Stendahl, Krister 1921–2008

views updated

Stendahl, Krister 1921–2008

(Krister Olofson Stendahl)


See index for CA sketch: Born April 21, 1921, in Stockholm, Sweden; died of renal failure, April 15, 2008, in Boston, MA. Minister, theologian, church official, educator, administrator, and author. Stendahl was ordained in Sweden as a Lutheran minister in 1944 and served as the bishop of the diocese of Stockholm from 1984 to 1988, but he spent most of his career in the United States. He ministered to Lutheran congregations and taught at the University of Uppsala between 1944 and 1954. Then, with the exception of his four years in Sweden, Stendahl taught at Harvard University from 1954 to 1991. He taught successively as the John H. Morison Research Professor of New Testament Studies, the Frothingham Professor of the History of Religion, the John Lord O'Brian Professor of Divinity, and the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Divinity. He also served as dean of the Divinity School throughout the 1970s. In 1991 he moved to Brandeis University as the Robert and Myra Kraft and Jacob Hiatt Distinguished Professor of Christian Studies, finally retiring from teaching in 1993. Stendahl never retired from his commitment to diversity, whether the focus was interfaith relations, the ordination of women, or the support of gay and lesbian rights. His positions were based on his extensive research, including exploration of the issues of men and women throughout biblical times and the relations between Jews and gentiles in biblical history. Stendahl's writings include The Bible and the Role of Women (1966), Paul among Jews and Gentiles and Other Essays (1976), Energy for Life: Reflections on the Theme "Come, Holy Spirit, Renew the Whole Creation" (1990), Final Account, or, Paul's Letter to the Romans (1993), and Affirming the Soul: Remarkable Conversations between Mental Health Professionals and an Ordained Minister (1994).



Horsley, Richard A., Paul and Politics: Ekklesia, Israel, Imperium, Interpretation; Essays in Honor of Krister Stendahl, Trinity Press International (Harrisburg, PA), 2000.

Nickelsburg, George W.E., and George W. MacRae, editors, Christians among Jews and Gentiles: Essays in Honor of Krister Stendahl on His Sixty-fifth Birthday, Fortress Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1986.


Los Angeles Times, April 20, 2008, p. B11.

New York Times, April 16, 2008, p. A23.