Original Research - Special Collection: Ignatius van Wyk Dedication

Aspects of political theology in the spiritual autobiography of Dag Hammarskjöld

Morariu Iuliu-Marius
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 74, No 4 | a4857 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v74i4.4857 | © 2018 Morariu Iuliu-Marius | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 October 2017 | Published: 23 April 2018

About the author(s)

Morariu Iuliu-Marius, Faculty of Orthodox Theology, ‘Babeş-Bolyai’ University, Romania and Department of Dogmatics and Christian Ethics, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Romania

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An important personality of the Swedish cultural space and of the world diplomatic space, Dag Hammarskjöld (1905–1961), left to posterity, besides his literary works, his economic and diplomatic contributions, the most important spiritual autobiography from the Swedish protestant space of the 20th century. Discovered shortly after his death and published by his disciples in 1963 in an English version in London (at Faber and Faber Publishing House), Markings presents the struggle of the author with himself, illustrated in a great diversity of styles, from haiku poems to short meditations, pastels (lyrics or prose), biblical exegeses and so on. Apart from the description of his spiritual life, his relationship with God, or his conception of spiritual issues, the work also contains some interesting references to aspects of political theology. These aspects represent the subject of our research. After a short presentation of his life and activity and of the influence of his family on his education, we will try to present the way in which aspects of political theology are emphasised in the aforementioned work and which are some important elements of the author’s conception of this subject. In this respect, we will resort not only to his spiritual autobiography, but also to the most important writings about him, published by specialists in diplomacy, literature and politics. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find theologians who wrote about his spiritual autobiography (except some who talk about him in theological dictionaries). Therefore, one of the main strengths of this research will be the fact that it presents a theological approach to Dag Hammarskjöld.


Markings; Congo crisis; air crush; the United Nations; Secretary-General


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