Glen Stassen Passes Away

Glen Stassen, noted Baptist theologian and peace advocate, passed away April 26 at the age of 78.

APF co-founder and current treasurer Doug Morgan shares:

I found the “just peacemaking” approach that Glen Stassen developed enormously helpful in overcoming the sometimes tiresome pacifism/just war debate. It called pacifists beyond nonviolence to active peacemaking and just war advocates to engage in practices that would reduce the likelihood of war. Along with intellectual rigor, a heartfelt commitment to Jesus came through his writing that challenged and inspired me.

I concur. As a graduate student in peace studies, I read a number of his original and edited works, such as Kingdom Ethics (2003), Just Peacemaking (2008), andThe War of the Lamb (Yoder, 2009). Later I shared lunch with him at a peace conference, and I found him to be friendly and engaging. His love for Jesus–and the way of Jesus–always came through.

Below are excerpts from a tribute written by David Gushee, who co-wrote Kingdom Ethics with Stassen:

Glen Stassen was a scholar of Christian ethics. He loved his work. He loved reading everything in Christian ethics. He loved talking about Christian ethics. He loved arguing with people about the best directions for Christian ethics. He will leave behind a vast library of well-marked books in Christian ethics, which for him meant biblical studies, theology, political science, economics, science, international relations, peace and war studies, and ethics proper. Those marked-up books help symbolize his epic engagement with the field.

Glen was an activist. His earliest activism was in civil rights. He was at the March on Washington in 1963. He did civil rights work everywhere he went in the 1960s and 1970s. But most who knew him later will remember him as a peace activist, especially against the threat of nuclear annihilation. This was one of my very first intersections with him. Trained in nuclear physics, Glen knew exactly what destructive power humans had unleashed. Glen became a leading activist against nuclear weapons during the Cold War and helped the global, not just Christian, anti-nuclear movement refine its theory, message, and strategy.

Gushee’s tribute can be read in full here–Sojourners.