Yale, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Academic Culture, and Africa: Some Highlights from Thomas Oden’s “A Change of Heart”
Thomas C. Oden, A Change of Heart: A Personal and Theological Memoir (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2014).
Oden tells the story of his doctoral student days at Yale, where he worked under the supervision of H. Richard Niebuhr. These were the days when “Hans Frei, George Lindebeck and James Gustafson were all young faculty members at Yale” (p. 64), and David Kelsey “ran the divinity bookstore” (p. 65). Still, Oden felt bored there compared to Perkins, where he did his masters work, and considered making a switch to Drew. He finally decided to stay at Yale, primarily because he didn’t want to squander the opportunity to work with Niebuhr. Of that experience he writes:
The individual tutorial with Niebuhr on Augustine and Calvin was timely for me, ending all doubts about my purpose at Yale. Niebuhr proved to be a…