[Springboard] CF&LC revisited: shorter, slimmer, and updated

W. J. synergi at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 7 18:40:40 EDT 2007

Regrettably, I sent the following out with an obese Word file that was too fat and not yet scrubbed for typos. I'm trying again without the attachment. I have uploaded the entire chapter to the O:E Repository. If the fat attchment goes thru, please delete and go to the Portal to retrieve your slimmed and corrected copy. http://twiki.wedgeblade.net/bin/view.cgi/Portal/WebHome Click on "recent changes" under the Repository section and you'll see it.

Joe Mathews was born on October 8, 1911, and died his death on October 16, 1977, almost exactly thirty years ago.
  I guess it's inevitable that if we don't write our own history, somebody else will do it for us.
  I was surprised and delighted to find an excellent history of the New Left in the 1960's that accurately sources the influence of JWM & Company on the development of a radical leftist countercultural movement.
  Title is The Politics of Authenticity: Liberalism, Christianity, and the New Left in America (1998) by Doug Rossinow, who is an assistant professor of history at Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis. This book is his doctoral dissertation, and without giving too much away, I was more than pleased at how well he, as a historian, integrated an understanding of Tillich and Bonhoeffer with an appreciation of the role of CF&LC and Joe Mathews in forming radical consciousness in Austin and across many campuses in the late 1950's and early 1960's.
  It's an amazing read to go ten years further back in our history than I had before in any depth.
  This guy is a youngster, so he wasn't there, and yet you have a sense of how much he is able to get inside the context and relate what happened in Austin to the cultural revolution of the 1960's.
  And oh yes, he interviewed Lingo by phone in 1991! Also mentions Fred Buss and Joe Slicker, if only once.
  Here's a sample paragraph to whet your appetite.
  Joe Mathews started his career as an evangelical preacher with fundamentalist leanings. The son of an Ohio Methodist minister, he went to Hollywood in the 1930’s to break into the movies and got saved instead in a Los Angeles revival. He maintained a dramatic flair; his heavy silences, poetic outbursts, and fake stammer in the classroom became legend among his students. With his faith intact, he entered the army as a chaplain during World War II. His experiences in the Pacific theater of war "destroyed him" when he found that his religious verities were useless to dying men. "He could offer somebody a cigarette as they died, but he didn’t have anything to say to them. They had to die by themselves," as Lingo puts it.
  I've uploaded Chapter Two to the O:E Repository in case you'd like to plow through it. And I hope to have some more reflections to share soon. I might even read the whole book--unusual for me.
  So let's read the chapter together and share our reflections.
  Happy reading,
  Marshall Jones
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