Century Marks

Prophet without honor: Probably no Jewish theologian was better known or more highly regarded by 20th-century American Christians than Abraham Joshua Heschel. He was not so highly regarded by his colleagues at the Jewish Theological Seminary, however, according to his daughter Susannah. In an interview with America (June 18-25), Susannah said that due to academic pettiness and jealousies, her father was never able to deliver a sermon at JTS in his 27 years there (an honor that even some of his students were given). But his spiritual genius was recognized by others. A turning point was a positive review by Reinhold Niebuhr of Heschel’s Man Is Not Alone (1951). Heschel and Niebuhr became close friends, and at Heschel’s request Niebuhr delivered the eulogy at his funeral.

 

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