Today I learned that Bill Stuntz, one of my favorite law school professors, passed away after a struggle with liver cancer. Professor Stuntz was a brilliant scholar, a generous mentor, an inspiring teacher, and, most of all, a deeply kind man. Yes, he taught generations of Harvard Law students criminal law. But he also taught us to practice with compassion, humility, and heart.
In a moving interview he gave after his cancer metastasized, he said:
We understand that the world is not what it should be, and that our own capacities to understand it are severely limited.Professor Stuntz was an evangelical Protestant, but this sentiment -- and the curiosity, passion, and work it motivated -- is about the most succinct expression of tikkun olam, the Jewish concept of "repairing the world," that I have ever read.
Even in his absence, his words live as a reminder to us to listen, learn, reflect, and transform.