen Jeruzalem rn Athene. Het chrstelijke geloof in de hedendaagse cultuur (Eng. Between Jeruzalem and Athens. Christian faith in contemporary culture), VU University Press, Amsterdam, 2009, 1-34.
  • Christan Philosophy, Ethnocentrism, Contemporary Philosophy, Hegel, Kant and neo-Kantian Philosophy, Patriotism, Plato and Neo-platonism. Philosophy (definition and disciplines), Political Ethics, Poststructuralism, Renaissance, Structuralism, Traditionalism and Western Philosophy, Christelike Kernensiklopedie, Lux Verbi: Wellington, 2008
  • Tweede Refleksie. ‘n Keur uit die denke van Johan Degenaar, (ed.) Van der Merwe, W & Duvenage, PJN, SunMedia, Stellenbosch, 2008, pp. 369
  • The ethics of responsibility: a brief introduction to the ethical philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas, Acta Academica 40(1), 2008, 1- 30 (met V de Voss)
  • De herwaardering van het christelijk geloof in de hedendaagse cultuurfilosofie, Streven, September 2007, 705 – 717


W.L. (Willie) van der Merwe (1957) studied literature, philosophy and theology at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. He received his PhD from the University of Stellenbosch (1990) on a dissertation for which he did research in Utrecht, the Netherlands, under supervision of the Dutch philosopher C.A. van Peursen. The study is an analysis and comparison of Husserl’s and Wittgenstein’s respective understandings of the relation between language and experience. He was a member of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Stellenbosch from 1986, where he became professor in 1998 and also served a term as chair of the department. His publications cover topics ranging from philosophy of language and hermeneutics to philosophy of religion, African philosophy and multiculturalism. After provisional completion recently of a research project on conceptions of cultural diversity and identity, he started with a new project on the revaluation of Christian faith in contemporary Continental philosophy of culture and religion, funded by the National Research Foundation of South Africa (2009 – 2011) and carried out in conjunction with a group of researchers at the VU university Amsterdam. He has been a fellow and/or visiting professor at the KULeuven and the University of Antwerp (Belgium), the universities of Nijmegen and Tilburg (the Netherlands) and Salzburg (Austria) and is currently a distinguished professor of the Department of Philosophy, University of Stellenbosch. He serves on the editorial boards of Polylog, Zeitsschrift für interkulterelles Philosophieren and Nederlands Theologisch Tijdschrift. Since August 2008 he holds the chair in philosophy of religion, apologetics and encyclopedy of theology in the faculties of philosophy and theology at the VU university Amsterdam.

Ancillary activities

Universiteit van Stellenbosch - Distinguished professor Stellenbosch, 01 januari 2013
Last changes Ancillary activities: Amsterdam 27 januari 2017