The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


'I did answer yes ...'

Hammarskjöld's affirmation signals a life growing in relationship to God

SuperstockJuly 29 will be the 100th birth anniversary of Dag Hammarskjöld, revered U.N. general secretary in the mid-20th century. Markings, his journal published in 1964 several years after his death in a car accident in Africa, continues to be in print. It has been an inspiration and influence for many—including George S. Johnson, retired ELCA pastor and former director of the churchwide hunger program. Johnson tells how Hammarskjöld’s words have had a liberating impact on his struggles and journey as he has seeks to find out where God is in all the hunger and poverty rampant in our world.

Most mornings during our year in Uppsala, Sweden (1979-80), I rode my bicycle to the Dag Hammarskjöld Library or the Dag Hammarskjöld Institute just a few blocks away where I did research on Third World development and globalization.

Hammarskjöld was U.N. secretary general from 1953 until his death in a 1961 airplane accident in Africa. His journal, which he had described as a “sort of white book concerning my negotiations with myself and with God” was published soon after as Markings (Knopf, 1964; available from www.amazon.com).

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