Public Lecture: Wentzel van Huyssteen


Location: Notre Dame London Global Gateway

Wentzel van Huyssteen

Human Origins and the Emergence of a Distinctive Human Imagination


One of the most remarkable traits of our species is our defining ability to think symbolically and perform symbolic actions. At the heart of this lies our remarkable ability for imagination, even religious imagination. We have always known that humans across the globe act religiously even as we disagree about religious doctrine, deities, practices, or the nature of religious experiences. This lecture will explore evolutionary or historical answers to where this distinctive ability comes from. Can the emergence of religion and the human propensity for the religious in the long process of human evolution in any way be seen as a natural, normal occurrence?

Wentzel van Huyssteen is the James I. McCord Professor of Theology and Science Emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary and an honorary professor at the University of Stellenbosch. 


Jennifer French

A response will be given by Jennifer French, anthropological archaeologist and a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow at the University College London Institute of Archaeology.

Free and open to the public. Registration required. Register via Eventbrite now.


University of Notre Dame (U.S.A.) in England
1-4 Suffolk Street
London, SW1Y 4HG



Public Lectures Poster Compressed PDF

The Center for Theology, Science and Human Flourishing is grateful for the generous support of the John Templeton Foundation and the Henkels Lecture Fund, Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, College of Arts and Letters, University of Notre Dame.

Originally published at