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223 Now, to my amazement, our enlarged portal was to receive the ashes of Paul Tillich. My first assignment from Hannah Tillich had been to write an announcement letter to his colleagues and friends, informing them of her decision.1 The list she gave me included not only presidents of divinity schools and universities but also the names of artists, poets, musicians, and museum directors. Tillich was the only theologian ever invited to address members of New York City’s Museum of Modern Art.2 An even more unorthodox departure for a theologian was Tillich’s enthusiastic support of Joan Baez in her early years. No sphere of knowledge or art was beneath his attention, nor was any form of religion. Many of those to whom I had written arrived for the ser­ vices: some former students by motorcycle, dignitaries such as Henry Luce by private jet, many others by car. I was too intimidated by Luce, a person of great wealth and power, to accept the honor of knocking at his door to awaken him before the interment at dawn on Sunday, May 29, 1966. I was more ChaptER 25 Paul Tillich Commemorative Ser­vice 224 New Harmony, indiana comfortable with Jerald C. Brauer, dean of the University of Chicago Divinity School, and turned to him. Jerry’s penetrating blue eyes, crew cut, and contagious smile belied my preconceived idea of a divinity dean. “You’re just the one, Jerry, to awaken the great Henry for the ser­ vices tomorrow ,” I told him on Saturday at a reception for Hannah Tillich in the courtyard of the Red Geranium Restaurant (43 on town map). He consented , with reservations. Before leaving Houston, I had asked Preston Frazier, found­ er of an innovative candle shop, to create a thousand white candles shaped like doves. Annie Rawlings helped me unpack and place them on tables outside the Lipchitz gates for our ­ out-­ of-­ town guests and for anyone who wished to join our eve­ ning pro­ cession on the eve of the interment, which would follow a concert by the Evansville String Trio in the Roofless Church honoring Hannah. I lit a candle and handed it to my husband. Confident that no one would observe him in the dark, Kenneth accepted my gift and joined Jerry Brauer and me as we crossed the narrow lane that separates the Roofless Church from the park. Paul Tillich Commemorative Ser­vice 225 We entered a seeming forest fire. More than a hundred candle bearers had preceded us and planted their wax doves in the earth beside the lettered stones or directly under the ­ still-­ moist Norwegian spruce. The young saplings only appeared to burn, because there was no smoke, only a delicious aroma arising from the contact of heat on evergreen needles. Moved and astonished, I cried out, “Come, Kenneth; come, Jerry, Philip, Rollo; come inhale nature’s incense!” My husband may not have read chapter 3 of Exodus—“the bush burned with fire and the bush was not consumed”—but he behaved as though he had seen the very bush that had startled Moses on Mt. Sinai. Breathless, hands extended, he called out, “Forget the incense, Jane. Just look around you! There’s never been such a sight in New Harmony. Run, run! Bring the ­whole town!” Apostle of community and inclusiveness, I had placed an open invitation via the Posey County Times and New Harmony News to anyone who wished to plant a candle in the park. I had failed, however, to follow through with personal invitations to churches and civic groups. Not for the first time had Kenneth’s unexpected exuberance bested my pre­ conceived trump card. The poet Stanley Kunitz’s description of himself described my husband well: “What’s best in me lives underground,/rooting and digging, itching for wings.”3 Kenneth had found his wings, and they had outflown mine. Later that night, Jerry Brauer was neither flying nor exuberant. He addressed me with a doleful countenance: “Jane, I’ve only brought one pair of trousers, and they are completely covered with wax. I can’t wake up Henry Luce looking like a melted candle.” As the daughter of a mother who preferred candles to lightbulbs and whose childhood home had been described by an En­ glishman as “situated so far in the country that electricity had not yet reached it,” I knew how to solve Jerry’s problem. About two hundred friends and colleagues of Dr. Paul Tillich attended...

Additional Information

ISBN
9780253016638
Related ISBN
9780253016249
MARC Record
OCLC
903357020
Pages
400
Launched on MUSE
2015-03-20
Language
English
Open Access
No
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