Back to top

Father Albert Nolan (1934 - )

The Order of Luthuli in

Father Albert Nolan (1934 - ) Awarded for:
Life-long dedication to the struggle for democracy, human rights and justice and for challenging the religious dogma including the theological justification for apartheid.

Profile of Father Albert Nolan

Albert Nolan was born in 1934 and entered the Dominican Order of the Catholic Church in 1954.

He studied in South Africa and Rome, and later travelled widely to research the rationale of liberation movements. His main work for many years was as a university chaplain, the development of the Young Christian Students organisation and, constant lecture tours at home and overseas.

His book Jesus before Christianity was translated into many languages and after 25 years continues to be a best seller in many countries. Whilst on the run from the South African security police in 1988, he wrote God in South Africa, a key exposition of the theological vision that arose from the struggle for the salvation of communities and individuals.

In the 1970s, Nolan became the central figure for young black and white Christians seeking liberation.

Quiet and humble, his involvement with people on the ground enabled him to translate his personal faith and scholarly background into a vibrantly lived theology. He also worked at the Christian Institute, and later as a full time activist at the Institute of Contextual Theology.

Nolan played a key role in the production of the seminal Kairos Document, which both widened and focussed the support of the Church for the liberation struggle.

Through Challenge magazine, widely circulated through all denominations and conceived and edited by Nolan, the insights of the liberation era are being carried forward into the transformation period.