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David C. Steinmetz

Posted By Hall-Wynne On November 30, 2015 @ 2:49 pm In Durham,News,Obituaries | 6 Comments

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.

Condolences for the family of “David C. Steinmetz”

Condolence from Bob Aregood on December 1st, 2015 12:29 pm

Mrs. Steinmetz,
Dr. Steinmetz taught me much and that was not easy. He has left a trail of thought and challenge that is long and wide. I followed his writings through the years and the people who sat through my sermons are most grateful. . I look forward to his book on Calvin.
I shall miss him. You remain in my prayers.
Bob Aregood – Lanc. Ther. Sem.

Condolence from Penny Mapes on December 1st, 2015 7:29 pm

We will always remember your wonderful stories, history lessons and sense of humor… You are with God even learning more about the Reformers of which was your passion. You will live on in your wonderful families memories and in their hearts…

Condolence from Teresa Berger on December 2nd, 2015 12:00 pm

Dear Virginia, Claire, and Matthew:
I was saddened to learn of David’s death and extend my heartfelt condolences to you. David was such an important and wonderful part of my 23 years at Duke Divinity School. I also cherish the memory of David visiting my home in Germany one summer, and the two of us watching a World Soccer Championship together — we had great fun!

May David rest in peace, and may God comfort you in your grief.
Teresa Berger

Condolence from Diane Christianson on December 2nd, 2015 2:01 pm

Dear Steinmetz family,

So sorry to hear about the death of David. He was an inspiring professor and a kind person. I’m very glad he was my teacher for church history at Duke; I will always remember the diagrams he drew on the chalkboard to accompany his lectures and the chalk dust that flew when he pounded the board for emphasis! God bless you in this time of grief.

Condolence from David Braun on December 3rd, 2015 6:54 pm

How well I remember David ! Quiet, unassuming, and bristling with intelligence ! While I was down in the hold rowing the boat, David was up on top, on the bridge seeing and understanding the whole picture. What a wonderful mind – lodged in a man who would have denied,strongly, what was obvious to the rest of us: clearly a humble man – with the important subtext: David had no idea how we admired him ( and, maybe, felt a bit jealous !) Bon voyage, David. And to your family: Yes, you should miss him, of course; but when he was with you, rest assured, you had the best! – David Braun Drew T.School 1961

Condolence from James Myers on December 4th, 2015 12:26 am

Dear Mrs. Steinmetz,
David was a South High school classmate of mine. I remember him well. I was sorry he did not make the 50th reunion, as it is the only one I have attended and was anxious to re-meet my classmates.
It was obvious at South that he was a true scholar. I respected him greatly and did not mind at all that he took valedictorian honors, leaving me as saluditorian. I knew David was headed for a distinguished career. I had two years of medical training at Duke. As a result of that I learned years later that he was at Duke. I knew then that he had attained a measure of scholarly achievement. He most certainly went on to achieve a scholarly height I could hardly imagine.
My prayers are with you and David.
Most sincerely,
Jim Myers

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