John W. de Gruchy, emeritus professor of Christian studies at the University of Cape Town, and Extraordinary Professor of Theology at Stellenbosch University, has a new book out, published by Wipf and Stock (October 2022).


Wipf & Stock, October 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have starkly reminded us of the realities that threaten our future on planet Earth. Christian faith is not a way of escaping these realities, but of engaging them in the struggle for justice and peace–motivated by love, enabled by faith and sustained by hope. This is based on the conviction that in Jesus Christ the reality of God has become redemptively embodied within the reality of the world. Written within the context of South Africa but with global vision, and in conversation with the legacy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, this book is an attempt to stir up discussion and inform action in connecting worldly and transcendent reality. Inevitably this will be controversial, not least because that is something that Bonhoeffer risked. This is certainly true when it comes to the five realities that provide much of the book’s substance: the persistence of racism, the will-to-power, scientism and soulless technology, the conflict in Israel-Palestine, and the threat of wars and pandemics. Is it possible to believe in the God of Jesus Christ in such a world? If so, what does that mean, and how does it help us live creatively, redemptively, and faithfully? To answer these questions, the author examines the meaning of faith; the human desire for transcendence; and the need for conversion, wisdom, solidarity, and responsible freedom.


“From local to global level, our age is beset by formidable challenges for humanity’s future. With Bonhoeffer as major interlocuter, de Gruchy presents a wide-ranging and rigorous argument that Christian faith can and must engage creatively with these uncomfortable realities. Soaked in his experience as a South African theologian but with a vision reaching beyond familiar national and religious boundaries, this is an unflinchingly honest book that opens our eyes to both crisis and hope.”

—Keith Clements, former general secretary, Conference of European Churches




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