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Von Hügel Institute

for Critical Catholic Inquiry

Studying at Cambridge


Rev Dr John McCabe

Rev Dr John McCabe

Research Associate

Rector of St Mary’s Church, Byfleet, Guildford Diocese


John McCabe joined the Von Hügel Institute as Research Associate in 2019. He was ordained in 2001 and is Rector of St Mary’s Church Byfleet in Guildford Diocese where he has been in post since 2006. He completed his MA at Trinity College/ Bristol University in 2001, having graduated from St Edmund Hall Oxford in Modern Languages in 1982 (French and German). John’s academic work is enriched by his previous professional experience gained internationally prior to ordination in sales, marketing, general management & management consultancy roles. He is working on historical and biographical details surrounding the last 9 days of the life of German Resistance theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer in April 1945 in the context of the latter stages of the war in Europe.

John completed his PhD at Chester University in 2015. His doctoral dissertation, entitled 'Bonhoeffer: Responsible Work - A diachronic approach to a synchronic theme: Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s  theology of work' was supervised by Dr Stephen Plant (Trinity Hall) and Professor Tom Greggs (Aberdeen). He is currently holder of an award from the International Bonhoeffer Society in support of his forthcoming book, to be entitled Hitler’s Revenge  Bonhoeffer •  9 days in April 1945 Traces of Grace, and is currently preparing proposals for potential publishers.

Research Interests

  • National Socialist Germany under Hitler 1933-1945;
  • Counter-intelligence operations in Europe 1943-45;
  • In 'Traces of Grace' I am searching for stories which resonate with hope from primarily among the small and diverse group of people who attended Bonhoeffer’s final 'service' in Schönberg on April 8, 1945. I am hoping to make connections between different kinds of disciplines and point towards possibilities for more transformative and inclusive thinking.

Key Publications

Book Reviews of

  • John Hughes, The End of Work (2010);
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, Volume 12 (English Edition) Berlin:1932-1933 (2014);
  • Charles Marsh, Strange Glory - A life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (2014);
  • John de Gruchy, Bonhoeffer’s Questions: A life-changing Conversation (2019)


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