Academic journal article Journal of Ecumenical Studies

Franklin Hamlin Littell: (June 20, 1917-May 23, 2009)

Academic journal article Journal of Ecumenical Studies

Franklin Hamlin Littell: (June 20, 1917-May 23, 2009)

Article excerpt

The first issue of J.E.S., in 1964, includes Franklin Littell (then at Chicago Theological Seminary) among the Associate Editors, and his name has appeared there in each issue till this one. Author of over two dozen books and more than 1,000 articles, he was working on his memoirs at his death. He held degrees from Cornell College, Mount Vernon, IA; Union Theological Seminary, New York, and Yale University (Ph.D.). Born in Syracuse, NY, he spent a decade in Germany following World War II as the Protestant religious adviser in the U.S. high command. At Emory University, in 1959, he offered the first graduate seminar on the German Church Struggle and the Holocaust, and he established the first doctoral program, at Temple University in 1976, for Holocaust Studies.

In the summer of 1939, Littell attended the First World Conference of Christian Youth, in Amsterdam. Writing about his experience forty years later, in a special commemorative issue of JE.S. (Winter, 1979), he said: "Today ... we see that Christianity confronts the greatest credibility crisis in its history." He noted that the modern university also faced such a crisis, since "the Death Camps... were built and run by products of some of the best universities in the world." His writing often dealt with interfaith dialogue, especially Christian-Jewish dialogue. He was passionate in defending religious, academic, and political freedom, urging the importance of individual responsibility in society.

In 1970, he and Hubert Locke founded the Annual Scholars' Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches, most recently based at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. …

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