Guest Book for Krister Stendahl

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Wilda Kaylor <>
Seton Hill University
Greensburg, PA USA
Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 09:02:43 (CDT)

I wish to convey condolences to bishop Stendahl's family, friends and colleagues on behalf of the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA. Although I was not priveleged to meet Bishop Stendahl, I know from colleagues in the Council of Centers for Christian-Jewish Relations that he was a great leader in Christian-Jewish dialogue. With Bishop Stendahl's work as an example, we will continue our efforts to build dialogue between Christians and Jews. May Bishop Stendahl rest in peace.

Denise Matthews <>
Hudson, NH, USA
Tuesday, April 22, 2008 at 09:13:13 (CDT)

I have very fond and loving memories of Krister. I was a friend his children. There was always something interesting going on at the Jewett house. But one of the most tender moments was when he agreed to preside at my wedding. I was a catholic marrying a divorced catholic and he wrote a long and lengthy letter to my pastor telling him why he, Krister, agreed to marry us. My pastor met with me before the wedding and told me that I couldn't have chosen a better person to bless my marriage. His reputation preceded him even in NH. And with that, he also blessed my life.

William C. Voss <>
Alton, NH, USA
Friday, April 18, 2008 at 12:38:14 (CDT)

Thanks for Krister's life and work.
As a Harvard student 1955 through 1961,
As a student of Krister's writings throughout the years,
As a guest for Connie Parvey's birthday party in 2006,
And as a member of the HDS Leadership Council
I have deep gratitude for Krister's creative life,
For his warm and caring spirit, and
For the many inspired by his example.
May all of Krister's family and friends
Rejoice in a life guided by faith and love.

Krister Anderson <>
Arlington, VA, United States
Thursday, April 17, 2008 at 21:45:50 (CDT)

When my parents were considering names for a soon to be born son they immediately decided upon Krister. My father and grandfather were students of Bishop Stendahl and had immense respect for him not only as a scholar, but also as a human being. Growing up I knew that I was named after a Swedish bishop, but did not know much about him. However, during college I had the opportunity to meet Bishop Stendahl and get to know him a bit while worshiping at UniLu. I was quite nervous at first, but Krister immediately put me at ease. During our chats after church he was always kind, inquiring about my studies and my family. It soon became clear to me why my parents named me after Bishop Stendahl. I am glad that they did so and will do my best to live up to the example he has provided for us all. May he rest in peace.

Elizabeth Bettenhausen <>
Cambria, CA, USA
Thursday, April 17, 2008 at 21:16:19 (CDT)

Krister always spoke with the angels,
the good angels, the bad angels, the mediocre angels.
He would ask them questions and hear so many ways life flows.
Laughing, he'd ask another question.
"Do you think calcium is good for the heart?"
"Do you believe tulips can make smiles more bouncy?"
The angels answered to match the climate and clouds of the day.
Then Holy Wonder caught on and changed the weather.
Krister waved his thanks and thought up another question.
We still have so many ways to learn, so many angelic options,
so many ways to love, so many roads to stroll toward patient justice.
Krister and Holy Wonder laugh and plan the next day.
They ask the next question, and flourish in solid hope.
—Elizabeth Bettenhausen

Faith Bloomquist <>
Thursday, April 17, 2008 at 14:17:51 (CDT)

Another giant has returned home.

My memory of Krister is his quiet dignity and enduring commitment to justice. He had the ability to name what needed to be named with searing clarity. I particularly remember the funeral many years ago for another giant of Unilu, Leonard Holmberg, faithful financial secretary. Leonard, fellow Swede, had been stripped of his Lutheran ordination years earlier following his divorce, but still served the church with a faithfulness that was quite remarkable. At Leonard's funeral, Krister rose and placed a stole upon the casket, and told Leonard that he was returning to him what the church had unjustly taken away. It was a moment, of many, where his words cut to the heart of the matter.

Sov gott, faithful servant.

Alice Argon
Cambridge, MA
Thursday, April 17, 2008 at 09:40:14 (CDT)

A few years ago, during a Maundy Thursday supper, he commented about my reading the NY Times before services. He said that at first he was shocked, but then realized that that too was a ministry. How many people would say that? They'd just judge you in silence. (By the way, reading the newspaper before services does not keep me from meditating about Jesus.)

Jane Marston <>
Philadelphia, PA
Thursday, April 17, 2008 at 08:07:45 (CDT)

Bishop Stendahl and his family have been very much in my thoughts and prayers this week, especially this past Sunday when the liturgy was focused on the image of the Good Shepherd. I often experienced speaking with Krister as a kind of benediction—his very presence conveyed to me the peace of Christ that passes all understanding.

I remember particularly a student brunch held in the rather shabby surroundings of UniLu's basement before it was renovated when Krister talked about what it means that God is all knowing. This is too scary for us when we think of God like the FBI, only bigger and with unlimited powers. But God's knowing, he assured us, comes with understanding. God knows our whole story, even the parts we don't understand ourselves. This distinction has become a guiding principle for me, one that both sustains me personally and shapes my conversations with others.

May the light of Christ that filled Bishop Stendahl in his lifetime continue to sustain all those who will miss him, especially Brita and the rest of his family.

Dr. Laurence H. Kant <>
Lexington Theological Seminary
Lexington, KY, USA
Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at 21:48:21 (CDT)

I am writing to honor Krister Stendahl, my professor at Harvard and the Bishop of Stockholm, one of the great New Testament scholars and pioneers in Jewish-Christian dialogue. I am a graduate of Harvard Divinity School (MTS, 1981) and one of the first Jewish students at HDS. I received my masters degree in New Testament and Christian Origins and had the pleasure of seeing Krister Stendahl on a regular basis in the New Testament doctoral seminars and in a variety of venues. I was in my early twenties, and he always showed me the greatest respect and deference (even when we faced some difficult challenges). Often when I gave papers at conferences, he would show up at my talks and compliment me for presenting interesting ideas. When I received tenure (at Lexington Theological Seminary), he left me a telephone message congratulating me and letting me know how happy he was for me. These gestures meant the world to me and helped give me the courage to persevere under often difficult circumstances. Krister Stendahl changed the landscape of Jewish-Christian relations and made it possible for someone such as me to exist, and I am honored and privileged that he supported me throughout my professional life. Two millennia of pain have characterized relations between Jews and Christians. Bishop Stendahl reflected and looked at the horror of of the Holocaust and decided that he and others needed to do New Testament studies in a very different way. He helped to begin healing a wound and, in doing so, truly contributed to tikkun olam ("repair of the world"). He was both a very caring person and a great scholar, and I will always regard him as one of the great lights in my life. May his memory be for a blessing. Larry Kant

Linda Clader <>
Church Divinity School of the Pacific
Berkeley, CA, USA
Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at 11:16:40 (CDT)

I was a grad student in classics at Harvard from 1968-1972. It was a tough time for me and for Harvard! Attending Dr. Stendahl's Wednesday morning Eucharist, and hearing him preach a homily every week, was one of the precious moments of sanity and support during a very tough time. Now I teach preaching at a seminary, and of course I use his written work, but more often I think about his gentle and powerful preaching during those early Wednesday services. I remember him with the utmost appreciation and affection.

Galen Hora <>
Minneapolis, MN, United States
Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at 10:22:27 (CDT)

Krister Stendahl brought deep biblical and theological understanding to a variety of campus ministry gatherings. His insight and his genuine concern for the life of the church was encouraging to those of us who were fortunate to be in his presence and learn from his scholarship.

Lawrence Lowenthal <>
Brookline, Mass., USA
Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at 09:48:01 (CDT)

A lovely, serene, ethereal gentleman, with a brilliant mind and a noble spirit.

I was privileged to serve on a panel with him a few years ago, and I was both moved and stimulated by the experience.

His charismatic presence was a blessing to our entire interfaith community.

Dr. Debbie Weissman <>
Jerusalem, Israel
Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at 05:16:23 (CDT)

I had the honor of meeting Bishop Stendhal at the Swedish Theological Institute in Jerusalem and his son John at the Tantur Institute here. This is a major loss to the community of Christians and Jews engaged in inter-religious dialogue and learning. My thoughts go out to the family at this difficult time. As we say, "may you be comforted from Heaven."

Sister Gemma Del Duca, S.C. <>
National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education, Seton Hill University, Greensburg, PA
Jerusalem, Israel
Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at 02:29:47 (CDT)

Whenever Bishop Stendahl visited Jerusalem, we were sure to have a lecture that would give us hope and yet urge us on to further research, dialogue, prayer. Perhaps more than what he said was his presence that inspired and encouraged all of us, even he did not know us personally, with his good humor and joy. May he rest in peace and may the Lord give comfort and strength to his wife Brita and to the family.

Bonnie Fackre-Cochise <>
Portland, OR
Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at 23:39:51 (CDT)

Krister was a friend to our family — at a time when Cochise was most under duress and we as a family were very stressed. Krister had the courage to be simply himself in visiting Walpole Prison, enduring the taunts of the guards even while he wore his bishop's purple. He shared his kindly love with Cochise in Sousa Baronowski Prison as well as Shirley — at a time when I was unable to visit. This great man walked his talk bringing faith to criminal justice issues not just in public but in private. In doing so, he ministered to me too. Thank you Krister.