The afterlives of the afterlives

This morning I have completed working through the 600+ Author Queries from Jeremy Funk—our copyeditor at Wipf & Stock—for volume two: Interfaith Afterlives of Jesus.

Sadly, one of the chapters under review was the essay by Richard Freund: “Writing the Afterlives. From Jesus to the Vilna Gaon.”

Of course, I was not able to refer to Richard for advice on any of the questions raised by Jeremy, since Richard had died on 14 July 2022. This volume is dedicated to his memory.

I realised as I worked my way through Richard’s chapter, doing my best to think his thoughts after him and without him, that I was engaged in the very process that he describes in his essay. I was creating a literary afterlife for the deceased master, seeking to be faithful to his wisdom and his voice, but also conscious of how I often I found myself asking, “Now what exactly was Richard seeking to say here?”

I hope that I have been faithful to his legacy.

PHOTO: Richard and I in deep conversation during pottery reading at Ginosar in June 2012. I am assuming that the photographer was Hanan Shafir, but it may have been Karin Nobbs. Both much-loved friends.







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