Augustine Shutte's Autobiographical Account of his Christian Theology

Patrick Giddy


Before his death in May this year Augustine Shutte wrote an ‘autobiographical account’ of a selection of his theology papers that situates his writings within his public involvement in church and society – seminary, academy, the Catholic Church, African culture, a thought-world of science and secularity. The account also documents a pattern of development in his understanding of Christian faith that arises out of this involvement. As such the narrative constitutes a theological reflection on God’s self-communication in Jesus in the context of doctrinal formulations and traditional church practices that cry out for rethinking. The influence of Karl Rahner is evident throughout but his narrative also acknowledges his two formative teachers, at Stellenbosch and UCT, as his theology as a whole can be seen as an exercise in secularisation (Johan Degenaar) through a truly personal and existential appropriation of our Christian heritage (Martin Versfeld). The narrative is introduced by myself through a brief account of its author and its genesis.


Augustine Shutte; narrative theology; Catholic Church; Christian Faith


Shutte, A.

a “Jesus Today”. Unpublished paper.

b “The Prayer of Jesus”. Unpublished paper.

“The Motive of the Incarnation”. Unpublished paper.

“Christology Now”. Unpublished paper.

“Salvation as Oop Gesprek”, New Blackfriars 51: 572-577.

a “The Human Meaning of Religion. An Enquiry into the Possibility of the Translation of Christian Faith into Secular Language with Special Reference to Kant and Hegel.” M.A. Thesis, University of Stellenbosch.

b “Man’s Search for Meaning”, Theology by Extension College (TEEC) Lectures (ed. Peters).

“Religious Laws: The Christian Problem”, Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 15: 39-48.

a “Love of Persons: Unselfish love as Manifestation of Spirituality”, Proceedings of the Philosophical Society of South Africa.

b “Indwelling, Intersubjectivity, and God”, Scottish Journal of Theology 32: 201-216.

a “Spirituality and Intersubjectivity. A Philosophical Understanding of the Relation between the Spiritual Nature of Persons and Basic Structures of Intersubjectivity”. Ph.D. thesis, University of Stellenbosch.

b “A Philosophy of the Human Person for Contemporary Theology”, Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 41: 70-77.

c “Ecumenism Today”. Talk given to the Catholic Theological Society of Southern Africa. Unpublished.

a “Seeing Life as the Creation of Character”, New Blackfriars 65: 180-184.

b “What Makes Us Persons?” Modern Theology 1: 67-79.

c “The Spirituality of Persons”, South African Journal of Philosophy 3: 54-58.

d “The Refutation of Determinism”, Philosophy 59: 481-489

“Persons are Transcendent”. Unpublished paper given at UCT Philosophy Department seminar series.

“How Jesus Saves Us”, Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 55: 3-14.

a “A New Argument for the Existence of God”, Modern Theology 3: 157-177.

b “Community, Apartheid and the Metaphysics of Humanity in Genesis 1 – 11”, Philosophy and Theology 2: 57-75.

c “Understanding Forgiveness”. Unpublished paper.

“The Possibility of Faith Today”, Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 80: 14-23.

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“Dialogue Between Religions”. Unpublished paper given to Goedgedacht Forum for Social Reflection.

Ubuntu. An Ethic for a New South Africa. Pietermaritzburg: Cluster Publications.

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c “Religion in a Scientific and Secular Culture”, in Shutte (ed) The Quest for Humanity in Science and Religion: The South African Experience. Pietermaritzburg: Cluster Publications: 29-62.

“Telling the Christian Story – by Karl Rahner and me”, Scriptura 98: 156-173.

“Evolution and Emergence. A Paradigm Shift for Theology”, Philosophy and Theology 22: 235-264.

“Conflict and Religion: Secularity as Standard for Authentic Religion”, in J. Seibt and J. Garsdal (eds), How is Global Dialogue Possible? Berlin: De Gruyter: 420-449.

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