In Memory of Franklin Sherman

In Memory of Rev. Dr. Franklin Sherman

Sherman Franklin 2Rev. Dr. Franklin Sherman, 93, of Kirkland Village, Bethlehem, died Aug. 31, 2021. He was married to the late Joan Margery Kendall, of Buffalo, N.Y. Following her death in 2006, he shared a 10-year marriage with Loreen Stout, of Schnecksville. Born in New York City, he was the son of Helen Molben, née Hazard and grew up in Allentown.


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. 

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.