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March 2011 Archives

March 15, 2011

Sad News

As many of you probably know, Bill died late last night. The memorial service will be at Park Street Church in Boston this Saturday at 5 p.m. Here is a blog post from the Stuntz family with the news.

Even with all of the forewarning, it’s still a great shock. All day I found myself thinking of questions I wish I could ask Bill. I’ve never seen anyone live out Jesus’s call to love others as we love ourselves the way Bill did. He was of course hugely influential as a scholar and teacher, but I think he may have touched even more hearts by writing, speaking and sharing about his struggles with cancer and debilitating back pain.
As it turns out, I’m in Rome, and found myself standing before the great Giotto painting in the Vatican that shows the deaths of Peter and Paul in the lower frames, and their perfect heavenly bodies worshipping God above.   I have to imagine that those who have suffered greatly in the flesh will have more joy than anyone in their resurrected bodies.
I’ll link to a number of tributes and other materials in the coming days and weeks.   In the meantime, I, like many of you, will be giving thanks for Bill’s life and praying for his family and everyone whose life he touched.

March 16, 2011

Harvard Law School Tribute

Here is the Harvard Law School announcement and tribute to Bill.

March 21, 2011

More Tributes and Obituaries

There have been many more lovely obituaries and tributes to Bill. I’ll post a few here.

A New York Times editorial page tribute: here.

The New York Times obituary: here.
The Harvard Crimson tribute: here.
The Boston Globe obituary: here.
A Tribute on Patheos: here; and the Patheos interview referred to in the tribute: here.
Student tributes at Harvard Law and Policy Review: here.

The Memorial Service

Here are the bulletin and the three sets of remembrances from the memorial service on Saturday, as well as reflections on the service sent to me by one of Bill's former students.  If I'm able to get a tape of the entire service at some point, I'll put that up as well.

The Bulletin: BillStuntz3-19-11Bulletin.pdf 

Remarks of Bill and Ruth's daughter Sarah: sarah-remarks.pdf

Remarks of Bill's brother Dave: dave-stuntz-remarks.pdf

My remarks: stuntz-memorial.pdf

Comments on the service by a former student: Notes-on-Bill's-Funeral.pdf

March 23, 2011

Tribute in the N.Y. Times

Tomorrow's N.Y. Times has a lovely tribute to Bill, written by Lincoln Caplan, on the editorial page: here.  I've also linked to it in the post with the earlier tributes.  The Caplan tribute also links to the extremely moving testimony Bill gave when he joined Park Street Church.

March 25, 2011

Italy's 150th--Skeel

Last week, Italy celebrated the 150th anniversary since its unification with a new holiday that occasioned more than a little skepticism and handwringing. Italy has rarely been genuinely unified, and the divisions between Italy’s prosperous north and troubled south seem to be widening rather than shrinking.

The celebration confounded the usual Italian politics. I initially assumed that it must have been cooked up by the embattled Berlusconi government.  But the holiday actually posed a dilemma for the ruling coalition, since they depend on the Northern League party, which favors a sharp separation from the south and has little interest in Italian patriotism. The center-left opposition, which usually steers clear of patriotic gestures, associating them with Italy’s fascist past, staged rallies at which—quite uncharacteristically-- Italian flags could be seen.
On the morning of the celebration, green, white, and red Italian flags hung from windows throughout Rome. As I walked up Via Babuina from the Spanish Steps to Piazza del Popolo (a favorite spot for demonstrations), a squadron of fighter planes roared past overhead, trailing columns of green, red and white smoke. The blank face of a man walking toward me filled with a look of surprised pride; another man was smiling broadly.
Most of the people I talked to later in the day also seemed pleasantly surprised with the holiday, pronouncing it more successful than they expected. But I have my doubts as to whether it will catch on. In the U.S., the last debate over a national holiday was Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. Although there was serious resistance in some quarters, supporters were passionate about the holiday.   No one in Italy seems to have the same fervency, which may make last week's celebration a one-off event.