SÖDERBLOM, Lars Olof Jonathan (Nathan). Trönö, Hälsingland 15.1.1866 — Uppsala 12.7.1931. Swedish Theologian and Scholar of Comparative Religion. Professor in Berlin, then Archbishop of Sweden (Uppsala). Son of vicar Jonas S. and Nikolina Sophie Blume, matriculated from Hudiksvall. From 1883 studies at Uppsala (fil.kand. 1886, teol.kand. 1892). Ordained 1892. Dr. 1901 Sorbonne. In 1894-1901 pastor of the Swedish colony in Paris, now studied Iranian and Avesta at É.P.H.É. In 1901-12 Professor of History of Religion at Uppsala (formally of “teologiska prenotioner och teologisk encyklopedi”) and minister of a local parish of Staby, in 1912-14 also Professor of History of Religion at Leipzig. From 1914 Archbishop of Sweden in Uppsala, until his death. Nobel Peace Prize 1930 from his oecumenic work. Married 1894 Anna Forsell, twelve children.

In his time Söderblom was famous as a scholar of religion, but could never get wholly rid of his background as Lutheran theologian.But he emphasized the importance of studying the original texts of a religion in their original language.

Publications: Diss. La vie future d’après le Mazdéisme à la lumière des croyances parallèles dans autres religions. 8+477 p. A.M.G., B. d’ét. 9. P. 1901.

“Les Fravashis: Étude sur les traces dans le mazdéisme d’une ancienne conception sur la survivance des morts”, RHR 39, 1899, 229-260, 373-418; “Note sur l’agriculture dans l’Avesta”, RHR 59, 1909, 333-337; articles on Zoroastrianism in E.R.E.; reviews in RHR.

Edited: Främmande Religionsurkunder. 1-4. Stockholm 1908 (A great anthology of original texts of various religions translated into Swedish, vol 1. general introduction “Om religionsurkunder” by N.S.; vol. 2. Indian texts by K. F. Johansson et al., p. 687-784 “Avesta and Pehlevi” by N.S.).

Religionsproblemet inom katolicism och protestantism. 1-2. 518 p. Stockholm 1910; Godstrons uppkomst. 15+400 p. Stockholm 1913, German transl. 1916; Kristi pinas historia. 470 p. Stockh. 1928; other works and articles.

Sources: *T. Andrae, N.S. 1931; C. Clemen, RHR 104, 1931, 437-447; *J. Jonsson, Nathan Söderblom. Called to Serve. Transl. by Norman S. Hjelm. Grand Rapids 2016; *E.J. Sharpe, N.S. and the study of religion. 258 p. Chapel Hill 1990;; *W. Sillen, Journal of Religion 28, 1948, 37-50; Wikipedia with photo (more in Swedish version, also other pictures and long list of further sources). Special studies of Söderblom’s theology are not listed.

Dietz Lange (ed.), Nathan Söderblom. Brev – Lettres – Letters. A Selection from his Correspondence. Göttingen 2006.

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