Div School Sets Up Chair Honoring Swedish Bishop
The Harvard Divinity School will establish an endowed chair by next December honoring its former dean and the current Bishop of Stockholm, Krister Stendahl, officials said yesterday.
The bulk of the $1 million required to support the Stendahl Professorship of Divinity was contributed by about 30 anonymous friends since the Bishop left the School in September 1984, said Roger H. Martin, associate dean for administration at the Divinity School.
Candidates for the position, who will be considered by a search committee in the coming months, must be experienced in at least one of the three fields for which Stendahl is most noted: Biblical study, the arts of ministry, and Jewish-Christian relations, said Divinity School spokesman J. Michael West.
This chair "allows the School to continue what [Stendahl] stands for; he was one of the guiding lights for the school," said West.
The search committee, set up by Divinity School Acting Dean John B. Carman last week, is composed of three professors, including Plummer Professor of Christian Morals Peter J. Gomes, and a few students at the school, said John Strugnell, Lamont Professor of Divinity and the committee chairman.
Strugnell said that the committee is planning to advertise the new position in academic journals and university publications this summer, and that he expects a selection by late December.
Using the Money
Until the appointment is made, the income from the money, expected to be available as of July 1, will probably be used to support a junior faculty member so that the committee can take its time in the selection process, said Martin.
Stendahl left the Divinity School in September 1984, after he was appointed Bishop of Stockholm earlier that spring. He had completed 30 years of service as a member of the faculty, including a term as Dean from 1968-1979.
Since his appointment as bishop, he "has apparently garnered a lot of attention and has some effect on revivifying the church there," said West.