About Gustaf Adolf Danell
Gustaf Adolf Danell (6 November 1908 – 5 December 2000) was an exegesis docent, theologiae doctor and Dean in the Cathedral of Växjö in Sweden, 1957–1973.
Gustaf's doctoral dissertation was put to the test in 1946, at the Uppsala University, in the fields of Old Testament Biblical Exegesis (The Name Israel in The Old Testament). Later, he served as docent at said university, teaching biblical studies. During the time in Uppsala, he both gave and faced a lot of criticism, simultaneously honing his rhetorical skills. One of his teachers was a professor named Johannes Emanuel Linderholm, a known profile who argued in favor of Liberal Christianity in Sweden — however, Gustaf himself chose a quite different path.
With professor David Hedegård he founded the Uppsala 'Biblicum' Course Centre to help theologists in crisis to rediscover their biblical faith. At the Åbo Akademi University he taught Hebrew and Greek between 1940-41 and 1942-46. He was elected Dean of Växjö 1957. Danell also continually provided a theological position in the magazine 'Nya Väktaren' of which he was the publisher/editor 1967-1992.
Danell did attract media attention and gained fame for being an eight time runner for the bishop's seat. The Swedish Government did not want to appoint him due to his opposition against the official stance taken by the Church of Sweden in 1958 regarding the ordination of women ('Ämbetsfrågan i Svenska kyrkan', aka 'kvinnoprästfrågan'). Danell was a confessionalist and a High Church Lutheran—as well as The Very Reverend for it's umbrella organisation, the Swedish Church Union—'Arbetsgemenskapen Kyrklig Förnyelse' (aKF). Theologically the aKF is orthodox and starkly contrasting the Folk Church ideology and the general theological liberalism within the Church of Sweden.
Danell's students remember him as a very demanding, pious, heated and authoritative teacher. His sermon books have been used extensively in sermon preparations, and although Danell's theological lines can be characterized as High Church Lutheran—his sharp, prophetic voice is still remembered in Sweden—particularily among low-biblical and ecclesiastical groups. In the end, Gustaf did not differ from the Swedish Church, but throughout his career he kept demanding a greater separation of the church in relation to dominating public opinions and the various political agendas. No quarter was asked, and none was given. No matter how we spin it — Deus ipse iudex.
References / Notes
- Biblicum, s.v. “/ Om Biblicum / Historik /”. (accessed June 13, 2012)
- Nationalencyklopedin, s.v. “Gustaf Adolf Danell.” (accessed June 14, 2012).
- Projekt Runeberg. Svenskt författarlexikon / 3. 1951–1955 /, s.v. “Danell, Sven Isak”, p. 81. (accessed June 14, 2012).
- Projekt Runeberg. Vem är det: Svensk biografisk handbok / 1969 /, s.v. “Danell, Sven”, p. 191. (accessed June 14, 2012).
- Projekt Runeberg. Vem är hon / 1988 /, s.v. “Danell, Ragnhild”, p. 108. (accessed June 14, 2012)
- Statistics Sweden (SCB), 1908 Birth Matricula of Skaraborg, Skånings-Åsaka Congregation, p. 404. National Archives of Sweden, Image ID A0030779_00404. (accessed June 14, 2012). — birth 1908
- Svenskt biografiskt lexikon, s.v. “Danell, släkt” [Kinship]. (accessed June 14, 2012).
- Sveriges dödbok 1901–2009 [Swedish Death Index 1901–2009], s.v. “Danell, Gustaf Adolf.“ The Federation of Swedish Genealogical Societies & DIGDATA, 2010. — death 2000
- Swedish Film Institute, Swedish Film Database, s.v. “Gustaf Adolf Danell”. (accessed June 13, 2012).