Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

Confessions of a Jewish Priest: From Secular Jewish War Refugee to Physicist and Episcopal Priest

Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

Confessions of a Jewish Priest: From Secular Jewish War Refugee to Physicist and Episcopal Priest

Article excerpt

GABRIEL WEINREICH. Confessions of a Jewish Priest: From Secular Jewish War Refugee to Physicist and Episcopal Priest. Cleveland, Ohio: The Pilgrim Press, 2005. Pp. 178. $25.00.

How does culture influence our religious choices? What does it mean to be irreligious and then to become religious? Can God move us along a given path, even if we do not believe in God? These are some of the questions that arise when confronted with the life story of Gabriel Weinreich in his memoirs Confession of a Jewish Priest. As readers who pick up this book will discover, while Weinreich offers his story as a way to ask questions, he is reluctant to offer any answers that might appear to be binding on anyone but himself. In this way his book is very much a personal story, not an effort at evangelization or even of theology. And while that decision makes for a fine narrative, it also misses an opportunity to follow more fully in the footsteps of such Anglican memoirists as C.S. Lewis.

Weinreich was born between the world wars in what is today Poland. His family was intellectual and largely assimilated, having long ago turned its back on its Jewish religious roots. The second World War and the Holocaust destroyed the culture he grew up in, though his nuclear family, thanks in large part to their academic connections and prowess, survived intact and made it safely to the United States. It was only after living a full life in America, which included a distinguished career as a physicist, that Weinreich found God. And while it took some time for him to reconcile his new faith to his lost cultural heritage, he came to realize that becoming a Christian did not ask him to turn his back on his roots, but rather allowed him to fully embrace them. …

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