Obituaries for Martin Stöhr

The ICCJ and the ecumenical movement mourn the death of Martin Stöhr.

The ICCJ mourns the loss of its Honorary President Prof. Dr Martin Stöhr

On December 04, 2019, Martin Stöhr, our former President and Honorary President, passed away at the age of 87 years.

Worldwide he was a frequently engaged protagonist of the Christian-Jewish dialogue. He understood that in terms of Judaism, a fundamental reorientation on the part of Christians was necessary.

In particular, he dealt bravely with the anti-Jewish writings of Martin Luther. He was concerned with the development of a theology that would recognize the Jewish roots of Christianity and eliminate Christian arrogance.

Throughout his life, Martin Stöhr was committed to a new relationship with Judaism and the everlasting chosenness of the Jewish people, opposing anti-Judaism.

Martin Stöhr was President of our organization from 1990 to 1998 and since then, was one of our Honorary Presidents.

He also understood that academic engagement must also be supported with money. In this sense, he succeeded in founding and nurturing the International Martin Buber Foundation.

The ICCJ - its Executive Board, the member organizations worldwide, the team at its headquarters, the Martin Buber House in Heppenheim, as well as the Association of Friends and Sponsors of the Martin Buber House - will always keep fond memories of Professor Martin Stöhr.

Abi Pitum; ICCJ Treasurer | 11.12.2019

The ecumenical movement mourns the death of Martin Stöhr

The staff of the EKHN and EKKW Oekumene Centre mourn the loss of Martin Stöhr. For many years he has accompanied the ecumenical movement and contributed his voice to the ecumenical politics of the day! He was respected worldwide as an expert on the Jewish-Christian Dialogue. From 1965 to 1984 he was President of the German Coordinating Council of Associations for Christian-Jewish Cooperation; then from 1990 to 1998 President of the International Council of Christians and Jews (ICCJ). On his initiative, the programme "Studium in Israel" was created, which enables young theologians to study the Jewish faith in Jerusalem. Until his death he was honorary president of the ICCJ. In 2016 he was also honored with the Martin-Niemöller-Medal, the highest award of the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau (EKHN), for his six decades of work in the Jewish-Christian dialogue.

At an early age, Martin Stöhr advocated a critical examination of German history, reconciliation with Germany's neighbours, the renewal of Christian-Jewish relations and a church that addresses the socio-political challenges of the present. In 1961 Martin Stöhr took part in the First All-Christian Peace Assembly in Prague. He participated in the Christian Peace Conference, which united Eastern European and Western European Christians across the division into the Eastern Bloc and the Western Bloc. He did not want to resign himself to thinking in separate blocks and was constantly searching for ways to overcome the division of Europe.

Together with his wife Marie Luise Martin Stöhr got involved in the fight against apartheid and fought against all attempts to justify apartheid theologically. With his participation the World Council of Churches in August 1970 launched the "Programme to Combat Racism" at the Protestant Academy Arnoldshain.

He shaped his engagement in an ecumenical vastness and always included experiences from other countries and continents. In his actions and thinking he embodied like hardly anyone else the ecumenical conciliar process "Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation".

Detlev Knoche, Director of the Ecumenical Centre of the EKHN and EKKW