Steve de Gruchy

Praying for Professor Steve de Gruchy his family and his friends

Professor Steve de Gruchy. Click image to link to the source.

Update (9:13 25/2/2010): Reggie has commented on the funeral arrangments: Saturday 27th at 3:00 pm at the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Nativity, Langalibalele Street, Pietermaritzburg. Follow link to source.

Update (13:11 24/2/2010): Please read the VICE-CHANCELLOR’S COMMUNIQUÉ in the comments.

Update (8:35 24/2/2010): Go and read Thomas’ comment here.

There was a spike in ‘religious’ traffic in the South African blogsphere today. It seems that the South African Christian community is desperate for any news on Professor Steve de Gruchy. I don’t know Steve (I don’t even know if people call him Steve). I hadn’t even heard of him before yesterday. I do know this, people, whom I’m growing a healthy respect for like Jenny, Steven Jones and many others judging from the online conversations clearly love and appreciate this man very much.

As I reflect upon this, and my own empathetic response, I realise that the Body of Christ is intrinsically linked together, disparate though we are. I too will be praying for Steve this evening and for his family and for his friends.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

Want to hear the verse in context? 1 Peter 1
What is this about?

Thomas, you’re a Congregationalist, do you know him? Anyone had any updates, I went online and searched the news sites and found nothing. As I read through my RSS feeds David and Dion and Reggie also know him.


14 thoughts on “Steve de Gruchy

    • Hi there A D J,

      I read this last night while trying to trawl the web for information. I didn’t see it in English. My understanding is that there’re assuming a fatal accident at this stage. Tragic.

      In Christ,


  1. steve de gruchy was one of the foremost contemporary christian theologians writing and teaching and leading by example in south africa today. he was an extraordinarily compassionate and brilliant and hilariously irreverent and profoundly committed and spiritually astute human being. his death has torn a gapping whole in the fabric of the local and international theolocial community. his body was recovered this morning in Mooi river. his funeral will be held this saturday at the anglican cathedral of the holy nativity in PMB. the theme will be that of water – the sacramental elemental with which he was so obsessed. he has crossed over in this final baptism from death to new life. we will keep him alive by continuing to engage intellectually and practically with his courageous voice. thanks be to god that he lived among us! [editor: Hi Eliza, How can I verify this? A credible source?]

  2. Rev Steve de Gruchy drowned on Sunday. His body was discovered this morning.. A meorial service will be held at Moffat on 25 February at 17h00. Aubrey Beukes 082 421 2109/ Charmaine Van den Heever 083 426 0244 [editor: How can I verify this? A credible source?]

  3. I recently had an email and telephone exchange with Steve de Grucy in reponse to an article I wrote in the Witness dealing with the ECC. Steve and I fundamentally disagreed, but we conducted our discussion with mutual respect. I was shocked to read in this morning’s Cape Times about his disappearance. I was considering attending a Centre for Conflict Resolution discussion next week where he would have participated and I would have met him. I do hope there is news of Steve soon and that he is alive. I will also be praying for Steve.


  4. I had a public exchange with him once that led to wife M.’s doctorate under his father John. I read his writing. He was a populariser of narrative theology.

    Prof Steve de Cruchy’s Body Found.
    Dr SR Khumalo has just informed me this morning, that the body of Professor Steve de
    Gruchy, Head of the School of Religion and Theology on the Pietermaritzburg campus has
    been found.
    Prof Steve de Cruchy went missing on Sunday, 21 February 2010, while tubing in Mooi
    River. A search operation commenced immediately on Sunday.
    Professor de Gruchy has concentrated his research on the Social History of Christianity in
    South Africa, interdisciplinary issues involving the dialogue between faith and development,
    and – more recently – the interface between religion and public health. He has also done
    research for the World Health Organisation and UNAIDS. Since joining UKZN in 2000, he
    has contributed to the public discourse of the Christian church on issues such as poverty,
    environment, food security and HIV and AIDS, being a keynote speaker at a number of
    national and global meetings.
    The family is holding a memorial service for Steve on Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Anglican
    Cathedral of the Holy Nativity on Langalibalele Street in downtown PMB at 3:00 p.m.
    Many members of Senate would no doubt remember Steve’s insightful comments on the 17th
    February on the Senate’s Task Team “Report on Research Productivity at UKZN for the
    period 2004-2008”. He was in his elements and almost as if he was possessed by something
    we could not fathom. Little did we realize that this was Steve’s last seminal contribution to us
    as scholars. After the Senate meeting Steve walked me to my office still excited about this
    Senate report and the achievements of his School and how he could take his School to even
    higher levels of research productivity. That will remain my lasting memory of him.
    On behalf of the University I express our deep heartfelt condolences to his family for such
    great loss. Our prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues.
    As a university we have lost a great human being, colleague and scholar whose excitement,
    energy and enthusiasm about scholarship touched us all. The School of Religion and
    Theology will prepare an obituary and keep us all informed of further developments with
    regard Steve’s interment.
    MW Makgoba.
    vC communiqué # 003/2010

  6. Steve will forever be remembered through his life and work. His life and intelligence impacted all the students who interfaced with him. His work with public health and its benefits had gone as far as my country Uganda. The Theology and Development impact he made can be named on every part of the continent of the world.

  7. I cannot concur that Steve was “one of the foremost contemporary christian theologians writing and teaching and leading by example in south africa today”. I am familiar with his writings. He merely transferred current trends from the USA to Southern Africa. Anyone who has a passing familiarity with contemporary theology would know that. He had the good fortune of being a fish in a small pond.

    • Hi Olive,

      For how long did you know him? I am sure his students as well as people who have had an opportunity to work with him will disagree you.

  8. It is with great sorrow that I have learned of the unexpected death of a dear friend and colleague, Steve De Gruchy. My sincere condolences goes to his family, friends and colleagues. His departure is a great loss for the academic world. I will remember him as a sincere promoter of the mentoring of emerging theologians.Steve’s memory is deeply engraved in us who had the honour to work with him in a book project, “From our side: emerging perspectives on development and ethics”, during 2007-2008. I still remember him as our tour leader in the Netherlands, UK during the book launching. His commitment to empower us all in one way or another and accept us …as his peers will continue to inspire and guide us. Long live Steve de Gruchy. Long liveWe have all been touched by Steve’s remarkable life. While we all mourn deeply your passing from us, we can give thanks that that your life is now united the Lord. We know that you are smiling down at us from heaven, at peace with yourself and comforted by the Lord

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