The Joseph Sittler Archives — The Expanding Scope of Grace
The Joseph Sittler Archives — The Expanding Scope of Grace
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An Introduction to the Site, to Joe

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The Joseph Sittler Web site is dedicated to honoring the life and preserving and disseminating the work of this pastor and theologian of the church. The contents of this site are based largely on the holdings of the Sittler Archives at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC), under the sponsorship of the Sittler Archives Committee and with the enormous assistance of the Division for Higher Education and Schools of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), for which we are most grateful.

We have used the phrase “The expanding scope of grace” as the theme of this site, because Sittler’s understanding of the scope of God’s grace was much wider, broader, and deeper than had often been expressed previously. He saw God active in all spheres of human life as well as throughout the cosmos, and he pondered the meaning and significance of that. His understanding of God’s grace reached out to include the environment, the arts, and the ordinary things of life. Joseph Sittler died in 1987, but in our view, his expanded concept of the universal nature of God’s grace in each aspect of each human life, in the world, and in the universe are more needed now, both in the church and in the world, than ever before.

Sittler did not write many books and scholarly papers, but he preached, lectured, conducted workshops all across the church and in most of its seminaries and colleges. So, much of his contribution exists in tapes of speeches and sermons given over a period of 50 years, many of which we have now been able to gather together in the Sittler Archives at LSTC. He spent most of his career as a faculty member in higher education. He loved the academic world, and saw all knowledge as appropriate for Christians because everything exists under the Lordship of our God. He was a special friend of campus ministry and of the church colleges, but he was no ivory-tower academic cut off from the world. He wrote in praise of Polish sausage in a little piece entitled “Polish Sausage, St. Augustine, and the Moral Life,” and he was as comfortable talking with an school crossing guard he happened to meet as with a long-time colleague at the University of Chicago.

Reflecting Joe’s own institutional relationships, the Sittler Committee that is appointed by LSTC to oversee the Sittler Archives has representatives from Trinity Seminary and from the University of Chicago Divinity School, as well as from LSTC and the ELCA’s Division for Higher Education and Schools. The committee worked with Barbara Sittler, representing the family, in establishing the Archives initially.

On this Web site, you will find a biography of Sittler, a catalogue of the holdings of the Archive, and bibliography of his writings as well as the works about Sittler that we know of. The Committee welcomes your suggestions for improving the website, your ideas about ways to make Joe’s ideas more widely known, and your financial support in any amount to help underwrite the work of disseminating we are anxious to do, as we have no other regular and sustained source of support. You may contact the Archives if you have a question about archived material or wish to purchase a copy of material in the Archives. Please contact the Committee with your suggestions about improving the Web site, ideas, or donations for the dissemination of Joe’s work, or leads to Sittler material that is not in the Archive.

What's New?

The Joseph Sittler Legacy…
“The Extraordinary in the Ordinary”

On October 2nd, some of Joe's friends gathered to remember, share stories and to consider the future of his legacy.
Learn more, view pictures and watch the videos


Free Downloads!

The Anguish of Preaching by Joseph Sittler

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