170th CONVOCATION EVENT
The Rev. Dr. John de Gruchy
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
REGISTRATION: 9:00 - 9:30 a.m.
WORKSHOP: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m
“Doing Theology is being Led into Mystery”
My elder son, Steve, tragically died in a river accident on Sunday 21 February 2010. He was 48 years old and, at the time of his death, a professor of theology at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. In the weeks and months that followed I sought the words to express my grief, and, at the same time, developed a dogged unwillingness to surrender hope. I knew that the enemy of faith is not doubt, but an unwillingness to acknowledge doubt. I had also learnt over the years that hope is not wishful thinking or optimism, but a question posed by faith in a world that gives so much cause for despair and lament. Writing Led into Mystery was one of the ways I attempted to own my grief, to examine and express my faith and hope. But it was also an experience of being led into this mystery which lies at the heart of all reality, a theological odyssey in which faith not only seeks to understand life and death, but journeys through them in company with others.
About The Rev. Dr. John de Gruchy
John de Gruchy is Emeritus Professor of Christian Studies at the University of Cape Town. He studied at the University of Cape Town, Rhodes University, Chicago Theological Seminary, the University of Chicago, and at the University of South Africa. An ordained minister in the United Congregational Church, he served two congregations before joining the staff of the South African Council of Churches in 1968, where he was director of Communications and Studies. In 1973 he was appointed to the faculty of the University of Cape Town where he eventually became the Robert Selby Taylor Professor of Christian Studies and during the last few years of his tenure, the Director of the Graduate School in Humanities. He retired in 2003 and was appointed a Senior Research Scholar at UCT and an Extraordinary Professor at the University of Stellenbosch, and remains active in both institutions engaged in research publishing and mentoring. John has authored or edited more than thirty books on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the church in South Africa, contextual, public and Reformed theology, social history, Christianity and the arts, reconciliation and justice, and Christian humanism. Among his books are Christianity, Art and Social Transformation; Reconciliation: Restoring Justice; Being Human: Confessions of a Christian Humanist; John Calvin: Christian Humanist and Evangelical Reformed; and, most recently, Led Into Mystery: Faith Seeking Answers in Life and Death.