Obituary Andreas Bsteh

by Karin Preisendanz

Andreas Bsteh was an active member of the association De Nobili Research Library right from its inception at the constitutive meeting on December 5, 1989, and participated in the first general assembly on March 3, 1990. Deeply involved in interreligious dialogue and understanding all his life, he was a regular attendant of the various symposia organized by the De Nobili Research Library even before the inception of the association under this name. He himself organized several symposia on the Christian dialogue with other religions, which were documented by the series “Studien zur Religionstheologie” published by the Institute for the Theology of Religion, which he had founded in 1991 at the Theological College (deemed University thanks to his efforts) St. Gabriel in Maria Enzersdorf, Austria. In order to celebrate the conclusion of the English translation of this multi-volume series as “Christian Faith in the Encounter with Other Religious Traditions”, a joint festive event was organized in 2011 by the Institute and the De Nobili Research Library at the University of Vienna under the title “Encounter as a Challenge to the Religions on Their Way into the Future”. The central lecture at this occasion was presented by Francis X. Clooney, SJ, as the third Annual De Nobili Lecture. In 2012, Bsteh served as a member of the jury for the first essay competition organized by the Association on a topic that he had helped to formulate, namely, “Dimensions of the Christian Encounter with the Religions of India: Aims, Possibilities, Ramifications”. The outstanding results of this competition were eventually published in revised and expanded form in 2021 under the title “Transposition and Transformation, Controversy and Discovery. On the Christian Encounter with the Religions of Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century India”.

The Association will greatly miss Andreas Bsteh, his constant support and valuable contribution to its agenda, and his engaging kindness.

Andreas Bsteh’s many achievements are sketched in his death notice and a personal essay by his brother Petrus Bsteh. Andreas Bsteh’s engagement in interreligious dialogue is highlighted by Brigitte Proksch in her report “‘Geschichte eines Dialoges’  – Das Vermächtnis des Andreas Bsteh”, published in Religionen unterwegs 3 (2021).