Sigvard von Sicard

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Sigvard von Sicard
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Ernst Joseph Rudo Hans Sigvard von Sicard

(1930-03-20) March 20, 1930 (age 94)
Mnene, Zimbabwe
  • Zimbabwean
  • Swedish
  • British
EducationBachelor of Divinity
Alma mater
  • Rhodes University
  • Uppsala University
  • Missiologist
  • Africanist
  • Historian
  • Harald Philip Hans von Sicard (father)
  • Karin Margareta Lindgren (mother)

Ernst Joseph Rudo Hans Sigvard von Sicard (born 20 March 1930), Zimbabwean-Swedish-British missiologist, Africanist, historian. He is widely considered a Nestor in the field of Christian-Muslim relations in Africa.[1][2][3][4][5]

Early Life and Education

Sigvard von Sicard was born at Mnene, Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, the eldest son of the Rev. Harald Philip Hans von Sicard and Karin Margareta Lindgren, a naturalised Swedish father and Swedish mother.[6]

von Sicard grew up in Rhodesia and attended Milton School in Bulawayo. After completing his Secondary School, he was registered in 1949 as an undergraduate at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa, before joining the Faculty of Theology at the University of Uppsala, Sweden, Sweden, in 1950, graduating with a BD degree in 1954.

Academic Background

He was awarded a World Council of Churches Scholarship for studies at the Kennedy School of Mission, Hartford Seminary, CT, 1954-55, and a Lutheran World Federation Scholarship for Arabic studies at the American University of Cairo, 1955-56.

He did Swahili language studies at Tanga and Makumira, Tanganyika/Tanzania and was in charge of the Swahili language courses for new missionaries in 1959 and 1961-1965.

In 1960-61, he continued his Arabic and Islamic Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

von Sicard taught courses on Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Makumira and other theological colleges 1961-1962.

He was appointed Lecturer at Makumira Theological Seminary, Usa River, Tanzania, 1966-68.[7]

In 1968, he registered as a doctoral student in missiology in the Faculty of Theology in the University of Uppsala in Missiology, University of Uppsala. Supervisor: Prof. Bengt Sundkler. He was awarded a ThD in 1970. Thesis: The Lutheran Church on the Coast of Tanzania 1887-1914. Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksells Boktryckeri AB 1970.

He was lecturer at the Selly Oak Colleges 1971-98 with accreditation to teach in the Department of Theology at the University of Birmingham.[8]

Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Department of Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham, 1998 –

External examiner internationally – Botswana, Germany, Kenya, Swaziland, United Kingdom.


von Sicard was ordained in Uppsala Cathedral, Sweden, 16th April 1954 and posted to Gävle and Sandviken parishes.[9][10]

Missionary Church of Sweden 1956-1965; Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 1966-1998.

Posted to Uzaramo Lutheran Mission 1957-1960.

President in the Lutheran Church of Uzaramo-Uluguru 1957-1960 and President in the Synod of Uzaramo-Uluguru 1962-1965, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania.

Consultant to the Islam in Africa Project, now Programme for Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa (PROCMURA), 1960- .

Vice President Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham 1988-1991.

Research and Selected Publications

  • The Lutheran Church on the Coast of Tanzania 1887-1914 with special reference to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, Synod of Uzaramo-Uluguru. Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksells Boktryckeri AB 1970
  • Co-author with A. Lodhi and T. Otterbrandt, Kortfattad Swahili-Svensk Ordbook. Uppsala: Nordiska Afrika Institutet 1973
  • Co-editor with I. Wulfhorst, Dialogue and Beyond: Christians and Muslims on the Way. Geneva: Lutheran World Federation 2003.
  • G. Oommen & H.R. Iversen (Eds.), It began in Copenhagen. Junctions in 300 years of Indfian-Danish Relations in Christian Mission. Delhi: ISPCK 2005 p. 436.
  • A. Gross, Y.V.Kumarados, H. Liebau. Halle and the Beginning of Protestant Christianity in India. Halle: Verlag der Franckeschen Stiftung 2006. Vol. 2, Part IV "Christian Schwartz and the Muslims" pp. 611-630.
  • “Tassawwuf, Ifriqa Junub Sahara”. Daeratol ma`aref-e boizorg-e eslami (The Great Islamic Encyclopedia). Tehran: Centre for the Great Islamic Encyclopedia 2008 vol. 15 pp. 464-467.
  • Co-author with James McL Ritchie An Azanian Trio. Three East African Arabic Historical Document. Leiden/Boston: Brill 2019.


  1. Svanberg, I & D. Westerlund (Eds.) (1994). Majoritetens Islam. Om Muslimer utanför arabvärlden. Stockholm: Arena. p. 437.
  2. Troll, C.W. & C.T.R. Hewer (Eds) (2012). Christian Lives Given to the Study of Islam. New York: Fordham Press. p. 302. ISBN 978-0823243198.
  3. Encyclopaedia of Islam. 2nd Ed. vol. 10. Leiden: Brill. 1998. pp. Fas. 165-166, p 194-196.
  4. Langås, Arngeir (2017). Unity is Strength: The Joint Committee of Religious Leaders for Peace in Zanzibar, 2005-2013 (PDF). Stavanger: VID Specialized University. ISBN 978-82-93490-17-3. Retrieved 28 September 2020.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. Langås, Arngeir (2019). Peace in Zanzibar: Proceedings of the Joint Committee of Religious Leaders in Zanzibar, 2005-2013. New York: Peter Lang. pp. xxiv. ISBN 978-1-4331-5967-1.
  6. Sicard, Roger (1962). Histoire d'une Famille de Languedoc. Paris: Imprimerie spéciale généalogique. p. 122.
  7. E. Jaescke (Ed.) (1968). Zwischen Sansibar und Serengeti. Lutherische Kirche in Tansania. Erlangen: Verlag der Ev.-Luth. Mission. p. 293.
  8. Faculty of Arts Handbook 1995-96. University of Birmingham. 1995. p. 15.
  9. Matrikel för Svenska Kyrkan. Stockholm: Verbum. 1955.
  10. Matrikel för Svenska Kyrkan. Stockholm: Verbum. 1995. p. 396.

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