Martin Versfeld

A South African Philosopher in Dark Times

Ernst Wolff and contributions by Ruth Versfeld, Paul Van Tongeren, Kobus Krüger, Marlene van Niekerk, and Antjie Krog

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Monograph - paperback

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First study of one of the foremost South African philosophers

Martin Versfeld (1909–1995) is one of South Africa’s greatest philosophers, appreciated by academics and activists, poets and the broader public. His masterful prose spans the tension between disquiet and joy. Detractor of the violent trends of modernity, a critic of apartheid from the first hour, he was among the first philosophers of ecology. At the same time he celebrated the generosity of the world and advocated an ethics of simplicity, drawing on medieval theology and Asian wisdom.

He came through the darkest times of the 20th century with his moral and intellectual integrity intact, and this the contemporary reader can learn from how he dealt with justice and exploitation, cultural difference and human nature, religion and the environment, time and generosity.

This is the first book-length study on this remarkable philosopher.

Ebook available in Open Access.
This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

Format: Monograph - paperback

Size: 234 × 156 mm

240 pages

ISBN: 9789462702974

Publication: October 15, 2021

Languages: English

Antjie Krog, multiple award-winning writer, poet and journalist, is a professor at the University of the Western Cape.
Ernst Wolff is professor of philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven.
Kobus Krüger is emeritus professor of science of religion at the University of South Africa.
Marlene van Niekerk, multiple award-winning novelist and poet, is professor of creative writing at the University of Stellenbosch.
Paul van Tongeren is emeritus professor of philosophy at the Radboud University, Nijmegen.
Ruth Versfeld works in teacher education and curriculum development in South Africa.

This volume of biographical, philosophical and literary reflections on the work of one of South Africa’s most important philosophers, Martin Versfeld, offers the best overview of the man and his times so far. Versfeld was both far ahead of his time and timeless in his lifestyle and his ways of thought. I could not stop reading it, and it is bound to cast its spell over all lovers of philosophy as a way of life.
Johann Rossouw, University of the Free State