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null Celebrating 50 years of publishing by Christoph Stückelberger


On Tuesday 14 June 2022, had the pleasure and privilege of hosting the latest book launch of President and Founder Prof Dr Christoph Stückelberger, honouring the impressive achievement of his 50 years of publishing and celebrating the sharing of knowledge.

Held both in-person in the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland and online as a Zoom webinar, the hybrid event was presided over by Prof Dr Stückelberger himself together with Academic Dean Prof Amélé Ekué and Publications Manager Dr Ignace Haaz.

Ignace Haaz began the event by introducing Prof Dr Stückelberger: a committed theologian at institutions around the globe who has greatly contributed to the Publications department both as director and as an author and series editor. For Haaz, what has long stood out about Christoph Stückelberger is his contextual intelligence and ability to open dialogue through life-affirming comic moments. The emotion, not just laughter, that underlies and drives publishing was a recurrent theme throughout the event.

Following this introduction, Prof Ekué echoed the gratitude Haaz shared for Stückelberger - and the hope for his work to continue. It is not, she continued, self-evident to have such a prolific author so continuously active in the academic world, and Stückelberger's engagement with his work is threefold.

Through his intellectual engagement, he crosses boundaries and exposes himself to diverse contexts, understanding people’s relationships with their environment and not shying from advocacy where it is required. Through his engagement as an artist, he transposes what is seen, the beauty in creation, and embeds this into the way his published works speak to us as humans, making his writing art. Finally, through his engagement as an academic mentor, he both creates and shares knowledge. The subtitle of “50 Years of Publishing” is no coincidence, and some of those “12 Encouragements to Emerging Writers” were shared during the book launch.

Amélé Ekué also spoke of Stückelberger's dedication to responsible citizenship and how his research, reflection and writing are rooted in their theological and ethical foundations. He is a strong advocate of Aristotelian theology - in theory, wisdom and praxis - and of the actions of people to make the world a better place, rather than just normative consensus.

Agreeing with Prof Ekué, Prof Dr Stückelberger shared the purpose behind his writing, which has been rooted in his beliefs and actions since childhood: to make the world a better place. He began sharing his remarks echoing Ignace Haaz’s reflection on emotions: life starts with a cry, and crying is also the starting point of writing. The world of academic publishing should not be outside emotion: quite the opposite, he continued, as there is no meaning behind writing without a cry to start. Emotion is an important basis for writing, and the first of the “7 Ps of publishing” that he shared during the event: passion, purpose, pain (writing isn’t easy, he warned: it is like climbing a mountain), patience, payment, public and private (writers have to be able, willing and courageous enough to share their work with an audience without fearing criticism. At the same time, an awareness of what and how much to share and to keep private is critical). Finally, he added an “8th P”: point. As a writer, how can I express the point I want to make clearly and simply so that my readers can understand it?

Following Prof Dr Stückelberger's words, event attendees were invited to share their comments and questions. A 9th P of Publishing was suggested by Lucy Howe López: the Privilege, and responsibility that comes with it, of writing and publishing on unpopular topics and giving a voice to people who may otherwise be unheard. She also highlighted how prolific Christoph’s work has truly been, mentioning having picked up a book at random during a Lutheran World Federation event and finding an essay authored by him inside! Executive Director Obiora Ike underlined the importance of sharing knowledge in the form of writing: what is written is written, and this can last for thousands of years - as highlighted by the fact that Aristotle was referenced during the event. The book launch closed with further thanks to Prof Dr Stückelberger, hopes for his next published work, and encouragement from him to aspiring writers to embrace their mission to write.

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