2006–07 Hoffberger Family Fellow Professor Richard Crane
Professor Richard Crane earned a Ph.D. and an M.A. in history at the University of Connecticut, and B.A. in history at Eastern Connecticut State University. During his fellowship at the Museum, he was Professor of History at Greensboro College (North Carolina). For his Hoffberger Family Fellowship, Professor Crane conducted research for his book project, “Jacques Maritain, Jewish-Catholic Relations, and the Limits of a Christian Understanding of the Holocaust.”
Professor Crane’s research on the French Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain (1882-1973) examined the life and work of an eminent intellectual and renowned opponent of antisemitism. He is also the author of A French Conscience in Prague: Louis Eugène Faucher and the Abandonment of Czechoslovakia (East European Monographs, 1996), and several articles including “Maritain’s True Humanism” in First Things, vol. 150 (February 2005) and “La Croix and the Swastika: The Ambiguities of Catholic Responses to the Fall of France” in The Catholic Historical Review, vol. 90, no.1 (January 2004). Professor Crane received a Christopher Browning Research Fellowship from the Holocaust Educational Foundation, and was selected to participate in the Jack and Anita Hess Faculty Seminar entitled “The Holocaust and Antisemitism in France” held at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in January 2005.
During his Fellowship at the Center, Professor Crane examined Maritain’s ambivalent philosemitism (seen for example in Maritain’s problematic designation of the emerging genocide as the “Passion of Israel”). His research presented a more nuanced assessment of one devout Catholic’s struggle with the implications of his Church’s long-conflicted relations with European Jewry, challenging historically rooted generalizations about Maritain’s attitudes toward Jews in the modern world before, during, and after the Shoah.