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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Theologian Reumann dies

John H. P. Reumann, an ELCA pastor, professor and ecumenist, died June 6 in Lafayette, Pa.

Reumann, 81, had an encyclopedic knowledge of the Bible and was influential in the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogues, including helping to shape the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, signed in 1999. He has been called “a teacher of the church” by ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson and “a giant in the faith” by Philip D. Krey, president of the Lutheran Seminary at Philadelphia.

Reumann was the seminary’s Ministerium of Pennsylvania Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Greek. During his 45 years of teaching, he served as dean and acting president of Philadelphia Seminary. His scholarship encompassed life-of-Jesus research, the theology of the apostle Paul and ecumenism.

Reumann was a graduate of Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pa., and Philadelphia Seminary. He had a doctorate in classics and Semitic studies from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

He was a Guggenheim Fellow (1965 to 1966), a participant in the Lutheran-Jewish Conversation in the USA, and a member (1982 to 1986) of the Commission for a New Lutheran Church—a group that led to the formation of the ELCA


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