Thoughts on the death of Desmond Tutu

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The world learned just after Christmas, of the death of Archbishop Tutu, the World and South Africa’s ‘spiritual moral conscience’ on social and political apartheid, who passed away age 90.

My spouse Denise and I recall the absolute privilege some years ago of visiting the settlement town of Soweto, the very dwelling where Tutu was born and raised, in the street where both Tutu and Mandela had lived.

It was a deeply moving experience, our pilgrimage if you will.

Peter Robinson


5 thoughts on “Thoughts on the death of Desmond Tutu

  1. Rodney Eivers

    Yes, indeed, Peter and Denise.

    I shall be including the death of Desmond Tutu as one of the two significant events this week when preaching this Sunday on “Loving our International Enemies. The other significant event, more specifically related to the topic, is the news that Japan and China have established a military “hotline”. Presumably this is an important step towards international “enemies” agreeing to talk about their problems instead of immediately raising the prospect of war. “
    Rodney Eivers

  2. Lorraine Parkinson

    Archbishop Tutu was living proof of the sustaining power of love and truth. He knew what needed to be said and done and never looked back. His sense of humour was often his weapon against ignorance and bigotry. The story is told of the time he walked through a construction site on a narrow wooden series of planks laid on top of a sea of mud. A white developer began to walk toward him on the planks. On reaching Tutu, he bellowed, “Stand aside boy. I don’t stand aside for gorillas.” With that, Tutu stepped off the plank into the mud and with a sweep of his arm said, “Ah, but I do!” I recently saw Tutu meeting with the Dalai Lama. I wondered who could out-giggle the other.

  3. Wayne Sanderson

    Ever perceptive to the cross-cultural realities of gospel values and incisive theology in South Africa,
    Tutu articulated ubuntu to the wider world. It means that your wellbeing is inextricably bound up with mine; that we flourish when we live this out. Yes – straight from the behaviour of the early Christian believers in Acts. But – also paralleled in the Zulu and Xhosa story. Who better to articulate this but Desmond Tutu?
    He was in Australia in the early 1990s for the World Council of Churches Assembly.
    I was with 14-15 ecumenical colleagues ordering counter lunches in a crowded South Melbourne pub – ahead of our regular Inter Church Council meeting. Archbishop Tutu on the overhead TV news, being interviewed. In walked Bruce Ruxton of RSL fame. He loudly denounced Tutu as a “witch doctor”. I moved steadily towards Mr Ruxton, introduced myself as the local UCA minister and invited him to join my gang for lunch so we could discuss this further. Bruce was shocked; turned his back on me and shot through.

  4. Paul Inglis Post author

    “Archbishop Emeritus Tutu rose above titles to leave behind a legacy that will be a gold standard for the role of the clergy.
    He was different because, to use the Christian theological terminology, he was a feet-washing servant leader, a description that most suited him although he has other titles such as Nobel Peace laureate and winner of numerous international awards in recognition of his unwavering determination to end the atrocious apartheid system in South Africa.” Ameen Izzadeen in The Daily Mirror

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