Former Princeton Theological Seminary Professor Max Stackhouse Dies at 80

StackhouseThe Rev. Dr. Max Stackhouse, a former professor at Princeton Seminary, died on Saturday, Jan. 30 at home in West Stockbridge, Mass. He was 80 years old.

Stackhouse taught at Princeton Theological Seminary from 1993 to 2006. He then retired and moved to Massachusetts.

His writings and teachings spanned more than half a century and included approximately 500 articles, book reviews, and book chapters. He authored or edited 25 books.

“Dr. Stackhouse was a fine scholar and prolific author,” said Craig Barnes, president of Princeton Seminary. “He was a wonderful teacher who impacted generations of students with his characteristic grace and good humor. He embodied the Christian virtues that he taught, and we give thanks for his life and work among us.”

After graduating from DePauw University and Harvard Divinity School, Stackhouse was ordained by the United Church of Christ and went on to be internationally recognized as a theologian in the field of Christian social ethics. After early involvement in the civil rights movement, he pioneered work in public theology, economics, globalization, and ecclesiastical concerns.

He taught at the Andover Newton Theological School for almost 30 years before coming to Princeton. He held numerous international visiting professorships, with long-term relationships at United Theological College in Bangalore, India, China, and South Korea, and within the former Eastern Block, with additional lecturing, conferences, and teaching in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Fiji, Thailand, South Africa, Taiwan, Australia, Brazil, Europe, and the United States.

Stackhouse served as president of the American Theological Society, The Society for Christian Ethics, and the James Luther Adams Foundation. He was instrumental in the founding and served as the director of the Abraham Kuyper Center for Public Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, and was a founding member of numerous other groups, including the Niebuhr Society, the Covenant Interest Group at the Society of Christian Ethics, and the China Academic Consortium, as well as the Berkshire Institute of Theology and the Arts, which he established with his wife, Jean Stackhouse, and led for 15 years. He was on the editorial boards of several journals, including The Christian Century, Journal of Religious Ethics, the Journal of Political Theology, Religion in Eastern Europe, and Faith & International Affairs.

He was an avid tennis player, music lover, and beloved spouse, father, brother, and grandfather. He was known for his sense of humor and generosity of spirit.

He is survived by his wife, Jean Stackhouse, son Dale Stackhouse and daughter-in-law Robin Olds Stackhouse of Indianapolis, Indiana, son David and daughter-in-law Amy Stackhouse of Edgecomb, Maine, daughter Sara Stackhouse and son-in-law Johan de Besche of Arlington, Mass., grandchildren Molly, Zachary, and Violet, and sister Judy Harris of St. Louis, Mo. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 3 p.m. at The First Congregational Church of Stockbridge, Mass.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Max Stackhouse to Covenant House New York, Attn: Sandra Latchman, 461 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10001-1810, or online at covenanthouse.org; or The Michael J. Fox Foundation, Grand Central Station, P.O. Box 4777, New York, NY 10163 or at michaeljfox.org.