Many people look back upon the mid-‘50s as being a period that was relatively shallow, a period in which people were so relieved that World War II was over, that we were still cleaning up the rubble and people were ready to have a good time. And in a way that’s true, although I think […]

Bob’s field was — he was in political science. I taught in the Religion Department. My special fields were philosophy of religion and ethics. This [1955] was at the tail end of the McCarthy period and we had a sense on the faculty that McCarthyism was on the run. Fred Schuman, who was a distinguished […]

I suspect I was in a kind of minority in that I knew where Bob was coming from philosophically. He was annoying to many faculty members because he was kind of an upstart. I think it was in the same year that Bob came that another young political scientist joined the department, John Rensenbrink. They […]

The demeanor expected of a young, junior faculty member, particularly at faculty meetings, was one of restful listening. Stay quiet and your turn will come, maybe beginning in about three years. But that was not Bob’s style. He began immediately to bore in, questioning senior members of the faculty. And one issue that came up […]

I think all of us were rather skeptical of cult figures on the faculty, particularly the older more senior faculty members who had seen cult figures come and go. And most of them seemed not to get tenure. There may have been some envy. But I do think primarily his colleagues, particularly the more senior […]

I suspect there were some elder types who were involved in the decision who raised questions about his judgment. It would be within Political Science, but it would be within a wider circle. I can remember these things because they were the people who were deciding the verdict on me, as well–and of course President […]

Any faculty member who becomes anything of a cult leader arouses the suspicion and probably the envy of faculty colleagues. I don’t think I ever envied Bob because he had a following. But it did puzzle a lot of people because students who become cult followers, in my observation over a number of decades, often […]

I was familiar with India because I had been there as a Fulbright Scholar in 1963. India was a dangerous place to one’s health. That was before the Green Revolution and in a big Indian city at that time the sanitation department would come and pick up the corpses off the sidewalks and streets every […]

Bob warned the students that they were going to encounter experiences that they would have difficulty in handling that they couldn’t change in ways that they might not like. You could, he would warn them, become people that your parents won’t like as much as they like you now. That fit into Bob’s theme, perhaps […]

The way he comported himself was in keeping with the character that he had displayed all along, so that in this final years and months there was the same kind of integrity that his philosophical mentor Socrates had displayed, the dignity with which he bore his suffering. He was continuing to teach and I said […]


Final Note