After posting yesterday, Dr. Kang sent me an additional note about Dr. Waetjen. I include it here in a slightly edited version:
[Allow me to] add one more. Prof. Waetjen, during his tenure as the Robert Dollar Professor of NT at San Francisco Theological Seminary and Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, has spent most of his Sabbatical years in African countries – Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa and Botswana. Their first daughter was born in South Africa, and [the Waetjens] gave her an African name – Thembisa [Promise]. She later studied medicine and worked several years in Africa before settling in the States. Their second daughter studied Sociology and teaches at a university. Their third child, David was in the same class with our son … . My point is that Herman and his family are well aware of African context [and the] problems of Western scholarship and 19 Century colonial mishaps.
I was very much inspired by him for my ministry in the Third World – in Malawi and later in Russia. Of course Russia may only be classified as one of Third World countries in terms of religious freedom and theological education. I came to the States to obtain advanced theological degree to return to Korea, and to climb up the ladder of success. That personal ambition was totally smashed during my research and study by his inspiring interpretations of Jesus’ ministry for the voiceless and marginalized masses in the Gospels. “Human transformation inaugurated by the death and resurrection of the Son of Human Being” was interpreted in terms of nothing less than working for THE NEW HUMANITY.
ZTC is honoured to receive such a generous gift from someone keenly attuned to the African context and such an inspiring teacher.