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Thursday, 24 December 2015

Rev. Dr. Bastiaan Wielenga, a renowned Indian Liberation theologian and Biblical scholar moves on… (1936 – 2015)

Rev. Dr. Bastiaan Wielenga (1936 - 2015)
Rev. Dr. Bastiaan Wielenga,  a German missionary who opted for Indian citizenship, and a globally renowned Indian Liberation theologian of our times passed away on 23rd Dec 2015.  Among several commitments, he served the Ecumenical Christian Centre,  the Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society, and Tamilnadu Theological Seminary, where he played a major role in founding the’ Centre for Social Analysis’, and from where he retired as a Professor of Biblical Studies.

Dr. Bastiaan Wielenga's contributions towards articulation of contextual theologies, particularly Theology of the Poor and Indian Liberation Theology, through the Centre for Social Analysis and  Tamilnadu Theological Seminary in particular and the Senate of Serampore College at large, are indeed remarkable.

Dr. Bas authored several books including Towards an Eco-just Society (1999), Understanding Indian Society , co-authored with his wife Dr. Gabrielle Dietrich (1998), It is a long Road to Freedom: Perspectives of Biblical Theology (1996), A Commentary to Revelation (1995), Social Movements: Towards a Perspective, co-authored with John Desrochers (1991), and  Introduction to Marxism (1984). He was part of the editorial team that worked on Encyclopaedia of Marxism appointed by the Russian Marxian Council.  

His has contributed a lot towards Indian Ecumenical Movement also. His Bible Studies were instrumental in motivating the NCCI – Urban Rural Mission to position prophetically.  He was a great teacher who lived by what he taught.

He is survived by his wife Dr. Gabrielle Dietrich a renowned scholar and social activist, daughter Karuna and son Prashad.

The NCCI deeply mourns his demise and prays for the family to be filled with God’s Peace and Grace.

"The question of liberation is more urgent than ever, in Asia as elsewhere. Whether Christians will be able to address the question will depend on their readiness to go against the tide of Mammon, to turn to the Galilees of those who are excluded today and enter into a common search to find how struggles for survival can become struggles for life in its fullness."
-       Bastiaan Wielenga



On behalf of the Council

Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad,
General Secretary – NCCI