Sparks of Light: Survivor Narratives Reflected Through the Lens of Irving Greenberg’s Theology
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Belle Jarniewski, Sparks of Light: Survivor Narratives Reflected Through the Lens of Irving Greenberg’s Theology. Master's Thesis, University of Winnipeg, 2018.
In the future, when no first-person witnesses to the Shoah are left to tell their stories, we will be left with their written, audio, and video narratives. Those who will be left to bear witness for them can tell their stories from a purely historical viewpoint. However, this thesis adds a new option — a theological dimension through which to read and further appreciate their stories. It argues that the theology of Irving Greenberg is well suited to express the theology implicit in the lives of many Shoah survivors, providing an opportunity to reflect theologically on their experiences both during and after the Shoah. The thesis explores Greenberg’s distinct postwar model that expresses concern for the theological and socio-political implications of the Shoah, addressing themes of morality, faith, religion and interfaith dialogue. The second part of the thesis examines the narratives of three Canadian Shoah survivors through the lens of Greenberg’s theology. The first, Stefan Carter, is a secular Jew who survived the Warsaw Ghetto and makes his home in Winnipeg. The second, Pinchas Gutter, is a Majdanek/Buchenwald survivor who was from a family of Ger Hasidim. Gutter lives in Toronto and has become well known due to his participation in cutting-edge exhibits and videos. The third, Robbie “Romek” Waisman, is a Buchenwald survivor, lives in Vancouver and is an Honorary Witness to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.