Professor of Philosophy of Religion at the University of Utrecht and Dean of the Theological Faculty until 1988
Vincent Brümmer was born on 30 December 1932 at Stellenbosch. He came from a
family of academics: His father (N.J. Brümmer) was professor in philosophy at
Stellenbosch from 1910-1941 and his mother's father (J.I. Marais) professor in
theology from 1877-1919.
He attended the Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch and received his BA (1953), Cand.Theol. (1956) and MA (cum laude) in philosophy (1967) at Stellenbosch University. In 1958 he received his ThM at Harvard University and in 1961 his ThD (cum laude) at Utrecht University. After that he spent a year as research student in Oxford and five years teaching philosophy at the University of Natal (1962-1963) and at UNISA (1964-1966) before becoming professor in the Philosophy of Religion in Utrecht (1967-1997).
From 1985-1988 he was dean of the Faculty of Theology in Utrecht and from 1991 until his retirement in 1997 he was founding director of the Netherlands School of Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion (NOSTER).
Through the years he played an active role in the struggle to maintain cultural relations between South Africa and the Netherlands. Thus he was a member of the Board of the Nederlands Zuid-Afrikaanse Vereniging from 1967-2004 (chairman 1999-2004), and chairman of the Studiefonds voor Zuid-Afrikaanse Studenten (1986-2002).
He was three times president of the European Society for Philosophy of Religion (1978-1980, 1986-1988, and 1994-1996) and president of the British Society for the Study of Theology in 1994-1996. In 1982 he was Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College in Cambridge and in 1991 Richardson Fellow at Durham University. After his retirement he was visiting professor in Stellenbosch (1998) and in Pretoria (2000).
In recognition of his academic work he received honorary doctorates in divinity from the universities of Uppsala (Sweden) and Durham (England) and a knighthood in the Order of the Dutch Lion.
The book, What are we doing when we Pray? On Prayer and the Nature of Faith, was awarded the Andrew Murray-Desmond Tutu Prize for theology in South Africa, 2009.
Vincent Brümmer is married to Jean Heatlie (from Worcester in the Western Cape) and they have a son and two daughters.
He is the author of about 100 academic articles and a number of books and edited volumes in Dutch and English.