First full biography of Archbishop Denis Hurley:
Guardian of the Light:
Denis Hurley, Renewing the Church, Opposing Apartheid
by Paddy Kearney
Published by Continuum (New York and London) and UKZN Press (Pietermaritzburg). Hardback,xxx pages, Price R275
Also: "Truth to Power" by Paddy Kearney, published by Continuum (New York and London) and UKZN Press (Pietermaritzburg). (An abridged version of the book above). Softback, xxx pages, Price Rxx
"Denis Hurley's father was a lighthouse keeper, the guardian of the light that warns the sailors of dangers and guides them away from destruction. Our Archbishop has been doing this work of warning and guiding for the greater part of his life. And he has done it with great faithfulness." Alan Paton, author of Cry, the Beloved Country, on the occasion of the archbishop's 70th birthday celebration
All royalties from the sale of the book will be donated to the Denis Hurley Centre.
Dust cover flap notes
DENIS HURLEY was a courageous opponent of South Africa's apartheid regime for 50 years, dubbed "an ecclesiastical Che Guevara" by a South African official and "guardian of the light" by Alan Paton. He was a champion of the reforms and "spirit" of Vatican II, who was controversial for his views on birth control, married priests, and women's ordination. Born in Cape Town in 1915 of Irish parents, he became the youngest Catholic bishop in the world in 1947 at 31 and archbishop of Durban in 1951. He retired as archbishop in 1992, becoming chancellor of the University of Natal from 1993 to 1998. He continued to work as a parish priest well into his eighties. His career as an outspoken opponent of apartheid began in 1951 when, as chairman of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference, he drafted the first of the ground-breaking pastoral letters in which the bishops denounced apartheid as "blasphemy" and "intrinsically evil." Eventually, along with four other church leaders (including Desmond Tutu), he was regarded as one of the South African state's "most wanted" political opponents. In 1984 he was charged with making false statements about a counter-insurgency unit in Namibia, but the prosecutor dropped the charges when it became clear that Hurley would be able to prove the truth of his statements. He received many death threats and on one occasion his house was petrol bombed.
PADDY KEARNEY was born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, in 1942 where he went to school at St Charles's Marist College. He has Bachelors degrees in Arts (Natal University) and Education (Witwatersrand University) and a Masters Degree in Education from Toledo, Ohio where he had a Fulbright Scholarship. He taught in secondary schools in Durban and Johannesburg and lectured in Education at Natal University. From 1976 to 2004 he headed the staff team at Diakonia, an ecumenical social justice agency founded by Archbishop Denis Hurley to help Durban churches respond to the socio-political challenges of the area. He is at present a consultant to the KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council.
Dust cover reviews
Chronicling a towering life that shaped earthshaking events in church (Vatican II and its aftermath) and state (apartheid in South Africa), this book informs and inspires. The keenness of Archbishop Hurley's mind was matched only by the greatness of his heart, the humor of his wit, the twinkling of his eye, the courage of his soul. For those who knew him, this text carefully fills in gaps in his story with documentation and personal interviews. For those who did not, a treat awaits as they meet this fascinating "lighthouse" person of faith.
Elizabeth Johnson, Distinguished Professor of Theology, Fordham University
Archbishop Hurley was one of our greatest South Africans. This biography reveals what gave him that stature - his integrity, fearlessness, gentleness of spirit and his magnanimity. It is a must read for all of us. - The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa
This book not only provides a glimpse into South African history during the apartheid years but a vivid, poignant story of a powerful yet humble man of God, committed to truth, justice and nonracialism. It should be read by every South African and many others too around the world, in order to understand our role as part of the human family. - Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, Chancellor of the Durban University of Technology
Denis Hurley was an inspiration. This champion in the fi ght against apartheid in South Africa was a bishop ahead of many of his people. Paddy Kearney is well placed to tell the inside story. His book throws fresh light on the life and career of a great churchman. - John Wilkins, Editor, The Tablet, 1982-2003
Archbishop Denis Hurley's life, a life of immense courage, deep spirituality and prophetic leadership, deserves to be more widely known not only in South Africa, but throughout the world. - Albert Nolan, O.P., author of God in South Africa
Read extracts published in the Southern Cross
Extract Three: Youngest Bishop
Extract Four: Adult Education for Bishops
Extract Five: Getting to know Hurley
Extract Six: Hurley on Trial
Extract Seven: A Relish for Intellectual Debate
Extract Eight: The Dream Realised
Guardian of the Light reviewed by Günther Simmermacher, editor of the Southern Cross