Fraenkel taught philosophy to Palestinian youth, Muslims in Indonesia, Hasidic Jews in New York, teens in Brazil, and indigenous people in Canada. These locations were chosen deliberately to engage issues of ideological conflict and social and racial division, and the struggles of indigenous peoples with colonialism.
Historical theologian Robert L. Calhoun had mythic status as a lecturer at Yale Divinity School—even unbelievers attended his courses on Christian theology—but he didn’t publish much. George Lindbeck has done us a great favor by editing and publishing Calhoun’s lectures on the history of Christian doctrine. Lindbeck’s introduction provides perspective on Calhoun’s theology.
Developmental psychologist Erik Erikson, who wrote psycho-historical accounts of both Martin Luther and Mahatma Gandhi, became interested late in life in how Jesus changed the trajectory of history. Following the lead of New Testament scholar Norman Perrin, Erickson published an essay, “The Galilean Sayings,” which examined the sayings of Jesus. He reached two conclusions from his study: that humanity is one universal species, and that by responding to the teachings of Jesus one could discover an inner, numinous core that connects one to something larger than the self. Of Jewish background, Erikson occasionally attended church with his Episcopalian spouse but never claimed to be a believer (Theology Today, April).