In Memoriam: Antti Raunio, Finnish Luther Scholar

Editors note:  As a new member of the Continuation Committee of the International Congress for Luther Research, I had looked forward to working more closely with Prof. Raunio. His sudden death has saddened the international scholarly community, which valued his important contributions to the study of Martin Luther as well as his generous collegiality and friendship.  Below is the official announcement from the chairs of the Continuation Committee, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anna Vind and Prof. Dr. Volker Leppin.

Prof. Dr. Antti Raunio in memoriam

Dr. Antti Raunio, Professor of systematic theology at the University of Eastern Finland, died unexpectedly October 13, 2022 in Helsinki of severe disease.

Antti Raunio has served as a member of the Continuation Committee since 2007, and even though illness prevented him from participating in the 14th International Luther Congress in Thousand Oaks this past summer, he had just decided to take on his last period of work moving towards the next 15th Congress in Aarhus 2026.

Antti Raunio was a highly esteemed scholar and colleague. His extensive and deep theological knowledge, built upon thoughtful and meticulous analyses, was no less than impressive, and his love and respect for the field of Luther studies and its tradition in Finland, in the other Nordic countries and worldwide was profound. He will be deeply missed by close colleagues, as well as broadly by the international community of Luther scholars.

Antti Raunio was also a treasured friend. His character was kind, modest, cautious and unerringly reliable, and everyone got along with him joyfully. He had a wonderful sense of humor, a conspicuous notion of empathy and showed great affection and loyalty to those with whom he was closely associated. He also had a – somewhat hidden – Finnish temper, which would justly show its face in situations of unreason.

The group of colleagues in the Continuation Committee mourn the loss of a respected researcher and a tremendously cherished person.

” If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s” (Romans 14,8).

A selection of Dr. Raunio’s contribution to the study of Luther and Lutheran theology:

Summe des christlichen Lebens. Die “Goldene Regel” als Gesetz der Liebe in der Theologie Martin Luthers von 1510 bis 1527. Veröffentlichungen des Instituts für europäische Geschichte Mainz, Band 160, von Zabern, Mainz 2001. 399 p.

“Luther on Christian Unanimity in Faith and Love”, in Apprehending Love. Ed. Pekka Kärkkäinen & Olli-Pekka Vainio. Schriften der Luther-Agricola-Gesellschaft 73. Helsinki: Luther-Agricola-Gesellschaft 2019, 270–286.

“The Lutheran Tradition and Natural Law”, in Christianity and Natural Law, ed. N. Doe. Cambridge University Press 2017, 77–97.

“Martin Luther and Love”. in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Martin Luther, ed. P. Hinlicky et al. Oxford University Press 2016.

“The Human being” in Engaging -Luther. A (New) Theological Assessment, Ed. Olli-Pekka Vainio (Eugene, OR: Cascade 2010), pp. 27–58.

“Faith and Christian Living in Luther’s Confession Concerning Christ’s Supper (1528)”, in Lutherjahrbuch 76. Hg. Helmar Junghans & Albrecht Beutel Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht: Göttingen 2010, pp. 19–56.

“Luther’s Social Theology in the Contemporary World: Searching for the Neighbor’s Good” in The Global Luther. A Theologian for Modern Times. Ed. Christine Helmer. Fortress Press: Minneapolis 2009, pp. 210–227.

“Natural Law and Christian Love in Luther’s Theology” in Lidenskab & Stringens. Festskrift til Svend Andersen. Red. Kees van Kooten Niekerk & Ulrik Nissen. Anis: København 2008, pp. 249–261.

“Reformation des christlichen Lebens” in Reformationer, Universitet – Kirkehistorie – Luther. Festschrift für Steffen Kjeldgaard-Pedersen. Ed. Anna Vind and Tine Rees. Copenhagen 2006.

“Divine Law and Natural Law in Luther and Melanchthon” in Lutheran Reformation and the Law, ed. Virpi Mäkinen (Studies in Medieval and Reformation Traditions, Volume CXII) Brill: Leiden and Boston 2006, pp. 21–61.

“Natural Law and Faith: The Forgotten Foundations of Ethics in Luther’s Theology” in Union with Christ. The New Finnish Interpretation of Luther, ed. Carl E. Braaten and Robert W. Jenson, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Michigan and Cambridge, U. K. 1998, pp. 96–124.

“The Golden Rule as the Summary of the Sermon on the Mount in the Reformed and Lutheran Traditions” in Towards a Renewed Dialogue. The First and Second Reformations, ed. Milan Opočenský. (Studies from the World Alliance of Reformed Churches 30), Geneva 1996, pp. 122–142.

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