In Memory of Rev. Dr. Franklin Sherman

Rev. Dr. Franklin Sherman, 93, of Kirkland Village, Bethlehem, died Aug. 31, 2021. He was the English Language Editor and Managing Editor of from 2002 to 2007.

He was valedictorian of the Allentown High School Class of 1945 and attended Muhlenberg College, graduating in 1949 and the Divinity School of the University of Chicago, receiving an Master of Arts degree in 1951 and a doctorate in 1961. In the early 1950s, he served as pastor of Advent Lutheran Church in Chicago and from 1958 to 1961, he taught in the religious studies department at the University of Iowa.

He then accepted an invitation from the Lutheran World Federation to teach at Mansfield College in Oxford, England, serving the theological students in exile from Europe. In 1966, he became professor of Christian ethics at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago where he taught for 23 years, including 10 years as dean of faculty. He was a visiting professor at institutions in Switzerland, Israel, Zimbabwe and Japan. For many years, he served as chair of the Consultative Panel on Lutheran-Jewish Relations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). In 1989, he became founding director of the Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding at Muhlenberg College, where he served until 1996, including consulting with the ELCA on its 1994 declaration renouncing the antisemitic writings of Martin Luther. He also served on the Church Relations Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. At the Fifteenth National Workshop on Christian-Jewish Relations held in Stamford, Connecticut, he was presented with an award recognizing his lifetime contributions in this field.

Dr. Sherman was author of The Promise of Heschel, a study of the Jewish scholar Abraham Joshua Heschel, as well as numerous essays and reviews in the field of Christian-Jewish relations. He edited and provided historical introductions and annotations for the volume of Luther's Works: American Edition that contains Luther's writings on the Jews and Judaism (Vol. 47). He was also the editor of the two-volume collection of the most significant statements on Christian-Jewish relations issued by Christian, Jewish, and interfaith bodies around the world since World War II, entitled Bridges: Documents of the Christian-Jewish Dialogue: [Vol 1] The Road to Reconciliation (1945-1985), [Vol. 2] Building a New Relationship (1986-2013), both published by Paulist Press.

He was a lifelong tennis player, a regular attendee at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, N.Y. and a longtime member of The Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit, Emmaus, PA.

He is survived by children, Mark, of Takoma Park, Md., David, of Talent, Ore., Leslie, of Wilmington, Del.; grandchildren, Evelyn, Simon, Charlie and June.