In Memoriam: Dennis Haas

Of all the instructors I had at Grinnell, [Dennis] Haas was the one who had the greatest influence on me. Not only did he offer the normal course of instruction, amplified for some by his regular Sunday sermons, but he also opened his own home for additional, voluntary seminars for students interested in pursuing biblical study more seriously. I attended none of his sermons but went to every one of his seminars, inspired by him to read far beyond the requirements of his courses, inspired by him to positively enjoy close textual analysis and the discipline of biblical exegesis.

While I had approached biblical study with little more ambition than to finally read all the texts, Haas inspired me to go much further, transforming my life in the process. It was he who encouraged me to go on to his old school, the Union Theological Seminary in New York, and it was he and the seminary itself which led me to further study in philosophy afterward. Even now, never employed in any related field and never converted to any variety of Christianity, I continue along the political, intellectual, and scholarly paths he pointed out.

Author Info: 
Erik Graff ’74
Chicago, IL
United States