Krister Stendahl

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The Right Reverend

Krister Stendahl
Bishop of Stockholm
Church Church of Sweden
Diocese Stockholm
Appointed Stockholm
In office1984-1988
PredecessorLars Carlzon
SuccessorHenrik Svenungsson
Orders
Ordination1944
Consecration1984
Personal details
Born(1921-04-21)21 April 1921
Sennan, Halmstad, Sweden
DiedApril 15, 2008(2008-04-15) (aged 86)
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
NationalitySwedish
Denomination Lutheranism
SpouseBrita Johnsson
Children3

Krister Stendahl (21 April 1921 – 15 April 2008) was a Swedish theologian and New Testament scholar, [1] and Church of Sweden Bishop of Stockholm. He also served as professor and professor emeritus at Harvard Divinity School.

Sweden constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million of which 2.5 million has a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi). The highest concentration is in the southern half of the country.

Church of Sweden Evangelical-Lutheran denomination in Sweden

The Church of Sweden is an Evangelical Lutheran national church in Sweden. A former state church, headquartered in Uppsala, with 6.0 million baptised members at year end 2017 it is the largest Christian denomination in Sweden.

Diocese of Stockholm (Church of Sweden) diocese within the Church of Sweden

The Diocese of Stockholm is a division of the Church of Sweden. Its cathedral is Storkyrkan in Stockholm's Old Town. The diocese covers most of metropolitan Stockholm and was formed in 1942 from parts of the medieval dioceses of Strängnäs and Uppsala, both pre-dating the foundation of Stockholm. Before 1942, the City of Stockholm itself and Greater Stockholm were divided more or less equally between the two medieval dioceses at Slussen just south of Stockholm's Old Town.

Contents

Life

Stendahl received his doctorate in New Testament studies from Uppsala University with his dissertation The school of St. Matthew and its use of the Old Testament (1954). He was later Professor at the Divinity School at Harvard University, where he also served as dean, before being elected Bishop of Stockholm in 1984. Stendahl was the second director of the Center for Religious Pluralism at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. After retiring in 1989, he returned to the United States, and was Mellon Professor of Divinity Emeritus at the Harvard Divinity School. He also taught at Brandeis University. Bishop Stendahl was an honorary fellow of the Graduate Theological Foundation.

New Testament Second division of the Christian biblical canon

The New Testament is the second part of the Christian biblical canon, the first part being the Old Testament, based on the Hebrew Bible. The New Testament discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianity. Christians regard both the Old and New Testaments together as sacred scripture. The New Testament has frequently accompanied the spread of Christianity around the world. It reflects and serves as a source for Christian theology and morality. Extended readings and phrases directly from the New Testament are incorporated into the various Christian liturgies. The New Testament has influenced religious, philosophical, and political movements in Christendom and left an indelible mark on literature, art, and music.

Uppsala University research university in Uppsala, Sweden

Uppsala University is a research university in Uppsala, Sweden, and is the oldest university in Sweden and all of the Nordic countries still in operation, founded in 1477. It ranks among the world's 100 best universities in several high-profile international rankings. The university uses "Gratiae veritas naturae" as its motto and embraces natural sciences.

Harvard Divinity School seminary

Harvard Divinity School is one of the constituent schools of Harvard University, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. As of June 2015, the school's mission is to train and educate its students either in the academic study of religion, or for the practice of a religious ministry or other public service vocation. It also caters to students from other Harvard schools that are interested in the former field. Harvard Divinity School is among a small group of university-based, non-denominational divinity schools in the United States (the others include the University of Chicago Divinity School, Yale Divinity School, Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Wake Forest University School of Divinity, and Claremont Graduate University-School of Religion.

Stendahl is perhaps most famous for his publication of the article "The Apostle Paul and the Introspective Conscience of the West". [2] This article, along with the later publication of the book Paul Among Jews and Gentiles, conveys a new idea in Pauline studies suggesting that scholarship dating all the way back to Augustine may miss the context and thesis of Paul. His main point revolves around the early tension in Christianity between Jewish Christians and Gentile converts. According to Stendahl, the main concern of Paul's writings on Jesus' role, and salvation by faith, is the problem of the inclusion of gentile (Greek) Torah observers into God's convenant. [3] [4] [5] [note 1] He specifically argues that later interpreters of Paul have assumed a hyper-active conscience when they have begun exegesis of his works. As a result, they have suggested an overly psychological interpretation of the apostle Paul, that Paul himself would most likely not have understood at all for himself. [6]

Through his interest in the Jewish context of the New Testament, Stendahl developed an interest in Jewish Studies and was active in Jewish–Christian dialogue.

Christian−Jewish reconciliation refers to the efforts that are being made to improve understanding and acceptance between Christians and Jews. There has been significant progress in reconciliation in recent years, in particular by the Catholic Church, but also by other Christian groups.

Stendahl is credited with creating Stendahl's three rules of religious understanding, which he presented in a 1985 press conference in Stockholm, Sweden, in response to vocal opposition to the building of a temple there by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His rules are as follows:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints nontrinitarian Christian restorationist church

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian, Christian restorationist church that is considered by its members to be the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States, and has established congregations and built temples worldwide. According to the church, it has over 16 million members and 67,000 full-time volunteer missionaries. In 2012, the National Council of Churches ranked the church as the fourth-largest Christian denomination in the United States, with over 6.5 million members reported by the church, as of January 2018. It is the largest denomination in the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith during the period of religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening.

  1. When you are trying to understand another religion, you should ask the adherents of that religion and not its enemies.
  2. Don't compare your best to their worst.
  3. Leave room for "holy envy." (By this Stendahl meant that you should be willing to recognize elements in the other religious tradition or faith that you admire and wish could, in some way, be reflected in your own religious tradition or faith.)

Bishop Stendahl participated in making a Mormon Message before passing away. [7] He also was a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism . [8]

<i>Encyclopedia of Mormonism</i> book by Daniel H. Ludlow

The Encyclopedia of Mormonism is a semiofficial encyclopedia for topics relevant to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The text is available free online.

He died six days before his 87th birthday.

Selected bibliography

Notes

  1. Dunn quotes Stendahl: "Cf Stendahl, Paul among Jews and Gentiles, passim-e.g "... a doctrine of faith was hammered out by Paul for the very specific and limited pupose of defending the rights of Gentile converts to be full and genuine heirs to the promise of God to Israel"(p.2)" [3]

    Stephen Westerholm: "For Paul, the question that “justification by faith” was intended to answer was, “On what terms can Gentiles gain entrance to the people of God?” Bent on denying any suggestion that Gentiles must become Jews and keep the Jewish law, he answered, “By faith—and not by works of the (Jewish) law.”" [5] Westerholm refers to: Krister Stendahl, The Apostle Paul and the Introspective Conscience of the West, Harvard Theological Review 56 (1963), 199–215; reprinted in Stendahl, Paul Among Jews and Gentiles and Other Essays (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1976), 78–96.

    Westerholm quotes Sanders: "Sanders noted that “the salvation of the Gentiles is essential to Paul’s preaching; and with it falls the law; for, as Paul says simply, Gentiles cannot live by the law (Gal. 2.14)” (496). On a similar note, Sanders suggested that the only Jewish “boasting” to which Paul objected was that which exulted over the divine privileges granted to Israel and failed to acknowledge that God, in Christ, had opened the door of salvation to Gentiles."

Related Research Articles

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Paul the Apostle, commonly known as Saint Paul and also known by his Jewish name Saul of Tarsus, was an apostle who taught the gospel of Christ to the first-century world. Paul is generally considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age and in the mid-30s to the mid-50s AD he founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe. He took advantage of his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to minister to both Jewish and Roman audiences.

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References

  1. Kristen Stendahl, 1921-2008 http://hds.harvard.edu/news/2011/02/07/krister-stendahl-1921-2008
  2. The Harvard Theological Review, Vol. 56, No. 3 (Jul., 1963), pp. 199-215.
  3. 1 2 Dunn 1982, p. n.49.
  4. Finlan 2001, p. 2.
  5. 1 2 Stephen Westerholm (2015), The New Perspective on Paul in Review, Direction, Spring 2015 · Vol. 44 No. 1 · pp. 4–15
  6. Krister Stendahl, Paul among Jews and Gentiles Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1976.
  7. Why Mormons Build Temples, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-x_-TQivCx8
  8. Stendahl, Krister (1992). "Baptism for the Dead: Ancient Sources". In Ludlow, Daniel H. Encyclopedia of Mormonism . New York: Macmillan Publishing. p. 97. ISBN   0-02-879602-0. OCLC   24502140..

Sources