Prof. ThDr. Josef Smolik, Dr. h.c., D.D. h.c., STM, Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the Protestant Theological Faculty of Charles University in Prague, died on Wednesday, February 4, 2009, at the age of nearly 87.
The funeral will take place on Saturday, February 14, 2009 at 14:00 in the church U Salvátora, Prague 1, Salvátorská 1.
The death notice (Document for downloading)
Professor Smolík was born in Jičín, Czechoslovakia. During WWII he studied theology in clandestine courses and served as a deacon of the Rokycany congregation of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren. Later on he served as a vicar in Pardubice and Prague. He extended his theological studies by one year's stay at Union Theological Seminary in New York. In 1949 he was ordained as a pastor of the Pardubice congregation of the ECCB, and from 1962-1966 he was in the pastoral ministry of the Salvator Church in Prague. In 1950 he took a higher doctorate ('habilitation') and received the degree of Associate Professor (docent) for Practical Theology at what was then the Huss Theological Faculty in Prague. In 1966 he obtained his professorship and assumed his full-time teaching position at the Protestant Theological Faculty in Prague (reorganized in the meantime as Comenius Protestant Theological Faculty), where he was active until his superannuation in 1997. (By that time the school had become the Protestant Theological Faculty of Charles University.) After 1978 he served five times as Dean of the Faculty. The last occasion was in 1990 when he was elected by the new academic governing body and significantly contributed to the incorporation of the Faculty into the University. He was conferred honorary doctorates at theological faculties in Bratislava and Budapest, and in 1980-81 he was a visiting professor at the University of Erlangen.
He is the author of a number of monographs and has composed textbooks for all the partial disciplines of his area of expertise. He initiated and conducted extensive team projects, such as the work on liturgical manuals or on homiletical compendia of biblical pericopes.
For all his life he was intensely engaged in particular areas of church ministry as well as inter-church cooperation. He held a number of significant functions in ecumenical organizations and boards (which included membership of the Central Committee and of the Commission for Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches in Geneva, a long-standing presidency of the Kostnice Union, etc.), and he dedicated himself methodically to both professional and more generally oriented journalism.