Cover photo for James Wolfe's Obituary
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1939 James 2023

James Wolfe

May 4, 1939 — October 30, 2023

 

James S. Wolfe was born May 4th, 1939 in Englewood, New Jersey to Ithmer Wolfe (née Coffman), a librarian, and Hugh Wolfe, a professor of Physics. Jim graduated with a PhD in Society and Religion from the Graduate Theological Union at the University of California, Berkeley, and was an ordained Presbyterian minister. He taught university courses in sociology, religious studies, political science, and computer science for over forty years. Jim was a prolific writer and thinker, writing three books (all available on amazon.com): The Kennedy Myth: American Civil Religion in the Sixties, a scholarly analysis of Kennedy’s presidency from his campaign to his death in terms of archaic, historic, and modern types of civil religion; A Song of Faith plus the Gist of the Bible, providing a scheme for grasping the Bible, alongside his poetry; and Jamboroo, a collection of essays and sermons capturing the core of Jim’s philosophy, developed over decades of scholarly pursuits. Throughout his life, Jim was deeply committed to peace and spreading a message of love to combat fear, hate, and intolerance. He had an irreverent sense of humor and loved interacting with people. Jim greatly enjoyed tennis and, in his later years, pickleball. He is survived by his wife, Susan Wolfe (née Kalbfus) and preceded in death by his parents and his siblings Arthur, Betsy, and Helen. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in memory of Jim to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

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