David Steinmetz, the Amos Ragan Kearns Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the History of Christianity at Duke Divinity School, died Nov. 26 at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, N.C. He was 79.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Dec. 5 at Christ United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill.
Steinmetz retired from Duke Divinity School in 2009 after teaching for more than 35 years. He studied with Heiko Oberman at Harvard University and was a specialist in the history of Christianity in late medieval and early modern Europe. Oxford University Press released his book Calvin in Context in a revised and expanded edition in 2010, and in 2011 he published a collection of theological essays titled Taking the Long View, also from Oxford. In 2006 Steinmetz was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was a United Methodist minister and a former president of the American Society of Church History.
Before coming to Duke in 1971, he taught at Lancaster Theological Seminary of the United Church of Christ. He was a visiting professor at Harvard and Notre Dame universities as well as the Alonzo L. McDonald Distinguished Professor at Emory University. Additionally he served as a Guggenheim Fellow at Cambridge University and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the Duke August Library in Wolfenbüttel, Germany.
His widow Virginia Steinmetz requests that memorial gifts be made to the Duke Divinity School Annual Fund, to be used for student scholarships. Checks and online donations should be marked “David Steinmetz Memorial Gift.”