David C. Steinmetz
June 12, 1936 – November 26, 2015
DURHAM-David C. Steinmetz, age 79, of Durham died, Thursday, November 26, 2015 at UNC Hospital. David was born June 12, 1936 in Columbus, Ohio, to the late Walter Curtis Steinmetz and Lucy Margaret Binderbasen Steinmetz.
David was a historian of late medieval and early modern Christianity. He received his BA in English from Wheaton College in Illinois (1958) and his BD from Drew University (1961). In 1961 he was ordained an elder in the Methodist Church. David moved to Harvard University where he took a ThD (1967) under the direction of the prominent Dutch Reformation historian Heiko Oberman.
Before coming to Duke University, where he spent most of his academic career, he taught for five years (1966-1971) at Lancaster Theological Seminary. At Duke Divinity School, he served as the Amos Ragan Kearns Distinguished Professor of the History of Christianity. He also served as a Visiting Professor at Harvard (1977), Notre Dame (1993, 1997, 2005, 2008), and Emory (2010) universities.
In addition to his reputation as a leading scholar in the study of Reformation theology, Steinmetz was known as a lively and entertaining lecturer, who could win over students disinclined to take history seriously. He won a teaching prize in 1986 and was named the Duke University Scholar/Teacher of the year. His prose style, written and spoken, was admired by critics for its clarity, its elegance, and its dry humor.
In 1996 Steinmetz was honored by his students with a Festschrift, Biblical Interpretation in the Era of the Reformation, and in 2006 was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In the months following his retirement in 2009 as the Kearns Distinguished Professor Emeritus, he received the Distinguished Career Award of the American Society of Church History (2010).
David Steinmetz is survived by his wife Virginia Verploegh Steinmetz of Chapel Hill, NC, his daughter, Claire Steinmetz Stuebe of Durham, NC; his son, Matthew Steinmetz of Columbia, SC; his sister, Lynn Williamson of Wernersville, PA; and his grandchildren Carl and Gillian Stuebe.
A memorial service will be held 2:00pm Saturday, December 5, 2015 at Christ United Methodist Church, 800 Market Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516. The Rev. David Goehring will officiate.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Duke Divinity School, Annual Fund, 407 Chapel Drive, Durham, NC 27708.
The Steinmetz family is under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service.Online condolences www.hallwynne.com, Select Obituaries.