Rufus Jones (1863-1948)

Author: Claus Bernet

Publisher: Peter Lang

ISBN: 3631589301

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 162

View: 124

Rufus Jones (1863-1948) helped organize the Quäkerspeisung (Quaker feeding effort), saving millions from starvation after the First World War. In Germany he is best known for having travelled to Berlin to seek a personal meeting with Hitler after the Kristallnacht in 1938. And, at the conclusion of a long life devoted to service, it was largely due to Jones that the American Friends Service Committee was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947. But Jones was also the quintessential «American scholar», seeking to harmonize theory and practice. He was a pivotal figure of the 20th century who stayed in close touch with authors and statesmen the world over. He earned a reputation as a modern mystic and an active pacifist, and was regarded as the moral conscience of his era. His scholarship encompassed education and pedagogy, philosophical questions, church and Quaker history, as well as the political issues of the day. Jones dealt with such issues as justice, democracy, and child-rearing. His ideas are still alive today and still arouse controversy. He was particularly anxious to avoid the cultivation of an elite, pleading instead for individual growth and personality development. Over the course of his life, he was awarded twelve academic titles, taught at numerous universities, delivered countless lectures, and was one of the first theologians to recognise the significance of radio and to make full use of it. To this day Rufus Jones is still honored as a «seer», «Protestant mystic», and even as a «Master Quaker» and «Quaker Giant». It is time also to take a critical look at these honors.