Resources for a Christian worldview



J. J. (Ponti) Venter Pages

Johannes Jacob (Ponti) Venter is a South African philosopher in the Reformational tradition. He has received a Drs Phil in philosophy from the VU University, Amsterdam and a DPhil from the erstwhile Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (PU for CHE) (see the bibliographic notes below). He attended Vollenhoven’s “Privatissima” and developed a simplified version of Vollenhoven’s consistent-historical method for the study of the history of philosophy. This simplified method he has used in his “diktate” and study-manuals, like “Main problems in medieval philosophy” (1985). 


He taught philosophy at the PU for CHE – now the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University – and at the University of Fort Hare (Western Cape).
During the apartheid years in South Africa he participated in the writing of the Koinonia Declaration of 16 November 1977, a document written by students and lecturers of the PU for CHE (and like-minded people from other institutions) as a testimony in opposition to the apartheid regime. This was followed-up in 1997, when he participated (with only a few others, including Prof. Bennie van der Walt) to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission established in South Africa to favour public admission and confession of past guilt.
Professor Ponti is now emeritus professor, working as research fellow at the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University.
The focus of his research lies in the area of a philosophical history of Western intellectual culture and its practical contexts with special interests in
       * the nature and development of the university
       * methodology
       * human dignity and
       * philosophy of economics.
He has completed (bilingual) translations (accompanied by commentaries) of several important texts from Western intellectual culture (e.g. Einstein and Mussolini).

His personal website is here 

 Koers Vol 78, No 2 (2013) contains the J.J. Venter Festschrift - edited by Renato Coletto and Helena Hoogstad.



Masters’ Thesis: Die waarheidsprobleem in die ontologie van die Voor-Sokratici. (The problem of truth in the ontology of the Pre-Socratics). Supervised by Prof. J. A. L. Taljaard.

Mini-dissertation for Drs. Phil.: Die taak van die universiteit (The task of the university – published in Dutch). Supervised by Prof. H. Van Riessen.

Ph.D thesis: Geloofsgebonde denke by Anselmus – ’n studie van sy wysgerige metode (Thinking within the bounds of faith in Anselm – a study of his philosophical method). Supervised by Prof. N. T. Van der Merwe.

Inaugural address as full professor: Caritas, scientia, sapientia – filosofie en universitêre wetenskapsbeleid (Philosophy and university science policy - published in Afrikaans)


Academic articles

2013.  Methodologies of targeting – Renaissance militarism attacking Christianity as ‘weakness’. Koers 78(2).

2013.  Pragmatism attacking Christianity as weakness – Methodologies of targeting. Koers 78(2).

J.J. (Ponti) Venter
Koers - Bulletin for Christian Scholarship; Vol 78, No 2 (2013), 16 pages. doi: 10.4102/koers.v78i2.61

2009. Philosophical issues in environmental management: the nature-culture dialectic and “sustainability”. Acta Academica, 2009 41 (1): 22-68.

2007. Dignity and work: global market and self-sustenance. TD: The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa, 3(1):133-168, Jul.

2006. A Creative humane university – coping with the business model. Koers, 71: 357-397.

2006. A human(e) uni-versity: resisting scientism, technicism, and economism. Koers 71(1): 275-318.

2004 Human dignity and the objectification of the human being. Analecta Husserliana, 79: Ed. A-T Tymieniecka. Dordrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer. Pp 545-609. 

2002. "Nature", "law", "humanity" - The rise of Positivism: Quesnay, Turgot, Comte. Acta Academica 34 (1) (April): 1-55.

2002 Human dignity in weakness - Gabriel Marcel's conception of human dignity (versus Mussolini and Skinner). Analecta Husserliana, 74(1), ed A T Tymieniecka. Dordrecht/ Boston/ London: Kluwer. Pp 351-372.

2002. Economism: The debate about the universality claims of orthodox economics. Analecta Husserliana, ed. A. T. Tymieniecka. Amsterdam: Kluwer. 76: 289-320.

2001. Early modern conceptions of "natural law". Acta Academica, 33(2):1-39.

2000. How worldviews germinate: Genesis versus the occult worldviews. Tydskrif vir Christelike wetenskap, 36(1&2):37-76.

2000. Human dignity” as “rationality” – the development of a conception. Analecta Husserliana 68:129-159.

1999. The role of Philosophy in the reformational Christian university. Tydskrif vir Christelike Wetenskap, 35(3-4), 163-200.

1999. H. F. Verwoerd. Foundational aspects of his thought. Koers¸ 64(4):415-442.

1999. “Modernity”: the historical ontology. Acta Academica, 31(2):18-46.

1998. Metodebesinning in die Proslogion van Anselmus Cantuariensis. The SA Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 8(1):1-22. (Thinking about method in the Proslogion of Anselm of Canterbury).

1997. Mechanistic individualism versus organistic totalitarianism. International Journal for Ultimate Reality and Meaning, 20(1): 41-60;

1997. Filosofie en Wetenskapsbeleid: Caritas, Scientia, Sapientia. Koers, 62(4):447-474. (Philosophy and Science Policy.)

1997. Metodepraktyk in die Proslogion van Anselmus Cantuariensis. The SA Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 7(1):1-28 (Practice of method in the Proslogion of Anselm of Canterbury.)

1997. Road-signs to "creativity". Analecta Husserliana, ed. A-T. Tymieniecka. Am-sterdam: Kluwer Academic Publishers. 53, 3-27.

1996. Metobesinning in die Monologion van Anselmus Cantuariensis. The SA Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies 6 (1):1-37. (Thinking about Method in the Mono-logion of Anselm of Canterbury.)

1996. Conceiving conflict/competition - Gripped by a World-Picture: C. Darwin, D. H. Lawrence, F A von Hayek. Analecta Husserliana, 48, ed. A-T Tymieniecka. Amsterdam: Kluwer. pp. 205-248.

1996. World-picture, individual, society. Neohelicon, 23(1):175-200.

1995. Metodepraktyk in die Monologion van Anselmus Cantuariensis. The Southern African Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 5(1): 1-47. (Practice of Method in the Monologion of Anselm of Canterbury.)

1994. A Reformationally Christian University Basis at Work. Orientation; International Circular of the PU for CHE, (71-74):260-294.

1994. "Transforming Society". Orientation: International Circular of the PU for CHE, (71–74):295-336.

1992. Reason, Survival, Progress in Eighteenth Century Thought. Koers, 57(2):189-214.

1992. From Machine-World to God-World: World-Pictures and World-Views. Koers, 57(4):319-344.

1988. The Strategy of the Bomb and the Jaw. The Relation between violence, ideology and negotiation. Orientation; International Circular of the Potchefstroom University, (50-51):138-146.

1988. Transformation of Society in the Kairos Document. Orientation 48(Mrt.):104-118.

1986. The Vital Importance of Christian Education at all Levels for the Southern African Society. Orientation; International Circular of the Potchefstroom University, (43): 21-43.

1986. Resensie. B. Duvenhage. Die Afrikaanse karakter en Christelike roeping van die PU vir CHO. Die Potchefstroomse Universiteit. Koers, (51):245-248. (Review article about the priority: Afrikaans equally important as Christian?)

1984. Kernprobleme van die Wetenskapsmetodologie. Koers, 49(1):23-57. (Basic Problems of Scientific Methodology.)

1983. Rasionaliteit by Anselmus van Kantelberg. Humanitas (HSRC), 9(1):1-14. (Rationality in Anselm of Canterbury.)

1982. Het Filosofie en Vakfilosofie enige betekenis vir beroepsopleiding. Koers, 47(2):95-110. (Is Philosophy and its Special Disciplines Relevant for Vocational Training?)

1978. Akademie en politiek. Koers. 43(2):317-329. (Scholarship and Politics.)

1978. Die didaktiek van die Wysbegeerte as Universitêre Vakgebied. Perspektief, 17(2):21-62. (The Didactics of Philosophy.)

1977. Die universiteit en die toekoms. Perspektief, 16(2): 73-99. (The University and the Future.)

1977. Spectator: Tension in the Christian university. Koers. 42, 301-312.

1975. Yesterday and Today, the Task of the University. Koers. 40, 402-424.

1969. Die Filosofis Antoine de St. Exupery. Perspektief. 8 (2-3), 3-45. (Antoine de St Exupéry's philosophemes.)


Contributions to books and brochures

1995. Ontologie, representasie en metode. In: Viljoen, H.M. (red). Metodologiese implikasies van enkele representasie-opvattings vir Literatuurstudie. Pretoria: RGN, 129-228. (Ontology, representation, method. In: Viljoen (ed.) Methodological Implications of Views on Re-presentation for the Study of Literature.)

1994. Transformasie van die samelewing. Potchefstroom: PU-IRS. (Transforming society - Brochure).

1991. Retrospect. In: Van der Walt, BJ (ed). Cultural Diversity in Africa. Potchefstroom: PU-IRS, 243-247.

1990. 'n Filosofiese Perspektief op die New Age beweging. In: Van der Walt, BJ e.a. 1990. Die New Age-Beweging. Potchefstroom: PU-IRS. (A Philosophical Perspective on the New Age Movement).

1987. Gesag aan die Universiteit. IRS, Venster op die Universiteit. Potchefstroom: PU-IRS, 108-131. (The Authority Structure of the University.)

1987. Die universiteit: Sy wortels en sy Wese. IRS: Venster op die Universiteit, 1-15. (The University: Its Roots and Essence.)

1987. Samelewingsverandering in die Kairos-dokument. 'n Reformatoriese Kom-mentaar op die Kairos-Dokument. Potchefstroom. IRS. Wetenskaplike Bydraes van die Potchef-stroomse Universiteit Reeks F1. nr. 231-2, 39-53. (Societal change in the Kairos document.)

1984. Die Strategie van die Bom en die Bek. Oor geweld, ideologie en onder-handeling. IRS. Die Ideologiese stryd in Suider-Afrika. Wet. Bydraes, Potchefstroomse Uni-versiteit, Series F.F3. nr 22, 86-93. (The strategy of the Bomb and the Jaw. About violence, ideology and negotiations.)

1984. Die behoefte aan en dringende noodsaaklikheid van Christelike universitêre op-leiding vir bruin en swart Suider-Afrikaners. Potchefstroom: Instituut vir Reformatoriese Studies (Brosjure), IRS (Studiestuk 195). (The Necessity of Christian Tertiary Education for All South-Africans.)

1978. De grondslag van een (christelijke) Universiteit. De taak van de universiteit; Wijsgerige Opstellen over de Universiteit onder redactie van A.Th. Bruggemann-Kruijff e.a., Bijdra-gen tot de Filosofie IX, Assen/ Amsterdam, 164-215. (The Basis of a Christian University).

1978. De taak van de Universiteit (Wetenschap, opleiding, vorming: Universiteit en samelewing; Taak en doel van die Universiteit). De taak van de Universiteit; Wijs-gerige Op-stellen over de Universiteit onder redactie van A. Th. Bruggemann-Kruijff e.a., Bijdragen tot de Filosofie IX, Assen/Amsterdam, 38-49. (The task of the University: Scholarship, Training, Education.)

1978. De taak van de Universiteit in historisch perspectief. De taak van de Uni-versiteit; Wijsgerige Opstellen over de Universiteit onder redactie van A. Th. Bruggemann-Kruijff e.a., Bijdragen tot de Filosofie IX Assen/Amsterdam, 5-37. (The Task of the University in Historical Perspective.)


Popular articles

1997. Die universiteit: wiese en watse besigheid? Woord en Daad/Word and Action, 362 (Summer), 9-13. (The University: Whose and what "business”?)

1993. We have had enough! Woord en Daad/Word and Action 33(344):3-4.

1993. Pressure on Authorities. Woord en Daad/Word and Action, 33(345), 9-10. 

1992. Gekonkel in die donker: Die etiek van vertroulikheid. Woord en Daad/Word and Action 32 (340):4-5. (Manipulations in the Dark: The Ethics of Secrecy.)

1991. Modern Technology and the Death of Culture. Woord en Daad/Word and Ac-tion 31 (Aug), 4-5.

1991. Everything!!! Under Control (In our violent country). Woord en Daad/ Word and Action 31 (May):7-9.

1989. Polarisasie en gesprek. Woord en Daad/Word and Action, 29 (Jan.): 1-3, 15. (Polarisation and Communication.)

1989. Moord op universiteite? Woord en Daad/Word and Action, 29 (April), 11-13. (Murdering our Universities?)

1988. The bishop of Rome among us. Woord en Daad/Word and Action 28 (July): 1-3.

1988. Rubicon III. Woord en Daad/Word and Action 28 (July):1-2,14.

1988. Universiteit en staat. Woord en Daad/Word and Action, 28(May):9-12; Continued in 28 (June):7-9. (The University and the State.)

1988. 'n 50/50 Koalisie tussen blank en swart? Woord en Daad/Word and Action, 28(Nov.):2. (A 50/50 Coalition Between White and Black?)

1987. Kenneth Kaunda: 'n portret. Woord en Daad/Word and Action, 27(Dec):13-15. (Portrait of K. Kaunda.)

1985. Geslote eredienste? Kettery. Woord en Daad/Word and Action 25(May?):6-8.(Segregated Church Services? Heresy!)

 1983. Die posisie van die Christenstudent aan die "swart" Universiteit. Woord en Daad/Word and      Action, 23 247):2-3. (The Position of the Christian Student in the "Black" University.)

1969. Simpatiek nogtans krities. Perspektief. 8(1):83-89. (Sympathetic, yet critical.)

1969. Dialektiek en Antitese. Die Besembos. PU-studente-jaarblad (pryswenner-artikel vir die jaar). (Dialectics versus antithesis.)


4.4.3 Completion and publication of translations mentioned under 4.11. Voltooiing en publikasie van vertalings onder 4.11 vermeld.


4.4.4 Mongraphs and articles in final stages: Monografie en artikels in voltooiingstadium.

a. 2012.

Monografie oor metodologiese prosesse en hul filosofiese onderbou:

Monograph on methodological processes and their philosophical basis.

Responsible Scholarship. Potchefstroom: Vraagteken Uitgewers.

b. 2011. Vertaling uit Duits in Afrikaans, met wysgerige inleiding en kantlynkommentaar. Translation from German into Afrikaans:

Kant, Immanuel: Van willehond tot mens: Menslike vooruitgang as wêreldnatuurgeskie-denis. Drie essays. Potchefstroom: Vraagtekenuitgewers.

Kant, I. From wilddog tot human being – human progress as world natural history.

c. 2011. Vertaling uit Duits in Afrikaans, gelyklopend met vertaling in Engels, tweetalige inleiding en tweetalige verduideliking van tegniese terme:

Einstein, Albert: Meetkunde en ervaring/ Geometry and experience. Potchefstroom: Vraagteken Uitgewers.

Bilinigual translation from German: Einstein: Geometry and experience, with bilingual intro-duc-tion and explanatory notes.

d. 2011. Monografie: Tweetalig oor die Moderne natuurontologie, geskiedenisvisie en samele-wingsbeskouing en visie op ekonomiese handeling.

Die natuur as persoon-god; die mens as ding-god; die wet as omni-god: Kopstaan humanis-me van Fisiokrasie tot Positiwisme. Potchefstroom: Vraagteken Uitgewers.

Monograph: Bilingual about the Modern ontology of nature, view of history, view of society and of economic action:

Nature as person-god, humankind as thing-god; the law as omni-god: Head-stand Humanism from Physiocracy to Positivism.

e. 2011. Monografie: Tweelatig: Tweetalig oor die Moderne natuurontologie, geskiedenisvisie en samelewingbeskouing en visie op ekonomiese handeling:

Ontmoet ’n personae genaamd ‘Natuur’: vroeg-moderne konsepsies van die natuurwet. Natuurlike; alte BO-natuurlik.

Monograph: Bilingual about the Modern ontology of nature, view of history, view of society and of economic action:

Meet a personae called ‘Nature’. – early Modern conceptions of ‘natural law’. Natural; all too SUPER-natural. Potchefstroom: Vraagteken Uitgewers